The Ultimate Moving Checklist
Moving can be overwhelming and usually tests the patience and flexibility of the most hardened frequent movers. But there is a lot you can do to prepare yourself and your family in order to avoid the potential pitfalls of moving. Below we have compiled the ultimate moving checklist from various other lists and our own moving experiences.
Six weeks before move:
Start researching your new community/neighborhood, and look for banks, medical/dental offices, veterinarians, schools and childcare. Know where the closest grocery stores and gas stations are. Figure out your new route to work.
Compile medical and dental records, and arrange to have school and veterinarian records transferred to your new location. Gather copies of legal and financial documents, and create a ‘move file’ to keep track of quotes, receipts and other important information.
Sort and Purge
Now is the time to get rid of all the unwanted junk you have been accumulating. Almost every time we enter our homes, we bring something with us that seldom goes back out so we should not be surprised that we have accumulated way more stuff since our last move. Donate to charities, sell online, and give away stuff you don’t use or don’t want. Remember, the less stuff you have to move, the less time and money it will cost you.
Know what you can and can’t move
Use up items such as frozen foods, cleaning supplies and aerosols in advance, make travel arrangements for your pets, and plan how to transport your plants so you’ll be prepared on moving day. Most moving companies have a do-not-ship list to help you know what they will not move. Common items movers prohibit on moving trucks are: plants, pets, firearms, propane tanks, hazardous materials (including cleaning supplies), paints, pesticides, fertilizers, and power equipment with fuel.
Procure boxes and moving supplies (look online for potentially free boxes from someone who has moved recently) or get free boxes from liquor or grocery stores. Begin packing items you don’t use often (like golf clubs, waffle iron, photo albums). Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for. Pro-tips: use towels and linens as packing material for breakables.
One month before move:
Reserve your moving company
Research reputable moving companies (check online reviews). Get several quotes before you choose a company. Request the number of moving trucks and or movers you think you will need and discuss the size of trucks if you live on a narrow road. Request special wrapping materials such as plastic wrap, blankets and mattress covers if you want your furniture protected. Ask how they wish to receive payment.
Notify utility services
Call these departments at your current and future locations to cancel, transfer or set up new service:
-Cable/satellite, internet and landline phone
Two weeks before move:
File a change of address with the Postal Service (in person or on-line), and request your mail at current address be forwarded for 1 year. Notify friends and family of your new address so you can stay in touch.
Notify other businesses/services
-Auto finance company
-Credit card companies
-Home care service providers (lawn, exterminator, snow removal, etc.)
-Monthly memberships (Netflix, Dollar Shave Club, etc.)
-Any other service that would need an updated billing address
Notify government offices
-City/County Tax Assessor
-Department of Motor Vehicles
-Social Security Administration
-State/Federal Tax Bureau (IRS)
One week before move:
Review moving plans
Call or email your moving company with questions and to confirm move date and time. Arrange for parking. Make sure you know where the moving truck(s) will be able to park. Remind the movers of any access issues. Obtain parking permits if needed – especially important in Manitou Springs!
Prepare for payment
Contact your bank or credit card company if you’re planning to pay for your move by debit or credit card so you won’t receive any fraud alerts. Make sure you have enough money in cash for a tip if the mover’s do a good job (typically 10-15%).
Prepare an essentials box
Fill a plastic tub with vital things you will need once you arrive at your new house (hammer, power drill, light bulbs, small tool kit, trash bags, scissors, cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.).
Pack up house
Pack everything you can with the exception of the clothes and items you will need up until the day of closing. Make sure you have enough prescriptions to last a week or two post-move. Pro tip: leave your clothes in your dresser drawers – movers will move the entire thing and you won’t need to pack and unpack! Pro-tip: have plastic baggies on hand and black marker to label for all small hardware pieces to ensure easy furniture assembly. Pro-tip: take photos of all valuables and electronics before moving/packing. And, don’t forget to check the attic and crawl space for forgotten belongings!
Drain gas and oil from lawn equipment, gas grills, heaters, etc., and empty and defrost the refrigerator/freezer at least 24 hours before the move if they are going with you.
Use up perishables
Eat all you can in the fridge that won’t be able to make the trip. Use any cleaning supplies that the movers will not move.
Day of move:
At your old house-
Do a final walkthrough. Check every room, cupboard, closet and drawer one last time to make sure nothing is left behind. Leave keys and/or note for new owner/tenant with info they need to know about the house (how to operate sprinklers, where water shut-off valve is). Leave forwarding address for mail. Leave all owner’s manuals and/or warranties for appliances that stay.
At your new house–
Inspect/walk-through new house before movers bring anything in to make sure condition is as it should be. Put down mats to protect floors or blankets to protect doorways (usually movers will provide these.)
Make sure to check electronics and fragiles to determine if there was damage during the move (most moving companies only give you a couple of weeks to file a claim if their crew did damage.)
Check to make sure movers put all beds and furniture back together. If they did a good job, give a tip during time of payment.
Make your bed and unpack your toiletries as soon as the movers leave. Settle in to your new home.
Days/week after move:
-Have door locks re-keyed by locksmith and new keys made
-Update your driver’s license with new address
-Change address for Social Security benefits within 10 days of moving
-Thank your Realtor and write a great review online for them!