One of the tricks I learned from my Sister-in-Law years ago is to prepare well for a move. At the time she introduced me to the concept of a moving binder my Brother-in-Law was serving in the military and they had a few moves under their belts. With experience on her side, my SIL warned me to always expect things to take longer than promised and to prepare for any scenario.
In a digital world it’s easy to assume that all of our documents are safe and sound when we need to access them, but what if the internet isn’t working, you are locked out of an account, you can’t get your printer set up when you need a hard copy, or you need multiple copies of records sent to different locations? The solution that has saved me more than once is having hard copies in a moving binder.
Here’s What to Add to Your Moving Binder to Stay Organized
Inside the first thing I include is a comprehensive cleaning list. If you rent it’s important to keep a detailed list of what your lease requires when you move out.
Next, my binder has 3-page protector sheets for storing loose ends and papers that I don’t want 3-hole punched such as immunization documents. I also have a flash drive with photos of our furniture and expensive items such as crystal and jewelry. From there the binder is divided into sections.
- I have a checklist of people and places to notify of your move and a timeline you may find helpful of when to send notifications. By adding the date as to when you first sent the notification you may save yourself future frustrating conversations.
- List of website logins and passwords
- Names and contact information for people in your new community you will need to connect with such as the schools.
- List of where to find original documents (safety deposit box, fireproof box)
Items for Kids
- Birth Certificates
- Copies of Social Security Cards
- Medical Records
- School Documents
- Passport Photos
- Copies of Immunization Records
- Copies of Birth Certificates
- Confirmation of activities they are signed up for in new community
- Information from teachers that will be relevant for new contacts
Items for Adults
- Copies of License
- Car Titles and Loan documents
- All insurance information: Life, car, renters, health etc.
- Photocopies of passports
- Copy of birth certificates
- Copy of marriage license
- Most recent physicals
- Immunization records
- Medical files
- School Transcripts (sealed and unsealed)
- Serial numbers of all equipment such as laptops, tv, Xbox, etc.
- I also have a page that has our previous address and the address we are moving to clearly written out. You would be amazed by how many times we reference this page.
Most importantly, I don’t list any account numbers out and keep things vague such as “checking account” or “bank” so that everything isn’t quickly accessible. I keep our moving binder in a safe place during the packing process. It usually ends up in my suitcase so that I know it won’t get accidentally packed.
Once we start loading the moving truck I move the binder as well as the fireproof box of documents into our car and lock the doors. This system has worked for every move so far partly because I keep the documents in the binder as up to date as possible. This means that tracking down important information in the stressful season of moving is one less thing to I have to do.
If you are ready to start your moving binder, I’ve created 4 free checklists to help you stay organized. You can download them here!