The Ultimate Moving Checklist
Let’s face it. Moving can be stressful. If stress is a natural response to a demanding circumstance, we can reduce the stress of moving by planning ahead and allotting enough time to get everything done.
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius
While you may not be moving a mountain, you can get organized and minimize the stress of moving with our essential moving checklist.
Eight Weeks Before You Move
Eight weeks out! Now is the time to start planning ahead. You’ll be thankful you started early to stay on top of your to-do list.
Create a moving file or binder.
Use this file or binder to keep track of all your move-related paperwork and notes.
Make a realistic budget for moving expenses.
Are you doing it yourself or are you hiring a professional? Familiarize yourself with your options and your budget.
Research moving companies.
If you plan on using professional movers, we recommend using a service like Unpakt to find a reputable moving company, compare prices, and book your move online.
Give your employer advance notice.
Let your employer know your intentions, whether it is to leave the city, if you’re planning to resign or if you just need to request time off work for moving day.
Start sorting through your belongings.
Sort and purge. Decide what you are going to keep, donate or discard.
Six Weeks Before You Move
Get your packing supplies.
At this point, you should know what you need – i.e. boxes, tape, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, markers, specialty containers like wardrobe boxes or dish barrels, etc.
Label your moving boxes.
For each room, use a different colored tape or sticker on the boxes. This will help you to organize your boxes once you’re all moved in at the new place and are ready to start unpacking. While you’re at it, create an inventory sheet of what’s in each box, so you know where to find it when it’s time to unpack.
Take relevant measurements at your new home.
If possible, check the room dimensions at your future home and make sure that your larger furniture items will be able to fit through the door.
Plan a garage sale.
Sell the items you don’t want to move and make some money to be used for moving expenses.
Obtain copies of your personal records.
If you’re moving to a new city, go see your doctor, dentist, lawyer and other professionals for your personal records.
Notify schools of the forthcoming move.
If you have children, go to their school and arrange for their school records to be transferred to their new school district.
Start packing a little bit every day.
You don’t want to find yourself in the situation of needing to pack everything a couple of days before the move.
Four Weeks Before You Move
You’ve hit the one-month mark! Since you’ve already sold and donated items, you can get to work with packing and completing the other items on this checklist.Start packing the non-essential items.
These are the things you won’t need to use in the coming month.Notify utility companies and other service providers.
Start the process of closing out service for water, electricity, gas, trash, recycling, cable, telephone, and internet at your current address. Schedule installation of cable, internet, and phone at your new address. Alert your bank, employer’s human resources department, credit card companies, and any magazine or newspapers you subscribe to of your move.
Return your library books, movie and video game rentals.
Let your landlord know that you’re moving (if you’re renting).
Two Weeks Before You Move
Moving day is approaching. Make sure that everything on the moving checklist has been completed up to this point. You’ll be glad you did!
Change your address.
Complete a change of address with the U.S. Postal service. Notify credit card companies and banks of your new address.
Check with your insurance agent.
Talk with your insurance agent to transfer your policy to the new residence.
Make sure your car is serviced and ready for the trip.
Box up most of everything that is left in your house.
Ensure it’s labeled.
Set aside valuables.
Keep valuables such as jewelry or family heirlooms in a safe place away from other packed items, so that they can be transported by you separately.
Properly dispose of items that can’t be moved.
Recycle or dispose of flammables, corrosives, and poisonous items.
Back up your computer.
You’ll be thankful to have everything saved if something goes awry during your move.
Prepare two weeks worth of meals.
Use everything in the freezer, too.
One Week Before You Move
Moving week has arrived. To have as much of a stress-free moving day as possible, make sure everything is squared away early.
Pack up your remaining belongings.
Check on utilities.
Ensure that the utilities and services at your old address are scheduled to be disconnected and then connected at your new address.
Pack a suitcase with essential items that you will need right away.
Don’t load it on the moving truck. Take it with you.
Confirm the date and time of the move with your mover.
Reconfirm the arrangements you made with the moving company.
A Few Days Before You Move
Clean out and empty your refrigerator and freezer.
Defrost the freezer. Empty, clean, and defrost the refrigerator if it’s going with you. While you’re at it, clear your pantry and cupboards of any open food items.
Keep your important move-related documents handy.
Have them handy and ready in a safe place.
Plan for payment.
Many professional moving services will accept a credit card. Otherwise, get cash, a money order, or cashier’s check ready for payment and tip (10 to 15 percent of the total fee for a good job).
Moving day is finally here! All of your preparation and work has led you to this very moment.
Help your movers.
Be available to identify fragile or large items, when they load items onto the truck, and be there to coordinate and answer questions. Before the movers leave, make sure to sign the bill of lading/inventory list. Keep a copy.
Perform a final check.
Make sure nothing is left behind. Lock all the windows and outside doors, turn off all the lights and ensure the thermostat is off before heading out.
By following the steps in this checklist, your move will be smooth and organized. As long as you stay on track, you’ll get everything done between now and moving day with time to spare and time to celebrate.