Just the idea of moving can get your heart racing from stress. It feels like there are hundreds of things to do, and you don’t even know where to start. Below is a list of things to do to help you prepare for a move. This moving checklist starts a month before the move and continues to the day of the move.
One Month Before the Move
So you know you are moving in a month. Here are some things you can do now to start the ball rolling.
First, figure out if you will be moving by yourself or getting some assistance. Are you hiring a moving company, renting a portable storage container, or simply getting a truck and loading it yourself? Make this decision early. If you do go with the portable moving container, be sure and check out Porta-Stor’s options for renting a container for your move. Once you have hired the moving company, bribed some friends, or rented a portable container or moving truck, it is time to get serious.
Prepare to change your address by getting all of the necessary paperwork. Go to your child’s school and request records if they will be moving to a new district, or do a change of address if you are staying in the same district. You will also need to put in an official change of address with the post office, which you can do online or in-person. Since you will be in the frame of mind to get an address change done, you should also contact your bank and get it changed there, as well as any other places that frequently send you mail.
Next, it’s time to start preparing your house for the move. Cleaning out closets, the garage, and the attic. Any area used mostly for storage is a great place to start packing and purging the things you don’t need and don’t want to move. Clear out holiday décor, and keep your new space in mind as you go through everything. Will you use this in your new house?
As you are cleaning out, keep separate piles for trash, donation, and sale. Depending on the time of year, this is a great chance to have a quick garage sale so that you can clear out the clutter and make a few extra dollars before your move.
Go ahead and start packing items that you don’t use very often. This includes those seasonal items and the kitchen appliances that you use the least. This will make the packing process more organized, since you have some time to really go through everything. It also makes it so you don't have to rush to pack everything all at once.
Make sure you label the boxes so that the move into the new home goes as smooth as possible.
Two Weeks Before the Move
Call and confirm with the moving or storage container company, if you are using one.
Make sure any valuable items are packed separately and well labeled. You will want to move these yourself in your car. It’s a good idea to move any important paperwork yourself as well.
As you pack, again make sure all boxes are labeled well. Write clearly on the box, indicating the room location in the new home and even what is stored inside. This makes less work for you once all the boxes have been moved in, and lets the movers know where things go. Also clearly label any boxes containing fragile items.
Arrange to have the day you move off from work, if applicable.
Schedule disconnects from your current utilities (gas, water, electricity, etc.), and land-line phone service. While you do that, go ahead and make any payments due and schedule the turn on date for utilities at your new home.
Cancel your other services that you use at this location, like Internet connection, cable TV, cleaning help, and lawn care. If you are going to use these services at your new home, you can get that set up for there at this time too.
One Week Before the Move
Set up a box of necessary items for the day of the move, like cleaning supplies, paperwork related to the move, and some snacks for moving day. Keeping these things labeled and in a separate bag or box will make them easier to find when you really need them.
Refill any prescriptions you need. You do not want to worry about running out of your medications while you are sorting through and putting away your things in your new home.
Pack a suitcase. This might not sound necessary, but while you are busy packing up all your clothes, make sure you put enough in everyone’s suitcase to last a few days. This will make it much easier to transition into your new home after a long, tiring day of moving. This step is especially important if you have a long distance to cover and it will take more than one day.
Start eating up and using anything from your pantry, fridge, or freezer that you don’t want to move. This is also a good time to use up any low-running cleaning supplies. Start fresh with the move.
Week of the Move
If you are choosing to mail in a change of address form to the post office, do that this week.
Clean all appliances, and make sure they are ready for the move. This includes defrosting the freezer and making sure it is dry.
Have your payment ready to go for the moving company if you are using one.
You can pack the majority of your household items at this point, making sure to leave anything that it necessary to survive the next few days. Check out Porta-Stor’s other blogs for help with the packing process, such as how to safely pack your fragile dishes, and how to move your clothes.
Double check that everything is packed and labeled well for when the movers and or truck arrive.
Day Before the Move
Remember that suitcase you packed with extra clothes? This is a good time to pack your other daily essentials like toiletries in case you don’t get around to unpacking everything you need right away. Move the suitcases into your car.
Get enough cash to hold you over. Cash might come in handy to ensure that you can pay for necessities that come up, and in case you order pizza or take-out the first night you are in your new home.
Day of the Move
If you decided to hire movers, verify that the moving company that shows up is the company that you hired. Be present when the movers arrive, so you can do a walkthrough of the home and let them know what items you want packed first and how you would like them to be packed.
Once the truck or storage container is packed, glance through the truck and take a final inventory of your belongings before the movers or container pulls away.
Do one final walkthrough of the home with nothing in it. Make sure all doors and windows are locked, the thermostat is off, and no lights have been left on.
There are other things you may need to do that are specific to your situation, but we hope that this list gives you a good place to start and helps you get ready for an exciting new adventure in your new home! If you want to read more moving tips, check out Porta-Stor’s blogs on how to avoid the most common moving injuries and mistakes.