Relocation can be stressful and complicated. However, having a pre-packing checklist before the start of the exercise can lessen the stress and make the relocation activities a hassle-free experience.
Organizing and proper sorting of your stuff by purging yourself of unneeded things ahead of time can significantly reduce your stress and moving costs.
Moving Feedback has put together a carefully researched Moving Checklist to help you remain organized and focused on achieving your relocation objectives with ease.
You’ll find the list comprehensive enough and includes every necessary task that you may need to accomplish in your relocation task in a less stressful and enjoyable manner.
We believe that moving plan should start enough to ensure everything is perfected without missing anything. You may want to hold a “garage sale” to clear out your unwanted household items. Read our post on “Moving Sale” here.
Stage-by-stage Moving Checklist
This checklist will take through the entire process of moving starting from two to three month of making a decision to move. Highlighted below is a stage-by-stage comprehensive moving checklist for your move:
2 – 3 Months before Moving
Having found and completed your rent formalities on your choice home, it’s time you started packing your things. It is advisable, to begin with preparation of a relocation checklist. Within about two months before moving, you should start seeking quotations and comparing them.
Also, enlist a Solicitor to help in sorting all the legal essentials on the packing and sale/purchase of property on time to ensure a smooth relocation exercise.
It is important also to do some researches on the amenities/facilities that are available in the new environment to help you settle in quickly. Follow this checklist three months to your move:
- Get a Moving Solicitor and a mortgage expert
- Get information about facilities and local news in the area
- Sort out the children’s school transfer issues early.
- Sort things out with your present property-owner if you’re presently a tenant.
- Have your prized assets evaluated early for a possible insurance cover to lessen your burden.
- Be sure to properly keep documents/notes on your move such as the checklists, important numbers, and other details.
About 8 Weeks before your Moving
With less than 8weeks before moving, start sorting and getting rid of anything you don’t need to move into your new home.
It’s important to always start by preparing a checklist of all your vital stuff so that you know what to move and those to be disposed of before the moving day.
This will help the moving company envisage the total volume of all items to be moved before visiting for a pre-packing estimate. It’s also important to know that the lesser your furniture items, the cheaper the overall cost of moving.
But it’s advisable to receive up to 5 quotes from nearby packing companies for the exercise. Follow this checklist 8 weeks to your move:
- Get packing quotes and seek a home RICS surveyor expert
- Prepare an inventory and document all your stuff.
- Obtain a copy of floor plan of your new home to help in deciding what’s needed and what would not be needed in your new household and where to arrange what.
- Remove all the unwanted luggage to reduce the overall cost of moving charged by your choice packing companies because of the lesser your stuff, the cheaper the moving cost will be.
- Ask your moving company for packaging materials
- Your employer may cover some of your packing cost if your relocation is occasioned by a job change. Find out about this beforehand.
- Familiarize yourself with parking regulations about large vehicles for your packing and unpacking. The moving company may have to apply for parking permits.
6 Weeks Before
- Arrange for traveling: If you will need to lodge any time on the move or before your new home is ready, book hotel and any important flights.
- Buy packing supplies: Get standard moving boxes in different sizes, packing paper, special containers like dish-pack boxes, and wardrobe, bubble wrap, and packing tape.
- Contact your doctors: Get copies of each family member’s medical records or transfer them to your new doctor. If you are yet to find one, get recommendations from your current doctors.
- Contact insurance providers: Confirm if your need will require you to make adjustments in your vehicle, health, dental, or personal belonging insurance.
4 Weeks Before
- Start packing: Start with occasionally used items, such as pool toys and keep items you often use, such as your toothbrush, TV remote, and so on, until before the moving day. Take photos of your items and pack them separately as you will move them with you.
- Label: Mark each box with the items packed in it and the new home’s destination room. Avoid listing the content of a box that contains highly valuable items to avoid theft.
- Inventory: Create a comprehensive list of the individually packed box, its contents, and the original room. You can later match this with your mover’s inventory list.
- Measure: Make sure all your household items can safely move out of your current home and into your new home. Take measurements of any tall, large, or oddly-shaped belongings, as well as hallways, doorways, or tight spaces they may have to fit through to avoid any moving day surprises.
- Update your computer: Update all your software by downloading online and make sure you properly backup all your files on cloud storage or external hard drive that will travel with you.
- Arrange for pets: Hire a pet sitter or care center for the day of the move. If your move is taking you out of town, arrange travel plans for your pet and make sure their travel is authorized by a veterinarian.
- Contact utility companies: Tell your current utility companies to disconnect services the day after your relocation and instruct new utilities to set up services at least a day before you arrive at the new home.
- Consider storage: Research for storage options in your new area if your new home is not available when you move out of your old home.
- Empty the freezer: Begin to use up frozen food items that will be difficult to move. Then work on the pantry and fridge.
- Visit an auto mechanic: Change your vehicle’s oil; fix the tires and any important repairs to make sure that your vehicle makes it through the move.
- Change your address: Change your address officially by visiting USPS.gov or the post office in your area. Leave your mail forwarding address with a neighbor.
- Inform important parties: Alert your employer, subscription services, banks, friends, credit card companies, and family of your move.
2 Weeks Before
- Verify the movers: Recheck your plans by contacting the moving company. Make sure there is enough insurance coverage in place to cover your highly valuable stuff.
- Clear out: Clear out storage units, any of your safe deposit boxes, and any storage center away from home. And remember to pick up your dry cleaning.
- Take time off: Calculate the number of workdays you will need to complete the move, and then request for time off work from your employer.
- Clean the rugs: Clean your area rugs, they must get to you rolled and wrapped from the cleaner, perfectly ready to be unrolled in the new home.
- Pay it forward: Make sure you gather warranty information, user manual, and other important house information in a safe place for the incoming occupants as you pack.
1 Week Before
- Finish packing: Plan to finish the entire household packing a couple of days to the moving day.
- Pack your bag: There should be at least a change of clothes for each family member in your last bag if your move involves a very long distance. Basic items such as toilet paper, phone charger, and more should be packed in the last bag for a few day’s survival before unpacking.
- Visit the pharmacy: Make sure you refill any drug prescriptions you will need for the first month in your new home and plan to transfer the prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new area.
- Unplug: Disconnect and clean your washing machine, fitness equipment, and any other large appliances you plan to move with you; hire a professional to disconnect your gas lines. If you are relocating with your fridge, defrost the freezer and make sure it is cleaned at least a day to the move.
- Make your final donation: Schedule a final pickup of all remaining stuff in your donation section.
7 Days before your Move
In this your last days at your present home before your final move to a new home, you must use this period to finalize your preparations and organize all your vital documents to ensure that they are safely kept somewhere, easily accessible to you.
Hence, follow and accomplish these listed tasks during this period.
- Safely keep your vital stuff and documents such as insurance papers, driver licenses, house/vehicle papers, wills, pieces of jewelry and/or cash in a separate, safe, plain box for safe storage.
- You must’ve gotten most of your packing done as much as possible by this time, and you’re set to go. Also, ensure you don’t forget your outdoor equipment and toys
- Properly label all your packing boxes to avoid confusion on moving day.
- Have a survival kit containing everything you may need on a moving day for a smooth moving exercise.
- Completely defrost and dry your freezers and fridges before moving them.
- Assemble all keys to your present apartment.
- Inform all your necessary contacts and particularly the postal office of your new home address for mail rerouting services.
- Send back any items you borrowed to the owners.
- Give out flowers, plants and any other items you’re not taking along.
- Wash, iron, box-up and properly label all clothing and linen for ease of moving and unpacking in your new home.
- Make sure you don’t overspend for your moving and be sure to have some backup cash saved somewhere in case of emergencies.
A Few Days Before
- Check your movers again: check the moving arrangements with your moving company again. Find out how much you will spend on a moving day, and the mode of payment accepted. Get a phone number for the person you can contact on a moving day, and confirm the arrival time of the moving crew. Make written directions to your destination home and give them to your movers on the day of your move.
- Get the keys: Make arrangements to collect the keys to your new home or arrange for the realtor or landlord to meet you on the day of your move.
- Donate food: If you would prefer to relocate fewer items, you can donate non-perishable foods to a food pantry in your area.
- Disassemble furniture: Get a plastic storage bag and store brackets, screws, and fasteners in it and label. You can also tape the plastic bag to the underside of the furniture.
- Dispose of it: Most moving companies do not like moving boxes that contain aerosol cans, alcohol, paint, matches, and other chemicals. Dispose of these items properly, or you find a way to move it yourself.
List of items you shouldn’t pack
Make sure these items are not loaded onto the moving truck but with you on a moving day; your important documents such as birth certificates, passports, marriage licenses, and other records that contain social security numbers or bank account information. These include:
- Credit cards
- Phone and charger
- Laptop and charger
- Toilet paper
- A change of clothes (pick at least one for each household member)
- Snacks and water for your kids and pets
- A special toy or blanket of your kids in case they don’t want it packed
- Tape measure
- Trash bags
- Paper towels
- Any other valuable items, heirlooms or irreplaceable items
On the Eve of your Move
On the last day in your present home, it’s time to put the finishing touches to your relocation activities by ensuring the followings;
- Carefully check around through a final walk around the house to observe if you’ve missed out on something.
- Toiletries, wash-bag, nighties, handy towels and toothbrush should be distinctly set aside in a handy-bag for immediate use of the family when needed.
- A mini-toolkit containing things like cello-tapes, sharp knife, screwdrivers will come in handy when unpacking.
- Fully charge your mobile phone and other communications gadgets.
- Notify every person who helps you during packing.
- Make every arrangement to have immediate access to your new home when you arrived.
On the D-day
Emotions are always running very high, and confusions can easily set in on this final day if adequate care isn’t taken.
Therefore, it’s essential to plan and accomplish every necessary task left on the final morning in your old apartment and prepare for the arrival of the moving company so that things can start in earnest.
Hence, do the following and be sure to have a hassle-free movement.
- Have a record, e.g., photos of all water, electricity, gas and other readings on utility meters before leaving for record purpose.
- Remove and pack all beddings and curtains properly.
- Label and safely arrange all fragile items and boxes for easy transportation and identifications.
- Detail someone to stay behind with the moving company until the last stuff have been packed and moved to ensure that every item is accounted for.
- Switch off all utilities and ensure that every window is closed and secured.
- Never forget to leave all key sets behind.
- A copy of your new address, the directions to your new home and contacts for emergencies must be given to the moving company and the estate manager.
In the New House
When you arrived at the new house, inform the moving company of any new instructions and instruct them on where to put what. Ensure that everything on the inventory list is accounted for before the moving firm leaves.
- Quickly make and serve teas and coffees with biscuits for everyone including your family.
- Confirm the location and arrangement of every item to the moving company.
- Color-coding the rooms on a copy of the floor plan to tally with your already labeled boxes usually, make things easier for the moving company.
- Check-out for any missing or damaged items and only endorse the inventory checklist only when you’re satisfied with everything.
- Time to bring out the survival kit.
- Keep your vital documents and other moving papers in a secure place where they won’t be disturbed when unpacking and arranging – bathroom is usually useful for such.
- Again, take record/photo (using your phone camera) of the readings on all utility meters in the new house.
- Call a locksmith if necessary to ensure that all keys to the housework properly.
- Check the surroundings and gardens for any hidden ponds or other things that may be injurious to a child or pet.
- Check for and securely keep anything the previous occupants might have left behind and arrange to deliver them later.
Your First Evening in your New Home
You’re finally in your new home with your family after months of planning and preparations. It’s time to relax, make everyone comfortable after a hectic period and take things one-step-at-a-time.
- Quickly clean/tidy up and make arrangement for the night sleep.
- Get-out your telephones, charge your mobile phones and arrange and plug-in the freezers and fridges.
- Switch-on the heater to warm the house for the night and get the boiler on for a hot night shower.
- Get everybody settled particularly; settle the little ones in a room with toys to play with.
- Feed the pets and keep them away till you’re settled, if possible.
- Note down all emergency contact details such as taxi services, vets, local hospitals, personal doctor, etc.
- Relax and enjoy the evening with your family, congratulating yourself and everyone for the success of the day’s task.
- Don’t rush to unpack/arrange everything at once; Rome was not built in just a day. So, your new house can’t get sorted immediately. Just enjoy the night and start the unpacking later tomorrow.
Moving Plan Checklist
This checklist will highlight the processes involved in moving exercise to help you have a smooth moving experience.
Below are the major things steps to take:
1. Start by estimating the cost
Once you have made up your mind to relocate, start the process by adequately estimate the total cost that will be needed for the exercise. Since several things must be done before the actual moving, having an accurate idea of the amount to be spent is essential and must be taken very seriously. A proper budget is one of the keys to a successful move.
If you are just about to experiencing relocation for the first time, this step can be very overwhelming as to how or where to start or what to estimate for.
You must, however, know that having the right estimate will guide you through the entire process. Hence, you can seek the help of a moving expert who must agree to visit your place for a free assessment that will give rise to an accurate pre-movement cost estimate. This service is usually free from most moving companies.
2. Engaging the moving Experts
Involving an expert in your relocation is very necessary not minding the cost. In fact, thinking that using experts will cost more is actually untrue because you must also know that moving by yourself usually involves additional hidden moving costs that can harm your budget.
Many reputable moving experts/companies typically offer varying relocation packages for different budgets. Also, most of these experts are trained to handle your stuff professionally and are usually insured.
So the risk of item loss or damage is eliminated. You must, however, use the right moving experts. How can you choose one? Read this article.
3. Prepare and strictly follow your relocation checklist
Be time conscious and strictly adhere to a well-prepared checklist which must clearly state when and what to do as well as a timeline for their completion but not limited to stating only the essential procedure.
The planning stage of a relocation exercise is usually hectic and a race against time as so many things must be done within a given timeline; properly organizing yourself and the impending activities is a way towards a successful relocation.
A well-prepared relocation timeline must be customized to fit into your personal program. Avoid irrelevances and only include stuff that applies to your specific relocation situation and on a prioritized basis.
4. Be conservative
You should start your relocation exercise by seeking different ways of reducing your moving expenses so as not to overstretch your finances in the process.
A reliable moving association in America has expertly estimated that it costs about $4,500 for about 1,230miles cross-states move.
Knowing this is a way to start devising means of saving cost because relocation can be very expensive if not well managed and you must spend conservatively.
Know that engaging professionals do not necessarily cost you more neither does it guarantee quality services. However, carefully arranging and packing your stuff by yourself can significantly reduce your expenses.
5. Reduce your belongings before packing
Packing every single item is a moving gaffe often made by many people especially those who haven’t relocated before. You must first separate and de-clutter your stuff by properly taken inventory to avoid making this error.
Generally, reducing your stuff helps to beat your relocation timeline, saves you cost on transportation and shipment, helps to utilize available space and you can even generate cash from unwanted items.
6. If possible, do-it-yourself to save cost
Packing as an aspect of relocating is a major task that can determine how interesting and cost-efficient a relocation exercise will be because properly arranged stuff towards relocation will determine how easier or tougher the exercise will be.
Therefore, deciding to handle and manage the packing by yourself will be greatly rewarding. It saves cost significantly, preserves your items and you get self-satisfaction.
You can ask friends and neighbors for spare carton boxes or visit local stores for recyclable cartons boxes. You can also find free packaging boxes via the internet. These help to reduce packing expenses.
7. Enlist other peoples for their assistance
When relocating, it’s useful to involve other people in the planning stage and during the actual packing, to help you reduce cost and stress.
But be mindful of the kinds of people you engaged to avoid unnecessary confusion. Use your family members and friends; many of them will be willing to assist you either in your planning or in the packing.
Even your children can be engaged in packing and arranging their own rooms. You can read Tips for Parents to make Family Moves Easier.
Involving Reputable professional packers in your relocation effort wouldn’t necessarily cost you more. This makes your moving a lot easier and gives you time to attend to other things like bidding your family and friends goodbye.
8. Be safety conscious
Safety is a very important factor to consider when moving. Though there are several things to be conscious of on the day of your packing, the SAFETY of everyone and everything involved is important because the environments on a packing day can be chaotic and confusing. So you should be conscious of the following when packing:
- Children and pets are closely watched by a trusted person and are safe when moving heavy objects on your packing day. This helps you concentrate.
- The use of proper packaging and lifting methods and techniques as well as the right tool and gadgets especially for heavy items is very important to avoid sustaining injuries of any kind or damaging your items.
The following table display moving plan checklist:
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a checklist exist for moving?
Yes. Above is one of the best moving checklist of all times. Check and recheck the details of your move with your moving company plus their arrival time, phone numbers, and any last-minute information. Make sure a cleaning service come to the home for quick cleaning after the movers depart or pick a day you will come back to the house and clean it before the arrival of the new owners.
When exactly in advance, should I plan a move?
Between four to six weeks before your move. When using a mover, you should be able to get everything settled within four to six weeks, and they won’t break your wallet. However, if your move is around May to September, which is considered peak season for moves in the United States, you might need to begin the moving process sooner.
How do you determine your capability in terms of finance to move out?
Just multiply your monthly income by 0.3 to discover how much you can afford. If your annual income is $30,000, your monthly income will probably be about $1,900 based on your tax rate. That would imply that your monthly rent should be around $570.
How long does the entire relocation process take to complete?
Around eight to sixteen weeks. The time taken to move your entire household depends on the specific situation of each individual household. Still, the average time to relocate a house is estimated to be around eight to sixteen weeks.
What are the packing supplies I need for my move-out?
You need to get items like blankets, packing tape, bubble wrap, moving boxes, and a moving truck or trailer to get your packing done with ease. You may also need to get a rope to tighten loose items.
Which place offers free packing and moving boxes as well as supplies?
You can check websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Freecycle for people that are doing a giveaway of packing and moving supplies. This must be done within a few weeks prior to the moving day.
How long should I wait in advance of my move before I start packing?
A lot of time is required when moving, and if the packing is to be done yourself, we recommend you schedule a lot of time. Six weeks before the move is not a bad timing to start packing and planning.
Can I leave goods in drawers when I am moving?
If you don’t have much space or exhausted your moving boxes, consider leaving clothes in the drawers. Avoid leaving fragile, loose, or valuable items in the drawers. Make sure the drawers are fully loaded, strong, and kept in an upright position all through the move.
How do I make sure my drawers remain shut when I move?
Wrap the dresser. Taping the drawer of your dresser may cause damage to the finish through the adhesive. That is why you should consider using a moving blanket to wrap and tape the blanket in place to prevent the dresser drawers from falling out during the move.
Will movers relocate plastic bins?
Most movers will come to your home with dollies that are a perfect fit for plastic moving bins. Stacking of cardboard boxes is easier and stays edge to edge in order to prevent sliding around in the truck. Plastic containers can easily break during the move, so you should avoid stacking some types of plastic containers.
Do I need to cancel all my utility services when I am moving?
The utility services you must cancel depends on where you are moving. Individuals who are moving within the same city or county may find the same companies provide services at the new address.
In such a situation, you would call up the utility companies and inform them you are moving on a specific date. They transfer your service to the new address, so you are no longer charged for utility use at your present address after that date.
If you are moving to another state, you may only be able to transfer some utilities, such as your internet and cable service. Other utilities, such as electricity, gas and water, must be canceled. You will have to open new accounts at your future address.
I have heard stories about movers jacking up the final price of the move after it is complete. How can I avoid such a situation?
The best way to avoid hidden fees with movers is to hire a reputable moving company for your move. You can assess online reviews or ask friends and family about movers they used. Using a moving marketplace is also an option, as those third parties vet movers they allow onto their platforms.
Another way to secure a transparent price for your move is to request a binding moving quote. The moving company sends a representative to your home, who assesses your belongings and informs you of the binding price of your move. The mover cannot change that price unless you request added services at the last minute.
If I am moving across the country and cannot wait weeks for some of my belongings, how can I shift them in a timely manner?
There are two options for getting specific belongings to your destination as soon as possible. The first is to take them with you. If you are traveling by plane, train or car, pack your items into boxes or suitcases.
If you cannot take specific items through those means, or your bags are already full, you can choose to mail those items. Use USPS flat rate mailing boxes and fill them up with only the items you need as soon as you arrive at your destination.
How can I lower the cost of hiring movers to pack and load my belongings?
One of the most effective ways to reduce the cost of your move is to reduce the load. That is achievable by leaving certain furniture behind, selling items, donating some belongings, and giving away other items to friends or family.
Make a list of the items you cannot do without. Assess all your appliances, furniture, knick-knacks, decoration pieces, clothes, and other items. Be ruthless – if there is an item that no longer works or is rarely used, eliminate it from the list of items that is going to your new address.
When movers have fewer items to pack and load, they spend less time working. That reduces the cost of your move.
Do I need premium insurance from the moving company?
Yes, it is a good idea to purchase the insurance plan that offers more coverage. Default insurance from movers only gives you 50 cents to a dollar per pound of your belongings. That is an insignificant amount of money.
Choose the package that compensates you for the cost of replacing the item that is damaged or lost. If the movers damage your dishwasher during the move, you receive a payout equal to the cost of a new dishwasher.
Additionally, making unnecessary mistakes when relocating can be devastating especially if it was realized late because lots of your energy, money, and time would’ve been expended during the process. Also, always be a good neighbor and a peacemaker in your neighborhood. Don’t cause disturbance to your neighbors and always assist them when necessary because you don’t know when you may need it in the future.
And lastly, make sure you decorate and on budget and still have your home looks good and attractive. By strictly following the above checklist; your relocation experience will be smooth. Stay tuned for more informative post on this page!