Home Before Your Move Plan Your Move: Moving Checklist

Plan Your Move: Moving Checklist

by Ali Wenzke
Free printable moving checklist. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

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

Free printable moving checklist. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Set a date and start scheduling appointments.

  • 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

Free printable moving checklist. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Pet travel arrangements take time. Start early.

  • 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

Free printable moving checklist. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Weekends and holidays are the busiest moving days, so book your truck early.

  • 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

Free printable moving checklist. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Find free packing supplies online and remember to label everything in excruciating detail.

  • 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

Free printable moving checklist. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Return all borrowed items.

  • 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

Free printable moving checklist. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Your mission: finish off those 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

Free printable moving checklist. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com

Bribery is an effective tool.

  • 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!

Free printable moving checklist. The Art of Happy Moving. www.artofhappymoving.com











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Jesse Jamison February 6, 2017 - 11:31 am

Moving is one of my favorite times to get decluttering done. I get rid of what I can, but I also try taking the usefulness challenge. I pack things I’m not sure I need in boxes early and label them as such and set them aside. If I don’t end up looking for and unpacking those items before moving, then I get rid of them without opening them after the move.

Ali Wenzke February 8, 2017 - 3:34 pm

That’s a great idea, Jesse! I still have some unpacked boxes from many moves ago. It’s probably time to toss them.

Dima | FantasticCleaners February 17, 2017 - 3:36 am

In my humble experience, most renters seem to underestimate how crucial (and furthermore difficult) cleaning the rental property can be. Security deposits turn out to be among the most trickiest in moving out, because quite often landlords would rather have their piece of mind and trust a dedicated company / staff to handle move out cleaning, (which in most occasions is at tenants’ expense), rather than bare it as an ongoing responsibility (nerves, effort, time). A common “mistake” renters do is neglect to fully understand their rental agreement, for it could (and often does) have an explicit clause referring to professional services (and those are not always mandatory in terms of property condition, of course, if we have conscientious renters at hand). This is just one of the few most common landlord tricks I think any renter should watch for. I would advise tenants to consider negotiating splitting costs on cleaning, which in my humble opinion is the best compromise, for it guarantees both landlords and tenants their piece of mind. I think it’s important to mention, that even if you’re not bound to use a cleaning company, in order to avoid rushing things and killing yourself (i.e. cleaning bathrooms), it is best to start the whole process at least two weeks prior to moving out. A clever hack I could share is to spray with any average all-purpose cleaner all over the bathroom – countertops, walls, cupboards, etc. Turn hot water on till you properly steam up the room. Let it work its way along with the all-purpose cleaner for about half an hour. When ready, wipe everything with a dry cloth or even paper towel and you’ll have your bathroom fresh and clean with barely scrubbing at all! cheers Ali

Ali Wenzke February 18, 2017 - 9:32 am

Thank you for all of your helpful advice! It’s great to get these tips from a cleaning expert.

Rishi July 18, 2017 - 8:22 am

Excellent tips. I have to move in the next few weeks and was looking for some advice on how to prepare. This info will help me tremendously in getting organized beforehand. Thanks!

Sophie Candido November 28, 2017 - 7:59 pm

Ah the lists!! Love your checklists. Super helpful.

Ali Wenzke November 28, 2017 - 11:24 pm

Thank you so much, Sophie! I hope they help make your move easier and less stressful.

Henry April 26, 2018 - 10:06 am

Planning ahead is always good idea. It helps to keep things organized. Thanks for the post.

James Courtney May 2, 2018 - 7:44 am

Before moving, we must follow how we should move and pack. Many people plan on the day of moving. Your blog gives a useful information on moving. Thanks a lot for this beauty Enjoying article with me. I appreciate it very much!

sheri January 10, 2019 - 8:34 am

Excellent checklist that would definitely benefit anyone who is in the process of moving. I agree that planning ahead is always a great idea to avoid last minute chaos! In our line of work in dealing with end of term student accommodation cleaning, we see to many times rooms with so many belongings left behind. Our operatives go in not only to clean but to also have to go through all the left belongings.

REO Professionals September 30, 2019 - 3:04 pm

Based on my observation, after a foreclosures home is bought at a bidding, it is common for the borrower in order to still have a remaining balance on the loan. There are many loan providers who aim to have all service fees and liens repaid by the following buyer. Even so, depending on particular programs, legislation, and state laws there may be a few loans which aren’t easily solved through the transfer of financial loans. Therefore, the obligation still rests on the consumer that has obtained his or her property in foreclosure process. Many thanks sharing your ideas on this website.

Andrew Mila January 8, 2020 - 9:25 am

Moving is not easy work. It’s very difficult and hard work. Before the planning for a move is the absolutely correct plan because moving is very hard work. You shared the checklist is helpful for me. Shared the right and important point of moving work. Thanks a lot for this beauty Enjoying the article with me. I appreciate it very much!

Marlene Joseph July 15, 2020 - 2:46 pm

I recently Moved into a new house and had a very tough experience. The last few days were just terrible. Your blog pretty much cover all the important matters. Thankyou for sharing the article.

Rosa Sylas September 8, 2021 - 9:31 am

Sounds like your move went smoothly thanks to all your planning in advance! Thanks.

Max Kendall September 15, 2021 - 7:14 am

Create a moving checklist is very helpful for moving work. You share the tips are really useful. Nice Blog.

Improve Residence October 25, 2023 - 6:14 am

I recently moved into a new house and had a very tough experience.
The last few days were just terrible. Your blog pretty much cover all the important matters. Thank you for sharing the article.


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