Moving is stressful, but it does offer a chance to get rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff, including financial papers and documents. While you’re cleaning out your cupboards and closets and sorting through your belongings, you may as well open your file cabinet and get rid of all the paperwork you no longer need to hang onto. The IRS only requires you to keep your last three years of personal income tax returns. The documentation you used to prepare your returns should also be kept for three years.
If you own a small business, you would also have financial records for your business to consider. In most cases a small business owner only needs to keep three years of their tax returns plus the documentation used in preparing those returns. This would include financial statements, proof of the purchase of assets as well as disposals and stock issues and/or losses. If you’ve claimed a loss on your tax return, whether it’s a bad debt or worthless securities, those records need to be kept for seven years. If your company has employees, all employment records need to be kept for a minimum of four years.
There are shredding services that offer their services free to people in the community several times throughout the year. You should take advantage of this and safely shred any paperwork that’s no longer needed. It would be best to personally move your personal financial records, tax returns, any company paperwork, your passports, social security cards, insurance records, etc. rather than sending these documents on the moving truck.
If you are moving your business to a new location once you’ve filed your tax return, let the IRS know of your new address. You can do this in writing, electronically or verbally. Your written notification should be sent to the IRS Center that corresponds to your old address using IRS Form 8822, which is the Change of Address form. You will need to inform them of the Social Security number of all the people you had in your filing or include your company’s EIN number.
Other personal documents that might be wise to personally move rather than putting them on the moving truck would be your wills, deeds, loan papers to include mortgage documents for both the new and old homes, any bills of sale that establish the home you’re selling’s value, plus bank and investment documents. It would be smart to store all of these electronically on a thumb drive, just to be safe. Unless you are confident about the level of security on the cloud storage you use, think about storing your personal financial information elsewhere.
If you are moving items of exceptional value you should definitely document this electronically by taking a photo of your valuables with either the appraisal or the bill of sale. You can save each photo with its documentation on a thumb drive. If you were declaring high value items with your mover (over $100 per lb.) you would be able to establish your items’ true value on the declaration. If something happens and an item is damaged or lost, you can easily establish the item’s pre-move value.
Fine Art & Sculptures Require Extra Precautions When Being Moved
You may be a personal collector moving to a new residence, own a museum or gallery in the midst of changing locations, or a professional moving company hired to safely move artwork. If you have to move delicate sculptures and pieces of fine art your overriding concern will be how to do this without sustaining any damage. Artwork is typically delicate, heavy and cumbersome and any damage can irreparably ruin its value.
Packing up and moving artwork is almost an art in itself, as no two pieces are alike and each one has its own particular concerns that must be addressed. Moving a giant marble sculpture is very different than moving a small, yet irreplaceable painting. However, there are some very reliable moving methods that have been used over the years to protect valuable artwork:
How to Safely Transport Priceless Artwork Artwork must be treated separately from all other items being moved. Each piece must be given special attention to ensure that it is packed in a manner that addresses its particular needs:
Paintings To make absolutely sure that a painting can be safely transported, a wooden case should be built around it, customized to its exact dimensions. Upon arrival, it can be disassembled. A sturdy wooden crate built to fit the painting, wrapped in moving blankets will protect it against other furniture bumping into it during the move, changing humidity and other possible risks.
There are moving companies that will not want to go to this much trouble, but even if inadequate packing works 99% of the time, there is a chance that the move could prove disastrous. Some paintings require a climate-controlled environment; otherwise the delicate pigments can sustain damage. We recommend that you consult with a reputable moving company well in advance.
Highly specialized transportation frames that can be adjusted to the exact dimensions required to protect paintings are available on the market. These should be used when packing up and moving valuable artwork.
1. Leaving empty spaces inside moving boxes Another common packing mistake has to do with leaving empty spaces inside packed boxes, especially when there are breakable items inside. When there are empty spaces inside packing boxes, fragile items inside come in contact with one another, which can cause breakage when boxes are jostled around. Each item should be packed with padding and appropriate filling should be added to empty spaces so boxes are totally filled and firmly packed. This will avoid having delicate items being chipped or broken.
Our advice is don’t try to save money on padding paper, bubble wrap and filling supplies. Fill the empty spaces with crumpled packing paper, bubble wrap or clean bath towels and old ones work just fine. This way everything in the box will be immobilized to avoid any breakage during the move. Once you’ve packed the box, lift it and gently shake so that if you hear things moving around, you can open it up again and stuff in more paper or padding.
2. Going ahead and packing forbidden items Before you pack up your lawn mower, don’t forget to empty out the fuel tank.
One very common mistake that people make when they’re moving is to pack up certain items for the moving truck, only to find out later that the movers are prohibited from loading and moving them because they’re considered hazardous. It goes without saying that when you pack up items that are not allowed, you’re just wasting time and energy.
You can avoid all of this by getting a list of forbidden goods from your moving company in advance. Once you have the list, you can decide how to move these items before moving day.
There are 4 basic categories of non-allowable items: Pets: it is your responsibility to safely transport any and all pets to the new house.
Plants: household plants have a difficult time surviving on a moving truck. If you want to transport your household plants you may need to find a way to fit them in your car. Otherwise it may be best to leave them with a good friend.
Perishables: this would mostly consist of foods that could easily go bad during transit or somehow ruin other items on the truck.
Hazardous items: explosive, flammable or corrosive substances or chemicals that might hurt someone or cause damage to the moving truck or the items being transported.