Relocation Tips — 10 items most likely to be left behind

Relocation involves so many details, it isn’t surprising that some things end up “falling through the cracks.” As you get ready to hit the road, you may benefit from glancing over this list, from Mayflower Transfer, of the top 10 items people tend to leave behind:

  1. Medical Records. You should be sure to get copies of records from doctors, clinics, dentists, pharmacies (if not on a national database) and veterinarians. Vaccination/immunization information for pets and children may be needed during or soon after arrival. Mayflower says that in some cases, a notarized letter maybe required to receive official documentation; you can contact the American Medical Records Association to find out about their state’s procedure.
  2. School Records. These will be required when registering children for their new schools. Many schools will not accept copies, but will want original records with a raised seal (a good thing to have long term anyway). School policy may be to forward records directly to the new school.
  3. Old Phone Numbers. Phone books from the old town will come in handy to tie up loose ends from the new location and to contact old friends and acquaintances.
  4. Items Awaiting Pick-up. Check dry cleaners, pharmacies, and other businesses you have orders with to make sure all orders have been picked up.
  5. Forwarding Addresses. Give everyone in the family a written note with the new address and phone number (if you have it) so they can give it to friends, associates, etc. Having it handy will help you when arranging to forward periodicals, credit card bills, mail, etc.
  6. Last-Minute Cleaning Supplies. Leave behind what you’ll need for cleaning and touch-ups after everything has been moved out, or make arrangements to borrow what you need from neighbors. Better yet, hire a cleaning service to take care of the final cleaning for you.
  7. Garage-Door Opener. As most people keep this in their car, it often travels to the new location. Be sure to leave it behind with the old home.
  8. Pets. The risk it not about forgetting to take them, but about making arrangements early enough to get them to the new home. Airlines restrict pet shipping beyond certain temperature ranges and spaces are often limited. Alternative modes of transportation may have to be considered.
  9. Safe-Deposit Boxes. Remember to empty the contents. Another banking note: Establish a new checking account in the new location to ensure immediate access to your funds.
  10. Keys. Gather all spare house keys- from family members, outdoor hiding places, neighbors, pet sitters, etc- and label them for the new residents.
Shipping Pets: Now Easier Than Ever
Getting humans to their new locations can be easier than shipping the family pet. Fortunately, a whole organization of service providers is available to help handle the job.
The Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) offers a directory of over 200 pet shippers, along with useful information, at their website: The organization’s mission is to support members who primarily provide services to people who are relocating rather than traveling on vacation.
IPATA members use regularly scheduled air passenger and cargo systems. The organization advises that although member services may not be the least expensive alternative for shipping animals, they “specialize in providing services that are in the best interest of the family pet.” Given the complexity of travel arrangements for pets, particularly when dealing with airlines, you may want to save time and hassle by opting for the service of an experienced professional pet shipper.