MOVING! The very thought of it can send chills down our spine and can cause us to break out into a cold sweat.

Experts say that any kind of ‘change’ creates stress. Moving, especially if we are living in a foreign country and have not necessarily chosen to move, can create a huge amount of stress.

When preparing for a move we must motivate ourselves to get a lot of additional tasks completed as well as all the things we usually do.

This checklist contains many suggestions that may seem like “no-brainers”.

However, the very act of printing out these simple suggestions and reminders can be helpful as the dreaded time approaches.

Moving and relocating calls for proactive measures to be taken, completing certain chores well in advance of deadlines.

Hopefully these points will help to accomplish that.

In this article we are leaving out the “big things” such as finding the best moving company, researching your new neighborhood’s transportation, parking, employment, etc. Those are for another article on another day. Today we are concentrating on the basics of planning and preparation.

1. De-clutter – Get rid of what you don’t need.

Moving unwanted clothing and bric-a-bracs from one place of residence to another is a great waste of time and effort.

It is surprising how much more in control we feel once we start narrowing down our “inventory” to what we actually need to keep.

Getting rid of the unwanted items can be done by having a sale long before moving time and then donating the leftovers to charitable groups or friends.

2. Get all important papers and documents together and secure them.

Since moving is hectic, to say the least, we need to be aware of the exact location of all of our important items.

Things that we absolutely must not lose or misplace should certainly be hand carried, not put in a box for the movers:

Address Books, Birth Certificates, Bank Statements, Checks, Credit Cards and Statements, Home Movies, Irreplaceable Memorabilia, Insurance Policies, Marriage Records, Medical and Dental Records, Military Records, Passports, Photos and Photo Albums, Resumes, School Records, Stock Certificates, Tax Returns, Telephone Numbers, Valuables, Vehicle Documents, Wills.

3. If you are renting, prepare well for your checkout

Have all your last paid bills available for the agent and check current meter readings.

Also ensure you are fully packed and that the things you are taking are ready to go.

Is the apartment clean or are you paying to have it cleaned after you leave?

Run through the inventory and note any missing or broken items as this can greatly speed up check out.

Make sure you have emptied your mailbox and have all keys ready to hand back.

4. Prepare well in advance for living at your new location.

There are many things that we can do at our new location well in advance of our move that will help smooth out the bumps and grinds of our relocation process when the actual event occurs:

Contact the new area utility companies and arrange for your new services. These can include Cable TV, gas, electric, oil, telephone, water and Internet access.

Prepare change of address forms for all of your correspondents; credit card companies, other credit accounts, banks, insurance companies, current utility companies for final statements, magazines and other subscriptions, family, friends, and any other persons or businesses that you correspond with on a regular basis.

With proper planning and preparation the moving process, though never fun, can at least be sane. The utilities at your present address can be disconnected the day after you move and the utilities at your new address can be connected the day prior to your arrival.

With proper planning and preparation you will have all of your important documents at the tip of your fingers at all times. Your mail will start arriving the day after you move in to your new abode, and your life will endure a minimum of chaos and clutter.

Good luck with your move and good luck in your new home or apartment.

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