An important component in every move is the need to bring closure to your personal matters and relationships in your old community and create attachments in the new one. The list of tasks at both ends of the move varies with each individual and family. Following are specific suggestions and general tips that can help guide you through the process.
Open new bank accounts
Transfer funds and anything you have in your safety deposit box. Because many banks are regional, long-distance moves may require choosing a new bank. If possible, open an account in your new community before closing the account at your old bank.
Find new doctors
Choosing new health care professionals is one of the most important and personal decisions you'll make when you move. Interview potential healthcare professionals over the telephone, asking for credentials, specialties and working style. Be sure to ask questions that will give you information about the doctor's philosophy: how many patients does s/he see each day? Does s/he accept new patients? Does the doctor have time to get to know everyone individually?
It doesn't hurt to have a couple of months' worth of prescriptions from your doctor, and have them called in to the pharmacy in your new town. This way, you'll have time to find and get established with a new doctor.
Transfer medical records
Get copies of doctor's records and case records and have them forwarded to your new doctor.
Check all of your insurance policies to ensure that coverage will continue in your new area. If not, ask your insurance agent for a recommendation, call the local Chamber of Commerce, or research companies online. Several companies provide free, no-obligation quotes from hundreds of carriers, both local and national. Click here to find an insurance provider.
Formally resign or transfer memberships from any local organizations, associations, and clubs.
Transfer school records
Just for safekeeping, ask the school system to make a copy for you to take with you.
Raid the icebox
About a month before moving, be sure to start using up any frozen goods so that you avoid waste. Also use up, give away, or sell (at your garage sale) any unopened food in your pantry. These items can be bulky and heavy to transport.
Return borrowed items
Return any lingering library books, rental videos, or items you may have borrowed from friends or neighbors.
Check the dry cleaners
Check the dry cleaners for anything you still need to collect.
Tune up the car to avoid a breakdown on the way to your new home.
Pack a first-aid box for each car
This should contain bandages, bug spray, sunburn spray, tissues, and medications you or your family will need along the way.
Fun ways to bring closure
- Round up the family to take a drive around town and visit local spots that hold dear memories. Take snapshots or video and have a picnic.
- Host your own going away party, and encourage your children to invite their friends. This is a good-bye for everyone, including friends, neighbors, former teachers, and colleagues.
- Create a "Care Package." Include some fun food items for the trip. Include make-your-own sandwich items such as peanut butter and jelly. Also include plastic plates, knives, forks, and napkins.
- Take one last walk through the house together, noting spots you'll never want to forget. Take a picture of the family in front of the house. Be sure to talk about the picture you will take in front of your new house as soon as you get there.
- Herd everyone away in one swoop -- it's best not to linger. After all, it's time to move on.
- Make plans to visit your old hometown within the first year following your move. Visit friends and drive by your old home, through neighborhoods, and past landmarks. This post-move re-connection with dear friends and fond memories will help your family bring finality to the move.