Moving Checklist

Moving Checklist

Two Months Before

Set a definite date for moving.

Sort and purge.
Go through every room of your house and decide what you’d like to keep and what you can get rid of. Think about whether any items will require special packing or extra insurance coverage.

Start investigating moving company options. Do not rely on a quote over the phone; request an on-site estimate. Get an estimate in writing from each company, and make sure it has a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number on it.

Create a moving binder.
Use this binder to keep track of everything—all your estimates, your receipts, and an inventory of all the items you’re moving.

 Organize school records.
Go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new school district.

Seven Weeks Before

 Choose your moving company.
Reserve your moving date well in advance. Find out what insurance the mover offers, and arrange for insurance to make sure your belongings are covered during the move. Appraise all expensive items that the mover will be responsible for.

 Plan for Pets.
Make a veterinary appointment for your pets. Obtain a copy of your pet’s records. Check with your vet for vaccination requirements in your new location.

 Memberships.
Contact all of your clubs or professional associations for information on updating your membership.

Six Weeks Before

 Lists.
Make a list of all the big household items you’ll be moving.

 Donate.
Either donate to charity or sell at a garage sale all the items that you don’t want to move. Collect the receipts for your tax return.

 Tax-related.
Set up an appointment with your financial advisor to discuss tax-related moving deductions, expenses and liabilities. Figure out which of your moving expenses are tax-deductible. If it’s a company relocation move, make a list of all the moving expenses your employer will cover.

 Order supplies.
Order boxes and other supplies such as tape, Bubble Wrap, and permanent markers. Don’t forget to order specialty containers, such as dish barrels or wardrobe boxes.

 Use it or lose it.
Start using up things that you don’t want to move, like frozen or perishable foods and cleaning supplies.

 Take measurements.
Check room dimensions at your new home, if possible, and make sure larger pieces of furniture will fit through the door. Let your children figure out a layout for their new rooms. Start having your kids pack some of their things.

Five Weeks Before

 Utilities.
Contact all current and new utility to set connect/disconnect dates. Many require at least 30 days notice or you will be billed for an extra month. Remember to keep all your current utilities hooked up until moving day.

One Month Before

 Begin packing.
Start packing the things that you use most infrequently, such as the waffle iron and croquet set. While packing, note items of special value that might require additional insurance from your moving company. Make sure to declare, in writing, any items valued over $100 per pound, such as a computer.

 Label.
Clearly label and number each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for. This will help you to keep an inventory of your belongings. Pack and label “essentials” boxes of items you’ll need right away.

 Do a change of address.
Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form, or do it online at But in case there are stragglers, it’s always wise to ask a close neighbor to look out for mail after you’ve moved. Check in with him or her two weeks after the move, and again two weeks after that.

Three Weeks Before

 Notify important parties.
Alert the following of your move: banks, brokerage firms, your employer’s human resources department, magazine and newspapers you subscribe to, and credit card, insurance, and utility companies.

 Forward medical records.
Arrange for medical records to be sent to any new health-care providers or obtain copies of them yourself. Ask for referrals.

 Separate valuables.
Add items such as jewelry and important files to a safe box that you’ll personally transport to your new home. Make sure to put the mover’s estimate in this box. You’ll need it for reference on moving day.

Two Weeks Before

 Arrange to be off from work on moving day.
Notify your office that you plan to supervise the move and therefore need the day off.

 Tune up and tools.
Take your car to a garage, and ask the mechanic to consider what services might be needed if you’re moving to a new climate. Prepare any gas-powered tools for the move by servicing and draining fuel and oil, to prevent a moving van fire.

 Kids.
If you have young children, arrange for a babysitter on moving day.

 Travel.
If you’re driving on moving day, map out the exact route that you will take to your new home, and arrange for lodging. Prepare specific directions to your new home for your moving company, and include your emergency numbers and travel itinerary.

 Clean out your safe-deposit box.
If you’ll be changing banks, remove the contents of your safe-deposit box and put them in the safe box that you’ll take with you on moving day.

One Week Before

 Odds and ends.
Stock up on/refill prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks. Make a trip to your storage units, dry cleaners and repair shops to retrieve any items. Set aside all maintenance instructions for your current home to provide to the new owner.

 Pack your suitcases.
Aim to finish your general packing a few days before your moving date. Then pack suitcases for everyone in the family with enough clothes to wear for a few days. List essential things you’ll need on moving day.

A Few Before

 Defrost the freezer.
If your refrigerator is moving with you, make sure to empty, clean, and defrost it at least 24 hours before moving day. Plan simple meals for moving day to avoid using many dishes.

 Double-check the details.
Reconfirm the moving company’s arrival time and other specifics and make sure you have prepared exact, written directions to your new home for the staff. Include contact information, such as your cell phone number.

 Cleaning.
Clean thoroughly, or arrange for house cleaning after your move.

 Plan for the payment.
If you haven’t already arranged to pay your mover with a credit card, get a money order, cashier’s check, or cash for payment and tip. If the staff has done a good job, 10 to 15 percent of the total fee is a good tip. If your move was especially difficult, you might tip each mover up to $100. Don’t forget that refreshments are always appreciated.

Moving Day

 Verify.
Make sure that the moving truck that shows up is from the company you hired: The USDOT number painted on its side should match the number on the estimate you were given. Scams are not unheard-of.

 Take inventory.
Before the movers leave, sign the bill of lading/inventory list and keep a copy.

 Final loose ends.
Do a final walk-through of your old residence. Turn off all lights, lock all doors and windows and leave keys with your neighbor, Realtor, new owner or property manager. Record all your utility meters.

Home Sweet Home

 Once you are home. 
Make sure all your boxes have arrived undamaged before signing paperwork and letting movers leave

 Unpack.
Unpack your major necessities, and then keep unpacking each day. Focus on a room at a time, by grouping all items/boxes according to the room and then unpacking that room as a unit.

 Welcome Home!
Welcome yourself to your new home by taking some time to relax! The hardest part is over. All you have to do now is finish unpacking.