Top Moving Checklist for a Smooth Move
So, you’re getting ready for a big move. Whether you’re dealing with a local move or a long-distance move, there’s a lot that needs to be done. That’s why we’ve put together this moving checklist, in hopes that it’ll help you as you sort things out and determine what you need to accomplish before moving day. We’ll do this in a timeline fashion, starting from the moment that you know that you’re going to be moving
Schedule your Moving Company
The minute you know where you’re headed and when you’re doing so, you want to be sure that you get everything scheduled and ready to go. Use the moving company finder tools here at Pricing Van Lines and you can compare prices and figure out which movers are going to be best for your moving needs. After you get this off of your moving checklist, you can move on to other things.
Now is the time to open all of the drawers and closets and look at everything that you own. Sort out every single item that you own with the intention of figuring out what will stay with you and what isn’t going to make the cut. The sooner that you start sorting, the easier it will be for you when it finally comes time to pack.
Donate, Sell, or Give Away
During the process of sorting, you will likely have a pile of items that you’re getting rid of. Are you going to donate them to charity, give them away to friends, or sell them? Start doing it now, or those piles are just going to get into your way and cause issues for you.
Obtain Medical and Educational Records
Inform your doctor and your child’s school that you’re going to be moving to a new location. If you’re changing school districts or doctors, you want to be sure that you get all of the medical records and educational records that you may need for your family. That way, you can provide that info to the new school and/or doctor as needed.
Get in Touch with Insurance Agencies
Your car insurance, health insurance, homeowners’ insurance, and other insurance companies need to know your new address, at the very least. See if you have to make any changes to your policy and/or if the amount you pay is going to change based on your move and get that sorted out appropriately.
Order Any Packing Supplies
Now it’s time to think about packing. You can get all sorts of packing kits that provide you with tape, markers, labels, and boxes of all sizes. Your moving company may also have kits that you can purchase as part of your move, so be sure that you talk to them about your options and see what they have to suggest.
Schedule Any Flights, Car Rentals, or Other Travel Arrangements
Dealing with travel arrangements for your family is going to take time, especially if someone is going to have to fly or get a rental car. Be sure that you get that scheduled about a month out from your big move.
Start the Packing Process
Now’s the time to start packing. Be sure that you sort out everything into boxes and start labeling and inventorying everything that you have. Write things down and be sure that you have a clear idea of what is going where. This inventory list will be important during the moving process.
Service Your Vehicle(s)
Go get a checkup for your car, get your oil changed and make sure that the tires, wipers, and other parts of your car are up to date and functional. Get any repairs done at this point, too. That way, when you finally get going, you’re a lot less likely to be met with breaking down unexpectedly.
Put in Your Change of Address Form
You can put your change of address form in at the USPS a month before you move to your new location. You indicate on your form when the USPS should start forwarding your mail to your new home (which should be a day or two before you move in), so you don’t need to worry about missing out on any mail.
Start Clearing Your Food Supply
Do you have food in your freezer, fridge, or pantry? Instead of packing up your food, start eating it instead. Not only are you saving money by eating what’s already in your home, but you’ll save money on the move because that’s fewer boxes and less weight that you’ll be taking with you. You can also save a lot of time if you deal with this as early as you can as well.
Contact Other Important Parties
While you’re dealing with the Post Office, you also want to be sure that you take the time to start informing everyone else that you’re moving as well. Your employer may already know, but what about your bank, the companies you get credit cards from, and any subscriptions that you have? If you haven’t told family and friends yet, now is the time. And, it’s also a good idea to start the process of scheduling the shutoff date for any utilities.
Confirm the Moving Company and Travel Arrangements
Two weeks until your big move, and you are likely feeling a little overwhelmed by what’s to come. Take some time to get in touch with the moving company that you scheduled to make sure that everything is ready to go for your move. You also want to double check any travel arrangements that you’ve made. This is especially important when you look at an interstate move, because you also want to be sure
Pick up and Clear Out
Do you have anything at other locations? Maybe you have a storage shed or a lockbox at a bank? Be sure that you take some time to go to those locations and clear everything out of there as well. There may be some more items that you need to donate or that need to be packed so that they get onto the moving van when you finally get ready for your big move.
Confirm the moving company again
While it may seem strange for a moving checklist to list this twice, it’s an important thing to do. You want to triple-check that everything is ready with your moving company and that you’re going to be able to take care of your long-distance move as planned. Sometimes, things can come up and your local moving company or other transportation could have a hang-up that needs to be dealt with. By checking in, you can ensure that you aren’t going to be blind-sided by such an issue.
Deal with Medications
Go to your pharmacy and make sure that all of your medications have the proper refills – try to have a month’s supply with you in case it takes a while to get in for an appointment or transfer your prescriptions. As soon as you arrive to your destination, you’re going to want to go ahead and transfer your scripts to whatever pharmacy that you choose.
Pack your travel bags
You aren’t going to be sending everything with the moving van – some items, like toiletries, valuables, and clothing for your trip, are going to be coming with you in your vehicle. Take some time to start packing those bags, or at least be sure that you have everything in one spot so that, on moving day, you can throw everything in your travel bag.
Disconnect and clean large items
If you haven’t eaten all of the food in your fridge and/or freezer, now’s the time to finish it up. Exercise equipment, large instruments, and other appliances should be unplugged and cleaned out as best as possible. Even if those items are staying at your residence (due to it being a rental or because you’ve agreed to leave them there for the people moving in), you want to be sure that they’re clean and ready to be used.
During this last week, be sure that you get every single one of your donations dealt with and out of the way. That way, they aren’t in the way and you can be sure that they don’t accidentally get packed in the moving van or the car.
Clean carpets and rugs
Now’s a good time to call in a carpet cleaning service or to rent a carpet shampooer. Even though there will be foot traffic on the day of your move, you’ll still have most of the flooring clean. Now’s also a good time to send rugs to the cleaners – they’ll come to you wrapped up and clean, and it’ll be easy for your movers to just toss them in the truck on moving day.
Get your keys
Talk with your realtor or landlord and see whether or not they can get you the keys to your new place ahead of time. Not only will it make it easier for you to take care of things on move-in day, but it can make it easier to take care of the next thing we’ll talk about on our moving checklist.
Prepare your new home (if possible)
If you live close to your new home and you have the ability to get in there a little early, go ahead and prep it for your move-in day. Clean up the space, do a deep clean of the sinks, counters, and tubs, and put carpet runners on the floor to protect the carpets on move-in day. If you don’t live near your home to do this, be sure that you take care of it as soon as your cross-country moving company leaves your home on move-in day.
Meet Movers and Supervise Loading
It’s moving day and you want to be sure that you meet your local movers and get their information. The license number on their vehicle should match any info that you got from your local moving company when you talked with them. That way, you can feel confident that you’re getting the help you need and that someone isn’t just going to walk away with your stuff. Then, let them know what they need to do and supervise the loading process.
Clean up the rest of your old house
You want your home to be as clean as possible when the new residents move in. And, if you are a renter, you want to be sure that you clean things up as best as you can so that you can get as much of your security deposit back as possible. Clean counters, scrub floors, and get everything ready so that it’s as good as new.
Keep all valuables with you
If you have valuable items – documentation, jewelry, family heirlooms, etc. – you want to be sure that they are with you in your vehicle. Not only does this prevent everything from getting lost in transit, but it can also give you peace of mind. It’s one less thing that you need to be super worried about on the day of your move – you’ll feel less nervous and you will know where everything is.
Walk through your old home one last time
After every single item has been loaded up and your cleaning has been completed, you want to be sure that you go ahead and do one last walkthrough. If you have children, now is the time for them to say their goodbyes to your home – and it’s your chance to do so as well. Your last walkthrough is a good way to say goodbye and you can ensure that you’re not forgetting anything from your old home.
Show your movers where things should go
Labels help to make this go more smoothly, but take some time to tour your new place with your interstate movers. Tell them what each room is going to be so that they know where to go with each box that they may have. You can also label each room with a color or something else that helps them to know where different boxes and items need to go.
Keep an eye out for lost or damaged items
While movers are moving your items into your home, be sure to check against the inventory list that you agreed on when they moved the items out of your home. If any items have been lost or damaged during the move, point it out and make sure that you put it on file so that the moving company or your insurance can reimburse you. You can also do this during the unpacking process.
Payment and tip (in writing)
Use the agreed-upon payment in order to ensure that everything is taken care of. Also, if the movers did a good job, be sure to add a 10% to 20% tip for your movers. Then, get a receipt from the movers so that you can prove that you paid if something were to come up later on. You can arrange the details about this during one of the times that you call to check in with your moving company.
Clean up your new place (if you couldn’t do it earlier)
If you couldn’t come in ahead of time, now is the time for you to go ahead and do a deep clean of your new place. That way, everything is clean for when you start setting up appliances and putting items into their new spots.
Start making it your home!
Now it’s time to make your house into your new home! Start the unpacking process, reassemble furniture, plug in appliances, and start getting comfortable. Congratulations! You made it through move-in day and you can settle in with the help of your family members and friends.
Additional Moving Checklist Considerations for Moving Out of State
There are a handful of extra considerations that you may need to explore if you’re looking at a cross-country move of any sort. Here are some suggestions that you want to be sure that you consider when making your own moving checklist.
- Take Care of Vehicles: What processes do you need to go through to make sure that your car is legal to drive? How do you change things like your license and registration? And how much is that going to cost?
- Do You Own Guns? Gun registration is very different depending on which state that you reside in. Be sure that you explore what you need to know and take care of it ASAP.
- Plant and Animal Concerns: Some states have really specific rules in regards to quarantine and invasive species of both plants and animals. If you’re bringing house plants or pets along, you want to go to the Agriculture Department in your new state of residence to ensure that you go about everything the right way.
- Voter Registration: Don’t miss out on a chance to vote! Most states will allow you to take care of voter registration at the same time that you deal with your driver’s license, but that’s not always the case. Register as soon as you know your new address.
Our team at Pricing Van Lines hopes that your long-distance moving experience is the best that it can be. We can connect you with the right companies so that you can get the best prices and the best service. Take a look at our search tools today and find the local or long-distance moving company that can meet your family’s needs.