The Most Epic Moving Checklist in the History of Moving

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Let’s face it, moving is stressful. That’s why we’ve created an epic moving checklist to help you stay on track. With some direction and this 8-week printable moving checklist for your upcoming move, you’ll be sure to have everything done between now and the big day, leaving you plenty of time to celebrate.

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8 weeks before you move checklist:

It’s important for you to plan for every aspect of your move. The good news? We’ve got you covered. We won’t 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.

1. Create a digital “moving” folder on Google Drive or Dropbox.
Take pictures with your phone of quotes, receipts, and records related to your move and store them in an online storage system such as Google Drive or Dropbox. You’re not going to be able to remember all of the details, so throw them in a document for easy reference.

2. Schedule in-home estimates with a moving company.
Get at least three estimates, if you can. If you’re doing a DIY move, check out our free discount with Penske.

3. Create a budget for moving expenses.
We know you want to hire professional movers, buy that new sectional and wine fridge, but priorities, right?

4. Read over documents from your movers before signing anything.
Learn about the documents you’ll be receiving ahead of time to avoid getting intimidated by contracts. We can’t emphasize enough how important this is, there’s a reason it’s #4 on our list.

5. 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?

6. Choose a school for your kids. 
Need a little help in the research department? Great Schools can help you choose the best school in your area. 

7. Request transcripts for your kids from their current school for their new school.
Regardless of how far you are moving, the new school your child attends will need these. Arrive prepared so your kid(s) don’t get left behind.

8.  Plan and host a yard/garage sale.
Then, donate anything left that you couldn’t sell.

9. Plan how to move fragile or unusual items, such as guns, pianos, fine art, pool tables, safes, etc.
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. Make sure you’re aware of exactly what the movers you hired will and will not move.

10. Confirm your moving company is licensed and insured by verifying their Department of Transportation number (also referred to as a DOT number).
You have enough to think about when moving, make sure worrying about whether your belongings are safe isn’t one of them.

 

6 weeks before you move checklist:

When you’re six weeks out from a move, 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 belongings (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.

11. Make time for friends and relatives before moving day.
Squeeze in a few last memories at your current home by throwing a simple dinner party. It doesn’t have to be elaborate to do the trick.

12. Collect free boxes from restaurants, liquor, grocery, office supply stores, or local bookstores.
Most have more boxes than they know what to do with and will be more than happy to hand them over for free. Here’s a list of the top 20 places to find free boxes and, if you can’t locate any, UsedCardboardBoxes.com sells lightly-used, eco-friendly box kits for as low as $38 (free shipping).

13. Research packing hacks to make moving day easier.

14. Label your moving boxes using different colored stickers/tape for each room.
Once you arrive at your new home, this will make unpacking so much easier.

15. Create an inventory sheet of your valuables before they go on the moving truck.
Keep a private list of which boxes you packed your valuables in.

16. Mark moving boxes that are fragile.
You don’t want textbooks stacked on top of your grandmother’s china.

17. 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.  

18. Put all your hardware in labeled baggies for easy furniture reassembly.

19. Gather socks, t-shirts, towels, and linens to use as free packing supplies.

20. If you’re moving into an apartment, find out if there are any moving day requirements.

21. 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.

22. If you’re moving cross country, have your vehicles serviced.
The last thing you want is to deal with a breakdown mid-move!

23. If your move requires shipping your car, don’t leave anything in it!
Spare tires and jacks might go missing.

24. Measure doorways, stairways, and elevators to make sure all your furniture will fit.
Measure twice — move once!

25. Research your new community for points of interest.
Find your new favorite hangout spot or restaurant! Yelp and Foursquare are great places to start.

26. Last but not least for this section, pack a little every day.
You don’t want to find yourself packing all of your belongings at the last minute.

 

4 weeks before you move checklist:

Four weeks out — you’ve officially hit the one-month mark! Start gathering the important documents you’ll need to bring with you to your new place. Now is the time to also start selling and donating items. It will be a lot easier to complete items on your moving checklist when you aren’t bogged down by possessions you aren’t taking with you.

27. Purchase moving insurance to cover all your belongings during the move.

28. Confirm parking options for your moving truck.
You may need a parking permit for moving day. If you’re planning a DIY move, you’ll want to look into the cost of renting a moving truck. Request a Penske truck rental quote for estimates on pricing.

29. Use or donate items that you can’t pack or sell, such as frozen foods, bleach, and aerosol cans.

30. Gather all financial, legal, and medical (includes dental and optical) records in one place.

31. Gather birth certificates and passports for everyone in your home.
Then, carry important documents on your person during your move.

32. Notify your homeowners or renters insurance company of your upcoming move to your new home.
With regards to your insurance, the most important thing to do before your move is contact your insurance agent/company to discuss your upcoming move date, coverage, and insurance plan.

33. Find cable and internet providers who serve your new address, order service, and schedule your installation appointment.
Don’t delay on this because slots fill up fast!

34. Don’t forget any of your clothes at the dry cleaner.

35. If you’re moving out of town, find a new doctor, dentist, and vet in your new neighborhood.

36. Update your voter registration!

37. If you’re moving long distance, plan your route and book hotels.

38. Make sure your pets have ID tags for their collars.

39. 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 the necessary vaccinations.

40. Make a moving day playlist to enjoy while moving and unpacking.

 

2 weeks before you move checklist:

You’re two weeks away from moving, and the big day is almost here! Start updating your accounts and records with your new 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 by this two-week point. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did!

41. Create a moving file to organize your move-related printed receipts and bills.
In addition, to your digital “moving” folder, you’ll want to keep a file of moving-related expenses and check with the IRS to see if you can deduct your moving expenses on your tax return.

42. Recycle or dispose of corrosives, flammables, and poisonous items.
Make sure you’re disposing of toxic items properly.

43. Prep two-weeks worth of meals and use everything in the freezer.
Check out some great meal prep ideas!

44. Return borrowed items from neighbors, family, and friends.

45. Back up your computer. 
If something goes awry during your move, you’ll be thankful you have everything saved in an alternate place.

46. Set up trash removal and recycling for your new home, and cancel your current service.

47. Remove light bulbs from all lamps you plan to move.

48. Moving far? Clean out your safe deposit box and any lockers you might have at a gym or community center.

49. Cancel or transfer your membership at the gym, yoga studio, CrossFit facility, etc.

50. Fill your prescriptions.

51. Prepare a list of emergency service technicians and preferred providers.
You don’t want to be googling plumbers while your toilet is overflowing in your new home.

52. To keep little ones safe during a move, line up a babysitter or make arrangements for a play date.

53. Find somewhere safe for pets to go during your move. 
Look into doggy daycare or ask a friend to watch them for a day.

54. Send a moving announcement.
There are plenty of creative ways to share your new address.

55. Change your address with loan providers, credit cards, banks, and the payroll department at work.
Also, remember to order new checks.

56. Forward your mail.

57. Change address for Social Security benefits within 10 days of moving.
Make sure to notify government offices, including the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the IRS.

58. Transfer your utilities including water, electric, and natural gas.

59. Update your driver’s license.

60. Update your address with Amazon and any monthly subscription boxes, newspapers, or magazines you receive.

61. Change your address for your auto insurance and car registration.

62. Clean outdoor furniture before it’s moved.

63. Transfer your prescriptions to a new pharmacy, if necessary.

 

The week you move checklist:

The week has come! It’s time to make sure you organize your belongings, finish packing, and clean your old home. Get all of this done as early as possible to allow for a stress-free moving day — who wouldn’t want that?

64. Donate unopened food.
Ask your moving company if they work with Move for Hunger.

65. Make sure you canceled and/or redirected scheduled deliveries.
Remember that pair of shoes that were on backorder? Make sure they get shipped to your new address.

66. Clean your current home for the next resident.

67. 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.

68. Drain water hoses to your washing machine and ice maker.

69. Empty oil and gas from grills, heaters, lawn mowers, and snow blowers.

70. Make sure nothing is hiding on shelves or in closet corners.

71. Prepare for your final walkthrough with your landlord. 
Before conducting a final walk through, fill nail holes using a bar of soap. Check out some DIY tips here.

72. Watch the weather channel and prepare for rain or snow.

73. Pack an essentials box with everything you’ll need for your first 24 hours in your new home.

74. Make a worst-case scenario plan in case your movers run late.

75. Take photographs of your empty place to prove it’s in move-out condition.

76. Withdraw cash to tip your movers.

77. 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 checklist:

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. The earlier you move in, the more time you will have to start unpacking and settling into your new home.

78. Set an alarm and get up early on moving day.

79. Protect your floors and carpets during the move.

80. They’ve worked hard for you all day, so tip your movers.

81. As soon as your movers leave, make your bed and unpack your shower curtain and toiletries.
This makes a nap and a shower so much easier. And let’s face it, it’s the first thing you’ll want to do once you get settled.

82. Get to know your neighbors!

83. Go grocery shopping.
At this point, you’ve eaten enough take out. Having food in the house will also prevent you from unnecessary spending.

84. Don’t have curtains or shades yet? Cover your windows with sheets for privacy for your first night.
This will help you sleep more comfortably — trust us.

85. Thank your real estate agent or broker.
They’re the reason why you’ve moved into your beautiful new home. A simple thank you note goes a long way.

 

Download the full moving checklist PDF!


One week, post-move checklist:

You’re moved in! You’ve checked off almost everything on your moving checklist, but you’re not done yet. Now is the time to start making your new place yours. Unpack, decorate, and have fun personalizing your new home.

86. Leave a detailed review of your experience with your moving company.

87. Post leftover moving boxes or unwanted furniture on Craigslist. Or, give them to someone you know is moving.

88. Clean the carpets in your new home.

89. Sweep your chimney before you use it.

90. Make sure your home’s address is visible from the street.

91.  Install a new home security system.

92. Explore your new neighborhood.
Get out there and visit local shops, supermarkets, libraries, cafés, grocery stores, and restaurants!

93. Send thank you notes to friends and family who helped you move.

 

Two weeks, post-move checklist:

Finally, you’ve made it to the last two checkpoints on this epic moving checklist! Make sure you’ve completely settled in. Now that you’re comfortable, take a night off and call a babysitter!

94. Aim to unpack all your stuff within two weeks of moving in.

95. Last, but not least, make copies of your new keys for the babysitter, nanny, and dog walker.

Phew! We’re out of breath. But congrats, you survived!

We hope that our moving checklist has been the list to end all checklists. Was it helpful? Let us know. And as always, we love feedback. If we missed anything, let us know in the comments section below. Happy moving!


Download the full moving checklist PDF!


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Comments (35)

Truly an epic moving check list.

Additions:
Move Clutter Free by removing unnecessary items
Label your boxes for an easy identification

Thanks

Hmm, quite an alluring topic. Gives valuable information about different modes of auto transport including car transport and various other vehicle transport. Useful for many people. You see I have also been a part of this auto shipping industry. I dealt with all sorts of vehicle shipping including some luxury car shipping. We should all play our part in spreading awareness.

I’m 6months our from my move, and this is great! Going to slowly clear out the house & hopefully have only a lightly stressed move. This page has been bookmarked!

Jeff...you are so funny. Thanks for the laugh!

Okay. Great list, but...

This is NOT how the move really goes. I would edit this to say:

Three weeks before move: Decide to move. Figure out where to move to. Scramble to find a new apartment/home. Start praying that you have enough money to find a place you can afford.
Two weeks before: Start reassessing why you are keeping half of the things you've held on to for 20 years. Don't even think about boxes or packing.
One week before: Find free boxes on Craigslist or pilfer from Trader Joe's. Start feeling stressed. Pull your hair out while trying to get your kids to throw away old fast food toys, meanwhile, don't even think of packing yet. Maybe pack a little. Have a strong drink. Go to sleep. Start over with the stress. Start throwing everything in boxes and hope for something to break now so you don't have to move it. Start eating everything in fridge even if it means making a sandwich with nothing but condiments.
Week of move: More prayers. More yelling. Have a few more drinks. Finish packing or just give away stuff.
Move out/Move in: Get 'er dun. Go to new place. Order takeout. Drink a bottle of wine and pass out. Wake up and say "I will NEVER move again. Let's stay in this place forever."

2 best tips I got
1: have an "open first" box with things like water bottles (just in case the water isn't on yet), toilet paper, hand soap, etc. Keep this box with you and open it as soon as you get to your new place!
2: Set up internet last! Especially if you have people that are less motivated to help move.

This is truly a fantastic resource.

It's Step #65 - Transfer your utilities including water, electric, and natural gas.

I love these tips. Thank you for sharing.

Robert Whittet

Great list! I would also recommend checking smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on move-in day!

the timeline makes me feel inadequate.

Dont forget to update your address for Be The Match, Red Cross etc

WOW!!!!
Thanks for all the info1

awesome sauce!!!! so very thorough, comprehensive and useable.

Your checklist is super helpful. Thank you so much.

Wow this is an excellent list, but you left something out.

Some people use local banks or credit unions which lack a support area in the place which they will be moving to. If this is the case, switching to a local bank for checking and savings accounts is a good idea. Alternatively online banking is also an option. Switching banks is a process which could use another article itself though, so I understand why it isn't addressed here.

Whoa an amazing stuff with sizzling Images, this is what I was looking for.

Your blog is very help for movers. While moving, we have to work with great responsibility. I read your blog and i get the some valuable information on moving. There are so many developers working on this part but this is one of the best innovative post ever. Thanks for such post.

Thank you for this excellent list! I will be moving a very short distance, but I have quite a few house plants and some are large. I have a rubber tree that is taller than me! Any suggestions for how to help my green friends survive their move?

This is the checklist I'm looking for! Thanks!

I always make sure the internet is hooked up too! it is probably the single most important aspect of moving for me.

I am a business owner of moving company, and in my daily business I usually get and provide relocation services to average 5 clients each day. And, I know how important it is to manage the things before relocation from one place to other place.

But I really appreciate your efforts to share this useful knowledge so that general people and business owners as well can take the benefit from these tips. It will be really helpful. Thanks for sharing.

So, while this is a good list, a MAJOR thing that I don't see in ANY of these is setting up utilities, which I think is FAR more important than setting up a yard sale. Will your current services transfer to the new location? If not, what new companies will be in your area? Not only that, but depending on when you move, you need to put this stuff in motion long before you actually move to ensure someone shows up.

For instance, my lease has been up twice during the holidays and needing to make sure that I had internet service so I could continue working was critical. And with most Internet companies, there's the two weeks during christmas where NO ONE is either working or is completely booked, so I needed to make appointments at least a month in advance.

One of the reasons I'm looking for a checklist is to make sure I'm not missing any utilities, but it seems like every checklist is missing these important facts.

There are a lot of different things we can do to ensure that we have a successful move. By preparing ahead of time and creating a good moving checklist, we should be able to do everything that we need to do to ensure that our move is as successful as possible.

Awesome list! Also remember to notify your credit card company(ies). If they see a lot of big expenses, or expenses in an area where you don't live, they can block your card to prevent what they think is fraudulent use.

Wow!! I really appreciate your moving checklist. i got inspired by these tips and really enjoyed reading this tips. Thanks for sharing these tips.

However if you must fly and ship the car rather than drive - Don't leave a single thing in the car: When my folks shipped their car back from Europe, the jack and spare tire were stolen out of the trunk!

Thanks for posting this. Got "inspired" by some points while making my moving checklist for UK. Great work!

Wow .. this is thorough. Should have made them 99 just to bug people.

Wow! This is indeed the mother of all moving checklists I have ever come across! I think this would require at least 3 months to get completed so it really needs patience and hard work. I would however add an additional pointer into the list which is the loading/unloading in a self storage if ever you require this additional step.

This is a really detailed moving checklist! I'd think that even if you're going to follow it before house removals, don't expect it to be a solve all! Everyone's scenario is different from someone else's so just make sure that you do your own checks after you follow this template!

Wow, this list is awesome! I think it's also important to pre-screen and prepare a list of service technicians, such as plumbers, electricians, and mechanics. It's much better to have a good company lined up before an emergency happens. Getting stuck with the first person to answer his or her phone on the day of the emergency can lead you down a rabbit hole to disaster.

Thank you for all of this detailed information. It helps to keep everything organized. Moving is already overwhelming, it's hard to remember every little detail.

WOW So big list. I am so glad that I have found it. I am traveling to Greece next month. I am going to use it. Best regards!

Change address for Social Security benefits within 10 days of moving.