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Your Ultimate Moving Checklist

No doubt about it, moving is stressful. Moving all your belongings from one place to another is hard, and so is relocating your life in general. Along with our partner Updater, we’ve created an epic moving checklist to help you stay on track. We’re here to help you figure out exactly what you should be doing before, during, and even after your move. But, let’s not forget that moving to a new place is an exciting time! With some guidance and this 8-week guide to your upcoming move, you’ll be sure to have everything done between now and the big day, leaving you plenty of time to celebrate.

Remember, when you work with the Make Your Move Matter Team, you gain FREE access to Updater, the time-saving tool that offers you the ability to forward your mail, update businesses with your new address, share moving announcements with friends and family, connect internet and utilities, and much more – all from one easy-to-use platform.

8 weeks before you move checklist:

So, you’re 8 weeks out! It’s time for some big picture planning. You’ll be thankful you got an early start and had this epic moving checklist to ensure you stay on top of your to-do list.

  1. Create a “Moving” file or folder on Google Drive to store anything moving related: quotes, receipts, and records. You’re not going to be able to remember all of the details. So throw them in a document for easy reference.
  2. Schedule in-home estimates with a reputable moving company.
  3. Be sure and ask all the necessary questions of companies you’re considering hiring. Interview at least three moving companies.
  4. Create a realistic budget for moving expenses. You you hire professional movers, or plan to do it yourself.
  5. Read over documents from your movers before signing anything.
  6. Consider renting a moving container. All you have to do is load the container with all of your belongings. The moving container company will then pick it up and ship it to your destination. Several moving container companies to consider include U-Haul, SmartBox, PODS, U-Pack and 1-800-PACK-RAT.
  7. Moving yourself? Don’t wait until the last minute to ask friends and family for help. By requesting assistance well in advance, you should be able to find plenty of people to help you with your DIY move. For more on DIY moves, look here.
  8. Discuss the move with your children. Including your kids in the conversation early on will help put them at ease during the transition. For tip on how to make the move as seamless as possible for your kids, check here.
  9. Request time off work for moving day. If you can, plan to take off and move on a Friday. That gives you the rest of the weekend to get yourself organized.
  10. Choose a school for your kids. Need a little help in the research department? Great Schools can help you choose the best school in your area.
  11. Request transcripts for your kids from their old school. Regardless of how far you are moving, your child’s new school will need these.
  12. Plan a garage sale. Then, donate anything left that you couldn’t sell.
  13. Plan how to move fragile or unusual items, such as guns, pianos, fine art, pool tables or safes. The movers you hire may not be qualified to move some larger (or more expensive) items, so you may need to hire a specialty mover to do the job. Make sure you’re aware of exactly what the movers you hired will and will not move.
  14. Confirm that your moving company is licensed and insured by verifying their Department of Transportation number (also referred to as a DOT number).

6 weeks before you move checklist:

When you’re six weeks out from a move, it’s important to get all your ducks in a row. If you’re moving out of town, you’ll want to spend time with family and friends nearby. Then of course, you need to begin to organize your belonging (and life in general). There a myriad of tasks that need to be addressed in this time, so keep reading our epic moving checklist to discover all you need to do. Don’t worry, six weeks is plenty of time to get it all done!

  1. Make time for friends and relatives before moving day. Squeeze in a few last memories is your current home by throwing a simple dinner party. It doesn’t have to be elaborate to do the trick.
  2. Collect free boxes from restaurants liquor, grocery, office supply stores and local bookstores. Your Realtor may have contact with others who are wanting to dispose of unwanted moving boxes. Also, you may check NextDoor for neighbors posting free boxes.
  3. Research packing hacks to make moving day easier.
  4. Label your moving boxes using different colored stickers/tape for each room. This will make your life a ton easier when you’re all moved in and ready to start unpacking.
  5. Create an inventory sheet of all your valuables before they go on the moving truck. Also, keep a private list of which boxes you packed your valuables in. Save to that Google Drive file you created.Ready to get sh*t done?

Make your move easier with our free moving tools.

  1. Mark moving boxes that are fragile. You don’t want textbooks stacked on top of your grandmother’s china.
  2. Take photos of all electronics before unplugging them. This will help jog your memory when you’re reconnecting things such as your TV and stereo.
  3. Put all your hardware in labeled ziplock bags for easy furniture reassembly.
  4. Gather socks, t-shirts, towels, and linens to use as free packing supplies.
  5. If you’re moving into an apartment, find out if there are any moving day requirements. If you are moving to a home within a Homeowners Association, inquire about moving guidelines.
  6. Address minor home repairs before moving out. If you live in an apartment, this might be the difference between getting your security deposit back, or not.
  7. If you’re moving cross country, have your vehicles serviced. The last thing you want is to deal with a breakdown mid-move!
  8. If your move requires shipping your car, don’t leave anything in it! Spare tires and jacks might go missing.
  9. Measure doorways, stairways, and elevators to make sure all your furniture will fit. Measure twice – move once!
  10. Research your new community for points of interest. Find your new favorite hangout spot or restaurant! Yelp and Foursquare are great places to start.
  11. Last but not least for this section, pack a little every day. You don’t want to find yourself packing all of your belongings the night before.

4 weeks before you move checklist:

You’ve officially hit the one-month mark! Now’s the time to start gathering important documents that you’ll need to bring with you to your new place. You should also start selling and donating items. It will be a lot easier to complete items on your moving checklist when you’re not bogged down in possessions that you neither want nor need.

  1. Purchase moving insurance to cover all your belongings during the move.
  2. Confirm parking options for your moving truck – you may need a permit for moving day. If you’re planning a DIY move, you’ll want to look into the cost of renting a moving truck.
  3. Use or donate items that you can’t pack or sell, such as frozen foods, bleach, and aerosol cans.
  4. Gather all financial and legal records in one place.
  5. Gather birth certificates and passports for everyone in your home. Then, carry important documents on your person during your move.
  6. Return your library books and any other rented items.
  7. Pick up clothes from the dry cleaner.
  8. Compile medical, dental, and optical records for everyone in your home.
  9. If you’re moving out of town, find a new doctor, dentist, and vet in your new neighborhood.
  10. Find a landscaper, pest control company, and, if needed, pool service in your new neighborhood.
  11. Update your voter registration!
  12. If you’re moving long distance, plan your route and book hotels.
  13. Transfer your cable and internet plan to your new home and schedule your installation appointment.
  14. Make sure your pets have ID tags for their collars.
  15. Request copies of vet records and get any necessary pet medication.
  16. If you’re moving out of the country, make sure your pets have all necessary vaccinations.
  17. Make a moving day playlist to enjoy while moving and unpacking.

2 weeks before you move checklist:

The big day is almost here! With two weeks remaining, it’s time to update your accounts and records for your new place and address. You also want to take these two weeks before your move to plan ahead packing, meals, medication, pets, and children. Moving day is a BUSY one. Make sure to have everything on your moving list checked off for this two-week point. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did!

  1. Be sure to keep a folder of your moving-related expense. You may scan and add this to your Google Drive Moving File. You’ll want proof of these expenses to claim as a deduction at tax time.
  2. Recycle or dispose of corrosives, flammables, and poisonous items. Make sure you’re disposing of toxic items properly.
  3. Prep two-weeks worth of meals and use everything in the freezer. Check out some great meal prep ideas!
  4. Return borrowed items from friends and family.
  5. Back up your computer. If something goes awry during your move, you’ll be thankful you have everything saved in an alternate place.
  6. Set up trash removal and recycling for your new home, and cancel your current service.
  7. Remove light bulbs from all lamps you plan to move.
  8. Moving far? Clean out your safe deposit box and any lockers you might have at a gym or community center.
  9. Fill your prescriptions.
  10. To keep little ones safe during a move, line up a babysitter or make arrangements for a play date.
  11. Find somewhere safe for pets to go during your move. Look into doggy daycare or ask a friend to watch them for a day.
  12. Prepare a list of emergency service technicians and preferred providers. You don’t want to be googling plumbers while your toilet is overflowing in your new home.
  13. Use Google Maps to find your way to work by car or public transportation.
  14. Send out moving announcement. There are plenty of creative ways to share your new address.
  15. Change your address with loan providers, credit cards, banks, and the payroll department at work. Also, remember to order new checks.
  16. Forward your mail.
  17. Change address for Social Security benefits within 10 days of moving. Make sure to notify government offices, including the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the IRS.
  18. Transfer your homeowners or renters insurance to your new home. Here’s what happens to your homeowners insurance policy when you move.
  19. Cancel or transfer your membership at the gym, yoga studio, etc.
  20. Update your address for newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
  21. Transfer your utilities including water, electric, and natural gas.
  22. Update your driver’s license.
  23. Update your address with Amazon and any monthly subscriptions boxes you receive.
  24. Change your address for your auto insurance and car registration.
  25. Clean outdoor furniture before it’s moved.
  26. Transfer your prescriptions to a new pharmacy, if necessary.

The week you move checklist:

Moving week has arrived! It’s time to make sure you organize your belongings, finish packing, and clean your old home. Make sure everything’s squared away early. It’ll allow for a stress-free moving day.

  1. Donate unopened food by asking your moving company if they work with Move For Hunger.
  2. Make sure you canceled or redirected scheduled deliveries.
  3. Clean your current home for the next resident.
  4. Unplug your fridge and freezer to defrost the night before. Make sure you lay a towel in front to absorb any water that leaks.
  5. Leave a note or small gift for new residents.
  6. Double check. Make sure nothing is hiding on shelves or in closet corners.
  7. Fill and patch nail holes. Check out some DIY tips here.
  8. Watch the weather channel and prepare for inclement weather.
  9. Pack an essentials box with everything you’ll need for your first 24 hours in your new home.
  10. Make a worst-case scenario plan in case your movers run late.
  11. Take photographs of your empty place to prove it’s in move-out condition.
  12. Withdraw cash to tip your movers.
  13. Clean your new home. Ask your realtor to refer you to trusted local cleaning professionals who can make your new place sparkle from head to toe. Don’t forget the garage as it’s much harder to clean once you’ve moved in.

Moving day checklist:

Moving day is here! All your moving prep has led you to this very moment. On the day of your move, make sure you get an early start. Start the day off right and get moving. The earlier you move in, the more time you will have to start unpacking and settling into your new home.

  1. Rise and shine! Set an alarm and get up early on moving day.
  2. Protect your floors and carpets during the move.
  3. They’ve worked hard for you all day, so tip your movers.
  4. As soon as your movers leave, make your bed and unpack your shower curtain and toiletries. This makes a nap and a shower so much easier. And let’s face it, it’s the first thing you’ll want to do post move.
  5. Get to know your neighbors!
  6. Go grocery shopping. At this point, you’ve eaten enough take out. Having food in the house will also prevent you from unnecessary spending.
  7. Don’t have curtains or shades yet? Cover your windows with sheets for privacy for your first night. This will help you sleep more comfortably.
  8. Thank your real estate agent or broker. A simple thank you note goes a long way. If you found value with your agent’s services, pass it on. Referrals are the gold standard of gifts. For the gift that keeps giving, post positive reviews for your realtor on their Google business page, Yelp, Zillow or Facebook.

One week, post move checklist:

You’re moved in! You’ve checked off almost everything on your moving checklist, but you’re not done yet. Now is the time to start making your new place yours. Unpack, decorate, and have fun personalizing your new home.

  1. Get your locks re-keyed. You never know how many key copies may be floating around (or who has them.) If you have a home warranty plan, check for re-keying coverage—most offer some level of reimbursement.
  2. Post leftover moving boxes or unwanted furniture on NextDoor or Craigslist. Or, give them to someone you know is moving.
  3. Clean the carpets in your new home.
  4. Make sure your home’s address is visible from the street.
  5.  Install a new home security system.
  6. Explore your new neighborhood – local shops, supermarkets, libraries, cafés, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  7. Send thank you notes to friends and family who helped you move.
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