A moving checklist will save your butt. Not only will it help you stay on top of the process, but you will likely save time and money by properly planning for the big day.
Moving is hard work! You've got to sort through every closet, dresser, and drawer of your home to determine what to keep and what to throw away. It always takes twice as long as you think it will - and something almost always goes wrong on moving day.
To make the move a little easier, we've compiled a moving checklist of 12 things to do while you're getting ready to move - and when to do them.
Spring Cleaning - 2 Months in Advance
Take a Saturday or Sunday to tackle each room in your home and determine what you’d like to keep and you’re throwing away. Has it been five years since you wore those shoes? Toss them. Are certain kitchen appliances collecting dust? Donate them. Did you buy a bunch of at home gym equipment that you never ended up using? Put them on the Facebook marketplace.
Getting rid of items like these early on will save you a ton of time when you find that you’re running out of it. If you decide to hold a yard sale, some of these items can even offset your moving costs. Spring cleaning also helps you better estimate how many boxes you’ll need later on, so the sooner you’re able to start this process - the better!
MG Pro Tip: “Do a spring cleaning while you’re in the buying or selling process.”
Let Everyone Know You’re Moving - 1-2 Months in Advance
If you’re not moving too far, you can probably skip most of the step. However, if your move is significant, you’ve got some calls to make!
Contact your school or your kid’s school so that you can get any documentation you may need from them. Also, contact the new school so that you can enroll them in it. You’ll also want to contact your doctors and insurance agents for the same reasons - and ask for recommendations if you haven’t found new ones in your area.
Let your friends and family know to save the date. Not only will they have time to say their good-byes or throw a moving away party, but if you’re planning on utilizing them as free labor, giving them this amount of notice will make it harder for them to back out.
Buy Boxes and Moving Supplies - 1-2 Months in Advance
Ideally, you should buy boxes and moving supplies right after your spring cleaning. The more you get done early, the less chance there will be for chaos to ensue later on (and we all know it will). Here’s what you should buy:
Unsure of how much you need? Companies like Lowe’s and Frogbox can help you get started and you can return what you don’t use.
Label EVERYTHING - 1-2 Months in Advance
Really, you should be labeling everything throughout the entire process. Mark each box with what’s in it and where it’s going to go in your new home. If it’s fragile, note that, too.
MG Pro Tip: “If the box contains valuables, don’t label what’s in it. Use a code word that you’ll remember to mitigate risk.”
Pack Up Seasonal Items - 1 Month in Advance
Next up on your moving checklist: seasonal items. Depending on when you’re moving, you’ll want to pack everything that you won’t be using between now and moving day. This includes most holiday decorations, off-season clothing, and any other supplies. When you’re doing your spring cleaning, make note of these items. It’ll make this step much easier.
Pack up your storage unit while you’re at it, and look for a storage unit closer to your new home, if needed.
Submit Change of Address Forms - 1 Month Before
Go online to USPS.gov or visit your local post office and notify them that you’re moving and when. If you’re close with any of your neighbors, leave them a forwarding address in case some mail falls through the cracks.
Contact and Confirm With Movers - 1 Month in Advance
By the one-month mark, you should be researching, contacting, and confirming with movers - whether they’re your friends or a professional moving company. If you’re DIYing the process, make sure you’re got a U-Haul or a similar reservation in the works. When it comes to moving checklist items, this is essential!
If you’re moving out of state, make sure the company has the proper licensing. You’ll also want to know if the company is bonded and that their insurance policy is enough to cover any of your valuables - just in case.
MG Pro Tip: “Reconfirm with the movers at the two-week mark, and one more time a couple days before the official move.”
Scheduling Deep Clean Time - 2 Weeks in Advance
Take a couple of days off to deep clean your place - or set a weekend aside because you’ve got to do it. You’ll also want to plan on cleaning rugs during this time, or scheduling time to invite a professional over to do it for you.
Pack All Non-Essentials - 1 Week in Advance
Remember three weeks ago when you were packing all of your seasonal items? Now it’s time to start packing all non-essentials. At this stage of the moving process, you should be packing everything that’s non-perishable that you won’t need before your move. This item on your moving checklist will likely take a couple of days, so start early to avoid running low on time.
And don’t forget to label everything!
MG Pro Tip: “At this stage, everything that’s left unpacked should be able to fit in your car.”
Deep Clean Part Deux - 2-3 Days in Advance
Clean your fridge, freezer, oven, and other essential appliances that you *hopefully* won’t get dirty between now and moving day. Also, do a walk through and clean anything else that you may have missed before.
Also, make arrangements to get the key to your new home, if you haven’t already.
Pack the Essentials - Day Before and Day Of
You’re also done with your moving checklist. Excited? You’re almost in your new home!
Pack the last items that you’ve left out and load them into your car. At this point, you should be fully packed and ready to go. Now it’s time to get moving!
MG Pro Tip: “Do another walk-through of your home - just in case. You never know when you’ve missed a junk drawer or a bottle of wine.”
Complete Moving Checklist - Moving Day
You’re moving! Woohoo! The movers (or your friends) should be there moving boxes from point A to point B. Once your old home is empty, do one last walk-through and take pictures of anything that was damaged to notify the new home-owners or apartment company.
Then, once all of your boxes are in your new home, pop open that bottle of wine that you found the other day and celebrate!
By Anthony Greer
Anthony Greer specializes in content writing and brand messaging development for service-based businesses. www.anthony-greer.com