Planning the Move

Planning the Move

Whether you are moving across the street or to the other side of Andalucia, good organization and planning will take a lot of stress out of the process. Take some time to sit down and think through the things you'll need to do ahead of time; a little time spent now will save you a lot later. Once you have the move date you can put your plans into action.

When you do the actual move, try to plan it so that you can have your things out at least one day before the old place needs to be vacated, so as to have a full day for cleaning thoroughly, checking to make sure nothing is left behind, and doing any repairs that may need to be done. A weekend is usually enough to get everything done, but you can also take some time during the week; if you have small children, they will be at school and not underfoot. If the children are not in school, ask a friend to take them for the day and thus reduce the stress for everyone. You can save a bundle by hiring a removal company only to move the furniture, and you do the rest; or, you can have them box it all up and move it for you.

If you are leaving a rental, you will need to give notice to the landlord a few weeks in advance, and this is a good time to make sure there is no damage that can be repaired but that could keep you from getting back your deposit if not taken care of. If you are selling, you will need to finalize the details with the buyers and any intermediaries such as notaries, estate agents, etc.

Next think of any services that you may have that will be affected by the move. Some of these may be: telephone service (land or mobile), electrical, gas/butane, water, satellite TV, internet, cleaning services (you may want to hire them for your final cleaning also), children's school (if staying at the same school) and anyone who regularly sends you mail, such as the bank. You will need to notify these entities of the change of address if continuing service, or perhaps a discontinuation of the service, as the case may be.

Sometimes to change the name on one of your Andalusian accounts requires a fee, and so often people simply change the account from which the bill is being paid, without changing the name; it is a matter of personal preference.

Perhaps you will need to request new service for your new location; be prepared for this to take a while (telephone service - land line- often takes weeks or months). Do not forget to tell the bank to discontinue payment on any services that you are discontinuing, if those bills are automatically deducted. Whether you are buying or selling, be sure there are no taxes due on either the new or the old property (no one likes surprises); this is as simple as going to the town hall to ask if there is anything due for a certain address, and while you're at it, you can ask what might be due in the next year (in the case of a new property).

To be sure you continue receiving all your mail, you can go to the post office with your identification and the new and old addresses, and they will forward your mail for you for a period of one to two months, to give you the opportunity to notify anyone you may have forgotten or not had time to notify before the move (this is called "re-expedición de correo"). While you are at the post office you may want to check to be sure that you will be able to receive mail at the new address; some outlying areas do not have mail service, in which case you may want to arrange for a post office box ("apartado de correos"), or just to be put on the "lista de correos", which means the post office will hold your mail for you as it arrives for a few days, and you can stand in line to pick it up every couple days (this service is free, but they return the letters to sender if no one picks them up in a couple days).


Living in Andalucia