Moving Checklist To Follow Before Moving Out (Printable Checklist)

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Moving Checklist - Moving Feedback

Relocation can be stressful and complicated. However, having a pre-packing moving 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 a 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 moving checklist will take through the entire process of moving starting from two to three months 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, the preparation of an moving 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 moving 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 moving checklists, important numbers, and other details.

About 8 Weeks Before Moving

With less than 8 weeks 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 moving checklist of all your vital stuff so that you know what to move and what 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 moving 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 the 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 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 costs 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.

Pro Tip

Avoid making moving more costly and stressful than necessary. We’ve compiled a list of the best moving discount and deals you can get. If the company you are considering is absent from this list, then that is fine. Just visit their website or call them to find out if they give any discounts. This will only take a few minutes and could save you more money.

6 Weeks Before Move

  • Arrange for traveling: If you will need to lodge any time on the move or before your new home is ready, book a 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.

Pro Tip

Your relocation can feel a lot easier if you get all the necessary supplies you need in advance. We’ve compiled some resources to help you get all you need at a reasonably affordable price.  

4 Weeks Before Move

  • 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 Move

  • 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 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 enrolled 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 Move

  • Finish packing: Plan to finish the entire household packing a couple of days before 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 Move 

In 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 Move

  • 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 them yourself. 

List of Items You Shouldn’t pack

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:

  • Checkbook
  • Credit cards
  • Medication
  • 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
  • Jewelry
  • Flashlight
  • Tape measure
  • Toolbox
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels
  • Cash
  • 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, hand towels, and toothbrushes 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 knives, 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.

Moving Day

Emotions are always running very high, and confusion 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 has 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

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 totally 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 moving 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 – the bathroom is usually useful for such.
  • Again, take a 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.

Pro Tip

Tipping movers is a customary act, and we recommend you tip them 15% to 20% of your total bill for big moves and from 5% to 10% for smaller moves. We also have a certain amount of dollars recommended in our guide on tipping your movers. Although movers like to receive their payment in cash, you won’ be able to claim a tax deduction from your tip unless you pay them in check or credit card.

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 arrangements 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 doctors, 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.

Experts first apartment checklist 

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving Checklist

Yes. Above is one of the best moving checklists of all time. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Moving Feedback experts free printable moving checklist

Conclusion

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!

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Thomas Curry
Thomas Curry
Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.
Thomas Curry - Moving Feedback Research Team
Thomas Curry - Moving Feedback Research Team

Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.

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24 Comments

Joseph
September 30, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Wow.. this is comprehensive enough. Thank you for this information.

Ben
October 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Very Helpfull information , thank you .

Vivian
December 8, 2018 at 9:43 am

Yes. Having a record of all your utility meters before leaving really helps, especially when something unexpected arises. You already have it for record purpose and can easily sort things out.

Isabella
December 8, 2018 at 9:44 am

This is super amazing. Thank you for taking the time to put this up. I really feel like a novice when it comes to stuff like this and I’m just lost and have no idea where to begin. But this has really been helpful.

Pamela
December 9, 2018 at 2:33 pm

LOL. I think I have mine starting from the bottom. I just started without plans and right now it’s two days till we leave and I think there’s still a lot that hasn’t been put in place yet.

Fish
December 9, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Woah. So moving can be this smooth? Whenever I imagine moving, I think of endless sleepless nights and headaches until the last day. I like the way everything has been made easy here. Thank you for this

Philberta
December 9, 2018 at 2:34 pm

Gosh. I feel like I have really been doing it all wrong. I haven’t even gone to the new place or made arrangements for cleaning the place up. This would really not turn out well because it means we will have to do it ourselves when we get there.

Adaline
December 10, 2018 at 11:18 pm

Wow.. So concise. I think I’ll bookmark this page because it sure has a good list of what I can do. Except that I’ll be moving in like 2months so I have to know how this would work.

Alice
December 10, 2018 at 11:19 pm

Hmm. Relocating is really a lot of work and honestly, I do not do well under pressure. But this guide sure makes a lot of things easy to work around

Iminathi
December 13, 2018 at 2:22 pm

I really can’t find anyone that can stay with my kids and puppy while I move our stuff so I just have to drag them around while we fix things in place. It definitely would not be easy.

Dakota
December 13, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Whenever I think about the stress involved in moving to a new place, I just give up. But right now, the move is inevitable and I am just searching everywhere for tips to make this a very smooth and easy relocation so I don’t break at the end.

Demarco
December 13, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Amazing. Simply amazing I must say. The breakdown is surely going to help as I really never thought of it this way. But it’s a good thing I still have a long time before the day so I’ll just relax and take my time to make this happen.

Robert Laurent
January 9, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Moving can be difficult without any preparations and creating a list of all of your goods and stuffs. Checklist helps you to organize your belongings in organized and systematic manners. You will have next task to complete after the checking up each task and also there will be lesser chances of losing your goods. https://www.augustamovers.ca/

Robert
April 20, 2019 at 11:17 am

I must say that the perfect stage by stabmfe moving checklist is specially designed for me. I’m totally new to this whole moving thing and I am always looking for new ideas to help make it easier for me to go through. I think I’ve found what I need to make everything a seamless and stress-free one thanks to this checklist

Sara Morgan
April 23, 2019 at 12:25 am

Yes, very important. When in your new house, get a locksmith to change the locks and all that for you. When I just moved into my house recently, I had an unexpected visitor and that person had a key to the front door. I realized that she was a friend to the previous owner but left the country and wasn’t aware he had moved recently. It was embarrassing really. Just change locks as you may not know who has keys to the locks.

Sewa
April 25, 2019 at 9:07 am

I’m definitely printing this. Though I still have a long time to go before moving out, I want to ensure that everything goes well and there’s no issue along the way. Thanks for taking out the time to make this available.

Sara David
April 26, 2019 at 9:58 pm

I really want to have a very smooth, cost-effective and hassle-free relocation exercise and so I’ll make sure I follow and strictly adhere to every point listed in this moving checklist. It’s not easy and I hope to make the best of the situation.

Jos
April 30, 2019 at 10:03 am

This is very comprehensive and clear for anyone. I followed it when I was planning to move out and now, I’m in my new home and honestly, it didn’t take as much stress as I had envisaged. Do what’s right and your move will be as easy and fun as you can imagine.

Modesir
May 2, 2019 at 1:17 pm

The moving checklist of all times. This is very clear and if diligently followed, you are sure your move won’t creep on you when you don’t feel ready.

Gen Fred
May 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Lol. I agree. Emotions are always running very high, and confusions can easily set in on the moving day if adequate care isn’t taken. I’ve watched my mum get all confused and was running around the house o the day and it didn’t help that she wasn’t listening to us when we wanted to calm her down. I think proper step by step planning will go a long way to reduce last-minute adrenaline pumping.

Maggi
May 5, 2019 at 10:56 pm

Relocation can be stressful and complicated, no doubt. This is exactly why I’m all about having a pre-packing checklist to help lessen the stress and make the relocation activities a hassle-free experience. Your body will definitely take you if you do this because you would have saved yourself a lot of issues.

May
May 10, 2019 at 10:48 am

Quite true. Organizing and sorting your stuff way ahead of time and even decluttering can reduce your stress and moving costs. This Moving Checklist is great as it actually helps you stay organized and focused on achieving your relocation objectives with ease. I love it.

Cheng
May 12, 2019 at 11:14 am

Yes, I find this Moving list comprehensive enough and the tasks listed here will definitely go a long way in helping you accomplish your relocation task in a less stressful and enjoyable manner. I totally buy into the idea of holding a garage sale too as this will help reduce unwanted household items and give you less load.

Superman with van
September 30, 2020 at 7:32 am

Love this checklist, very useful! Check us if you need some removal service!
That’s why we are here.
All our staff is trained to the highest standard. We train SUPERMEN who care. We care about your items like these are our own. We take time to plan the move before it happens so on your move day everything goes smoothly. We aim to provide a safe and reliable service.

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