5 Things to Do Before You Move

You definitely don’t want to forget something during a move. WomentoWomen.com reports chronic stress can change the hippocampus in your brain and affect memory, and moving is definitely stressful. Whether you move across town or across the country, consider five things you don’t want to forget as you move:

Transfer Medical Records

After you catch the flu or while your pet has a seizure, is not the best time to realize that you’ve never transferred medical records. At least a month before the move, choose a new primary care physician, pediatrician, dentist, OB/GYN, and veterinarian. The Medical Board of California advises patients to ask their new doctor to request all previous records.

You won’t have control over how fast your previous doctor sends the records, but you typically won’t pay for records transferred among doctors. After transferring records, remember to write down your new doctor’s address and phone number and share relevant information with your babysitter, school and others who provide care for your family.

Dig Up Plants

Leaving behind the flowers your kids gave you for Mother’s Day is heartbreaking, so take them with you. If possible, follow University of Vermont’s guidelines, and wait until your flowers are finished blooming. Then, snip off the leaves, and dig up the plants. Ideally, perennials can be planted immediately in your new home. For best bulb results, replant daffodil bulbs within three weeks. Wrap tulips, irises and dahlia in a paper bag, and store them in a cool place before planting irises and tulips between July and October and dahlias in the spring.

Turn Over Home Accessories

How many friends, neighbors and family members have a spare key to your old home? The new homeowners may change the locks, but you’ll still feel more peaceful if you gather all those spare keys. Remember to turn over the garage door opener, too, and any keys to outbuildings, sheds or interior doors. These items are important features of your old home, and the new owners will want them. Trash old, decrepit coat hangers, fans, lamps and other eye sores. You can always find these items when you get to where you’re going. There are places like Interior-Deluxe.com where you can purchase modern light fixtures and have them shipped to your home.

Visit Local Businesses

Don’t forget to visit your dry cleaner and pick up your laundry before you move. While you’re in town, return books and videos to the library or your kid’s school, and cancel your newspaper subscription.

You’ll also want to change your address at the post office and arrange for mail forwarding. You face a huge library fine if you forget to return library books, but your identity is in jeopardy if the new owners of your home misuse utility bills or credit card offers with your personal info printed on them. You don’t need that hassle, so learn facts about identity theft, and take action to protect yourself before your move.

Gather Contacts

You may have a photographic memory and never need to look up a friend’s phone number, but as chronic stress affects your memory as you move, it can also make you forget things such as names, phone numbers and emails. Store all those contacts in a folder in your phone or on paper. Then, when you need to call a former neighbor or catch up with a yoga friend, you already have the number, and can stay connected after you move.