Last Updated: 3/26/2019
Whether you’re relocating to Guam or moving to a new home on island, there’s a lot to think about! The earlier you start the planning process, the easier it will be when Moving Day arrives.
To help simplify your move (and to make sure you don’t overlook any important details!), we’ve put together this moving checklist. Starting at 60 days out and continuing all the way to Moving Day, we’ll show you exactly what you need to do to set your family up for a simple and stress-free move.
We’ve also created a printable PDF you can download to keep you and your family on track.
Let’s get started!
60 Days Before Your Move
Not all families have the luxury of 60 days to plan their moves, but if your family is one of them, two months out is the time to get started! During this period of time, you’ll want to:
- Create a moving binder to store important paperwork in one place. You may even want to print out our PDF checklist and put it at the front of your binder to keep you organized.
- Not a “paper” person? Go digital! Create a dedicated folder on your computer and store all your important documents inside. Scan any paperwork that you receive in hard copy and save it in that same folder. Just make sure you regularly back up your computer so you don’t lose any data in case of computer trouble.
- Start thinking about downsizing. Especially if you’re relocating to Guam, getting rid of any possessions you don’t want will help cut down on moving expenses. Start separating your possessions into:
- Items you want to take with you
- Stuff you want to sell
- Things you want to donate or give away
- If your employer is paying for your move, check what services they cover so you can plan your budget.
- Choose a moving company. We recommend getting three independent quotes before making a decision. You’ll also want to:
- Decide whether your moving company will pack your belongings.
- Ask about “moving insurance”—better known as full-value protection—to make sure your possessions are protected in case of loss or damage during the move.
- Decide what you’ll do with your car.
- If you want to ship it, ask your movers to include a quote for your car. Ask your mechanic to do any required maintenance before it ships so it arrives on island in good working condition.
- If you want to sell it, start making preparations. For a private sale, you’ll want to get it cleaned and photographed. If you plan to work with a reseller, start researching your options.
- Gather your important paperwork. Those born in the United States and traveling to Guam from the U.S. don’t need a passport for their move. Your birth certificate and government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID, will be accepted. Children traveling with their parents only need a birth certificate. However, now is still a good time to begin to assemble all of your family’s paperwork so it doesn’t accidentally get packed in a random moving box.
- Make plans for pets.
- Read up on Guam’s requirements for bringing pets.
- Make sure your pets have ID collars with contact information that will still work after you move.
- Request copies of vet records.
- Start to make plans to get a supply of any necessary medication to get you through the move.
- Talk to your children’s schools.
- Notify current schools of your move and request copies of your children’s transcripts.
- Check into the enrollment process for schools near your new home so your kids can make a smooth transition.
30-45 Days Before Your Move
- Get any supplies you need. Check with your moving company on what they’ll provide and what they won’t. No matter what, you’ll probably want a few thick Sharpies to help label boxes. Although it’s tempting to re-use boxes, remember that new boxes will provide the best protection for your possessions.
- Plan your garage sale. If you’re selling items, set a date for a sale and start letting people know. Local Facebook groups are a great way to get the word out. For larger items, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and LetGo can connect you with potential buyers, depending on what platforms are most popular in your location.
- Collect your family’s records. For long-distance moves, make sure to request copies of your medical, dental and optical records for everyone in your home. Don’t forget to ask about transferring prescriptions.
- Start notifying people and companies of your move.
- File a change of address with the USPS.
- Talk to your bank and find out if you’ll need to set up a new bank account.
- If you’re living in a rental, notify your landlord and provide an address for return of your security deposit.
- Contact your current electric, gas, water, sewer, trash and cable providers and arrange for shut-offs.
- Inquire about utilities at your new home. What will need to be set up or transferred to your name?
- Make time to say goodbye. Consider hosting a gathering for friends and families to stop by. Moving Day might seem like a long way away, but things will only get more hectic as it gets closer. Take the time now to plan a gathering so you and your family get the chance to see your friends at least one last time.
- Consider packing non-essentials. If you’re packing yourself, it’s time to start boxing up things you won’t need right away. Make sure to label your boxes to make it easy to find everything later!
14-21 Days Before Your Move
- Start packing. It might seem early, but you’ll thank us later if you start now. Even if your moving company will be doing the packing, now is a great time to take stock of your valuables and make arrangements for them.
- Transport anything irreplaceable yourself, rather than packing it in a moving box.
- Get antiques and jewelry appraised, just in case.
- If you haven’t arranged for full-value protection, consider purchasing it to protect your belongings in transit.
- Meal plan in earnest. Strategize how you can use up the food in your house. For long-distance moves, consider donating any non-perishables to Move for Hunger. Ask your moving company if they partner with this organization so they can accept your non-perishable donations on moving day.
- Fill any prescriptions to get you through until you’re settled in your new home. (And make sure to put them aside so they don’t accidentally get packed in a moving box!)
- For long-distance moves, make provisions for the following items:
- Hazardous and flammable materials like cleaning fluids, aerosol cans, matches, ammunition, poisons, paint, oils and bleach. Either dispose of them at your local municipal waste facility or give them to friends who can use them. You’ll also want to drain fuel from any mowers or small machines you’re bringing with you.
- Live plants, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat or meat products. If you’re moving to Guam, these can’t come with you.
7 Days Before Your Move
- Start (and end) with a clean slate.
- Schedule cleaners to come AFTER you’ve moved out of your current house. Don’t make the mistake of scheduling movers and cleaners at the same time. They’ll get in each other’s way, which makes for a challenging Moving Day.
- If your new home needs a thorough cleaning, arrange for a service to come before you arrive.
- Make arrangements for appliances if you’re taking them with you:
- Defrost and dry out your refrigerator and freezer. Empty and unplug your refrigerator about a week before your move. A few days before the big move, put a few boxes of baking soda in the unplugged fridge and shut the doors to help absorb any odors. The night before, open it up and towel out any remaining moisture.
- Schedule an electrician or plumber to disconnect any appliances before Moving Day. Your movers won’t disconnect hoses or gas lines, and if those lines aren’t disconnected, they can’t move your appliances.
- Back up your computer and phones. Ideally, back everything up to the cloud. That way, if something goes awry during your move, you’ll be able to restore any important data.
The Day Before Your Move
- Make sure everyone in your family has a suitcase packed with enough essentials to get through the move. This is especially important if your belongings will be in transit for a while. Don’t forget to include prescriptions or any medical supplies needed during this time.
- Set your movers up for success. Put anything you don’t want to be packed in a special area, such as a guest bathroom or the trunk of your car (assuming your car isn’t going in the move)! Let you movers know what’s in there and lock the door. This will prevent any mistakes on Moving Day. This includes items like:
- Jewelry and valuables
- Irreplaceable items, like your wedding album
- Passports and travel documents
- Car keys
- Make arrangements for kids and pets. Make Moving Day less chaotic by arranging for a play date for your children out of the house. The same goes for any pets who might get in the way or escape accidentally. A day in doggie daycare can significantly reduce the stress of Moving Day for you and your family.
- Return your cable box. To make sure it doesn’t get accidentally packed or forgotten, drop it off with your cable company so you can finalize your account.
The Day of Your Move
- Be available to answer questions from your movers. Even if they’re doing the packing, they still may need your direction and input.
- Take one final walk-around with your movers. Open all drawers, doors, closets, etc. Check the attic and the basement. Make sure you’ve got everything you want to take with you packed.
- Check the final, itemized inventory from your movers. This is especially important if you’ve purchased full-value protection. Anything that’s not on the inventory won’t get covered in case of loss.
- Double-check the paperwork. Make sure the movers have the correct final destination and contact information in case of questions or problems. Ensure that you know who to call if you have questions, and ask for a copy of your paperwork before they leave.
- Take your family out for a meal. After a day like Moving Day, it makes sense to let someone else do the cooking for you. Spend one last night with your family near your old home, and get excited about the new one that awaits you!
Moving to a new home can be an exciting experience for your family. It can also be a stressful one. However, with the right plan in place, you’ll methodically tick all the right boxes for an efficient and easy move.
Whether you’re relocating to Guam or simply moving within the island, DeWitt Guam can help you create a smooth and simple Moving Day experience. Reach out to us for a quote, and we’ll help you handle all the details.