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What everyone should do before a move

Moving to a new home can be exhausting. It’s not a task that is done in one day, it’s a process that requires a level of organization. From packing up your items to transferring utility services, there’s a lot to consider before settling into your new house or apartment. That’s why we’ve created a moving checklist to help you plan your move. 

Downsize: Get rid of things you don’t need

If you’ve lived somewhere awhile you may have accumulated a lot of items you’re no longer in need of. Getting rid of things before you begin the packing process can help lighten the load and make packing that much simpler.

  • Go through your items: From junk drawers to closets full of mysterious boxes, you may have put some things away with the intention of using them one day only to never see them again. Start creating piles of items you want to keep and what things you want to donate, sell or throw away.

  • Sell items online: There are plenty of online forums that allow you to easily sell your items. Start taking pictures of all the things you want to sell, then post them on sites like OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for others to buy in your area.

  • Have a yard sale: If you have a bunch of items like clothes, kitchen appliances and furniture you want to sell, throw a yard sale and easily get rid of your things in a day.

  • Throw junk away: One of the most tedious things about moving is finding a bunch of items you have no use for. Things like old cards, beauty products, crafts or expired food could all be thrown away.

  • Contact local waste facility: Safely dispose of any potentially hazardous materials like old electronics, batteries, paints or chemicals by taking items to an appropriate waste facility or contacting professionals to remove these items from your household before you move.

  • Donate items: Consider donating old clothes, toys and pantry items to your local non-profit organization or food kitchen.

Best way to pack for a move

Packing isn’t always as easy as putting things in boxes. Fragile items will need to be carefully wrapped and labeled. Large items will require the help of movers or friends to transport. And everything in between should be carefully organized so you’re not wondering where it went when you get to your new home. Here’s how to pack for a move like a professional:

  • Collect boxes for packing: Avoid having to spend money on moving boxes by saving boxes from your online purchases early on. You can also ask your neighbors on Facebook or the Nextdoor app to see if they have any boxes you can take off their hands.

  • Count your large items: Moving furniture and other large items can be a challenge. Take an inventory of large pieces, such as couches, tables and bed frames, so you can figure out how much help you’ll need. If you choose to hire a moving company, knowing how many pieces can also help get you an accurate estimate.

  • Label your boxes: Trying to find something once you move can be overwhelming if boxes aren’t labeled. Pack according to which room each item belongs, like the bedroom, kitchen or office, to minimize the hassle.

  • Track your items: You can make things even easier by creating a list of items in each box. For example, you can label boxes numerically and reference a notebook that lists which items are in that box.

Moving with pets

Moving - Loading car with pet

Moving can be stressful, not just for you but for your pets. Dogs and cats are used to routines and a move can throw them off. When moving with pets, you’ll also want to organize the following:

  • Find a place for them to stay: Keep your pets away from the moving action by leaving them with a friend or pet sitter the day of. If you’d rather keep them close, find a quiet room or kennel where you can check on them regularly.

  • Find a new vet: If you’re moving to a new area, you’ll want to find a nearby veterinary clinic. You’ll also want to ask your current vet for your pet’s documents so you have those in hand for their next exam.

  • Pack their food and toys: When moving across state or somewhere that will take longer than a day of travel, you’ll want to have everything they need on hand, including bedding, food, water and medications.

  • Update their information: Pets with microchips or tags on their collar will need to have the information added with your new address. Make sure to update everything once you’ve moved.

Use moving companies or services

Whether you’re hiring professionals or enlisting help from friends, having some assistance can save you time when moving. You’ll also want to consider renting a moving truck or van if you don’t have a car large enough to transport large items like your furniture. Rather not do any heavy lifting? Consider using a moving service to do the work for you. Call ahead of time to ask about cost and availability to ensure your move goes as planned.

How to change your address

Avoid the hassle and frustration of missing packages and mail at your new home. Here’s how to let the post office know you’re changing addresses and want your mail forwarded to your new location:

  • One option is to submit your request online at USPS.com/move. There will be a small charge and you’ll get an email confirmation letting you know the request has been processed.

  • Or, you can submit your request in person at your local post office. You’ll be provided with a Movers Guide packet that contains a change of address form to fill out. You can fill it out there and hand it to a postal worker or fill it out at home and mail it back to the post office later. A confirmation letter will be mailed to your new address within five business days.

Transferring utility services

Moving - Utility worker using laptop computer

It’s important to make sure you not only start utility services at your new location before you arrive, but you’ll also need to shut off services to your previous location once you’re fully moved out. You can do so by following these steps:

  • Call your utility providers: Make a list of all the utilities you’ll need to transfer, such as internet, water, cable and electricity. At least two weeks prior to moving, call and request your services be transferred to your new location. If your current provider isn’t available in your new area, make sure to cancel those services.

  • Find new utility service providers in your area: Many utility providers are limited to specific areas. If you’re staying within your same zip code, you can easily transfer services to your new address. However, if you’re going to a new city or state, you’ll want to call different providers to see what’s available in that area. Internet providers like Cox make it easy for you to check services in your new area, update your equipment and see your pricing options online.

  • Pay outstanding balances and return equipment: If you’re changing providers, you’ll want to close out your account before the move and return any equipment you rented, like your internet router or modem.

  • Schedule transfer appointments: Plan ahead and schedule any appointments two to four weeks before to ensure your utilities are transferred on time. Avoid living in a home without any electricity or wifi by setting a reminder to call your utility companies as soon as you know your move in date.

Moving to a Cox service area?  Find out if new your address is in Cox’s service area, so you can order Internet, TV, Homelife & more. Shop Cox services.



Seamlessly transfer service, or get setup with new service, before you move.

Seamlessly transfer service, or get setup with new service, before you move.

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