In Which I Fail the Move Checklist


August 10, 2011 by Leah

I love checklists, but I hardly ever use them. (Actually, maybe I love the idea of checklists and wish I was the type of person who used them more regularly.) To me, checklists usually indicate that one is about to do something thrilling – like traveling overseas, going camping, or visiting Whole Foods. So, as I was perusing for helpful tips about moving with a dog or buying your first house, I came across this lovely checklist (which I’ve quoted below), read it, and thought, “Who moves like this?” Seriously, do people move like this?

Here are the reasons I am so incredulous:

“Month Prior to Move” Bahahahahahaha. We got three weeks’ notice.

  • “Change your address with the post office.” We don’t have a forwarding address.
  • “Change your address with the IRS.” Seriously, we’re going to live in an RV while we house hunt.
  • “Hire a moving company or rent a moving vehicle.” Not my responsibility, thank goodness.
  • “Transfer or get copies of medical records (and school records if you have children).” Oh, oh, I get points for this one! I’ve requested copies of medical records. For Duke.
  • “Get referrals from your current doctor for new doctors in the neighborhood you’ll be moving to.” Hahahahaha. No one in Long Beach has a clue where Walla Walla is.
  • “Update your insurance policies (home, auto, and so on).” Erm, we still have our Alaska State Farm agent. Which is apparently fine, because she knew where to send our birthday cards this year and didn’t say anything about us violating insurance laws.
  • “Check with your insurance company to see if your belongings are covered during the move.” I’m pretty sure the renter’s insurance policy still thinks we live in a one bedroom apartment.
  • “Cancel your plans with cable, telephone, newspaper, lawn, and home security companies.” We have none of that. Except AT&T cell phones. Oh crap, does AT&T even provide coverage in Walla Walla?
  • “Change your address with magazine and newspaper subscriptions and creditors.” Back to the address again? Really?

“Weeks Prior to Move” Um, yeah.

  • “Cancel utility service for the day after your move date.” Not an issue as we’re on company property.
  • “Purchase packing supplies (boxes, tape, markers, and so on).” Again, not our problem.
  • “Make travel arrangements on moving day and any special arrangements for small children and/or pets.” Duke went in his new kennel for about three seconds, so we’re making progress. (Never mind that I purposely threw his marrow bone in there.)
  • “Start packing, boxing items systematically and labeling them accordingly.” So. Glad. We don’t have to do that bit.
  • “If you can, type out a list of what general items are in each box so you have a master list.” The movers pack items based on their location within the house. Based on the state of my house, such diverse items as hand-knitted socks, skill saw blades, and half-empty photo albums will probably be boxed together. How would you generalize that grouping?

“1 Week Prior to Move”

  • “Confirm reservation with moving company or rental truck company.” If we have a reservation by a week before the move, I’ll be surprised, although our Move Coordinator is working on this.
  • “Gather and set aside important documents (don’t pack these—carry them with you during the move).” This begs the question, who should take said documents? Statistically, Aaron has a better chance of surviving his journey since he is flying, while my awesome mother-in-law and I are driving up the California coast.
  • “Transfer prescriptions to your local pharmacy.” Is a doctor licensed in California allowed to call in a prescription to a pharmacy in Washington? Might not be a bad idea to check, since we all know what happened last time I went off my thyroid meds.
  • “Close/transfer bank accounts (if switching banks) and order checks with your new address.” This is actually a good reminder to close our Alaska USA accounts. (You read that right.) We’re planning on using the money in them towards a down payment. Also, we don’t really use checks; though when we do, we just go to a bank branch and demand that the nice people there print us some checks then and there. Which is funny, because doing it this way means only Aaron’s name is on them (as the primary account holder) and then I make out the check and track him down for a signature. All to save the cost of a box of checks.
  • “Send out change of address cards to friends, relatives, neighbors, organizations, and so on.” I’m actually really super-excited about this. There are so many cute change of address cards available. Let me know if you want one! Oh, wait, we don’t have an address yet.
  • “Return items that don’t belong to you (movies, books, and so on).” Only having three friends here means I didn’t borrow a heck of a lot. (Except for library books, but I returned all those.)
  • “Clean! (appliances, carpet, walls, and so on).” Expect to hear some whining about this next week. I’m historically disastrous at cleaning upon leaving homes. Just ask my last building manager. And Aaron’s. And the deposits we barely saw again.

“Day Before Move”

  • “Take out cash to give as tips to the movers (if you hired).” Really?! Do we need to do this? I always feel so awkward tipping!
  • “Buy bottles of water for you and anyone helping you.” Uh, we don’t condone the use of disposable water bottles. How insensitive.
  • “Pack the last of your items and leave out one small suitcase for your pajamas and toiletries.” I’ll probably actually start packing for the road trip tomorrow.

“After the Move”

  • “Change your address with DMV— update driver’s license and plates (if moving out of state). Allow about two weeks for arrival.” Erm, not sure if I should admit this, but we never notified the Alaska DMV of our last change of address. We recently discovered we were supposed to do that within 30 days. We still have our Alaska drivers’ licenses and license plates.
  • “Change your address with your employer.” Again with the address.

2 thoughts on “In Which I Fail the Move Checklist

  1. Ronale says:

    When I first moved to Washington state, I had to take a road test to get a driver’s license. Let me know if the rules have changed. Hope I haven’t added to your stress. 🙂

    • Aaron says he just had to take the “written” test last time he got a Washington license, so I think that would be okay. Come to think of it, I’m probably better equipped for a road test now than I was at 16. If it comes to that.

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