Whether you’re planning a move around the block or you’re packing up your belongings to move across the country, compiling a checklist for moving is a simple yet effective way to stay organized. Our residential movers are happy to assist you with all of your moving-related needs including helping you put together a moving checklist timeline.
- Before the move
- 8 weeks out
- 6 weeks out
- 4 weeks out
- 2 weeks out
- 1 week out
- Final days
- Moving day
- After the move
- 1 week after
- 2 weeks after
Simplify the seemingly daunting moving process by following the guidance of our checklist below.
What to Do Before Moving Checklist
Start by compiling your preparing to move checklist as it will help get you organized from the jump.
8 Weeks Before
Your pre-move checklist 8 weeks out from the move can ensure a smoother process. Here’s a detailed moving checklist to follow approximately 8 weeks before your move.
- Create a moving budget or use a running Google Doc where you’ll store all moving-related information. Sticking to your budget can help you feel less stressed throughout the moving.
- Build your moving spreadsheet/tracker and print these assets out to store in your moving binder. Make sure to compile any other documents you may need for the move.
- Request time off from work both on the day of the move and a day or two on either side of the move. The process is going to be exhausting both mentally and physically, make sure you give work a heads up that you will need some time off.
- Request records from schools and medical professionals as you’ll need to transfer these before you move. Don’t forget about requesting your pets’ medical records as well!
- Begin researching moving companies for quotes. Don’t rush into using the first moving company that you find! After all, they will be responsible for transporting all of your belongings. You can store any moving quotes in the binder that you initially created.
- Sort through your items and begin making piles of what you want to keep, sell, or donate. As a general rule of thumb, if you have not used an item or a piece of clothing in a year, it may be time to get rid of it.
- Visit your new neighborhood ahead of your move if you haven’t already. This will help you get acquainted with the area before moving in. Book a hotel or Airbnb as close to your new home as possible and start to explore the local community.
- Provide notice to your landlord if you are currently renting. He or she will likely need at least 30 days’ notice that you will be moving. We always recommend contacting your landlord as soon as you are sure of your upcoming move.
- Begin planning a garage sale to get rid of items that you no longer need. Maybe you have bags of kids’ clothes that no longer fit your children or you have sports equipment from hobbies that you no longer participate in. A garage sale is an easy way to make money back instead of throwing your items away.
6 Weeks Before
The move is getting closer! Here’s what you should aim to accomplish approximately 6 weeks before the move.
- Schedule time to see your friends and family as your time with them in the same city may be fleeting! Go out of your way to grab dinner with loved ones and spend time with them. They may even be willing to help you pack and organize your belongings!
- Contact your insurance companies and let them know that you’ll be moving. From health insurance to homeowners insurance, you may need to update your policies to reflect your new home and your new location. In the case that you need to secure a new insurance provider altogether, it’s best to do so ahead of your move.
- Create a travel plan to ensure you have a strategy for how you’ll get to your new home. Will you need to drive, rent a truck, or purchase plane tickets? Make sure to get these details fleshed out ahead of time.
- Book your truck rental and make sure you choose one that is large enough to hold all of your items. If you’re between sizes, we recommend opting for the larger truck size to be on the safe side. The last thing you want is to pack your items only to realize they don’t all fit.
- Select a storage unit if you need additional room to store your belongings. Depending on where you are moving and the distance, you may want to consider getting a storage unit in your new city instead of in your old city to make your items more accessible.
- Collect and purchase your packing materials such as boxes, tape, permanent markers, scissors, bubble wrap, packing blankets, etc. Always purchase more moving supplies than you think you’ll need.
- Create an inventory tracker to keep track of the items that you’ve packed in which boxes. We recommend packing one room at a time and carefully labeling each box before moving on to the rest of your home.
- Have your garage sale now that you’ve taken the time to sort and organize your items. Ideally, you’ll have this sale on the weekend when a lot of people will be out and about in your neighborhood. Be willing to bargain and part ways with items for less than you list them.
- Donate any leftover items to your local shelter or Goodwill. If you’re donating clothes, make sure they have been washed recently and do not have any major signs of wear and tear.
- Decide whether or not to leave your appliances behind or take them with you. Note that moving with items such as a refrigerator, washer, dryer or microwave can be tricky. The larger appliances will also take up significantly more space in your moving truck. However, it could be worth it to move these items if you recently purchased them and don’t want to part ways.
- Locate your setup instructions for electronics and furniture. Make sure to store this paperwork in a safe spot so you don’t lose it on the other side of the move. As an added moving tip, you can place these important documents in your moving binder.
- Service your vehicles at your local auto shop before you move to ensure your car won’t run into any unexpected issues. Consider doing a bit of research on mechanics in your new neighborhood in case you need emergency service.
- Measure entryway spaces at both residences. Although this may seem unnecessary, doing so can save you a ton of stress on the day of moving. Taking these measurements can help you understand which items will easily fit through the doorframe and which items require additional strategy.
- Begin the packing process now that the move is getting closer. Packing a small amount over a longer period of time is less stressful than doing everything at once.
- Start using perishable food items as the move gets closer. Canned beans, pasta, and other non-perishables will only add additional weight to your move.
4 Weeks Before
Use this checklist for moving ~4 weeks before you move.
- Decide on a moving company that will help you safely transport your items from one location to another. You’ll want to determine the level of moving that you’ll want for the move as well. Some people like to pack their boxes and load the truck themselves while others prefer a more hands-off approach.
- Perform necessary software updates for your electronics such as your cell phones and your computer.
- Make arrangements for your pets. Will they be stressed out during the move? How will you get them from your old residence to your new one? You may need to look into hiring additional help for your pets if you are unable to transport them yourself.
- Clearly label all of your boxes with a permanent marker or a moving box label. Instead of only labeling the top, you’ll want to label multiple sides of the boxes as well since they will be stacked during the move. This will make it easier to sort and organize by room at your new residence.
- Change your address and set up mail forwarding through the United States Post Office. This is a relatively fast and painless process that will forward your mail on your behalf.
- Dispose of unwanted items such as old furniture, appliances that no longer work, or items that you simply do not need for your next residence.
- Decide what to do with your plants if you have a collection. Moving can be difficult on plants but it is possible to safely transport them if you want to keep them. Plants should be one of the last items in the truck to avoid getting crushed.
- Gather important documents such as closing documents for your new home, birth certificates, passports, etc., and store them in a safe place so they are not lost in the shuffle.
- Update your voter registration as soon as you know your new address. This process won’t take long and can give you peace of mind before the next voting cycle.
- Confirm an appointment with the DMV to officially change your address. In the case that you are moving to a new state, you will need to register your vehicle in your new state as well.
- Confirm the time and date with your moving company at this time to double-check that they will be there for your big day.
- Set up temporary housing if needed. This may include a short-term rental such as an Airbnb or a short-term lease if you’re not sure you’re ready to buy a home.
- Confirm parking options for your moving truck at your new residence. The unloading process can take a few hours at a minimum. You don’t want to get a ticket or obstruct your neighbors.
2 Weeks Before
With only 2 weeks to go, it’s time to put the finishing touches on your move.
- Return all borrowed items to friends and family. This could include items such as library books as well. For any item that you’ve borrowed, make sure it returns to its rightful owner.
- Set up and shut down utilities. Call your current provider and let them know the last date that you will need their services. You should also get in touch with your new provider to set up services.
- Arrange for child care if you think you’ll need an extra set of hands during the move. In the case that you work full-time and will need help with caring for your kids, now is an ideal time to start researching.
- Back up your computers and your phones to ensure that you don’t lose any important files. Technology has the potential to get damaged in the move so this is an important step.
- Remove light bulbs from all lamps and light fixtures as they will likely break during the move.
- Refill your prescriptions one last time at your current pharmacy. You’ll need to get in touch with your doctor to let them know that you’ll need your medication sent to a new pharmacy location.
- Research local maintenance people and take note of their names and numbers. You never know if you’ll need help fixing something when you move in! Store this information in your moving binder for easy access.
- Share your new address with friends and family so they know where to send future mail.
- Order new furniture and appliances for your new space ahead of time since the supply chain could cause major delays to the process. Our team is happy to help you with furniture disassembly and reassembly if needed!
- Schedule painters to touch up your new space. Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint to transform a room!
- Update your billing addresses for all of your credit cards, a simple process that you can achieve online or by calling your bank.
- Update and purge your subscription services. If you have services that you genuinely enjoy and use, make sure to provide them with a new shipping address. This is an ideal time to cancel any subscriptions that you don’t utilize anymore.
1 Week Before
The moving checklist timeline is coming to an end! Here’s what you should accomplish one week before the move.
- Double-check with your moving company that they will be there to help you at the agreed-upon date and time of your move.
- Inspect the home with your landlord to go over any damages or questions that you have before leaving the premises.
- Toss and pack kitchenware and bathroom items since you’ll need these right up until the move. Get rid of any items that you no longer need and make sure to use plenty of bubble wrap to keep fragile items safe.
- Inform neighbors and the HOA of your move so they can prepare to fill the unit if needed.
Final Days Before the Move
As the official moving date approaches, here’s what should be on your checklist for moving out.
- Pack your suitcase with essential items such as toiletries, clean clothes, underwear, and other important items you’ll need easy access to during the move. Don’t forget to include medications in this bag as well.
- Withdraw cash so you have it on hand to tip your movers, they’ll be working extremely hard and always appreciate the gesture!
- Toss or donate any excess food to food banks or local pantries that could use it.
- Fridge and freezer maintenance including cleaning it thoroughly for the new tenant. If you are moving with your refrigerator, make sure you know the proper steps to transport it without causing damage.
- Double-check all areas of your home and grab any last-minute items you may have initially forgotten.
- Clean your home once everything has been packed and organized. If needed, you can always hire a cleaning company to come in and take care of this step on your behalf.
- Take photos of your cleaned home to show to your landlord or to have on hand as proof if needed.
What to Do on Moving Day
The day you’ve been anticipating is finally here! We’ve put together a relocation planning checklist as well as some final steps to make your move as smooth as possible.
- Protect your floors and carpets before the moving process begins. You don’t want to cause any last-minute damage during the move-out process.
- Supervise loading while the professional movers that you hire take care of the heavy lifting for you. You can help organize the truck and oversee the process.
- Take a final walkthrough once your unit or home has been emptied. Check for any damage or missed items before you lock up for the final time.
- Say goodbye to the space that you once called home. It’s normal to be a bit emotional during this step, but know that an exciting adventure is right around the corner!
- Turn over the keys to your landlord or real estate agent once you’re sure you have everything.
- Supervise the unloading process once you’ve safely made it to your new home. You can help direct the movers to the correct rooms so that the boxes are already situated for you.
- Tip your movers when they’re finished. Although this is not a requirement, it’s a nice thing to do for the team that helped you out during this process.
- Unload essentials from your boxes such as silverware, cooking items, basic clothing items, and toiletries to get through the first few days of unpacking.
- Set up your bed and shower so you have a place to unwind at night and get ready in the morning.
- Plugin your computer and update your inventory sheet to ensure you have all of your items.
- Sort your boxes and let the unloading process begin. It could take a few days (or even a few weeks) to go through everything and feel settled. Take your time!
What to Do After You Move
1 Week After
- Leave a review of your moving company and let them know if you were satisfied with their work. Doing so can help others in your shoes pick the right company for the job.
- Dispose of your packing materials such as boxes and bubble wrap. You can also see if anyone else in the area needs these supplies so they don’t go to waste.
- Check all electrical outlets, the thermostat, and plumbing to make sure that there are no pressing issues. If something is off, call a local repairman for the job.
- Install a home security system in your new place to keep an eye on your property at all times. This will give you peace of mind.
- Continue unpacking as the process can take time! You’ll likely find additional items that you want to get rid of as well.
- Set up your pet routines to get them into a new groove. Remember that this is a big shift for them as well!
- Set up playdates with your neighbors if you have kids and get to know your new community.
2 Weeks After
Now that you’ve been living there for a couple of weeks, here’s what you should aim to accomplish.
- Finish unpacking and put the final touches on your new space. Be patient, it will take a little bit for your new space to feel like home.
- Review your inventory sheet and follow up on any lost items that may have disappeared during the move.
- Get your new driver’s license that has your new address.
- Schedule any necessary maintenance such as HVAC maintenance or other maintenance appointments to keep your new property running smoothly.
- Make copies of your keys in case you accidentally lose one set. You can also consider giving an extra set to a trusted friend in the area.
- Kick your heels up and relax, the move is behind you!
Ready to Start Cross Items Off of Your Home Moving Checklist?
The checklist for relocating may seem daunting, but if you take things one step at a time, you’ll be settled into your space in no time. This easy moving checklist is helpful for both beginners and seasoned movers alike.
If you need a reliable moving company to help with your move, Alliance Movers is up for the job! From local moves to long-distance moves, our team knows what it takes to carefully and efficiently transport your belongings, lessening your stress along the way. Contact us directly for a quote or to learn more!