Your Essential Moving Checklist
There’s a lot to keep in mind when moving, and it can be easy to forget an important step or two, so we’ve prepared this list to help.
Sort and Simplify
A few weeks before moving day, begin the process of going through everything in your home. Sort items into things to move with and things to get rid of. Items in the latter group can be sold, donated, recycled, or thrown out.
Rent a Storage Unit
We recommend renting a self storage unit where you can keep excess items until moving day, giving you extra space to pack and sort at home.
Address Change and Notifications
Change your address with a form from your local post office, or do this online at the USPS site. Contact your kids’ schools and let them know when you’re moving. Change your address with various services you use, such as your bank, online retailers you order from, and so on. Tell your doctor you’re moving and ask for your medical records. Notify your car insurance carrier about when you’re moving, as this may change your insurance rate after the move.
Plan Your Trip
Planning your trip is especially important for long moves. Use Google Maps to plot your route. Figure out how long you’ll be driving every day, and book hotels in the towns you’ll be staying in. Book your flights if you’re going by airplane.
Vet Moving Companies, Then Pick One
If you’re going to hire a moving company, have several come by your home for a walkthrough and get moving quotes. Hire the one you feel will do the best job at a reasonable price.
Reserve a Truck
If you don’t hire a moving company, about two weeks or so in advance, reserve a moving truck for the day of your move.
Pack, Label, and Inventory
Two or three weeks before moving day, start packing! Use primarily one size box, which will make stacking in the moving truck much easier. We recommend document boxes, which are large enough for most things. Label each box with the room it goes in and a number, and write down an inventory of the contents of each box.
Handle Your Utilities
Make sure the utilities at your old place are taken out of your name or disconnected the day after you move, and that the utilities at your new place are set up.
A few days before your move, pick up any prescriptions you need to, and have them transferred over to a pharmacy near your new home.
Get Your Car Serviced
If you’ll be driving for more than a day, make sure your car is up for the voyage. Take it to your mechanic and have it serviced. It may simply need an oil change, but if there are other issues, now’s a good time to get them taken care of.
Pack Suitcases and Travel Bags
For a drive of a few hours to a couple of weeks, pack suitcases, with several changes of clothes for each member of your family, plus everyone’s prescriptions and travel toiletries like toothbrushes.
Clean Your Old Place
After everything is packed, do a final clean-up of your old home. Clean windows, wipe down counters, and sweep and vacuum floors. If you’ve been renting, this can help ensure you’ll get your security deposit back.
Pick Up and Pack the Truck
On moving day, this will either be your responsibility or that of the movers. If you’re handling it, get a few friends to help, lift with your legs, and make use of hand trucks and ramps. We have many articles about moving that can help you get boxes and appliances into and out of your moving truck. If you’ve put boxes in storage, stop by there as well.
Unload the Truck
Whether you’re doing a long or short move, eventually, you’ll make it to your new place! Take a few minutes to go inside and look around, then unload the truck. Of course, if you’ve hired movers, they’ll handle this. Put the boxes in the rooms they’re labeled for, which will make unpacking easier later.
Set Up the Beds
Moving is tiring work, so after you’ve unloaded everything into your new home, we recommend setting up the beds. You’ll probably have a little more to do, but at some point you may simply be ready to sleep.
Unpack and Assemble Furniture
Over the next few days, put the rest of your furniture together and in place, and unpack your boxes. You can then recycle the boxes.
Oh yeah, and enjoy your new home!