The Simple Moving Checklist

Moving can be stressful. Packing up your whole home is never easy. And you’re always bound to forget something.

So in this post, we’ll give you a simple guide to put your mind at ease. Just follow each step and you’ll be fully prepared for your upcoming move.

1. Make Arrangements for Moving Day

The first step to planning a successful move is setting the date. If your current lease is expiring or your house is being foreclosed, this might be an easy choice.

Once you have a moving day set, make arrangements for who will help. You can hire professional movers or ask friends and family. Either way, you’ll want to notify them as soon as possible with the time and location so they can mark it on their calendars. 

Make sure you free your schedule, too, by getting work off if you need to.

2. Start Getting Rid of Things

There’s no point in moving things you don’t want. So start going through your house to get rid of things. 

For clothing items, consider the last time you wore that shirt or those pants. A good rule of thumb is to toss any clothes you haven’t worn in over a year.

Donate unwanted items or try selling them on online platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Have a garage sale.

Go through your food supply, especially perishables. Clear your fridge and pantry. Try to minimize the amount of food left on moving day. That way, you don’t have to move as much and you avoid perishables going bad during the move. 

3. Get Moving Supplies

You need lots of boxes and packaging tape to pack. So get them ahead of time. Check a local warehouse or store for used and extra cardboard boxes that you can have for free.

Start saving up old newspapers, so you have something with which to wrap and cushion delicate items. And make sure you have some permanent markers for labeling boxes. This will make unpacking at the new house much easier.

4. Start Sorting

You can start preparing for the move by sorting your belongings. Put misplaced items where they belong and keep rooms orderly.

You can even start packing things you won’t be needing again until after you move. This way, you create less work for yourself later and you’re off to a head start.

5. Print a Floor Plan of Your New Home

To streamline the move, get a floorplan of your new home so you can mark where all the furniture will go. Measure the room sizes first, so you know what furniture will fit where. Think about the size of the doorways, too.

This way, you’re not deciding where to put a heavy couch as someone’s struggling to hold it up. Instead, they’ll know exactly where to go and you don’t waste any time deliberating. 

6. Pack Everything Into Boxes

Now it’s time to pack. The more you can put into boxes, the better. They’re much more manageable than a house full of loose items and easier to stack and transport.

Label each box with its contents and the new room it will go to. If it’s a bedroom, you can include the person’s name. This way, each box has a specific destination. 

Also, make sure to mark boxes that contain fragile items so that people know to handle them with care. And keep valuable items in a separate lockbox. This will help prevent them from getting lost or stolen. 

Finally, pack an essentials bag. This can include things like toiletries, medications, phone chargers, pajamas, and a change of clothes. Then they’re always accessible and you don’t have to scramble to find them later among all the boxes. 

7. Make an Inventory

Once everything is packed, go through and make an inventory. Number each box and list it on your phone or on a piece of paper. 

You want a complete record of what’s being moved so you can account for everything when you’re in the new house. This way, you’ll know if anything is missing or not. Plus, it’s nice to make a record of all your belongings on occasion to keep track of your stuff.

8. Update Your Address

Have your mail forwarded to your new address by informing the USPS. You can do this by filling out a form at the post office or online

You want to change your address ahead of time to minimize the amount of mail sent to your old house after you’ve left. Tell your neighbors to keep an eye out for any straggling mail as well.

Also, remember to update your mailing address with important institutions like banks, credit cards, schools, employers, and so on. This not only helps redirect mail but will avoid identity verification issues with your accounts.

9. Coordinate Your Utilities

Most utilities can be shut off in as little as 48 hours, but you’ll want to give utility companies plenty of notice, so they can do it at just the right time. After all, you’ll probably still need electricity, water, and heat on the day of your move. But you don’t want to be paying for them once you’ve left either. 

So notify cable, gas, electricity, water, and garbage agencies of exactly when you want these utilities shut off. 

10. Defrost the Freezer and Fridge

This step is easy to forget but important. If they’re coming with you, defrost your freezer and fridge 24 hours before moving. This gets rid of any frost or ice build-up and allows oils and fluids to settle. If you don’t, these could get into the fridge and freezer’s compressors during the move and damage them.

11. Have Fun Moving

On the day of the move, get off to a good start by getting up early, dressing in comfortable clothes, and having a good breakfast. 

Set aside your essentials and valuables, so they don’t accidentally get moved in the fray. You’ll also want to clear the pathways in your house of any obstacles so movers can carry boxes safely and so nobody gets hurt. Keep children out of the way as much as possible. 

Take pictures of any electronics before unplugging them so you’ll know how to set them up in your new home. And remember to give everyone directions to the new house.

Lastly, try making the move fun for everyone by putting on some music and having food and snacks available and plenty of water. Moving doesn’t have to be a total strain.

12. Clean Your Empty House

Once your house is empty, give it a thorough clean and make any minor repairs if necessary. If you don’t have time to clean, consider hiring a professional house cleaner. 

13. Do a Final Check

Run through every room of the house one last time before leaving. Make sure all lights are turned off, the windows are locked, and no water is running. 

Check that everything is clean and empty. You shouldn’t leave any pictures on the walls or trash in the corners. 

Finally, remember to hand over any keys, including those for the front door, garage, and mailbox. 

Now your new adventure can begin! Say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. If you feel like you forgot something, look back through this list one more time to double-check.