Don't let anyone slip through the cracks.
When you’re preoccupied with important relocation-related tasks, it’s easy to forget about informing relevant people and institutions of your upcoming residential move and subsequent change of address.
But notifying specific organizations and individuals of your relocation is essential for ensuring a smooth moving process and preventing various hassles and troubles with your mail and accounts.
Here’s a checklist of the people and institutions you need to contact when moving.
Family and friends
Naturally, your relatives and close friends should be the first to know that you are about to move house. Informing them of your imminent relocation as early as possible will not only give you the chance to ask them help you move, but, if you’re moving far away, will also provide you with enough time to say a proper goodbye and plan for different ways to stay in touch despite the distance between you.
Unless you’re relocating to a different branch of your current company, you should inform your employer about your decision to move and leave your job as early as a month in advance.
This way, the company will have time to find a new person for your position, and you will be able to put all the relevant paperwork in order without any hassle.
Remember that your old boss will need your new address to send you tax documents and insurance information at the end of the year.
If you live in a rental home, you should carefully review your tenant rights and responsibilities contained in the lease agreement. You will probably be required to notify your landlord of your intentions to move out at least 30 days in advance.
You need to prepare a written notice that clearly states your move-out date and your future address. It is also a good idea to include a brief statement about the excellent condition of the rented property and to request your security deposit back.
Changing your address with the United States Postal Service should be among your top priorities when moving to a new house, as it will help you avoid many troubles and inconveniences.
To have your mail forwarded to your new place before you’ve updated your address with individual organizations and companies, you only need to fill out a change of address request at your local post office or at the USPS official website.
Online services such as 1StopMove can also help you complete this process.
To prevent service lapses and past-due bills you need to inform your service providers about your relocation plans. Arrange for the utilities at your old home to be disconnected on moving day, and have them reconnected at your new residence by the time you move in.
The utility companies you should contact when moving include electricity, gas, water, telephone, cable, Internet, domestic waste collection and other municipal services you may need.
When you move out of state, you’ll have to transfer your driver’s license and update your vehicle’s registration and insurance within quite a short time frame (10 to 30 days, depending on your new state).
It’s a good idea to visit the local office of the Department of Motor Vehicles at the earliest opportunity, inform them of your new address, and request all the relevant information about putting the required paperwork in order.
A number of government agencies should be notified when you’re moving to another state. Be sure to update your address with the local office of the Social Security Administration, the electoral register, and other relevant institutions.
The Internal Revenue Service will need your actual home address to mail your tax return, fiscal notes, and other documents. All you need to do is print out and mail in the IRS’ Change of Address form soon after your relocation.
To keep your finances in order, you must update your bank accounts and inform credit card companies, stockbrokers, and other relevant financial institutions of your new address either shortly prior to or immediately after your move.
The insurance agencies that provide your life, health, and homeowners insurance policies should have your current address on file, as should any other organizations and individuals (such as your family attorney) who have dealings with you and your family.
Medical and educational facilities
When moving to a new state, you will have to enroll your children in a new school, find a new family physician, and transfer all your academic records, medical records, and prescription medicines. To successfully complete these important tasks you need to tell your doctors, dentists, vets and other healthcare providers, as well as the educational facilities your kids are attending, about your relocation and your new address.
Subscription services and clubs
Last but not least, you need to update your address with any sports, professional, or social clubs you are involved with. You should also notify the subscriber services department of any magazines or newspapers you want to receive at your new home.
You may have to personally visit some companies or institutions to notify them of your relocation, but in most cases you will be able to change your mailing address online or with a simple phone call. Postcards, e-mails, text messages, and social network announcements are also viable methods to inform people of your new address.
Spring-cleaning and decluttering go hand in hand, and with warmer weather around the corner you might be planning for the day you can tackle a massive purge. But did you know that there's a wrong way to declutter?
People often fail at organizing because they follow common myths about organizing.
Here, home organizing experts dispel some of these common myths and explain how to actually maintain a decluttered space for good.
Myth No. 1: You can start anywhere
Truth: OK, so the first step to decluttering is just starting already. And kudos to you for wanting to jump in. But if you jump in without a plan, you're setting yourself up to be overwhelmed—and, ultimately, for failure, explains Colleen Branch, a home organization expert and writer for experthometips.com.
“You need to have a solid plan in place to tackle your home,” she says.
We're not talking about a Google Slides presentation here. But before you start, you should write out a simple checklist of what you hope to accomplish.
“It’s satisfying and also allows you to have an end in sight,” Branch notes.
Your checklist doesn't have to be exhaustive; in fact, it should be fairly brief so that it's manageable. Focus on one room at a time, and create checklists for each. For instance, this is Branch's three-step kitchen decluttering list:
Totally doable, right?
Myth No 2: You should keep only things that 'spark joy'
Truth: In the era of Marie Kondo minimalism, it's easy to see why we've fallen into this mindset. But Laura Kinsella, owner of Urban OrgaNYze in New York City, recommends we shift our thinking on this point.
"Let's be clear: My diaper pail does not spark joy, but it's an essential item that is used every day in my home," she says.
Declutter with this thought in mind, she says: Is this item beautiful in my home or does it prove to be useful? If the answer is "no," then it's probably time for it to go.
Myth No. 3: Making quick decisions is the best way to declutter
Truth: If you're anything like us, the longer you ruminate on an item, the less likely you are to let it go. For this reason, decluttering experts often suggest that you make a quick decision about an item, toss it in the donation box, and move on.
But while reflex decisions certainly can help with clearing out your space quickly, they can also foster regret.
If you're not sure whether you truly want to toss something, Branch recommends this: Put it in a box, tape it shut, and write the date—one year from now—on the outside. If you haven't opened the box in a year, you know it's time to discard the item.
"There's a high chance you won't even remember what was in the box," she says.
Just make sure that everything isn't going in this box of purgatory. If it is, then it's time for some tough love with your decluttering efforts.
Myth No. 4: Before you can declutter, you need organizing supplies
Truth: "Buying cute containers may help motivate us into getting organized, but it won’t create the right system," Fisher cautions.
Containers are great for storing stuff, but the point of decluttering is to have less stuff to store. So start by taking stock of the situation. Then sort and purge. And purge again.
For instance, take everything out of your clothes closet, put similar items together, and then figure out what you have way too many of. If it's shirts, break it down further: Do you have too many T-shirts? Too many black T-shirts? Too many black Nickelback T-shirts? Once you've sorted them into microcategories, review all items and determine what you don’t like, don’t need, or don’t really have room to keep.
Only then should you start to think about how to best store what you're keeping.
Myth No. 5: Decluttering is only for Type A people
Truth: Sorry to break it to you, folks, but anyone can—and should—declutter.
"Whether organizing comes naturally to you or not, no one is exempt from decluttering,"
Kinsella says. "We all need to continually assess our belongings as we evolve and change over time."
"Decluttering is designed for anyone who wishes to gain more clarity and control over their home and their life," she adds.
And don't we all want that?
Myth No. 6: You can declutter an entire house in a weekend
Truth: Raise your hand if you've ever tried to dedicate a day or weekend to decluttering.
While it's an admirable goal, it's simply not realistic. Slow and steady wins the race here.
"Unless you're the Energizer bunny, trying to tackle your entire property in one day will result in burnout, frustration, and defeat," Kinsella says.
Instead, set small milestones that you work toward throughout the week or month: Vow to focus only on the junk drawer or only on the front closet, and not to move on until one is cleared. (Some experts even recommend decluttering in 20-minute spurts to prevent burnout; others recommend working from one corner of a room to another to keep focus.)
After enough small victories, you'll see real progress throughout your house.
"Small successes always lead to greater achievements, which will leave you feeling gratified and motivated to continue," Kinsella explains.
Myth No. 7: Decluttering once or twice a year is enough
Truth: When you lose weight, you have to work at keeping the pounds off. The same is true for decluttering: Without regular maintenance, all that junk will just come pouring back into your home.
Maintenance? Gross, we know. But don't get discouraged—it doesn’t have to take up a ton of your time and, dare we say, it'll be easier than going to the gym.
Every week, make a plan to return items to their designated storage place and to dispose of things that aren’t needed.
“Just 10 minutes a week will keep you from having to spend an afternoon when things pile up,” Fisher swears.
Finally, avoid clutter from building up by not bringing it into your home in the first place. Open the mail directly over the recycling bin, Fisher recommends, and think twice before you buy something new.