They say moving is one of the top five most stressful life experiences. But we disagree. Stick with us, and you’ll see how understanding the moving process and proper planning makes moving a breeze. Moving to a new home allows you to start fresh, perhaps grow your family, and make new memories in a new space. The key to an easy move is to plan ahead. Use our checklist to help you prep for your move months in advance or the day of.
2 - 3 Months Before Moving
- Research and book a moving company: consult with friends and family to see if they have movers they recommend, look at local review sites, and get quotes from local movers. Remember to check the moving company's insurance policies. Figure out your rights and responsibilities when it comes to the move.
- Sort and purge: getting rid of items that no longer hold value can be a rewarding experience. Go through your home and note what items are a must-keep and which things can go. Start making arrangements to donate or sell items you plan to get rid of.
- Research schools in your area: moving may occasionally mean that your children have to transfer schools. It's important to figure out what school boundary your new home lies in, and if needed, request copies of your children’s records. Contact new schools for enrollment and transfer the records.
6 Weeks Before Moving
- Get packing supplies: buy boxes in various sizes, bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, and specialty containers. Some people prefer to invest in a variety of clear plastic totes. This allows you to keep things better organized after the move, and clearly see the box's contents.
- Contact your doctors and dentists: request copies of medical records for all your family members, and have them transferred, if needed.
- Make travel arrangements: If you're moving out-of-state, look at making travel arrangements for hotels, moving vans, or flights. Booking these in advance can save you money over last minute reservations and ensure you find availability.
A Month Before Moving
- Contact utility companies: Instruct existing utilities to disconnect services the day after you move out. Make sure the companies install services in your new home at least a day before you arrive.
- Change your address: contact your local post office and the DMV to officially change your address. Make sure you keep a record of other necessary address changes, such as your bank, magazine or box subscriptions, Amazon account, and more.
- Take measurements: take measurements and dimensions of the rooms at your new home. Make sure all your belongings can make it out of your old home and into your new one.
- Start packing: start with items that you rarely use. As you get closer to your moving date, you will find that you can pack more and more items you are unlikely to use before you move.
- Inventory: label every box, and note in what room the contents belong. It's a good idea to note how many boxes per-room are being moved, in case anything gets misplaced.
- Consider storage: if your new home isn’t ready when you move out of your old home, research storage options.
2 Weeks Before Moving
- Request necessary time-off: evaluate how many days, if any, you will need from work.
- Clean up food supplies: go through the freezer, pantry, and fridge. Donate canned or boxed items that you no longer want to any local shelters. Throw out any items nearing the expiration dates that you are unlikely to use before your move.
- Clear out empty storage units, safe deposit boxes, and other storage units.
- Contact the moving company: reconfirm the arrangements with your moving company.
A Week Before Moving
- Get your keys: make an appointment to collect the keys to your new home.
- Clean your new home: With new construction homes, this is rarely a worry, and, often, this will be done for you as part of a move-out/move-in service. Check whether or not this service is provided to you.
- Set aside essentials: pack a bag with water, snacks, first aid kit, keys, chargers, etc. Make sure to keep a box with clean towels, bed sheets, toiletries, and kitchen utensils that you will need for the first few nights.
- Visit the pharmacy: refill prescriptions you’ll need for the next month, and arrange to transfer prescriptions to your new pharmacy if needed.
A Few Days Before Moving
- Disassemble furniture: place screws, brackets, and fasteners in a plastic bag, and label it. Tape it to the underside of the furniture.
- Get rid of hazardous materials: dispose of, or plan to move, items that movers prohibit. This can include paint, aerosol cans, matches, alcohol, and other chemicals.
- Defrost the freezer: if you’re bringing your refrigerator, make sure to empty, clean, and defrost it at least 24 hours in advance.
- Take inventory: before the movers leave, sign the inventory list. It is important that you keep a copy for your records.
- Clean the old house: tidy up rooms as the moving crew empties them. You may also want to consider hiring a cleaning service to do a deep-clean for you, post-move.
- Perform the final walk-through: make sure you lock your old home’s windows and doors, turn off lights and ceiling fans and make sure the house is entirely empty.
- Roll out the carpet protector: lay down plastic carpet protector at the new house.
- Watch for damaged and missing items: your movers will make an inventory sheet that notes the condition of your items, including any damage to boxes or furniture. Before the movers leave, sign the inventory sheet and get a copy for your records.
- Assemble furniture: start reassembling furniture. Focus on furniture you will need immediately. This includes beds, kitchen tables, and other necessary pieces.
- Start unpacking: if you notice any damage to your boxes, set them aside until the moving company can come back to inspect them. Taking photos of the damage for your records is essential.
Don’t get caught off guard on moving day, or moving month! Let New Home Guide help you stay organized and prioritized during the entire moving process.