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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.