Moving Check List
8 weeks before your move
- Schedule an in-home moving quote (if you’re not moving yourself)
- Do a complete home inventory: What stays and what goes?
- Begin packing items from basements, sheds and attics
- Start or complete a move out checklist of repairs, replacements and cleanup required by buyers or inspectors
- Take a farewell family picture of your house before the move
6 weeks before
- Donate items to charities
- Plan a garage sale
- Get copies of school and medical records
- Label all audio, video and computer cables and take pictures for easy reassembly
- Continue packing, going room by room
4 weeks before
- File your change of address with the U.S. Postal Service
- Make arrangements for transporting plants and pets
- Contact utility providers and insurance companies
- If you’re self-packing, gather supplies and pack items you won’t need right away in your new home
- Collect items you’ve lent to friends and family
2 weeks before
- Collect important documents that will travel with you, instead of in moving boxes:
- Birth certificates
- Marriage licenses
- Automobile titles and registrations
- Insurance papers
- Bank records
- Medical records
- School records
- Veterinary records
- Sketch a layout of your new home to show movers (or yourself) where to place heavy items, so you won’t have to rearrange them later
1 week before
- Settle all outstanding accounts with local businesses
- Set aside items you’re taking with you, like:
- Cell phones and chargers
- Prescription medicine
- Car keys
- Travel clothing and toiletries
- Collect items you’ve hidden, like spare house or car keys
- Get medications refilled
- Pack an “Open Me First” box with essentials like:
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Light bulbs
- Exchange cell phone numbers with your movers and current neighbors
- Sweep, mop, wipe-down and clean your current home as necessary according to your move out checklist
- Empty and defrost the fridge
- Leave garage door openers and keys for the next owner
- Make sure someone is available to direct movers and answer questions
- Double-check all mover documentation like “bills of lading” and inventory lists
Things to Consider When Choosing a Moving Date
You can’t always choose your own moving date. For instance, if you’re a seller, the buyers of your current home may not have flexibility and have requested a specific date. Perhaps you’re looking to relocate because of a new job and there is a specific timeline offering little flexibility to choose when you move. However, when you are in the position to choose a moving day, there are some good moving tips to follow.
1. Flexibility helps
When you’re looking to relocate, flexibility can often lead to a more affordable move. For example, if you’re shipping items and can handle a delivery window, instead of a guaranteed delivery date, you will spend less. While you may prefer to move on the weekend, being flexible with your preference and instead moving outside of your moving company’s peak times may be cheaper and have higher availability.
2. School schedule
It’s useful to accept this fact: moving will be somewhat disruptive to kids’ schedules. For that reason summer is one of the most common seasons to relocate for families. This may be true, however there is a downside to moving in summer: most moving companies are booked or have low availability. Holiday weekends present the same opportunity and the same conundrum: the kids are out of school, but mover availability is low and friends and family volunteers are busy (there are even things to consider like local road closings for events and parades, which can make moving difficult). One of the best moving tips to consider: if you accept that there is really no “perfect” time to move with kids, it leaves you free to choose dates based on other factors like price and overall convenience.
3. Availability of volunteers
Poll your friends and family about their windows of availability to help you move. Having volunteers also presents an upside to the challenges of moving with kids: you might want to choose a moving date when friends or family are available to babysit or even host the kids overnight.
4. Work schedule
If your job has cycles during which it is more or less busy, you may be able to schedule your move around them.This can be advantageous to teachers, making a case for moving during the summer. Unused vacation days also make a case for summer/fall moves.
5. Mover availability
If you’re hiring professional movers and have the flexibility of choosinga moving date, ask them about dates that offer the most availability, and if there are cost variations. What’s the best deal?
Moving Tip #1: Finish packing
Perhaps you’ve chosen to self-pack. While you may be fine with last-minute packing, your friends, family and your moving company may have other events and responsibilities planned for the same day. Maximize your time and theirs by having everything ready to go. Also watch out for items that don’t need packing, but can’t be moved without some preparation. Examples include defrosting the fridge and unplugging and detaching cables from TVs, DVRs, stereo systems and computers. Also make sure to disassemble large furniture that won’t otherwise fit through doors.
Moving Tip #2: Hire or recruit a babysitter
Now that you’re moving, hopefully your friends and family are asking how they can help. What about asking them to babysit? You’ll get a lot more done in less time, your moving company can get in and out more easily, and everyone will be less stressed. Grandparents will jump at the chance to spend time with your kids, and will appreciate the opportunity to feel useful, especially if they’re not comfortable lifting heavy furniture.
Moving Tip #3: Hire or recruit a pet-sitter
For example, if your dog tends to get in the way at the worst times, it may help to have someone take him or her for a long walk or to the park to play fetch during the busiest parts of your moving day.
Moving Tip #4: Make sure the new house is actually ready for you to move in
You can’t guarantee what state your new house was left in by most sellers. It’s a good idea to tour the new house between closing and moving to ensure any repairs or other conditions you’ve agreed upon have been taken care of, and that all the seller’s belongings have been moved out. Some homeowners even use the time between closing and moving for an initial cleaning of bathrooms, floors, walls, windows, and doors.
Moving Tip #5: Make sure all of your belongings will fit
This is another reason to visit the new house before actually moving in. Before closing, you may not have a chance to walk through the house room by room with a tape measure. Moving day would be the worst time to realize a couch, pool table, or bed frame can’t get through the door, or won’t fit altogether.
Moving Tip #6: Plan around vacations, events, and traffic
When planning your moving day, consider days when the majority of friends, family, and your moving company are available to help. You may also want to consider any events or parking rules making street access to your new home difficult. Drive by your new home to check parking availability and get an eye for local traffic. New neighbors may give you advice as well.
Moving Tip #7: Plan for the weather
If it’s going to be hot, have lots of refreshments on hand for yourself, friends, and family, even for your movers. If it looks like rain or snow, mark boxes of belongings that are especially sensitive to water damage and also bring paper or plastic to protect your floors (your professional movers should do this for you).
Many people rate moving as one of the most stressful life events. A lot of that stress can be reduced if you follow moving tips like these, making the process feel more like a necessary step in the otherwise exciting journey toward new home ownership.
Things That Can Delay A Move
1. Packing takes longer than anticipated.
When they relocate, many individuals and families focus on big items—like furniture—and essentials like clothing and kitchen supplies. What often surprises them are items that don’t fit an obvious category, like the sometimes random objects people store in the garage or on laundry room shelves. Taking a thorough inventory of every corner of every room is one of the top moving tips. And when you do, try to picture the mismatched items in volume rather than categories: how many boxes will it take to pull them together when you relocate?
2. You forgot about cleaning.
The expectation after closing is that each party moves into a clean house. The rooms don’t have to sparkle, but they shouldn’t include any debris, cobwebs, or new stains on carpets or walls that were not visible during showings. Sometimes it’s only after moving furniture out of the way that hidden messes emerge, and you’ll want to find out sooner rather than later if professional cleaning will be required. You may want to make furniture a first step in your moving process: move all large items into one or two rooms to assess any hidden surprises in advance. As for your new house, there’s really no way to know what kind of mess was left for you until the final walkthrough, which may occur on the same day as your closing. Leave extra time for cleaning your new home, as well.
3. You ran out of packing supplies.
Buy or collect extra boxes, packing tape, markers and labels. There’s never a lack of customers for your leftover containers in the classifieds after you relocate.
4. The weather, or traffic, turned bad.
You can anticipate moving in the heat based on the season, but moving in the rain is usually a surprise. Have extra supplies on hand like bottled water for the heat or extra plastic bags for the rain. As for traffic, plot out your routes in advance, taking into account road closings, which are to be expected if you’re moving on a holiday weekend.
5. There are crossed signals with the mover.
Make sure you and your mover have agreed upon dates and times for pickup and delivery. It’s the homeowner’s or renter’s responsibility to confirm a time, and the mover’s to be there at that time.
Moving on Holidays
1. Friends and family may be busy
If you’re looking for help on moving day, and plan to move on a holiday or holiday weekend, you may want to ask friends or family well in advance. Many will have plans that don’t involve hauling heavy objects, especially during warm weather holidays. One of the most important moving tips will be to ask early, before people make plans. If you do recruit friends and family to help you move, consider ordering food and hosting a combined holiday/thank you party.
2. Movers may be unavailable, booked or busy
With high demand, many moving companies are booked on holidays. The spring/summer season is also a period of low availability so you’ll want to check with your moving provider and schedule far in advance on any holiday.
3. Many stores are closed on holidays
Moving day often brings with it a need for last-minute supplies. If moving yourself, stock up for every possible contingency including extra tape, extra boxes, snacks, bottled water, garbage bags, packing paper and furniture pads. Professional moving companies will have all of this on move day.
4. Roads may be closed
Plan your route in anticipation of road closures for parades and other events. Roads in some states may have travel restrictions for heavy loads. Check with your moving company, they will be able to share these kinds of traffic-related moving tips with you in advance.
5. Watch out for drunk drivers
It’s a sad reality, but the incidents of drunk driving and the risk of accidents goes up every holiday. Plan to get your move done earlier in the day if possible.
6. Hotels may be booked
If you had planned on staying in a hotel on the night before your move, book your room well in advance.
What To Do With Your Pet During a Move
Your pet should be kept on a leash or in a carrier when outside your car. Always have an ID tag with the animals name, your name, your destination address and a phone number. Check with your pet’s veterinarian to see if a mild sedative is recommended for the move. If you must leave your pet in the car, park in the shade, and make sure there is enough air circulating around your pet. The temperature in a closed vehicle can reach 175 degrees very quickly.
If your pet becomes overheated (rapid and heavy panting, thick saliva, a blue tongue, vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, and collapsing) take it to an air-conditioned area, place it in a shallow tub of cool water, or rub it down with cool wet towels. We recommend bringing water from your old residence for your pet. A change in water can upset its digestive system. If you are traveling a long distance, remember to get your pets shots updated, get copies of its veterinary records, and follow the veterinarians recommendations for a pleasant and safe trip with Fluffy or Fido.