| Buying | By Anslie Stokes

You’ve signed the last of the paperwork and it’s official – you’ve bought your new home! You’re probably feeling a range of emotions, from pure excitement to a bit of stress and nervousness. To help you deal with the latter, we’ve compiled the ultimate moving checklist to ensure your time is spent efficiently and effectively.

6 Months Before

  1. Declutter, Discard and Donate
    Moving to a new place is the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start, especially when it comes to items in your home. Start by discarding at least 5 objects a day such as those that are broken or worn out. Donate duplicates or those you don’t need, but someone else might.
  2. Use Up What Can’t Travel
    Items such as flammables, poisons, and corrosives can’t be packed and moved. If you can’t deplete them, make arrangements to give them to a neighbor or have them disposed of safely.
  3. Get Yourself Organized
    Creating a binder that contains everything you need in one place is helpful when you need to find information quickly, ie. contact information, box inventories, to-do lists, etc. Homebinder is an effective tool for this.

3 Months Before

  1. Set up a Packing Area
    If you have space, dedicate an area for packing. Gather your supplies (boxes, markers, bubble wrap), and use old towels and sheets to protect your breakables. In addition, Lendabox provides  Washington DC, Arlington, and Alexandria with reusable boxes that are durable, convenient, and eco-friendly.
  2. Prepack Unusables
    Pack winter clothes if you’re moving in the summer (and vice versa), mementos, books, etc. These can all be stored until you’re ready to move.
  3. Research Your New Community
    Find the local grocery store, parks, walking trails, etc. You’ll be glad you did, particularly when you need to find a nearby take-out spot on your first night there. Our neighborhood guides will give you a head start finding places you’ll love in your new community.

1 Month Before

  1. Measure and Ensure
    Measure your new home’s windows and purchase your window treatments to install your first day. Also, measure your larger items to ensure they fit through your new home’s doorways.
  2. Inform and Redirect
    Time to start changing your address.

    1. Government – post office, driver’s license, voter registration, SSN
    2. Financial – credit cards, banks, investments
    3. Social – family/friends, clubs, subscriptions
    4. Health – doctors, pharmacist, dentist
    5. Legal – lawyers, accountants, insurance
  3. Insurance Matters
    Contact your insurance agent about your new home insurance policy. Don’t forget about car insurance, rates may differ in your new city.
  4. Find a Mover
    Research moving companies and ask your real estate agent if there’s anyone they recommend. Get a written contract, verify their insurance policies, and ask if they have negotiable fees for nonpeak times if you’re moving midmonth.

2 Weeks Before

  1. Plan your New Layout
    Make a floor plan of your new home so you can decide where you want your larger furniture. The movers will appreciate your foresight and if you’re paying by the hour, time saved = money saved.
  2. Locations for Electronics
    Find out where the outlets are so you can plan where your electronics will go. In addition, before you pack them, take pictures of their connectors so you can reconnect them easily.
  3. Notify your Providers
    Make arrangements to connect your electricity, water, gas, phone, cable, and internet the day before you move into your new home and disconnect them the day after you leave your old home.

1 Week Before

  1. Preplan your Meals
    Use up your perishable food items by preplanning your last week of meals.
  2. Plants and Animals
    Decide how you will transport your plants and pets. Plants should be placed in containers and held into place with moist paper. Pets can experience anxiety, so bring items with familiar scents.
  3. Empty Equipment
    Drain gas and oil from lawn equipment, snow blowers, grills, heaters, etc.
  4. Important Items
    Collect your medications, deeds, wills, medical records, passports, birth certificates, diplomas, insurance papers, etc. in one place.

24-48 Hours Before

  1. Freezer and Refrigerator
    Empty and defrost your freezer and clean out your refrigerator.
  2. Pack Essentials
    Pack and label an “open first” box for your first night which includes your pajamas, toiletries, shower curtain, dishes, toilet paper, towels, etc.
  3. Moving Day
    Remove bedding and pillows, take out the garbage, turn off the lights and water heater, lower the thermostat, lock the windows, and do a final walk through.

With proper planning and preparation, your moving process will be easy and stress-free. If you would like information on one of our communities or need our help buying or selling your home, The Stokes Group will be happy to help. Contact us at 202-688-0111 or email us at  anslie@thestokesgroup.com.

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