In a few days we are finally moving to Chisinau (we packed our stuff in Brussels some weeks ago already, but then we had a nice long holiday). My to-do list is now cleared, but was pretty long. Since this is the third time I move to a new country, I feel I have it quite covered. When chatting with a friend about it, she said: you should share it with X, who’s going to go through exactly the same procedure in a few weeks! So here it is, for everybody’s benefit and contributions – what am I forgetting? And how did YOU do it?
10 THINGS TO DO AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOU ARE LEAVING
1. Current job: get informed about terms for resigning, unpaid leave etc.; inform your superiors and closest colleagues (make sure YOU are the one informing your boss, and not somebody else)
2. Current flat or house: give notice/identify options for selling/renting/subrenting
3. Utilities: get information about any possible notice period to interrupt ongoing contracts (telephones, satellite or cable TV, water/electricity, but also car insurance, gym etc)
4. Car: think about the need to sell/buy one
5. Get rid of the crap: start identifying things you will not need in your new location and decide if you are selling them/giving them away/throwing them away/keeping them somewhere (this one is really key!)
6. Schools: in case of children, get information about schooling possibilities (this may have implications for moving dates); inform current school
7. Pets: check if all is in order according to the rules of the country you are moving to: vaccinations, passport, microchip etc.
8. Moving firms: get information about who is going to pay and which are the conditions
9. Test the ground: if you can, organise an exploratory trip to your new destination to look for houses, meet business contacts, check out schools etc.
10. Papers: check if you need to get or renew any passports, visas, driving licenses, vaccinations etc.
10 THINGS TO DO JUST BEFORE MOVING
1. Bank: see bank to change address, close account or discuss any variation
2. Utilities: stop all contracts (telephone, TV, electricity, water etc.)
3. Back-up: save all important documents you keep at work or on any computer you’ll loose access to; save all your important passwords since you may not use them for a while and risk forgetting them
4. Purchases: buy whatever may be difficult to find in your new place or whatever you want to send away with the moving firm (this time I bought a new bed for the kids room to match the one we already had, and a stock of coffee capsules)
5. Plants: give away your plants to friends and friendly neighbours
6. City hall: inform the public authorities that you are leaving the country
7. Redirect post: go to the post office and set redirection of mail to your new address, if possible
8. Health: get a copy of medical records from your doctors, if possible, and get all the vaccinations you may need
9. Cleaning: arrange a thourough, professional cleaning of the house/flat you are leaving (I actually did not focus on this one and had to pay a heavy penalty when giving back the keys to the owner!)
10: Say goodbye: organise a nice farewell party and/or say your goodbyes to all those you care for, and find ways to stay in touch.