Prepping for a big move can be an exciting time. From a new beginning to big changes ahead, there’s a lot to be hopeful for. Of course, with big change comes responsibility and loose ends too. To best prepare for your big move, start with a checklist. With a solid plan and time out to celebrate, you’ll be well on your way to a successful moving experience.

If you’re considering a big move, read on for five best practice tips and tricks.

1. Come up with a plan.


Before you go anywhere, you’ll want to pull out a notebook and come up with a plan. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll need to decide what to do with the home you own. Will you rent it out or put it on the market? And, of course, once you know what you’ll do with the home you have, there’s locating a new place to live in your new city.

After you’ve made your real estate decisions and have made checklists of how you’ll accomplish those things, you’ll want to think about health care. If you’re moving for a new job and could be facing an insurance coverage gap, this could be particularly important. Maybe you’re a woman who hasn’t had her yearly exams. Now is the time to call women’s health services or your regular primary care doctor to get those last minute appointments in.

When making your moving checklist, you’ll need to think about the logistics of your actual move. If you’re moving cross country, it’s obviously different than if you’re just moving a few towns north. You’ll want to consider whether you’ll make the move yourself and if you’ll need a rental or if you’ll be using a moving company. This decision may depend a lot on your budget. If you decide to go with a mover, do your research and pay close attention to reviews.

2. Take care of loose ends.


As you make plans on what to do with your current house, it might be time for a mortgage 101 review. If it’s been awhile since you’ve bought or sold a home, there’s a lot you’ll want to know about property taxes, adjustable rate mortgages, mortgage bankers, real estate agents, homeowner’s insurance, if you can carry your policy over, and more. This is another great way to use that planning notebook. Write down a list of questions and “to do’s” before you make the move. Doing this will help you understand what amount of money you have to work with for the move itself.

Before you go, you’ll want to tie up loose ends. Closing out accounts at your financial institutions, meeting with home buyers or having your financial information ready for your new VA loan will all be important to a successful move. Maybe it’s been ages since you’ve had any reason to check your credit score. Now is a good time to make sure you’re in good shape and pay off or dispute any delinquencies. You’ll want a new start in your new place, so taking the time to tie up any unfinished business is always a good idea.

Whether it’s meeting with a real estate agent who will serve as a property manager in renting out your current home or paying off a security deposit in an apartment you’ve been renting so you can become a first time home buyer, do your best to think of all the things that need to be done before you leave town. Having them written down in one place and checking off a few items a day will help.

3. Handle finances and logistics ahead.


Whether you’ll be using money from a home equity loan to move or are banking on savings, you’ll want to set your new finances up quickly. Maybe you’re moving from Florida to Michigan. If so, why not call a place like the credit union in Comstock Park, MI and set up an account before you go? Doing this ahead of time will not only help your financial situation but give you more options on the road for online banking. The last thing you want is to find yourself cash strapped because you waited to get your bank set up and are three hundred miles outside of Tampa. Planning ahead will help, and calling for informational purposes won’t hurt either.

4. Celebrate the occasion.


That list and the things you need to do to make your move a success can seem daunting. This is why it’s important to take the time out to celebrate. You likely aren’t moving for no reason. Use a page or two of that planning book to remind yourself what the move’s all about. Remember the great new job, the ability to be closer to family, the opportunities and more in the place you’re moving too. Once you’re again sure the move will pay off, plan a night to celebrate.

Take a break and google “womens dresses” or “mens suits.” Plan a last date night out before you go. Whether its visiting your favorite restaurant or taking one last stroll around your neighborhood, pay honor to the memories you’ve shared in your old town. While new adventures await, you’re bound to someday soon be nostalgic, too. Remember to plan a way to celebrate your new town, too.

5. Be ready to roll with it.


When there’s nothing left to do but hit the road, remind yourself there’s no such thing as a perfect move. Moving mistakes happen. Things will go wrong. Your favorite lamp might get broken. You could get a flat tire, or the movers could leave a box behind. In the end, the big picture is the goal. Soon, you’ll be at the start of a big adventure. Promise yourself to let the little stuff go. In keeping an open mind and preparing yourself to roll with tiny changes along the way, you’ll set yourself up for a happier move.

There’s no exact script or right or wrong way to get through a move. In the end, if you’ve reached your final destination and managed to get your boxes unpacked, you can call it a success. By making a plan, following your checklist, taking time out for breaks, tying up lose ends and being open minded about rolling with it, you’ll be well on your way to an easy transition. Happy moving day to you, and congrats on your new place!