The Practical Moving Checklist | Guide For Hassle-Free Shifting

Moving has to be one of the most daunting tasks, especially when you are doing it for the first time. 

Some people are even scared by the very thought of moving due to all the things they need to handle. And contrary to popular belief, moving is much more than packing your things into boxes for transportation. 

A common mistake made by many people is not to dedicate enough time to the whole process of moving. It’s recommended to have at least two months to fully plan and execute everything so that moving proves hassle-free as well as error-free. 

We have come up with the ultimate moving checklist to take you through 8 weeks of planning. The easy-to-follow format is meant to make moving easier for everyone irrespective of their living situation and total family members. 

Eight Weeks Before You Move

The practical moving checklist

Now that you have decided to move, it’s time to begin planning. We advise you to dedicate eight weeks for shifting as it helps smoothen out complicated tasks, like finding a property or sorting out important documents. 

But, there’s no need to be overwhelmed as our weekly planning guide will help you ease into the process and prevent missing out on essential things. So, let’s check out what you need to complete in the first week of planning. 

1. Get Organized

Setting up a planner or diary can help you remain accountable throughout the moving process. Apart from updating the checklist on a weekly basis, this moving planner will be the place where you document extra tasks that need to be covered. You have the choice to buy a physical planner or set up a digital planner to make it cost-effective. 

The binder, on the other hand, will be your lifesaver when it comes to organizing important documents, receipts, moving estimates, and property papers, among other things. Another excellent way to keep track of things is by marking key dates on the calendar. At this point, you may not have exact dates, but updating the estimated ones will help in smooth progress. 

While organizing, you need to make sure to schedule all your appointments, which may include anything from visiting an open house to checking out schools for the kids. If you’re yet to set up essential appointments, this is the time to get done with them so that there’s no delay in the moving date. 

2. Set Up A Budget

Setting up a moving budget is key to having things under control. The budget should include everything from estimates of moving companies to the estimated gas cost you’ll need to move into the new home. There’s no fixed amount as it’ll vary depending on the distance, the volume of things that need to be moved, and the additional services that you might require. 

That’s why this is the point where you should start looking into moving companies and get free quotes to start planning your budget. In some cases, you might require temporary housing while moving, so take that into account while budgeting. 

Overall, you should choose a budget well within your means. There’s no need to go overboard, but make sure to allocate extra funds to take care of sudden costs. And make a note of tax-deductible moving expenses to save money. 

3. Search For Your New Home

If you’re yet to find a new home, this is the time when you should definitely check out new properties. Online real estate websites are going to be your best bet when it comes to finding good deals. However, always use safe platforms to avoid property-related scams or you can even take suggestions from friends and family to contact reliable local realtors. 

Before contacting the real estate agent, create a checklist of the amenities you would like to have in the new neighborhood. Some of the essential aspects include proper medical facilities, easy-to-access transportation, availability of local grocery stores, restaurants, and gyms, to name a few. 

Planning early is also recommended for those who are looking forward to renting a new place. If possible, always visit the new property in person to be sure about its suitability.

4. Notify Your Landlord

Those currently renting a property need to serve a notice to their landlord at least 60 days before the move. This helps transition into the new lease without any problem and retrieve the security deposit from the landlord. 

But, before serving the notice period, go through the lease agreement to check for any specific details about maintaining the place. Make sure that all conditions are met to avoid being charged additional fees. 

5. Start Looking For Moving Companies

Apart from those looking at a DIY move, you’ll usually need help from a moving company. It may seem a bit early to contact a company, but this is essential to acquire a responsible and budget-friendly organization. 

The basic requirement for a professional moving company is that they need to have a valid license to run services in your state or area. In case you’re moving to a new state, the company should have a DOT number to be able to provide interstate moving services. 

To make choosing a moving company easier, have a checklist of services that you’ll require. Many moving companies require a virtual or in-person walk-through of your home to provide better estimates. Note that you may need to pay additional fees for moving items like pianos, fragile furniture, or other delicate collections. 

Another essential thing to consider is the insurance coverage provided by a moving company in case there’s an accident or if any boxes are misplaced. So, take your time researching different moving companies and compare their estimates before deciding on one. 

Those who are considering moving on their own should definitely use this time to find proper rental places and get a moving truck. Try getting a free estimate as well to remain within your moving budget. 

Seven Weeks Before You Move

The last week was spent in organizing and planning the first stage of the moving process. This week you’ll need to dive into the personal aspects of moving, like preparing your family and pets, as well as asking for help if required. 

1. Preparing Your Family

Preparing to move can be quite stressful for a family, especially if you have small kids. That’s why it’s better to sort things out way ahead of time to make the last few weeks of moving smoother. 

First, let your children know about the decision to move and try to involve them in the process. You should always encourage them to say goodbye to friends, neighbors, and teachers. Children may sometimes have a hard time going through this transition period, so reassure them when needed. If possible, take them to the new home and even the new school to get them excited about moving. 

2. Get Your Pets Ready

Similar to children, your pets require enough empathy while moving. You’ll need to provide special care to the pets to make moving to a new place smoother. However, during this week, you should spend time researching the pet-friendly places available near your new home. Also, prepare any documents that might be required while moving your pets to a different state. 

Another thing you should check is the availability of good veterinarians, grooming services, and pet daycares in the neighborhood. And remember to take your pets for a thorough check-up before the moving date and ask the vet for tips for keeping them calm during the journey. 

3. Arranging For Children’s School

Are you moving to an entirely new place with school-age children? If yes, you’ll need to find a new school with proper amenities that provides quality education. We recommend visiting the different schools in the new location to find out which one would be best for your children. 

At the same time, it would be necessary to notify their present school about the move to get the transcripts and medical records transferred on time. It’s usually required to fill in the registration documents of the new school. 

But when your children are going to the same school after the move, notify the school authorities about the new address to update their records. 

4. Notify Your Employer

If you aren’t changing your job, it’s important to let your employer know about the move. Tell them about any leaves you’ll need to take to move your things to the new place. Also, request them to update your documents and include the new address. 

But when you are moving due to a new job, this week should be spent preparing yourself for the change. You should find out about the policies followed in your new workplace, confirm the starting date, and notify the employer about the time required for moving into the new home.

In case you’re still looking for employment, try to begin the job search as soon as possible. One way is to look for recruiting agencies near your new home. 

5. Ask Friends For Help

If you’re moving alone, it can be quite challenging to transport everything yourself. As you’ll most likely need a bit of help from your friends, it’s always better to let them know a few weeks in advance. This would allow them to include the moving date on their schedule and apply for leave at work. 

6. Reserve A Storage Unit

Are you urgently looking to shift homes but don’t have enough space to store your things? If yes, then it’s best to look for an available storage unit near your current location or the new house. Your things will stay safe in the storage unit, and you’ll get more time to set up your new home. 

At a later date, you can sort out the items and discard or donate things that aren’t essential anymore. You can also book a storage unit at the new location and send the items a couple of weeks prior to the moving day. 

Six Weeks Before You Move

The sixth week is when the moving process gets a little intense. You’ll need to get done with a lot of work, so your weekends might be tied up. It’s also the ideal time for taking care of all your documents to sort out everything before the move. 

Fix the moving date and book the moving company 

1. Fix The Moving Date And Book The Moving Company

It’s time to pick the final date and book the moving service. You need to make the booking on the sixth week as it provides enough time to reach out to different companies. Booking ahead of time may fetch you a good deal, and there’s less possibility of missing out on a date. 

Remember that the rates of professional movers tend to vary based on different factors. Try to keep your move-out date within a month without major holidays to get a better price. Some experts also suggest skipping moving between May and September as it’s considered the peak season when the charges are high. 

Those on a tight budget should plan the move on a weekday during the off-season. 

2. Collect Moving Supplies

No one likes to scramble for moving supplies at the last minute. That’s why you need to get them sooner, which is useful for packing early. Some moving companies provide packing supplies, but others don’t, so it’s best to be prepared. The common supplies you’ll need include bubble wrap, packing tape, packing paper, and boxes to keep your things safe. 

One tip for acquiring free moving boxes is to contact grocery stores and furniture stores near your home that often give away these boxes. We also recommend contacting the moving company to know about any guidelines you need to follow while packing the items. 

3. Make Travel Arrangements

If you’re moving to a new state or even a new country, this would be the best time to go ahead with the travel arrangements. Apart from booking flights, you may need to find ways to transport your car and bikes. Thankfully, many professional moving companies have started providing car moving services, and booking ahead of time will help you cut down on the overall cost of moving. 

4. Contact All Your Insurance Providers And Banks

One of the most important tasks that you need to get done before moving is to contact all your insurance providers and notify them about the move. This is especially true in the case of health insurance, as you want the provider to have an office near your new home. 

Similarly, before the move, visit your bank and ask them about their nearby branches. Do let them know about the whole plan as they might have different services in case you’re moving only for a short period. The same thing would apply to credit card companies that you’re using, so notify the authorities about your new address. 

In the case of car insurance, you may need to visit the shop from where your car was purchased. On notifying them about the move, the representatives will let you know if the same insurance applies to your new location. Otherwise, you’ll have the option to apply for a new provider. 

5. Protect And Transfer Your Important Documents

Before moving homes, you should make sure to organize and protect important documents, like your passport, ID, social security card, and driver’s license. Gather them and make digital copies if necessary while keeping them in a secure file so there’s no chance of misplacing the documents. 

If you have any appliances that are still under warranty, collect the valid documentation along with the invoices. Moreover, in case you have been using a shared computer in the current place, delete any sensitive documents and login details for your online accounts. 

Another task that you need to accomplish before moving is to transfer important documents to your new location, such as medical records of your family. You’ll need to visit the offices of primary healthcare providers, dentists, and pharmacies to place a request for transferring the documents to new providers. 

Five Weeks Before You Move

Yes, it’s finally time to begin packing. It’s essential to dedicate a whole week to the packing process as you don’t want to forget or misplace anything. As a first-time mover, it may seem daunting to get things done on time, but we assure you that everything is going to be fine. Remember to start packing with the non-essential and then gradually move to the essentials. 

1. Begin Decluttering

Before you start packing, it’s necessary to get rid of useless things. The first things to declutter would be the items in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Leaving aside the things that you may want to consume in the upcoming month, donate the rest to a local food bank after checking the expiry date. Just make sure to contact them beforehand to know about food items they accept. 

We also recommend going through your closet to find items that you don’t seem to use anymore. These can be donated to a local thrift shop, or sold in a garage sale to earn some money. You can do the same for unwanted furniture, household or kitchen items, children’s toys, holiday decorations, books, and magazines. 

In case you’re donating items, don’t forget to ask for tax exemption receipts, as they are quite helpful. Some organizations even pick up larger items from your home if you contact them with the details. 

During decluttering, you may find some seldom used valuable items, so ask your friends and family if they would like to have them before donating or selling them. This will give you an opportunity to find things that might require special attention while moving, such as your priced silverware or jewelry collection. Either transport them yourself or ask the moving company if they have special provisions for handling such items, albeit under proper insurance coverage. 

Along with decluttering physical items, you need to take care of memberships of gyms, clubs, community centers, and local organizations before moving. Visit all the facilities during this week to cancel your membership as most of them ask for a one-month notice. 

2. Start Packing

Packing is one of the most time-consuming processes before moving. It can get a bit tiring, so remember to take enough breaks and start by labeling the packing boxes to minimize the risk of anything getting misplaced. 

We also recommend keeping an inventory of the items you have packed along with their positions in your current home to smoothen the unpacking process. Here are some things to follow during the packing process: 

  • A to-do list of the whole packing process, including the sequence for packing things.
  • Try to pack one room at a time
  • Begin by packing non-essential and seasonal items that you won’t be needing 
  • Pack fragile items like glassware and light bulbs with extra caution and mark the boxes. 
  • Get rid of flammable or hazardous items like gas, propane, paint, and fire extinguishers. 
  • Take pictures of valuable items, especially appliances. 
  • You can keep aside some packing materials to pack essential items later. 
  • Confirm with the moving company if plants can be transported or give them to someone. 
  • If you aren’t sure about taking apart furniture, ask the professionals. 
  • Repair items that might be a bit damaged so that they remain safe during moving. 

Four Weeks Before You Move

By now, you’re just a month away from your moving date, so it’s the perfect time to start saying goodbyes, and confirm the appointment with the moving company. Let’s check out what you can get done on the fourth week before moving.  

1. Check In With The Moving Company

Now that you’re packing, it’s time to confirm everything with the moving company. If you didn’t have the exact moving location or address till now, this is the time to provide the company with all the details. 

At this point, you should let them know if there are any extra items that require moving. Also, don’t forget to discuss the moving charge you need to pay for special items. You can even take out extra moving coverage from a suitable insurance company to ensure the safety of your things. 

Remember to confirm the moving date and time to eliminate any chances of misunderstanding or delay. 

2. Let Friends And Family Know

Moving can be quite emotional, especially when you have lived somewhere for a long time. Though breaking the news might not be required if you’re just moving to a new neighborhood, you’ll surely want to update friends and family about a long-distance move. 

Moreover, make sure to share the new address with your loved ones so that they can keep sending lovely holiday cards. If you want, arrange a small party to celebrate the change and say your goodbyes. We also recommend sharing the news with your neighbors so that they are prepared when new people move into your present house. 

Three Weeks Before You Move

The moving day is almost here, so utilize the third week for wrapping up any official tasks. Here are some things you can do:

1. Forward Mails

Worried about parcels showing up at the old address after you have moved? Thankfully, you can arrange to get them forwarded to the post office. Just visit the USPS website to select the date from when you would like to commence the forwarding procedure. There’s also an option to get a PO box near the new location to receive your parcels without any hassle. 

2. Arranging Sitters For Children And Pets

As you may have understood, the upcoming move is going to need a lot of attention. The packing may take up a lot of your time, so arranging a babysitter for your children and pets is recommended. You should make the appointments ahead of time to be sure about their availability on your moving day. 

3. Take Care Of Utilities

It’s always better to contact the utility companies several weeks before your move as they tend to be pretty busy. If you’re moving to a new house in the same area or city, you will need to transfer the current utilities like gas, water, and electricity.

Things would be a bit different for those moving to a new city, state, or country. In such situations, you’ll need to start afresh and arrange for appointments with local companies ahead of time to install the utility connections in the new home. 

At the same time, don’t forget to notify the businesses that provide utilities in your present home to discontinue their services. 

Two Weeks Before You Move

Here are some of the things that you need to get done before moving to your new home:  

1. Clean Your Home

It’s essential to clean your current house before moving, especially when it’s a rented place. We recommend hiring professional cleaning services to make the process a bit easier as you’ll already be tied up in packing and arranging things. 

If you choose to do the cleaning yourself, ensure to wipe all the surfaces carefully. In the case of rental housing, it’s a must to remove nails and screws from the walls as well as fill in the holes properly. Also, remember to paint over any walls you have painted. 

2. Prepare For Your Moving Trip

While your belongings will get transported by a professional moving company, you should still be prepared for the journey. Here are some things that you need to check before the trip begins: 

  • Get your car serviced and repaired if you’re going to drive to the new home. 
  • Go grocery shopping and buy supplies for the journey. 
  • Fill up the prescriptions for your family so that you have enough meds. 
  • Pack suitcases for each family member with essentials like comfortable clothes. 
  • Arrange activities for the kids and yourself to not get bored. 
  • Be prepared for sudden weather changes. 
  • Keep the important documents organized so that they’re always within close reach. 
  • If you decide to travel with your valuables, make sure to plan ahead \
  • Have proper arrangements to keep all items safe while driving or flying. 
  • If you have pets, arrange their supplies, like medicines and treats, for a comfortable trip. 

3. Run Last Minute Errands

Did you just find out that you’re yet to pay back some parking tickets? Well, make sure to use the penultimate week before your move to finish any errands that you might have skipped. This includes paying your bills, returning books to the local library, returning borrowed items to your neighbors or friends, picking up clothes from the dry cleaner, and paying local taxes.  

One Week Before You Move

Congratulations, you’ve reached the final stage before moving out. This week should be dedicated to arranging last-minute things and running checks to ensure everything is going as planned. Let’s see the things that you’ll need to get done. 

Prepare the appliances

1. Prepare The Appliances

If you’ve decided to take the appliances, this would be the time to get things ready. Having a week in hand is perfect as you’ll need to spend time packing the appliances before they can be moved. In case it’s your first time moving, ask for help from a moving company to guide you on how to pack such appliances.

2. Plan Your Meals

It’s easy to forget about eating or taking care of yourself when you are preparing to move. To stop that from happening, plan your meals ahead of time, buy quick snacks from grocery stores, and arrange to get food delivered if required. 

3. Book Services For Your New Home

This week is also the time when you’ll need to arrange for services related to your new home. Contact service providers like HVAC technicians, electricians, and plumbers to schedule appointments. 

4. Last Minute Prep

Here are some more things to check on the final week before you move out: 

  • Disassemble big furniture before the movers show up.
  • Collect all keys you have of the current home to hand over to the real estate agent. 
  • Withdraw cash for emergencies. 
  • Begin packing any items that you might have skipped so that nothing is left behind. 
  • Go through this moving checklist several times to ensure everything is going as planned. 
  • Take a video of the whole house as proof of the condition in which you left it. 

Moving Day

You have made it through all the challenges to reach this day, so remember to take a breather and calm yourself down. Keep the moving planner close at hand and verify the checklist from time to time. It’s also a good idea to call the moving provider to confirm their arrival time. 

This day is going to be quite busy, so start your morning with a good breakfast to have enough energy. If you’re driving to the new home, ensure that the suitcases and other items are in the car. And in case you’re flying, arrange your things properly to keep an eye on them. 

Once the moving trucks arrive, keep track of the inventory to ensure that everything is picked up as planned. If you have booked a professional service, movers will take care of most things for you. 

But before heading out, take a proper look around so that nothing is left behind. You should also spend time conversing with the movers to let them know the exact location of your new house. They’ll probably ask you to fill out some documents, so do it carefully and make no errors. 

Moving Checklist Frequently Asked Questions ?

What to do on the day you move into the new house?

The day you move into your new home is going to be pretty overwhelming. Don’t tax yourself by immediately starting cleaning; rather calm yourself down and take a nice tour around the house. 

This would give you new ideas about ways to arrange your things when they’re finally delivered. Then, you can take your time to clean the place and unpack the essentials. Don’t try to do all the cleaning at once but make a plan to spread out tasks throughout the first week. 

Here are some other things to do on the first day: 

  • Get to know your neighbors
  • Take a tour around the town
  • Help your kids and pets explore the place
  • Contact necessary service people like electricians and HVAC technicians
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Enjoy dinner at a nearby restaurant

What to do after the moving company delivers your items?

The moving company may not be able to deliver the things on the very day you move into the new home, especially when you’re using international movers. That’s why it’s best to be prepared about handling the things on the delivery day. 

  • Be prepared for the delivery with the right moving documents.
  • Ensure that the employees from the moving company can contact you on your phone.
  • Clean your new home beforehand to make it easier to unpack things.
  • Keep an eye on the boxes to make sure everything matches your inventory.
  • Pay extra attention to the furniture and appliances when the movers are unloading them.

Happy couple with coffee cups relaxing in their new home.

Moving Checklist Final Words

Well, now all you need to do is unpack the items and settle into your new home. There’s no need to hurry, as you’ll have ample time to get things sorted. 

Remember to sit back and relax for a while before you get all caught up with the post-moving work. However, utilize this time to arrange for any necessary services that might be required for your new home. 

Don’t forget to take help from professionals when necessary, be it for packing items or installing your appliances. Just keep following the checklist to ensure you’re up-to-date with all the tasks that need to be done. 

Until next time, goodbye, and happy moving! 

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