Finding a new house is exciting, but moving usually isn’t. This helpful checklist, however, will help your move go as smooth and stress-free as possible, even if you’re being relocated out of state. Planning ahead is key, and we’ve done much of that for you – all you have to do is print this list, and cross each item off as you complete it!
Two Months Before Moving
- Choose a moving company, if you’ll be using one. Be sure to check their reputation through online reviews and with the Better Business Bureau.
- If this is a company relocation, confirm what the company will take care of, and what you’re responsible for.
- Start sorting your belongings to decide what to donate, keep, or put into storage. Create and inventory of what you’re keeping and storing.
- Take measurements of each room in your new home, including the location of doors, closets and windows. Use them to make a scaled drawing of each room. Then, measure each piece of furniture you’re taking with you, and create a scaled paper cutout that you can move around on your room drawings. Use these tools to create furniture layouts of each room, and make 2 copies: One for the movers, and one to go on the door of the room on moving day.
A Month Before the Move
- Start packing, labeling the front of each box with the general contents and the room it will go into in your new home. That way, it’s easy to see where they go when the boxes are stacked.
- Change your address with the post office, children’s schools, insurance company, credit card companies, other creditors, employer, financial institutions, DMV, subscriptions, friends and family.
- Have pets microchipped and update the contact info to a cell phone number you’ll be keeping. Order tags with your new address.
T-Minus Three Weeks
- If you’re shipping appliances to your new home, have them serviced now.
- Schedule disconnect of current utilities and start or move them to your new address. Include landline phone (if applicable), Satellite or Cable TV, Internet, Electricity, Gas, Water, Trash, and Recycling.
- Cancel or move services like house keepers, dog walkers, lawn maintenance, and pool service.
Two Weeks Until the Move
- If moving out of town, transfer bank accounts now, pick up the contents of your safe deposit box, refill prescriptions, transfer prescriptions to new pharmacy, and request medical records from dentists, doctors, and veterinarians.
- Cancel or move your newspaper delivery subscription.
- Hire a cleaning crew and schedule a move-out clean, if desired.
- Take apart closet organizers or other shelving that will be moved.
- Make arrangements for moving houseplants, if you’re using movers, because moving companies generally do not move plants.
- Arrange care for children and pets on moving day.
The Week Before the Move
- Pack boxes labeled with the room they go in and “Load Last”, and fill them with all the essentials you’ll need in your first day or two in your new home. Include things like medications, first aid kit, sheets and towels, cleaning supplies, toiletries, paper towels, toilet paper, disposable plates, cups, and silverware, napkins, trash bags, small tool kit, and light bulbs.
- If movers are packing for you, have each family member pack a suitcase with a few days’ worth of clothes and any personal items they’ll need for the next week or so, like cell phone chargers, glasses, contacts, medications.
- Confirm packing details and expectations with movers.
- Two Days Before Moving
- Pack important papers and valuable items in a separate box to be kept with you during the move. This includes jewelry, ID, safe deposit boxes, etc.
- Empty refrigerator and freezer (if being moved) and allow to defrost and dry.
- Get cash to pay movers and/or tip helpers.
Moving Day Checklist
- Keep the whole day free so you can be available to direct movers and anyone else helping you.
- When everything is out of the house, do a final walkthrough and check each closet, all drawers and cabinets, the basement, attic, garage, and crawlspace for missed items.
- Make sure the lights are off and all windows and doors are closed and locked when you leave.
- Tape a copy of each room’s layout to the door as a reference for movers.
- Inspect all furniture and appliances for damage and check for broken or crushed boxes. If anything is broken, tell the movers’ foreman so you can start the claims process.
- Do a final check for missed items in the truck, including all compartments that may have stored fragile items.
- Start unpacking, order pizza, and enjoy your new home!