The Ultimate Moving Guide

In this guide, you will find an 8-week outline to make your moving experience as smooth as possible. I know you don’t always have 8 weeks, but you can always start as soon as possible. I am also including my top-secret ways of packing boxes for the most efficient moving and storing of your belongings. Good luck and all the best!
 

8 Weeks Out

 
So, you’re 8 weeks out! Close, but not too close. It’s important for you to start planning ahead for every aspect of your move. The good news? We’ve got you covered. We’re not going to lie, there’s a lot to do to prepare. Yet, you’ll be thankful you started early and had this epic moving checklist to ensure you stay on top of your to-do list.
 
 
  • Create a “moving” file or folder on Google Drive to store quotes, receipts, and records related to your move. For example, how much is Dan the mover quoting you? Was that price for 10 or 15 boxes? You’re not going to be able to remember all of the details. So throw them in a document for easy reference.
  • Schedule in-home estimates with an insured moving company. Make sure you hire someone you feel you can trust, asking your friends and family for referrals is a great idea!
  • Create a realistic budget for moving expenses. We know you want to hire professional movers, but that new sectional and that wine fridge, but priorities, right?
  • Read over documents from your movers before signing anything. Don’t let contracts intimidate you by learning about the documents you’ll be receiving ahead of time. We can’t emphasize enough how important this is.
  • Request time off work for moving day. If you can, plan to take off and move on a Friday. That gives you the rest of the weekend to get yourself organized. Nice tip, right?
  • Plan a garage sale. Then, donate anything left that you couldn’t sell.
  • Plan how to move fragile or unusual items, such as guns, pianos, fine art, pool tables, or safes. The list goes on and on. The movers you hire may not be qualified to move some larger (or more expensive) items, so you may need to hire a specialty mover to do the job. Make sure you’re aware of exactly what the movers you hired will and will not move.
  • Confirm that your moving company is licensed and insured by verifying their Department of Transportation number (also referred to as a DOT number).

6 Weeks Out

 
When you’re six weeks out from a move, it’s important to make sure you’re getting all your ducks in a row. If you’re moving out of town, you’ll need to do things like spend time with family and friends. Then of course, you need to begin to organize your belonging (and life in general). There are dozens of tasks that must be addressed during this time, so keep reading our epic moving checklist to discover all you need to do. Don’t worry, six weeks is plenty of time to get it all done.
 
 
  • Make time for friends and relatives before moving day. Squeeze in a few last memories is your current home by throwing a simple dinner party. It doesn’t have to be elaborate to do the trick.
  • Collect free boxes from restaurants liquor, grocery, and office supply stores. You can also pay a visit to your local bookstore. They have more boxes than they know what to do with and will be more than happy to hand them over for free.
  • Take photos of all electronics before unplugging them. This will help jog your memory when you’re reconnecting things such as your TV and stereo.
  • Put all your hardware in labeled baggies for easy furniture reassembly.
  • If you’re moving into an apartment, find out if there are any moving day requirements.
  • Address minor home repairs before moving out. If you live in an apartment, this might be the difference between getting your security deposit back, or not.
  • Measure doorways, stairways, and elevators to make sure all your furniture will fit. Measure twice – move once!
  • Last but not least for this section, pack a little every day. You don’t want to find yourself packing all of your belongings the night before.

4 Weeks Out

 
Four weeks out – you’ve officially hit the one-month mark! Now’s the time to start gathering important documents that you’ll need to bring with you to your new place. You should also start doing things like selling and donating items. It will be a lot easier to complete items on your moving checklist when you’re not bogged down in possession that you neither want nor need.
 
 
  • Confirm parking options for your moving truck – you may need a permit for moving day.
  • Use or donate items that you can’t pack or sell, such as frozen foods, bleach, and aerosol cans.
  • Gather all financial and legal records in one place.
  • Gather birth certificates and passports for everyone in your home. Then, carry important documents on your person during your move.
  • Find a landscaper and snow removal service in your new neighborhood.
  • Pick up clothes from the dry cleaner.
  • Compile medical, dental, and optical records for everyone in your home.
  • If you’re moving out of town, find a new doctor, dentist, and vet in your new neighborhood.
  • Update your voter registration!
  • If you’re moving long-distance, plan your route and book hotels.
  • Shop around for cable, internet, and phone bundles. Then, schedule the installation and/or cancel your old services.
  • Make sure your pets have ID tags for their collars.
  • Request copies of vet records and get any necessary pet medication.
  • If you’re moving out of the country, make sure your pets have all necessary vaccinations.
  • Make a moving day playlist to enjoy while moving and unpacking.

2 Weeks Out

 
The big day is almost here! You’re two weeks away from moving and it’s time to update your accounts and records for your new place and address. You also want to take these two weeks before your move to plan ahead packing, meals, medication, pets, and children. Moving day is a BUSY one. Make sure to have everything on your moving list checked off for this two-week point. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did!
 
 
  • Create a moving file to organize your moving-related receipts and bills. You’ll want to keep a list of moving-related expenses to claim as a deduction at tax time.
  • Recycle or dispose of corrosives, flammables, and poisonous items. Make sure you’re disposing of toxic items properly.
  • Back up your computer. If something goes awry during your move, you’ll be thankful you have everything saved in an alternate place.
  • Set up trash removal and recycling for your new home, and cancel your current service.
  • Remove light bulbs from all lamps you plan to move.
  • Moving far? Clean out your safe deposit box and any lockers you might have at a gym or community center.
  • Fill out your prescriptions.
  • To keep little ones safe during a move, line up a babysitter or make arrangements for a play date.
  • Find somewhere safe for pets to go during your move. Look into doggy daycare or ask a friend to watch them for a day – who wouldn’t love to dog sit Fido, Fluffy or Muffin?
  • Send out a moving announcement. There are plenty of creative ways to share your new address.
  • Change your address with loan providers, credit cards, banks, and the payroll department at work. Also, remember to order new checks.
  • Forward your mail.
  • Change address for Social Security benefits within 10 days of moving. Notify government offices, including the Social Security Administration,
  • Department of Veterans Affairs, and the IRS.
  • Transfer your homeowner's or renters' insurance to your new home. Here’s what happens to your homeowner's insurance policy when you move.
  • Cancel or transfer your membership at the gym, yoga studio, Crossfit facility, etc.
  • Update your address for newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
  • Transfer your utilities including water, electric, and natural gas.
  • Update your driver’s license.
  • Update your address with Amazon and any monthly subscription boxes you receive.
  • Change your address for your auto insurance and car registration.
  • Clean outdoor furniture before it's moved.
  • Transfer your prescriptions to a new pharmacy, if necessary.

Moving Week

 
The week has come! It’s time to make sure you organize your belongings, finish packing, and clean your old home. Make sure everything’s squared away early. It’ll allow for a stress-free moving day – and who wouldn’t want that?
 
 
  • Make sure you canceled and/or redirected scheduled deliveries. Remember that pair of shoes that was on backorder?
  • Clean your current home for the next resident.
  • Unplug your fridge and freezer to defrost the night before. Make sure you lay a towel in front of it to absorb any water that leaks.
  • Drain water hoses to your washing machine and ice maker.
  • Empty oil and gas from grills, heaters, lawn mowers, and snow blowers.
  • Make sure nothing is hiding on shelves or in closet corners.
  • Watch the weather channel and prepare for rain or snow.
  • Pack an essentials box with everything you’ll need for your first 24 hours in your new home.
  • Withdraw cash to tip your movers.
  • Clean your new place. A lot of times, the previous homeowners are only required to sweep their house or apartment. Don’t you want your new place to be in tip-top shape and sparkling from head to toe?

Moving Day

 
Moving day is here! All your moving prep has led you to this very moment. You’ve checked off almost 100 items on this moving checklist to get you to this point. On the day of your move, make sure you get an early start. Start the day off right and get moving. The earlier you move in, the more time you will have to start unpacking and settling into your new home.
 
 
  • Rise and shine! Set an alarm and get up early on moving day.
  • Protect your floors and carpets during the move.
  • They’ve worked hard for you all day, so tip your movers.
  • Make your bed and unpack your shower curtain and toiletries. This makes a nap and a shower so much easier.
  • Go grocery shopping. At this point, you’ve eaten enough takeout. Having food in the house will also prevent you from unnecessary spending.

Make Boxing a Breeze

 
The moving process is only as difficult as you make it out to be. If you’re hangry and disorganized the whole time, you’ll come away from the move having lost some really important things like your mind, your time, and your grandmother’s china. Thankfully, it turns out that being one of those hyper-organized people who have it all together is really, really simple. An organized move comes down to having organized moving boxes. Labeling what’s in each one is a good start (“cups and glassware,” “Katie’s toys”). Then, follow this 1-2-3 plan to keep everything in order!
 
 

Give Each Box a Number

 
Number all your moving boxes individually, especially if you personally won’t be moving them (1 of 15, 2 of 15… etc.). This way, it’s easy to see if a box got lost in transit well before it’s time to unpack.
 

Make an Inventory

 
Pack room by room, and every time you put something into a box make a note in a designated notebook of what it is and the box number. You don’t have to make this complicated, just quickly take a note and keep moving on. It can be as easy as “silverware” or “master bathroom towels”. If there is more than one type of thing in the box (silverware, baking sheets, hand towels) that is ok! Just make sure you make a note of everything.
 

Give Each Room a Color

 
Grab a pack of colored packing tape, and dedicate each color to a different room. Yellow for the kitchen, purple for the bedroom, etc. Color-code the boxes for each room with a big mark in the designated color so that movers (or your really generous friends) know exactly where to drop each box. This also allows for easy box finding if you’re having to store your boxes for a while!


 
 

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