Buyer's Relocation Checklist

Moving is quite a significant task and not everyone enjoys doing it.  In order to lessen your stress, we’ve put together a simple checklist that will help you in the moving process.

Two months before moving

  • Sort through your belongings to reduce the number of things to move.
  • Have a garage sale or donate items you no longer need.
  • Decide whether to move yourself or hire professionals.  Make reservations with a moving company or truck rental company.  

Tip:  Call three companies for estimates to compare.  See the link at the end of this article.

  • Gather packing supplies: boxes, packing material, tape, felt-tip markers, and scissor
  • If you’re moving a long distance, make travel arrangements with the airline, hotel and rental car agency.  
  • If you’re driving to your new home, get maps and plan your travel route.
  • Save all moving receipts.  Some moving expenses are tax deductible.  Please check with a tax professional or the current tax code for requirements.
  • Place your legal, medical, financial, and insurance records in a safe and accessible place.
  • Purchase insurance coverage for valuables to be moved.

One month before moving

  • Start packing items that aren’t regularly used such as off-season clothes, decorations and items in storage areas (garage, attic, and closets).
  • Make travel arrangements for your pets.
  • If you’re driving, get your car tuned up.
  • Get medical records from your doctors, dentist, optometrist, and veterinarian.
  • Send items (rugs, drapes, clothing, quilts, and bedding) to the cleaners.
  • Back up important computer files to a cloud based network or external hard drive.

Two weeks before moving

  • Contact your utility companies and notify them of your move.
  • Sign up for services at your new address.
  • Contact your Cell and/or landline phone company and notify them of your move.
  • Call friends and family and recruit help for the moving day.
  • Confirm your travel reservations.
  • Arrange to close or transfer your bank account, if appropriate.  Pick up items you’re your safety deposit box.

One week before moving

  • Pick up items from the cleaners, repair shops, or friends.
  • Pack a survival kit of clothes, medicines, special foods, etc. to carry you through the day while you unpack. 
  • Finish packing all boxes minus what you’ll need in the final week.
  • Inform the post office of your upcoming move.

Send change-of-address cards with your new address and phone number to:

  • Friends and family
  • Banks, insurance companies, credit card companies, and other financial institutions
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Doctors, lawyers, accountants, realtors, and other service providers
  • State and federal tax authorities and any other government agencies as needed
  • Workplace, schools, and alma maters

The day before

  • Set aside moving materials, such as tape measure, pocketknife, and rope.
  • Pad corners and stairways of house.
  • Lay down old sheets in the entry and hallways to protect floor coverings.
  • Remove hanging fixtures.
  • If you are moving yourself, pick up the rental truck and a dolly to move heavy boxes.
  • If you are driving, check oil, tire pressure, and gas in your car.
  • If you are flying, make sure you have tickets, charge cards and other essentials. 

Moving Day

Carry with you:

  • The keys to your new home.
  • A map of your new town and directions to your home.
  • The telephone number of the moving company.
  • Cash or traveler’s checks.
  • Documentation related to the sale of your home.
  • Your insurance policies and agent’s phone number.
  • Your current address book or personal planner.
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines.
  • Enough clothing to get by if the movers are late.
  • Any items of great personal value to you that are virtually irreplaceable.
  • Back-up copies of important computer files.
  • Sheets, towels and personal hygiene items for the first night in your new home. 

Arrival Day

  • Show movers where to place furniture and boxes.
  • Check inventory to ensure that everything was delivered before signing delivery papers.  
  • Note any damages on the inventory sheet.
  • Unpack any valuable items, such as silver, art, and jewelry, upon arrival.

Packing Tips

  • Gather boxes in all sizes from friends, neighbors, and stores
  • Collect cushioning material such as bubble wrap, Styrofoam pellets, furniture pads, old blankets, plastic bags, tissue paper, newspapers, and small towels to sue as padding inside boxes.
  • Create a “portable packing kit” with marking pens, a tape measure, packing tape, twine, and scissors.  Carry it with you as you pack up items around your home. 
  • Reinforce the bottom of boxes with extra tape for added strength.
  • Label each box with the name of the room in your home where it should be placed.
  • Number the boxes and keep a list of which boxes goes in which room in your new home.
  • Label boxes containing fragile items with large red lettering.
  • Place china in plastic bags and stack plates upright on their sides, not flat.
  • Pack your TV, stereo, and computer in their original boxes whenever possible.
  • Keep boxes to 50 pounds or less.
  • Pack heavy items into their own smaller boxes and place lighter items together into larger boxes.  (Don’t pack all your books into one box!)
  • Don’t move flammable, combustible, corrosive, or explosive items such as paint, gasoline, and ammunition.
  • Pack a bag of personal items you’ll need during the move (change of clothes, toiletries, medicine, maps, food, and drinks).  Keep it in an easy-to-find place when you pack.

Check out Consumers Advocate’s top choices below for the best moving companies for your needs.

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