Saturday, October 1, 2011

Closing Up Shop

Listening to:  Ever present honking and fans
Mood: Calm

So, you’ve decided to leave. Now what? I recommend falling in love with excel and making elaborate spreadsheets with planning and things to do before you leave. At the minimum, you should have a trusty notebook to keep organized. My husband won the excel/notebook debate and is still reminding me that no one uses notebooks anymore. Meh; I still like paper.
I recommend having a running to do list. Add to it as you think of things that need to be done. If you’re feeling super ambitious and organized, you can even divide things up into general categories of when things need to be done.

Obviously, all of your utilities should be shut off as close to departure as possible. As most of these are phone calls, it shouldn’t be a big deal.  Other things to think about are trips to the bank, post office, and other errands that need to be finished off before you leave. Try not to leave too much for the last minute, as there will always be more than you thought there would be. I ended up going to the bank 5 times before we left. 4 of them were unexpected.

If you have a house to sell off before leaving, good luck to you. I have no idea how that all works.
You’ll also need to sell your vehicle before you leave if you have one. It will be a balance of not waiting too long before you leave and the inconvenience of not having a car and having lots of errands to do. If at all possible, pile on a friend to borrow a car for the time you don’t have one. One very generous friend of ours lent us his second car for 3 weeks before we left and it was a life saver, and a huge kindness to our wallet. It would have been way too expensive to rent a car for 3 weeks.

One other recommendation I have is to not wait until the last minute to start your housecleaning. As with errands, there will always be more than you thought and it pays off to do some heavy cleaning early on.

As I mentioned before, start sorting early to separate things you'd like to sell/give away and start as early as possible getting rid of them. This also will take much longer than you'd like.

I'd also recommend closing all of your credit cards with the exception of possibly one of them. This will help you avoid fraud, non use charges and other such nonsense. If you are able to condense your bank accounts that will be helpful too. The more things you leave open, the more worries you have about things going wrong with them.


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