Learn to love your lists

Forgetful, chaotic, or just plain preoccupied? Everyone can use a helpful list when it comes to moving home.

We’ve developed this one from nearly 50 years of experience, and though you’ll probably want to add something, it’s a good place to start.

Notify the following of your change in address (as applicable):

  • Post Office (to redirect mail)
  • Financial institutions (to transfer and/or close accounts)
  • County clerk/voter registrar
  • Department of taxation
  • Leasing company
  • Insurance company (to transfer or terminate household insurance)
  • Life insurance company
  • Car insurance company
  • Health insurance company
  • School principal (to obtain a letter regarding the status of your children in school)
  • Shops and stores where you have charge accounts
  • Relatives, friends and regular correspondents
  • Club memberships
  • Magazines, newspapers and other subscriptions
  • Doctor(s) and dentist (to obtain copies of your records)
  • Your lawyer
  • Your place of worship

Discontinue these services (as applicable):

  • Gas
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Telephone
  • Cable/satellite/Internet television service
  • Newspaper/publication delivery
  • Internet service provider

Remember to:

  • Defrost your refrigerator/freezer and drain all water hoses.
  • Disconnect your washing machine and drain water.
  • Check with manufacturer to ensure all major appliances are correctly prepared for moving.
  • Arrange for electricity and gas companies to disconnect any fittings from the supply.
  • Dispose of items you do not wish to take with you.
  • Return books, videos, etc.
  • Remove your own fixtures and fittings from walls.
  • Put important items, such as identification and/or passports and tickets, in your personal luggage so they are not accidentally packed.
  • Arrange for someone to look after your children on the packing days. (This can be a stressful time for them.)

Dangerous Goods

The following are classified as dangerous goods and cannot be stored or transported:

  • Ammunition
  • New or partially used cans of paint
  • Linseed oil
  • Bleach products
  • Gas cylinders, turpentine
  • Kerosene
  • Gasoline
  • Cleaning fluids
  • Aerosols (any kinds)
  • Vegetable oils
  • Chemical sets

A few don’ts:

  • Don’t forget to detail any high-value items (e.g., antiques, furs, paintings) in your transit protection declaration—a separate valued list is requested.
  • Don’t put breakables in drawers.
  • Don’t put liquid in drawers (sauce bottles, perfumes, etc.).
  • Don’t overload furniture with too many items (in drawers).
  • Don’t store perishable foods, such as cereals, flours, etc.
  • Don’t polish your furniture prior to your move. Polishing surfaces can cause furniture to condensate when wrapped.
  • Don’t store or transport jewelry, money, legal documents, taxation papers, insurance policies or other high-value/irreplaceable articles. (Keep these items with you.)
  • Don’t forget to check your home for any belongings the packing crew may have missed—before they leave.



One last look around…

  • Anything left in the attic, garden, garage or basement?
  • No clothes at the dry cleaners, shoes at shoe repair shops, sporting goods in lockers at clubs/schools?
  • Are the water heater, main power and gas connections turned off?
  • If possible, turn off air conditioners and use them only when necessary during packing. Furniture kept in a constantly cooled climate may condensate when suddenly exposed to hot air. Allowing your furniture to adapt to the warm air can be helpful in eliminating moisture problems during transit.
  • Pack your suitcases and move them (together with your valuables, passports, and tickets) to a safe place, such as a trusted neighbor’s home. This will prevent them from being accidentally packed with your goods.
  • Put your personal telephone and address book with your carry-on luggage for the flight. You may want to get in touch with people later.
  • Dispose of all remaining flammables, dangerous, or hazardous materials. Throw or give away bottles of nail polish, and liquids in glass bottles.
  • Are your windows and doors locked? Old house keys surrendered?

All done? Get a good night’s rest!