For many families, summertime is moving season. Most people remember the big stuff when they move — like changing their address with the post office, stocking up on boxes, choosing a reputable moving company — but there’s lots of little stuff that can slip through the cracks when you’re overwhelmed with wrapping every last dish in the kitchen.
For me, the most stressful part of moving far away was not being able to make countless trips back to the old house to get the things I forgot to pack in the truck. Every last thing has to be packed, down to the sippy cups and toothpaste.
So whether you’re planning a coast-to-coast move or just a “short” hop a few states over, here’s a handy list of things that people often forget.
1. Let your insurance companies know you’ve moved. If you are switching jobs, your health insurance company may change, but if it doesn’t, then it’s important to let your insurance company know you’ve moved so they can send your explanation of benefits or reimbursement checks to the right place. Additionally, you’ll need to change your address with your car insurance company. It may be a good time to price out other companies too, since different companies have lower rates in some states, depending on state laws. Don’t forget to contact your life insurance and renters’ insurance companies, too.
2. Notify every bank and credit card company you use. If you use a debit card from your local credit union regularly, then you’ll probably remember to tell them about your relocation. But sometimes people forget to order new checks with their new address. Similarly with credit cards, some people may remember to change their info with their main credit card, but not for the one they use only occasionally. Go through your wallet and spend 15 to 20 minutes changing everything online.
3. Change your online shopping profiles. If you’ve got 1-click ordering on sites like Amazon, it’s important to change your primary shipping address, especially if you participate in programs like Subscribe-n-Save, which ships things to you automatically once every few weeks or once a month. The last time we moved out of state, I forgot this one. Not cool when you’re ordering more plastic storage bins for your new digs in Florida — and they show up in New Jersey.
4. Update your license. In many places, you’ll need a state-issued ID to get local services hooked up like water and power. You may think this isn’t so urgent, but this year, this item really can’t be pushed off — you may need to have a local license so you can register to vote in November. If you go to the DMV during off hours, like mid-morning or mid-afternoon, you’ll usually have a faster trip.
5. Transfer your prescriptions to a new pharmacy. If you use a chain like CVS or Walgreens, it’ll be easy to call up your new local branch and have your prescriptions transferred. If you decide to use an independent pharmacy, they’ll take care of getting your scrips from your old pharmacy once you make the request. If you use a mail order pharmacy and have your prescriptions set to auto-refill, be sure to call and change the address so your meds don’t end up at your old place.
6. Get rid of anything flammable, toxic or just plain messy. There's a whole host of things movers won't take because they're toxic, flammable or hazardous. And for good reason — what if something damaged that bottle of bleach or vegetable oil mid-move, and it spilled everywhere and ruined your favorite curtains? According to moving.com, you shouldn’t move hairspray or other aerosols, nail polish remover, ammonia, bleach, cleaning solvents or lighter fluid. Dispose of these before you go, or there's a slight risk one of these flammable liquids could start a fire.