Tying Loose Ends: Things to Do Before Leaving Your Old Home

Packing your belongings and taking care of moving logistics may be the biggest tasks involved in your transition from one home to another, but they’re not the only ones. You also need to tie up loose ends so that when you close the door for the last time, you’ll be off to a running start organizing life in your new home. Use these tips as a guide.

1. Turn Off or Transfer Utilities.

Utilities include electric and gas, water and sewer, landline phones, cable and Internet. Take electric-meter readings in case there’s a discrepancy in your final bill.

2. Send Change-of-Address Notifications.

Alert the post office of your address change. In addition, use the contact information on statements from your credit card and loan companies, banks and investment companies to report your address change.

3. Notify Your Home and Auto Insurers.

If you financed the purchase of your new home, you may have transferred your homeowners insurance already. Otherwise, contact your homeowners- or rental-insurance company to notify them of the change. Let your car insurer know, too. Failing to update insurance information could cause a claim to be denied.

4. Store Important Documents and Valuables.

Movers in Alpharetta recommend packing up vital records such as birth certificates, school records, marriage certificate, medical and veterinary records, plus high-value or heirloom jewelry, and store them in a safe deposit box until you’ve gotten your new home in order.

5. Safeguard Important Data.

Store important files and photos in the cloud, just in case your computers are damaged during the move. Services such as DropBox and OneDrive give you plenty of free space. Alternatively, save files on an external hard drive and add it to your safe deposit box.

6. Arrange for Child and Pet Care for Moving Day.

Moving is highly disruptive to small children and pets. Having a friend or family member take care of them for the day keeps them on an even keel and frees you to focus on the tasks at hand.

7. Pack a Day’s Worth of Essentials.

Save one bin for the things you’ll need during your first night and first full day in your new home. These items include medications, toiletries, must-have electronic devices, clothing and towels for each family member, snacks and drinks. If you have children, also pack a few things they can occupy themselves with – perhaps something new you purchase just for this occasion.

9. Turn Off the Water and Major Appliances.

Turn off your water at the main valve and at each sink and toilet, and turn off your hot water heater at the circuit breaker to reduce the risk of flooding in the event the home you’re leaving will be vacant for any period. In addition, turn off the A/C if you’re moving in warm weather, or turn the thermostat down to 50 degrees (to avoid pipes freezing) if you’re moving in cold weather. Finally, unplug the washer and dryer, and unplug the fridge and prop the door open.

No matter how well prepared you are, residential moving is stressful. By going in with a plan to transition not just your belongings but your whole life, you can minimize the disruption and focus on settling into your new home.

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