Know What Records You Need to Collect Before You Move House

Tom Mertor/Caiaimage/Getty Images.

Record collecting and organizing is not everyone's forte. In fact, most people tend to keep their documents in a desk drawer or in a shoe box in the closet. When you're planning a move, getting those records together is key to settling into your new place smoothly and painlessly.

School Records

Make sure you obtain copies of your children's school records. While most schools will forward your child's records to the new school, it's best to ask for an additional copy. Some schools will charge a service fee and ask for appropriate identification. If your child is applying to a college or university, ask for a certified copy of their transcript. This can be mailed to your new address or emailed to you. . .

Medical Records

Before you move, ask for copies of you and your family's medical records, including family doctor, dentist and optometrist, in particular if you can't access your records online. Most medical offices will provide you with a condensed version of your records, along with any accompanying x-rays (at your request), but this will suffice when you select a new medical professional.

If you are able to find a new physician prior to moving, ask the new clinic to call for your files. The only time this could be a problem is if you are moving out of country, and sometimes, out of state. Records are not easily transferred across borders. If you find yourself in this situation, ask for a complete copy of all records and deliver them to your new clinic. 

You can also ask your medical clinic to transfer your records electronically, if that option is possible. 

Vet Records

Just like your own medical records, your pet will need copies of the veterinary records for the new vet. This is critical if you are moving out of country. Most countries have requirements for the immigration of animals and you may need to present documentation at customs before you're allowed across the border.. Vaccination records and a healthy check-up will be required. Read Moving to a New Country: What About My Pet for more information.

Financial Records

Most of us use online banking to keep track of our financial records so you may not need to worry about collecting any physical records. However, if you're moving to a new country, you will need to either keep your online access to your financial institution or you'll need to print out or download the documents you need to ensure all your finances are available and accessible. . 

If you're moving to a new city or state, you may decide to switch financial institutions and will need to have your electronic records available.  Make sure you either keep access to your online records or download the needed documents. 

You Have All My Records: Now What?

  1. Purchase file folders or envelopes with fasteners.
  2. Buy some labels.
  3. Get a fine-tipped marker (or use your computer if you're really keen).
  4. Purchase a portable file box or what some people call a Bankers Box. I personally prefer the boxes with the lid attached, as I have a habit of misplacing lids. Bankers Boxes are great for storing, transporting and archiving your files. They hold up to 200 lbs and will endure through even the toughest moves.
  5. Sort your documents into separate folders/envelopes. If you're using colored folders/envelopes, create a color-coded system, so at a glance you can find things.
  6. Label appropriately.
  7. Transfer folders/envelopes into your file box.
  8. Mark the outside of the box clearly, indicating that it is not to be moved with the rest of the household goods. This will prevent the movers from sending it along with everything else. You will need these records immediately when you arrive, so make sure they accompany you.