The Ultimate Moving Checklist, helping you move into your new home as easily and stress-free as possible.
There’s no getting around it, moving is stressful. We’ve created the ultimate moving checklist to help you stay on track. We’re here to help you know what to do before and during your move! While moving your entire life from one place to another is hard, let’s not forget that this is also an exciting time! Following this guide, your move will be as easy as possible!
6 - 8 Weeks Before
Set a moving budget. Moving can be expensive. There are plenty of ways to accomplish a move that range from fairly inexpensive to fairly pricey. Do your research and set a realistic budget that reflects the findings that will work for you.
Do one big declutter! Go through your entire house over the next couple weeks and purge everything you don’t want or need to bring to your new house. Not only will this make moving easier, but not having so much stuff will simplify your entire life.
Related: 5 Tips to Declutter your Entire Home
Hire movers / recruit ‘helpers’. Depending on the budget you’ve decided on, you may or may not be able to afford to hire a team of movers. Find those who will be helping you move, whether they are professional movers or your friends and family, and book them for your moving day. If Movers fit in your budget, do your research to find the best fit for your move!
Plan how to move fragile items. This could include things like a piano, fine art, guns, etc. Some movers may not be qualified to move these larger, more expensive items, in which case you may need to hire specialty movers. Make sure you know what your movers will and will not move ahead of time.
Decide what to do with your car. If you're moving out of state, it may make sense to sell your car and buy a new one. Maybe it makes more sense for you to ship it. Car shipping companies need plenty of advanced notice so don’t wait to make this decision.
Contact your children’s school. Notify the school of the move and obtain copies of your children’s records. Contact the new school to enroll and start the record transfer process.
Make arrangements for the week of your move. Book a hotel or short term rental for a place to stay while you’re on the road or before your new home is ready. Book any necessary flights and any necessary storage facilities. If you will need to take time off of work for the move make sure everything is in order for that to take place.
Confirm that your moving company is licensed and insured by verifying their Department of Transportation number.
Obtain packing supplies. Purchase, rent, or otherwise find boxes in assorted sizes. Local restaurants, grocery stores, and bookstores are great places to find boxes for free. You may also need bubble wrap, packing tape, packing paper, and specialty boxes for items like dishes or clothing.
Contact your doctor. If you’re moving far enough away that you’ll need to switch physicians, get in contact with your doctor(s). Ask them for recommendations for physicians in your new area and obtain copies of your families’ medical records.
Contact your insurance agents. Find out if your move requires you to make any changes to your current medical, dental, vehicle, or personal property insurance.
3 - 4 Weeks Before
Start packing. Start with your off-season items and the things you rarely use and move towards your more essential items. Label every box with what is inside and which room of your new house it belongs in. You should also be sure to label the boxes that are fragile so they aren’t handled roughly. Make sure to pack your essentials last and mark them clearly so they can be unpacked first in your new home.
Get insured. Purchase moving insurance to cover your belongings during the move.
Make arrangements for pets and children. If you have young children or pets, decide what they will do or where they will be during the move. You could recruit family members of friends to keep an eye on them, or sign them up for daycare or dog sitting.
Alert important parties. Get all essential information to your banks, credit card companies, employers, subscriptions, the USPS, friends, and families.
Contact utility companies. Schedule existing utilities to disconnect services the day after you move and new utilities to install services a day or two before you arrive.
If you’re moving out of state, have your car serviced. The last thing you want is car problems mid-move.
Measure. Measure doorways, stairs, and elevators to make sure that your furniture will fit. This will save you from any over-sized headaches on moving day.
1 - 2 Weeks Before
Pack a bag. Pack yourself a bag as if you were going on vacation, with a few changes of clothes and any necessities you would need for the week leading up to when you’ll arrive at your new home.
Return borrowed items. This could be items borrowed from friends, library books, or rented movies.
Eat what’s in your fridge / freezer / pantry. Plan meals around what you have in your freezer and fridge first to clear out the things that will be difficult to transfer to your new home.
Get rid of what you can’t take. Most moving companies will not move boxes containing paint, matches, alcohol, aerosol, or other chemicals. Get rid of these items or plan to move them yourself.
A Few Days Before
Reconfirm movers or friends. Verify contact information for your moving help and confirm the amount you will owe on moving day. You should also confirm arrival times and make sure everyone has the correct addresses.
Prep your furniture. Dismantle any large furniture pieces that come apart. Place any small pieces you remove in a labeled bag and tape it to the bottom of the furniture.
Create a list of what you need for your new home. It’s best not to purchase anything new before you move into your new home, but it’s helpful to create a list of the bigger items you will need after you’ve moved.
Unplug your fridge and freezer the night before. Make sure to put a towel in front of them to absorb any water that leaks.
Drain the water hoses for your washing machine and/or ice maker.
Complete last minute packing. At this point, the bulk of your items will be packed up. Now is the time to finalize your packing. Make sure you know where your essentials are and that they are separated from everything else.
The Day Of
Meet the Movers/Keep them on task. No matter who you have helping you move on the day of, it pays to keep them on task. If you have hired movers, you’re most likely paying them hourly so that more quickly the job gets done, the better.
Pay the Movers. When the job is done and your items accounted for, complete the transaction you agreed on when you hired them. If they did a good job, a 10 - 15% tip is customary.
Do a final clean. Do one final tidy of your old home to prepare it for its new owners. You may even want to consider hiring a cleaning service for both homes.
And now it's time to celebrate! Moving is no joke, but you've made it through and now you get to enjoy life in your new home! What items would you add to your moving checklist?