Moving Checklist, Musts that make a Smooth Move

Moving Checklist

You may not be able to move mountains, but you can plan an organized move with a little help from this step-by-step timeline.

Two Months Before

  • 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. This is the time to consider where to DONATE your items to those who could use them and appreciate them. Vietnam Veterans of America picks up donations. There is always, and who accept gently used items needing a new home.

  • Research.

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. Interview more than one MOVER and get referrals from past clients. These are your prized possessions. Moving can be a negative experience if not planned properly.

  •  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. Also, prepare lists of service vendors for your current property to share with the new home owner and track Vendors in your new location. There are many computer programs such as and to track this information on line.

  • Organize school records.

Go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new school district if children are with you in your move. This makes the transition to new location and schools so much easier for all concerned..

Six Weeks Before

  •  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., and have great ideas and directives of how to pack and move. Keep in mind how to pack and keeping room items together in marked boxes makes a big difference when unpacking.

  •  Use it or lose it.

Start using up things that you don’t want to move, like frozen or perishable foods and cleaning supplies. Opened items and liquids are difficult to pack and move. Many movers have restrictions so use up items and toss those that should not travel to your new location.

  •  Take measurements.

Check room dimensions at your new home, if possible, and make sure larger pieces of furniture will fit through the door. Plan ahead and keep in mind that al the larger pieces of furniture might not fit in a smaller location.

One Month Before

  •  Choose your mover and confirm the arrangements.

Select a company and get written confirmation of your moving date, costs, and other details

  • 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.

  •  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.

  •  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.

  •  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.

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. Keep in mind, closing dates can change as there are so many factors involved and be flexible.

  •  Tune up.

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.

  •  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.

  •  Contact the moving company.

Reconfirm the arrangements. Plans change and one tends to depend on everything falling in place. It is very important to confirm time and arrangements no later than 10-14 days before the move.

One Week Before

  •  Refill prescriptions.

Stock up on prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks. Make arrangements to transfer to your new location if moving out of town.

  • 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.

A Few Days 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.

  •  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.

  •  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. Most Moving companies require you be present both moving out and in to new property.

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.

Thanks to Real Simple Magazine for these great ideas. Their checklists make our lives easier! If you want to find out more about moving house you may visit websites like U-Haul, My BekinsFreedom Movers Inc, etc.

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