The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2012, 36.5 million people moved to a new home in the United States. That’s a lot of people going in lots of different directions, and with so many people moving, someone is bound to forget something along the way. Relocating to a new place can be chaos wrapped in upheaval nestled in a box of mayhem, peppered with a sky-high potentiality for leaving behind essential items or information.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. A little organization can go a long way toward ensuring you haven’t neglected some details during all the hustle and bustle. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself before walking out your door for the last time:
Did You Change Your Address Correctly?
Changing your address with the post office is easier than ever these days thanks to the Internet. All you have to do is fill in an online form, which takes just a couple of minutes, and your mail will follow you to your new residence, all for a mere $1. Crafty Internet scammers, however, have created websites that charge as much as $20, sometimes more, to change your address for you. Save yourself the mysteriously-high credit or debit card fee by changing your address straight at the source: The good old United States Postal Service.
It’s important to submit a change-of-address form so any mail that contains sensitive information will come straight to you instead of making a stop at your old address, where strangers can open your mail and obtain your credit card information or social security numbers. By unknowingly giving others access to this information, you could become a victim of identity theft. If you’re interested in avoiding identity theft, whether you’re on the move or settled in, check out the Lifelock Linkedin profile, which offers relevant information to prevent identity theft. Lifelock can partner with you or your business so you don’t find yourself victimized by nefarious identity thieves.
Have You Accounted for All of Your Paperwork?
One of the best things about moving is that it gives you the opportunity to purge unnecessary items. Before you hang a “Free” sign on that old desk or filing cabinet, take one last look through the drawers, even if you think you’ve grabbed absolutely everything. Stray papers, old credit cards, expired driver’s licenses, address books, and other odds and ends should be collected and disposed of properly before you give away your old furniture.
Have You Fired Up Your Shredder Lately?
Use your move as an excuse to throw yourself a document shredding party. Not only will it de-clutter your life before your big move, it will protect your identity and personal information. Documents you should put on the chopping block include your old bank checks (if you’re planning on switching banks after your move), canceled checks, tax returns and information, canceled credit cards, credit card offers, and old bills that contain account information, your social security number (some companies use this as your account number), or bank account numbers.
Do You Have Your Medical Information?
HIPAA privacy rules allow for you to gain access to your and your family’s personal medical records. That’s good news, because you’re going to need them when you find a new doctor after moving. It’s a bad idea to wait until the last minute to procure your records and your children’s vaccination records, because you may need to have notarized, official documents in hand when you make an appointment with your new physician or when you register your kids for school. Plan ahead so there’s no need to scramble for the information you need. Make a moving list, double-check it, and then spend your extra time exploring your new hometown, stress-free.