Whether you’re relocating in town, to a new city, or across the country, moving to a new home or apartment doesn’t have to be stressful. Using a moving checklist can help your transition go smoothly and limit the chances of forgetting personal items. Below is a moving to-do list with steps to help you stay organized and on track during your upcoming move!
3 Months Before You Move
Whether you’re selling your home or apartment hunting, it’s a good idea to start knocking things off your moving to-do list about three months before your move. Take this time to focus on planning and organizing your move to go as smoothly as possible with these steps.
- Declutter your home to decide what you’re going to take with you, sell, donate, or throw away.
- Create an inventory of the items you’ll be taking and then categorize them by room.
- Budget for any moving costs like moving truck rental, packing supplies, and more.
- Research moving companies and compare moving truck sizes and prices. Don’t forget to ask about any additional fees or charges, and if there are any discounts available.
- Purchase moving insurance in advance to ensure your belongings are protected during your move.
- Put together a moving binder, or create a moving spreadsheet to keep track of estimates, receipts, and your item inventory.
- Start gathering free boxes from grocery stores, department stores, apartment complexes, etc.
- If you’re renting a home or apartment, talk with your landlord to determine your move-out day and when they’ll inspect your unit.
HOW MUCH WILL MOVING COST?
2 Months Before You Move
As you approach your moving date, be sure keep your packing process on track. Here are moving steps to accomplish about eight weeks out from moving.
- Reserve your moving truck rental and schedule your moving day with professional movers.
- If you’re moving cross country and have professional movers transporting your items, make any necessary travel arrangements like booking flights and reserving hotel rooms. If your new place isn’t going to be ready, be sure to look into short-term housing.
- Purchase packing supplies like boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, labels, moving blankets, and more.
- Arrange to have any records transferred to your new area, including medical records, prescriptions, school transcripts, veterinary records, etc.
- Contact your renters or homeowners insurance provider to set up your coverage change.
- If necessary, request time off at work to accommodate your moving schedule.
- Make a list of things you need to update before moving, like mail forwarding, magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, etc.
- Take photos of any furniture, appliances, or home decor you’re going to sell, and create listings on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay.
- If you’re asking friends or family to help you move, talk to them about your moving plan.
1 Month Before You Move
Now that you’re a month out from moving, it’s time to complete a majority of your moving tasks, because moving day will be here before you know it! Here are tips you should be complete.
- File an official change of address with the U.S. Postal Service.
- Set a start date with utility providers at your new address, and determine a stop date with your current utility providers (if you’re not transferring services to your new address).
- Find internet or cable providers and schedule a day for installation.
- If you rent your current home, send written notice to your landlord informing them of your intended move-out date, and include your new address to receive your security deposit and future correspondence.
- Set up a packing schedule so you can space out packing tasks over the month.
- As you start packing the house, remember to label all boxes and storage containers with the rooms they go with so you can stay organized while moving them into your new home and unpacking later.
- Plan meals that will use up any perishable food items in your freezer, refrigerator, or pantry.
- If you’re moving long-distance, plan to get your vehicle serviced before driving cross country.
1 Week Before You Move
The big day is almost here! Here are the moving tasks you should prioritize in the week leading up to your move.
- Confirm your moving details with the moving company. If friends and family are helping you with your move, make sure to keep them in the loop!
- Set up a time with your landlord or real estate agent to do a final walkthrough of your current residence.
- Pack your suitcase with enough clothing to get you through the big day and one or two extra days—just in case.
- Put together an essentials box with items like toilet paper, nonperishable snacks, paper dishes, scissors, and first-aid items that can be easily accessed during your first day at your new home.
- Store important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, and passports in a waterproof storage container that you can safely keep with you while moving.
- Donate items to nonprofit programs like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore or your local LGBTQ center.
- Begin packing furniture and put corresponding hardware in labeled baggies.
- Properly dispose of any hazardous or toxic chemicals (e.g., batteries, light bulbs, household cleaners, etc.).
1-3 Days Before You Move
Moving day is close! Make sure these tasks are completed before you start the long haul.
- Do a final confirmation of your moving arrangements with the moving company and whoever is helping you move.
- Defrost refrigerators and freezers at least 24 hours before your move.
- Wash all bedding and towels, and pack into a box or storage container that’s easily accessible.
- Disassemble any remaining furniture, and pack corresponding hardware.
- Donate any canned goods or nonperishable food items you don’t plan to take with you to your local food shelter.
- Clean your current home.
- Place carpet, floor, and door frame protectors throughout your home to prep for moving items.
The day has arrived! All of your hard work and prepping will help ensure a smooth moving day. Before the movers arrive, make sure these tasks are completed.
- Walk through the inside and outside of your home to ensure you’ve packed all of your belongings.
- If you hired a professional company to move your belongings, verify the truck and crew that shows up are from the company.
- When loading items into a moving truck, put heavy, large items like furniture and appliances toward the back of the truck or as a base for stacks. Place small, light items toward the front of the truck and on top of stacks.
- Do a final walkthrough with your landlord or real estate agent to return any keys. If you can’t do a final walkthrough, take photos of your rental to prove that you left it empty and clean.
- Make sure all windows are closed, lights are off, the heater/air conditioner is off or set on neutral, and doors are locked before you leave.
- Before your professional movers leave, sign the bill of lading/inventory list to keep a copy for your records.
- If you have friends and family helping you move, order pizza or takeout after the work is done to say thank you.
- Most importantly, take time to get settled in your new home!