The Ultimate Moving Checklist to Ensure You Have the Best Move Ever

Moving checklist, moving and packing boxes, what you need to have to make your move less stressful

The deadline is approaching. Uh-oh, the dreaded move! You feel so overwhelmed and just are not sure how to start. Not to worry! This moving checklist will give you everything you need to breathe. Just follow this moving checklist to help speed your move and give you peace of mind.

8-10 Weeks Before Moving Checklist:

  1. The first thing you must do is make a “moving” guide. While you shop around for quotes, you don’t want to keep everything on scrap paper. Paper has a way of “getting lost” and then you must start all over! Instead, use Evernote, google docs, or OneNote. This will give you easy access no matter where you are!
  2. Schedule an estimate. Once you start your “moving” guide, you’ll want to hire the very best right? You want reputable movers at a quality price. Put your favorite movers in your guide and start that binding or non-binding contract. Once you have a reputable moving company, it’s time to plan.
  3. Plan how to move certain items. In the same vein as the estimate contract, there are some things you should ask your mover. Such as, how much it will cost to move large, heavy items. Some companies charge a “piano fee”. They also may not be specialized enough to be qualified to move fine art, guns, or safes. Make sure to ask before the contract is signed!
  4. Measure large household goods. This will allow you to have some idea of how large something is so the moving company can give you an accurate estimate. This will also help the moving company to realize if they can’t move something for you.
  5. Confirm your choice in moving companies. Confirm whether the moving company you choose is licensed and insured by the Department of Transportation.
  6. Read over documents and contracts. Don’t be intimidated by a contract. It protects you just as much as the moving company. Ready my “Moving Costs in New York City and the rest of the United States” to brush up on some of those key terms.
  7. Request transcripts from schools and universities. If you have children, it’s a great idea to request their transcripts before the big move! It can be quite a hassle getting this paperwork when you’re on the other side of the country! Moving is already stressful, stay on top of things by getting a few copies of transcripts as well as yours from university.
  8. Plan a yard or garage sale. Get rid of all those items in your home that you don’t use or didn’t even remember having! Like Maria Kondo says, “Does it spark joy?”. If not, time to make some money from it.

6-8 weeks Before Moving Checklist:

  1. Start collecting those boxes! You can try to get free boxes from places like grocery stores, liquor stores, or big box stores (Kohls, Big Lots, etc) You can also buy them from office supply stores and mailing stores such as FedEx or UPS.
  2. Research moving tips and tricks. Do this before you start packing up all your belongings. You can read “Moving Tips and Tricks, Spend Less Time Packing and More Time Enjoying” on this blog.
  3. Grab some colored Duct tape. This will help you color code your rooms before you start packing everything away into (gasp) unlabeled boxes. You can use purple for your kitchen, blue for your bedroom, etc.
  4. Create an inventory sheet. I like to use Excel because it keeps everything neatly organized. When moving, it’s easy for things to get lost, don’t let that happen to you!
  5. Start packing! Begin by packing non-essentials and things you (almost) never use. And make sure to put them in the right colored boxes!
  6. Pack daily. Along the same lines of the advice right above, be sure to pack up at least something daily. You don’t want to get to the day before and realize you’re in way over your head!
  7. Have your car serviced. If you’re moving across the country, be sure to have your cars serviced. You don’t want to break down right in the middle of a move! That’s stress you just don’t need.
  8. Purchase moving insurance. Nobody wants to think about something happening to their items. However, things happen, and you need to be prepared. You need to buy moving insurance, it’s not really a choice.
  9. Measure, measure, measure. Be sure to measure all your doorways and elevators to ensure that everything will fit. If it doesn’t fit, see the next step!
  10. Break down furniture. If you have a very large piece of furniture, you may want to consider breaking it down. Once you start disassembling it, keep all the hardware in a labeled Ziplock bag. You can either tape it to the piece of furniture or keep it in a box labeled “hardware” for all your furniture.
  11. Fix up minor problems. This is especially important for people who live in an apartment. Those minor fixes could be the determining factor on whether you get your security deposit back!

2-4 weeks Before Moving Checklist:

  1. Get a parking permit. If you live in an apartment, and maybe even a house, you may need a parking permit for the moving truck. Don’t forget this step! It’s very important that everything be ready to go once the movers arrive.
  2. Plan your route. If you’re moving across the country, be sure to plan your route! I know, we all have GPS but, it can take some stress off by just being familiar with the route you’ll be taking.
  3. Update your voter registration! This one is very important. You are already focused on the move; you cannot be focusing on other things as well. Change your voter registration before you move so that will be taken care of and you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
  4. Downsizing. If you are moving from a larger home to a smaller one, you will need to downsize. Take those items that have long gone unused and sell them in a garage or yard sale.
  5. Sell your items. If a garage sale isn’t your scene, you can always sell items online. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great sites if you’re selling larger items that can’t ship. Ebay, Amazon, and other online platforms are great to sell antiques or items that will fetch a higher price.
  6. Gather up important documents. Make sure you have gathered up all the important documents (birth certificate, SS card, bank statements, car statements, tax items, etc) and place them in a safe. If you do not have a safe, now is a great time to buy one! You should buy a safe that is fireproof as well.
  7. Take care of your pets. Do you have a favorite vet? Great! Go schedule fluffy for that last appointment and be sure you get ID tags for your pets. Request copies of their documents and be sure you stay up to date on their medication!
  8. Take care of you! Schedule a visit with your doctor and make sure your prescriptions are full.
  9. Schedule utilities hook-ups. Make sure that you schedule a time for your cable, water and trash, electricity, etc to be turned on and ready to go when you move in! There is nothing worse than getting moved into your new home and realizing you don’t have any internet!
  10. Switch over address. Change your address with your credit card company, Amazon, newspaper or subscription services, bank, and USPS to ensure nothing slips through the cracks!

Moving Week Checklist:

  1. Do something with items you can’t pack or sell. Things such as frozen foods, bleach, and aerosol cans are not permitted to be in a moving truck. These items should be either used up or donated.
  2. Unplug refrigerator and drain appliances. Be sure to drain your washing machine and dishwasher hoses. If you’re taking your refrigerator along for the ride, be sure to unplug it so it can defrost and drain way before the movers come knocking at your door!
  3. Empty oil and gas. Along the same lines, make sure you empty all oil and gas for your lawnmower, weed eater, and grills.
  4. Clean up after yourself! Be sure to clean up your house or apartment before you leave. You should have already taken care of any repairs so it’s just a good scrubbing that you need to do.
  5. Pack an essentials box/tote. Be sure to gather up and pack essentials that you will need as soon as you move into your new home. Objects that need to be in the box/tote are toothbrush, deodorant, face wash, laptop, chargers, etc.
  6. Don’t forget anything! Make sure that you’ve taken everything, and nothing is hiding from you on that top shelf that you’re too short to see.
  7. Take photos. Be sure to take photographs of your emptied-out home to show your landlord that it is move in ready for the next tenants.
  8. Tip your movers. Don’t forget to tip your movers! It’s a sign that they’ve done a good job and have helped you through a very stressful moment in your life.

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