You’re still processing the fact that your company is moving its headquarters to another city….along with you and possibly your partner, children, and pets!
Many corporations look to corporate relocation companies like TRC Global Mobility to smooth the transition for its employees. But there are still things to think about outside of the services that your relocation company offers. And those considerations can grow exponentially with the size of your family. You may still have to oversee the movers, transfer bank accounts and utilities and even more importantly—take care of your family. They’re feeling the stress of moving as much or more than you are.
It’s time to make a list. Use the following relocation checklist that we have put together, based on our knowledge of the relocation process and feedback we have received over the years from the employees we have relocated.
Up to a week before the move
- Complete a change of address order for the US Postal Service (you can do this online).
Stop newspaper deliveries.
- Transfer your bank accounts or, if you are using the same bank, notify them of your change of address.
- Notify utilities that you are moving. If you are selling a home and have not closed yet, this can be done once you get to your new home and have a confirmed closing date. (If you’ve sold your home, give the utility your move date but do not have utilities turned off.)
- Go through your home, room by room, to do a final weeding-out of things you are leaving behind. If the movers have already packed, do a final check for the odds and ends. If you are packing yourself, better get going. Time is running out.
- Be sure the items you are moving yourself are in a safe place, where the movers will not add them to the truck. If possible, consider moving these items into a car, a neighbor’s house or a storage unit.
- Pack personal bags for each member of your family, including items you need during the move and for a few days after the move, just in case the moving van is delayed. Add at least a week’s worth of prescription medications and a first-aid kit for emergencies.
- If you have children, be sure they are safe in an out-of-the-way room, or leave them with a trusted neighbor while the movers are working.
- Do the same with pets. You can also take them to the groomers for the day or leave them in a secure spot in your yard. The last thing you want to be doing is combing your neighborhood, searching for your runaway pets.
- Be sure the moving van has a good place to park. If it’s a city move, be sure to obtain necessary parking permits and reserve the freight elevator.
- When you are in transition, it’s helpful to have cash on hand. Tips to movers are optional but customary for a job well done.
Working with the movers
- Be sure the inventory sheet is correct, including any information about the condition of the furniture. If packers were in before the move, parts of the inventory sheet could previously have been completed. Just be sure to double check everything.
- Give the movers your contact information, including cell phone numbers and the correct address of your new home. You should also get the cell phone number and name of the head mover.
- Moving day is stressful but try to remain calm and pleasant.
- The movers have a strenuous, hot job. Cold water and sports drinks are always appreciated. If it’s early morning, coffee is usually welcome.
- Be available to answer any questions, but try to stay out of the way as much as possible. This is also for your own safety.
Saying goodbye to you home
- As the movers clean out each room, make one final check, looking in closets, cabinets and any storage places for stray items.
- Throw out garbage. If possible, take it to the dump. Your home should be in “broom clean” condition, with all debris removed. Many people take this farther and have the house cleaned, particularly the kitchen and bathrooms, after it is vacated.
- Lock all windows and doors, turn out lights and set thermostats to an “away” level.
- Leave any extra keys and garage door openers with your Realtor or on a kitchen counter if people are moving into your house within the week. If it’s an apartment, give keys to either the building superintendent or the owner of the condo.
- Be sure a neighbor has your cell phone number just in case.
Home sweet new home
- As boxes and furniture are off-loaded from the van, check items off the inventory list.
- Be there to direct the movers where to place everything. If you’re moving into a two-story or any larger home, it’s helpful to have someone else upstairs to supervise and direct.
- Once your items are placed in your new home, check the inventory sheets to be sure everything has arrived.
- The first rooms to concentrate on are your children’s, to make them feel more secure.
- The first thing you should do is make each bed, so everyone has a place to sleep the first night.
- Next, unpack towels and anything you might immediately need in the kitchen.
And finally, eat out or bring take-out in. Even if you love cooking, moving day is not the day to slave over a stove.
Now take a deep breath. You’ve home!