Step 1: Plan Ahead

Moving Checklist

When you’re planning a move, it can feel like there are too many steps in your moving checklist to prioritize, let alone accomplish. Combine this with the fear of forgetting something, and you have a recipe for a far more unpleasant experience than moving needs to be.

Here’s a complete checklist for moving, prioritized by time

This moving checklist gives you the most important steps, prioritized with a suggested timeline. Don’t worry if you’re starting less than eight weeks before your move date. You can customize this list according to your own timeline, and add steps or leave out ones that don’t apply.

8 weeks before your move

  • Schedule an in-home moving quote (if you’re not moving yourself)
  • Do a complete home inventory: What stays and what goes?
  • Begin packing items from basements, sheds and attics
  • Start or complete a move out checklist of repairs, replacements and cleanup required by buyers or inspectors
  • Take a farewell family picture of your house before the move

6 weeks before

  • Donate items to charities
  • Plan a garage sale
  • Get copies of school and medical records
  • Label all audio, video and computer cables and take pictures for easy reassembly
  • Continue packing, going room by room

4 weeks before

  • File your change of address with the U.S. Postal Service
  • Make arrangements for transporting plants and pets
  • Contact utility providers and insurance companies
  • If you're self-packing, gather supplies and pack items you won’t need right away in your new home
  • Collect items you’ve lent to friends and family

2 weeks before

  • Collect important documents that will travel with you, instead of in moving boxes:
    • Birth certificates
    • Marriage licenses
    • Automobile titles and registrations
    • Insurance papers
    • Bank records
    • Medical records
    • School records
    • Veterinary records
  • Sketch a layout of your new home to show movers (or yourself) where to place heavy items, so you won’t have to rearrange them later

1 week before

  • Settle all outstanding accounts with local businesses
  • Set aside items you’re taking with you, like:
    • Cell phones and chargers
    • Prescription medicine
    • Car keys
    • Travel clothing and toiletries
  • Collect items you’ve hidden, like spare house or car keys
  • Get medications refilled
  • Pack an “Open Me First” box with essentials like:
    • Paper towels
    • Soap
    • Toilet paper
    • Light bulbs
  • Exchange cell phone numbers with your movers and current neighbors
  • Sweep, mop, wipe-down and clean your current home as necessary according to your move out checklist
  • Empty and defrost the fridge

Moving day

  • Leave garage door openers and keys for the next owner 
  • Make sure someone is available to direct movers and answer questions
  • Double-check all mover documentation like “bills of lading” and inventory lists

Some of the items on this checklist for moving may not apply to you, and you’ll want to add a few based on circumstances unique to you or your family. But based on our experience, this moving checklist should get you well on your way to a successful journey.

Read more moving tips and contact us anytime for a free home moving quote.