Once you decide to move, your first instinct might be to grab the nearest suitcase and start throwing your belongings into it.
But before you dive into the physical tasks involved in your future move, you might want to take a minute to tell the people closest to you about your decision. Like any life event, moving brings with it a certain etiquette, and following these procedures can make your life easier and strengthen your relationships.
Below, you’ll find a calendar explaining who to tell-and when to tell them. Follow our guide to avoid forgetting your important bills in your old mailbox and to keep from offending your mother-in-law.
First Thing’s First: Tell Your Immediate Family
As soon as you finalize your decision and make new living arrangements, you can start telling people. Make sure that all family members living in your home hear the big news first.
If you have kids, decide whether to talk to your parents or other adult friends before you break the news to your children. Keep in mind that your kids may feel confused or upset if they accidentally hear the news from a secondary source, so tell your kids about the move soon, even if you don’t tell them first.
Involve your children directly in the planning stage before your move, and you’ll jumpstart their adjustment process. You also allow your children more time to inform their friends and teachers of this important life event.
If you have roommates that you’ll be leaving behind, inform them of your decision as early as possible. When you tell them sooner rather than later, you give them time to find another subletter and accurately split up the rent before you make your exit.
Next Steps: Tell Friends and Neighbors
Your close friends deserve to hear the news from you in person-or at the very least over the phone. After you tell your best friends, feel free to break the news to your neighbors or coworkers. Many of these people will probably offer to help you move or pack up as a courtesy, so take them up on their offers. The sooner you announce your move, the sooner you’ll have able-bodied volunteers to help pack up your closet.
Once the most important people in your life know that you’re moving, you can plaster your announcement all over social media. Then you won’t have to face text messages from acquaintances who ask you for favors a month down the road after you’ve moved across the country.
Before Moving Day: Change Your Address Formally
You should inform companies that handle your cable, electricity, water, sewer systems, and telephone (if you plan to have a landline) before the big day arrives. That way you can manage most leftover expenses from your old residence before your move and set up utilities for your new location too.
If you feel so inclined, you can also notify church or volunteer groups of your new address. Charitable organizations will often transfer your info to the location nearest you, which could provide you a way to integrate with your new community.
After Moving: Notify Everyone Else
The IRS, DMV, and voter registration office, along with your cell phone and credit card companies, can all wait to receive your new address until you get settled in your new place. Just make sure to change your address before any important bills come in the mail.
Fortunately, many of these organizations allow you to change your address online, so you don’t have to wait in line at the bank for an hour to update your personal contact information.
When you follow these steps and spread the news about your move in a responsible way, you’ll have plenty of time to adjust to your new surroundings, and you’ll have access to the same conveniences as before.
For more moving tips and tricks, keep reading our blog.