There are many things to consider when preparing for a move. Below are some items designed to make the transition of moving smoother and more efficient.
Keep track of whom to notify of your address change. Once you change your address with the United States Post Office (USPS), your address forwarding is not complete. Visit the USPS FAQs for information on how long change of address mail is forwarded. You still need to notify your utility companies, phone company, cable company, and other service companies you may use. Give them an accurate shut off date and change of address in the event you may have a deposit refund. Keep track of any current magazines, newspapers, credit card bills, insurance bills, and bank statements and be sure to notify them of your address change as well.
Discover your new city. Before your move, it's helpful to get acquainted with your new city and neighborhood. Research the school districts, opportunities for children's activities, parks, restaurants, and cultural offerings. Read the local newspapers or look for social media groups and find social groups, clubs, or events where you can meet people. Don't forget that Hills Bank's relocation toolkit and Live Local site can help you discover your community.
Create a budget. Make a spreadsheet of anticipated income and new monthly expenses during your move. If you are changing cities or moving to the area from out of state, keep in mind the cost of living may differ from your current location. It's recommended to have at least 6 months of living expenses saved as an emergency fund, so make adjustments accordingly.
Avoid late payment fees. It's important to inform all your creditors of your new address. To avoid missing a payment during the transition to your new home, consider making upcoming payments early to avoid late payment fees. After you move, write checks for the first couple of months and keep them in a safe place, so even if you don't get a bill or it becomes misplaced, you'll be reminded to make your payments. If you would prefer to keep things paperless, consider signing up for online bill payment and direct deposit so bills and checks aren't lost in the shuffle.
Transfer important records. Once you've moved, transfer important records including medical, veterinarian, dental, and eye care records, bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, school records, drivers license, and insurance records. Keep a list of other important records you would need to transfer before the move and add to the list.
Voter registration. If you change your address, you will need to update your voter registration. The Iowa Secretary of State website allows you to update your voter registration online.
Sort household goods by items to pack, items to sell, items to donate, and items to recycle. Moving an entire house is a huge undertaking, so make it a little easier by not moving things you no longer need or want. While packing, sort items into different groups. Gently used (or never used) items can be sold at a garage sale, online, or even consigned. Items that are ideal for donation should be clean and in good condition. Looking for ideas of where to donate? Visit our give back to the community section of hillsbanklivelocal.com. Instead of throwing away everything else you don't want to move, sell, or donate, consider which items can be recycled.