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moving right along... a moving checklist by Leanne Schildroth | 1 2 3 4 

At one point during college, I moved three times in less than a year. I was a modern-day superhero amongst my friends and classmates. Much to their envy, I was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound while simultaneously writing multiple term papers, expertly wrapping breakables in bubble wrap and mastering the ever-sticky and always-unwieldy packing tape.

The secret to my success? It wasn't superhero powers or high doses of caffeine pills. The answer was much simpler: a moving checklist.

Whether you are moving down the street or relocating across the country, the basics of what needs to be done remain largely the same. The following week-by-week breakdown outlines what needs to be done -- and when -- next time you switch digs:

Eight weeks before the move

If hiring a moving van and driver, get written estimates from at least three companies. Contact the Department of Transportation (202-366-4000 or check out the website) for detailed info on rights, responsibilities, and legal jargon. No denying that it's as boring as the Statistics class you took in college, but it's also need-to-know info!

For do-it-yourself moves, make arrangements for truck rental and moving help. Read: bribe your friends to slug boxes for you in exchange for you buying them pizza afterwards.

Call your insurance agent to see what changes to expect in your policies for changing states. Ask if you'll be covered through your current policy during the move.

If necessary, book flights, car rentals and hotels for the journey to your new city. If you plan to drive to your new home, gather maps and directions.

Create a "move file." Many moving receipts are tax deductible, so hang on to your receipts. Request Publication 521 from the Internal Revenue Service to find out which moving expenses you can deduct (1-800-829-3676 or www.irs.gov/formspubs to download).

mosey along folks

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