The average American moves 11.7 times in her lifetime. Whether this is your first move or your 11.7th one, I’ve made a Moving Checklist just for you.
For a printer-friendly Moving Checklist, click here.
8 Weeks Before Your Move: Get Organized
- Set a moving date.
- Create a filing system for all moving papers: estimates, receipts, health and school records.
- Tell family and friends about your move.
- Get in-home moving estimates from at least three (3) moving companies for both moving and packing. Even if you plan to pack or move yourself, it doesn’t hurt to get an estimate.
- Notify your landlord.
- Set up appointments with your doctor, dentist, veterinarian, and hair stylist. You’re going to look fabulous in your new home.
- Begin collecting free packing supplies. Use websites like Craigslist or NextDoor to find free moving boxes and bubble wrap.
- Back up important files on your computer.
6 Weeks Before Your Move: Declutter and Consider Pet Travel
- Go over the floor plan of your new home.
- If furniture doesn’t fit in your new home, plan to donate it or sell it.
- Begin decluttering your house by donating unwanted items.
- Take pet(s) to vet for vaccinations, health records and certificates.
- Make travel reservations.
- Call hotels and/or airlines regarding pet accommodations.
- Get forms for a new driver’s license and vehicle registration from the DMV.
- Contact insurance agent for coverage both during and after your move.
- Establish a bank account in your new location. Do not close local accounts yet.
4 Weeks Before Your Move: Make Arrangements
- Book a moving company or rent your own moving van. Weekends and holidays are the busiest moving days, so book as early as possible.
- Consider renting your moving truck the day before Moving Day so you can begin the loading process earlier.
- Decide whether to ship or drive your car. If shipping, make arrangements.
- Research parking issues for the moving truck for both ends of your move.
- Do you need a parking permit?
- Can a large truck fit in your residential area or do you need a smaller truck to make multiple trips?
- Can the truck fit into the storage facility parking lot?
- Hire a baby-sitter for moving day.
- Contact utility companies and delivery services regarding turn-off and turn-on dates.
- Arrange for school records to be transferred to new school district.
- Order moving supplies such as: boxes, packing tape, box cutters, bubble wrap, permanent markers, specialty shipping containers and color-coded labels.
3 Weeks Before Your Move: Pack Up and Change Your Address
- Start packing. The earlier you start, the more organized you’ll be. Label everything.
- Set up farewell parties with family and friends at local parks or restaurants.
- Plan a garage sale or finish donating items you no longer need.
- Do car maintenance.
- Arrange for mail forwarding with the U.S. Post Office.
- Schedule appointments with real estate agents or landlords for key exchange of old/new residence.
- Hire a landscaping service for after your move if your house is not sold yet.
- Notify important parties. (See Change of Address Notification Checklist).
2 Weeks Before Your Move: Last Minute Errands
- Set up utilities, cable and alarm in your new location.
- Return all borrowed items to library or friends.
- Pick up any remaining items from dry cleaners.
- Arrange for hazardous waste pickup of old paint cans or gas drained from your power equipment.
- Find homes for plants and/or pets you cannot take with you.
- Re-confirm dates for packing, pickup and delivery with your moving company.
- Settle any outstanding bills.
- Contact your child’s school to arrange a visit prior to the first day of school, if possible.
Moving Week: Eat Chocolate and Other Perishable Goods
- Create a “Moving Day Survival Kit.”
- Adult kit: box cutters, scissors, permanent markers, packing tape, garbage bags, toilet paper roll, flashlights, batteries, Ziploc bags, rubber bands, bungee cords, snacks and Tylenol.
- Child kit: lots and lots of snacks, refillable water bottle, electronic devices, coloring pad, playing cards, and favorite toy or blanket.
- Consider purchasing or renting a furniture dolly/hand truck to help you on both sides of the move.
- Pack a suitcase for your travels.
- Pack everything except essential items.
- Use paper plates and disposable utensils.
- Give perishable food to family or friends or throw it away.
- Refill prescriptions.
- Empty your freezer, clean it, and let it dry for at least 24 hours before moving day.
- Pack “Need Immediately” boxes, which may include a coffee maker, coffee, toilet paper, light bulbs, a lamp, disposable dishware, an air mattress or sleeping bags, and pillows.
- Enjoy a night out with the people you’ll miss the most.
Moving Day: Survival Mode and Bribery
- Bribe loved ones to help you pack up the truck.
- If possible, take kids or pets to a family or friend’s house for the day.
- If using movers, oversee the inventory list as well as the packing and loading process.
- Before the movers leave, do a sweep of your house to make sure nothing was left behind.
- Clean your home so you don’t lose your rental deposit.
- Meet with your landlord to review the checkout form and receive a refund agreement.
- Leave your keys with your landlord, real estate agent, or the buyers.
- Celebrate that you survived!
Congratulations on making it through the move and getting through this moving checklist. Once you get to your new home, remember to take advantage of this opportunity. You’ve started a new adventure and it’s going to be a great one. Happy moving!