Moving Checklist

By carefully planning and organizing your move, the process is much easier, more efficient, and less stressful. Use this checklist to plan and monitor your progress.

Decide if and how much of the job you want to do yourself. If you choose a professional mover, make sure you compare rates, services, and availability. Get written estimates whenever possible.

  • Collect boxes and packaging supplies
  • Go over the floor plan of your new house to determine where and how your furniture will fit
  • Make a list of all the things you'll be moving
  • Start packaging anything that you won't be using before your moving day
  • Select a holding area where any items that are ready to be moved can be placed
  • Make a list of essential items you'll need to purchase for your new home
  • Arrange turn-on and turn-off dates for utilities and other services
  • Complete change-of-address forms
Two Weeks Prior to Moving
  • Confirm your moving date with the moving company or truck rental agency
  • Make arrangements for your car to be transported if you're not driving it yourself
  • Make reservations for travel and lodging en route, if necessary
  • Finish packing, except those items you'll need for day-to-day living
  • Arrange for pickup of hazardous waste such as paint cans, cleaners, oil and gas drained from your power equipment
Moving Week - Moving Day
  • Arrange moving children, pets and plants
  • Clean and double-check all rooms
  • Label boxes as "essentials" or "open first"
  • Keep all important documents and phone numbers with you
Finding a Professional Moving Company

You have enough to do without taking on the monstrous task of physically packing up your household and moving - whether it's across the country or across town. The decision to hire a professional mover could save you time and headaches. As soon as you know your approximate moving date, as early as six to eight weeks in advance, start asking neighbors, family, and friends for referrals. Shop around and get written price quotes from at least three movers. Movers generally determine their prices according to the distance you are moving, the estimated weight of your possessions, the cost of packing materials, and services such as packing and unpacking. While professional moving companies carry insurance, they may not automatically cover some items - boxes that you pack yourself for example. Ask what's included in your carrier's insurance and whether you can or need to purchase additional insurance to cover all your belongings.

Packing Tips
  • Don't pack what you don't need. There's no sense spending valuable time and money moving things that you'll never use again. With a little advanced planning, you can raise useful cash or at the very least qualify for a tax-deductible contribution by hosting a yard sale or donating to a charitable organization. More important, these items won't take up space on your truck or in your new basement, garage, or attic.
  • Pack to unpack. If you take your time and pack things away properly and in a logical order, it'll be that much easier to settle into your new home. Clearly mark every box to indicate its contents and where they belong in your new home. And remember, the first box in the truck is the last box out so you'll want to load your possessions strategically.
  • Pack an essentials box. Things like toiletries, eating utensils, and tools are items you'll probably need immediately upon arriving at your new home.
Other Tips to Remember:
  • Don't pack boxes too full or too heavy to comfortably carry
  • Use smaller, more durable boxes for heavy items
  • Wrap fragile items with newspaper or packing paper; then further cushion them with Styrofoam popcorn or bubble wrap
  • When lifting heavy items, remember to lift with your legs, not your back
  • If you don't have a dolly or hand truck, rent one. Nothing is worse than the agony of a back injury
Unpacking Tips

Carpets and area rugs, for example, will be among the first things unloaded because you'll want them under your furniture. As the rooms in your new home begin to fill up, you can stand by to ensure that every box and each item of furniture reaches its intended destination and that nothing has been damaged. Check your mover's inventory list and note any damages. Finally, direct your attention to setting up beds, bathrooms and the kitchen - essentials to resuming your normal life.

Helping Children Settle In

Children need the reassurance that their world hasn't been completely turned upside down. They've just said goodbye to their best friends and are often uneasy about unfamiliar streets, houses, and neighbors. The security of seeing their personal possessions in their own room will go a long way toward making the transition easier. Familiar faces are always good. Ask a favorite aunt, uncle, or grandparent to be there for no other reason than to spend time with the kids while you continue to unpack.

What About Pets?

Your pets can be as be bewildered as children at the unsettling events before, during, and after a move - maybe more so. Unlike human members of the family, pets only know what they see - everything in their immediate world being wrapped in newspaper and stuffed into boxes. To avoid undue stress on yourself and your pets, it may be advisable to take your pets to a friend's house or board them with their vet or at a nearby kennel until your move is complete. Remember, when you move into a new community, animals often run away from strange situations. Take special care to make your pets feel comfortable and always be sure that they are wearing an identification tag with your new phone number.

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