Checklist: Top 10 Must-Dos When Making a Move

Whether you have a week, a month or even longer to plan your move, there’s never enough time to prepare. From forgetting to turn off the electricity to buying too few boxes to packing poorly, problems big and small are inevitable.

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In an effort to make your moving experience a bit easier, here’s a handy checklist of what to remember amid the hubbub:

1. Start packing, as soon as possible, the items that you won’t need to use in the immediate future. Then continue working forward so that you pack your everyday, valuable and soon-to-be-needed items last.

2. Take multiple walking, biking or driving tours around your future neighborhood so as to familiarize yourself with the locations of the local grocery stores, post office, police station, restaurants, etc.

3. Likewise, familiarize yourself with the street parking restrictions in the vicinity of your new home. Even if you will be using underground parking, this will help alleviate any potential headaches when guests come to visit.

4. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your temporary parking permits and apply for your preferential and/or visitors passes. In Santa Monica, visit the public counter at 1717 4th St., Suite 150 (on the first floor) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on alternate Fridays. Go here for more information about how to obtain parking permits in Santa Monica.

5. If you’re going to be using the bus, plot out the stops that are serviced by the routes you will be taking most often. Take note of how often the buses run, if any of the Big Blue Bus or MTA lines end at a certain time of night, and so on.

6. Visit the local post office or use USPS.com to request an address change well in advance. It takes time to process, and there will be opportunities to indicate when you will be able to start receiving mail at your new address.

7. Similarly, don’t sleep on making address changes with any credit card companies, banks, auto insurance companies, loan agencies, college alumni offices, and other financial institutions with which you have accounts.

8. Call the electric and gas companies well in advance and inform them of your move-out and move-in dates, so there’s no overlap in your bill payments. This will help you avoid any potential penalty fees as well.

9. Determine where the large garbage and recycling containers are closest to your property. With a move comes waste, and you might want to save yourself time by knowing the quickest routes back and forth.

10. The better you prepare, the less you’ll stress over your move. Heck, you might even have some fun with it!