The Most Epic Moving Checklist in the History of Moving
Let’s face it: Moving is stressful. That’s why we’ve created an epic moving checklist to help you stay on track.
This printable, 8-week moving checklist contains everything you must do before, during, and after the big day. Using this guide, you can make your move a stress-free affair — leaving you with more time to celebrate.
Before moving day
Planning every detail of your move weeks ahead of schedule is critical.
Many tasks need to be done, so it can get overwhelming. But this checklist is extensive. If things seem to get out of hand, you can use this checklist as your reference to get back on track.
The earlier you start, the less stressful the moving process will become.
8 weeks before moving day
You can begin preparations as early as 8 weeks before your move date.
1. Create a digital folder for moving day
You want to store all files that have to do with your move in one folder to keep them organized and accessible. While the folder can be stored locally, it’s best practice to save a backup online. Google Drive, Dropbox, or a similar file hosting service will help.
Fill this folder with photos of quotes, receipts, and other documents as you progress.
2. Get an estimate from a moving company
Find at least three moving companies and get an estimate from each one. See which of them offer services that are within your budget. It’s also good to check if they are licensed and insured.
Those who plan on doing it themselves can start researching how much it costs to rent a moving van and other related expenses.
3. Set a budget for moving expenses
List down all your incoming expenses and set aside some cash as soon as possible. Having money on hand will mean one less thing to worry about when it’s finally time to relocate. If you’re moving for work, ask if your company will cover part or all of the expenses.
4. Review documents from the moving company
The moving company will send documents for review, which include terms and conditions for its services. Find time to review these documents before signing and sending them back. This ensures you’re not caught off guard on the day of the move.
If you have questions about the process, this would be a good time to ask.
5. Assess your new place
After securing a moving company, you can do the additional step of going to your new place and figuring out the logistics of the move.
What streets should the movers take? Where can they park when they get there? Is there heavy traffic in the area that can affect the move? Is there a service elevator they can take if you’re moving to an apartment or condominium that’s several stories high? Are there moving requirements in your new place?
These are some questions you should ask yourself before attempting to move in.
6. Request time off from work
File a request for time off for the day of the move if you’re doing it on a weekday. If necessary, file for time off a day before or after. The earlier you file, the more likely you will have your request granted.
7. Find a school for the kids
If you have kids, you should start researching schools in the neighborhood. Resources like Great Schools can help you find a suitable school in a specific area.
You can also use this time to request transcripts for your kids from their current school. Submitting all the requirements to the new school ensures you settle everything long before the kids start their first day.
8. Get rid of stuff you won’t be bringing with you
When you declutter before moving, estimating just how much stuff you’ll have to pack and where they’ll go when they get to their new home becomes easier.
Give away or sell items that won’t be making the trip. Better yet, donate them to a local charity or shelter.
9. Separate items that the movers won’t handle
You might not want to leave expensive, sensitive, or fragile items in the hands of the moving company. You can separate items like guns, fine art, safes, and similar items, so they don’t get lumped with all your other belongings.
At the very least, you’ll want to make a mental note of which items you’ll be personally bringing to your new place.
10. Talk with your landlord
Those who are renting will need to talk to their landlord. In most cases, it’s required for a tenant to give notice before moving to a new place. Settle any debt you may have to get it out of the way.
6 weeks before moving day
6 weeks before the big day, you’ll need to finalize some details. This is also an excellent time to let friends and family know your plans. If you aren’t seeing them for a while, you’d want to schedule a get-together to spend some time together.
If you’re asking friends and family to help you with the move, you should do so in advance so they can add the day to their calendars.
11. Talk to family and friends about the move
Keeping close friends and family in the loop about the move is important. If you’re moving with kids, you should give them a head’s up and tell them what to expect on the day.
This is also an excellent opportunity to spend time with them; especially with those you might not see in a long time.
12. Ask friends and family for help
If you’re asking anyone for help during the move, you should ask them at least 7 weeks in advance. You’ll want to ask them early so they can block the date in their calendars.
13. Book a moving van
You also want to book a moving van this far in advance. Research rental options to find a service that meets your needs and budget.
If you’re going to need a temporary storage solution as you move things around, this is when you’ll want to look into it.
14. Collect free boxes
You can buy boxes to store your belongings — or you can save money by recycling used containers from the neighborhood. In addition, restaurants, liquor stores, groceries, office supply stores, and other local businesses should have free boxes to spare.
And if you can’t find any, there are online stores like Used Cardboard Boxes that sell slightly used, eco-friendly moving box kits.
15. Research packing hacks
Carelessly shoving items in a box will only get you so far. There are far more efficient ways of packing your belongings. Do a quick search online of how you can maximize your packing.
Not only will this make your life easier, but you’ll also save on boxes as you’ll likely need less of them.
16. Label your boxes
One of the best ways to keep yourself organized is to label all your boxes by the room they belong. You don’t want to fill a box with items that don’t go together. For example, all kitchen appliances should go together.
It would be better if the boxes were color-coded in some way. That way, you’ll know where boxes should go as you move them out of the van.
You should also label boxes that contain fragile items. Include directions on how you want movers to lift each box (this side up, handle with care, etc.).
17. Create an inventory of items
It might seem tedious, but listing down every item you’re bringing along will keep you sane during the move. For instance, if an item goes missing, you can confirm whether you packed it or not using your record.
You can even point to which box you placed that item in if you labeled your boxes.
18. Take photos of your wiring setups
Those not particularly tech-savvy might want to take photos of their electronics and how they’re wired together. This will make reattaching cables faster once you set them up in your new place.
You can even label each cable end to know which device and socket they belong to remove all the guesswork.
19. Disassemble your furniture
You can start taking apart furniture you won’t use until after you move. When disassembling furniture, you’ll want to place all the screws and other hardware in one container or plastic bag.
If there are too many pieces, place the pieces that belong together into smaller bags before placing them into a larger one.
You can also take pictures or record videos of the disassembly process for reference later on. That will make reassembly much quicker.
20. Make your travel arrangements
Those traveling by air must make their reservations early on to avoid sold-out flights or expensive tickets. The same goes if you plan on renting a car for the trip. And make sure you have confirmed hotel reservations if it’s a multi-day trip to your destination.
Not only will this give you peace of mind, but you’ll also save money by booking ahead of time. If you’re using your car to travel, ensure that it is serviced beforehand.
21. Make minor home repairs
If you want to get your security deposit back (and who doesn’t?), you should assess your home to see if there are minor repairs that need to be done. This can include minor paint touch-ups or removing nails from the walls.
22. Measure your furniture
Worried about your furniture not fitting through the door? Don’t wait until the last minute to find out. Measure your furniture to see if it will fit.
It’s also a good idea to figure out how to move the furniture out of the house. Some furniture needs to be positioned a certain way to get them through doorways, stairs, and hallways. Again, you should think of this ahead of time.
You might also need to ask someone for help, especially if your furniture is too big to handle alone.
23. Research your new community for points of interest
By familiarizing yourself with your community this early on, you’ll be able to adjust much quicker. You’ll feel like a local when you walk out of your new home.
Research restaurants, parks, malls, and other key establishments in the area. That will make it easier to settle in.
24. Pack items every day
Make sure to pack a few items you don’t need access to every day as you approach moving day. These could include jewelry, wine glasses, books, and other non-essentials.
You might surprise yourself at just how much you were able to pack by the time you’re about to move.
4 weeks before moving day
Expect to do more tasks now that you’re only a month away from moving day.
Now’s the time to take care of all the documents you might need. And if you haven’t disposed of things you won’t be bringing with you, you’ll have to take care of them now.
25. Buy moving insurance
Purchasing moving insurance will help you cover all of your belongings if something gets lost or damaged along the way. This isn’t something you must do but will give you peace of mind.
26. Get rid of perishable items
You’re probably not going to bring perishable items with you. So, schedule a meal plan to eliminate food that could turn bad.
The same can be said about items in your pantry. Canned products are challenging to carry around in bulk. Better to eat them now or donate them to charity.
27. Settle your local memberships
Are you a member of a local club or organization? Then think about canceling your membership to these groups, especially those you need to pay for, like gyms. If you’re no longer using them, you’ll have to settle your membership status.
At the very least, use this opportunity to say goodbye to other members you will not see for a while.
28. Gather all your records
If you haven’t done so yet, gather all financial, legal, and medical records in one place. Secure them in a folder and leave that somewhere you won’t forget.
Place them near your birth certificates and passports so you can grab every important document you have in one go.
29. Notify your insurance company
You’ll want to notify your insurance company of your pending move so an agent can update your records.
30. Find an internet provider
Not having an internet connection is such a pain. So call an internet provider that serves the area where you’re moving and schedule an installation. Slots tend to fill up fast, so you’ll want to act on them immediately.
31. Find a new doctor, dentist, and vet
Are you moving to another city or state? Then you probably want to look for a new doctor and dentist. Or at least narrow down your options to a couple of candidates.
Pet owners should also find a veterinarian in the area to know where to bring their pets in an emergency. Be sure to also bring your pet’s vet record.
32. Plan your route
Moving somewhere far away? Use Google Maps to set your route and make travel fun for everyone. You can even plan your stopovers around landmarks to make the trip memorable.
2 weeks before moving day
You’re almost there. Two weeks might still seem like a lot of time, but there’s still so much to do. Use this time to update all your accounts and records and finalize the details of your upcoming trip.
33. Create a folder for bills and receipts
Aside from having a digital folder to store moving-related documents, you should also create a folder where you can keep receipts and bills that could be tax deductible. You can check with the IRS to see if you can deduct moving expenses from your tax return.
32. Recycle or dispose of flammable, corrosive, and poisonous items
This is very important. If you have corrosive, flammable, or toxic materials, you should learn how to get rid of them safely. You don’t want harmful materials to stay in your old house as you move out.
33. Notify service providers
Let your gardener, housekeeping, and other service providers know you are moving. If you’re moving far away or don’t think you’ll no longer need their services, they need to be informed in advance so they can find new clients.
34. Set up mail forwarding
If you’re still receiving mail through USPS, you should consider mail forwarding. Let USPS know where to send your mail from now on. You can also consider opening a PO box near your new residence if you need more time to settle.
35. Return borrowed items from neighbors, family, and friends
As you clean up your house and put things in boxes, you might notice items that don’t belong to you. In that case, you should return these to their rightful owners before moving out.
36. Find a babysitter
If you have a kid, you might want to arrange for a babysitter to drop by when you reach your new home. You’ll have your hands full while unpacking. So it’s best to have someone else take care of your kid while you unpack your stuff.
It’s even better if you could have a relative drop by to help.
37. Back up your computer
Computers are one of the hardest things to move around because they are sensitive. So before you pack your desktop computer, make sure you back up your files to an external storage device or through the cloud.
38. Take care of plants
Most people don’t take plants with them when they move. If your plants aren’t joining you, you should also find them a new home.
39. Remove light bulbs from lamps
Remember to remove the light bulbs from the lamps you’re about to pack. You don’t want them to break while on the road. Pack them separately and make sure that they’re protected.
40. Update your driver’s license
You can update your driver’s license to reflect your new address with the help of the DMV.
41. Update your address on e-commerce platforms
If you’re done shopping online, make sure that you update your address to show your new one. Update your Amazon—or whatever platform you use—account before you move.
42. Transfer your prescriptions to a new pharmacy.
Have your prescriptions transferred to a pharmacy near your new home, if necessary.
The week of moving day
Finally, it’s time. Now you should organize all your belongings, finish what’s left to be packed, and clean your old home. The earlier in the week you finish all your tasks, the less you have to do on the day of the move.
43. Get rid of leftover food
If there’s still leftover food, now’s the time to get rid of it.
44. Clean your old home
Just because you’re moving out does not mean you can leave the place dirty. Show your old home some love and clean up before you go. You’ll do the next tenant a huge favor.
45. Unplug the fridge
Before the big day, unplug the refrigerator and give it time to defrost if you’re using an older model.
46. Cancel or redirect pending deliveries
If you have deliveries that won’t arrive on time, have them forwarded to your new address.
47. Prepare for a final walkthrough with your landlord
Your landlord will want to see the place before you leave. Make sure your old place is in good condition before the landlord comes. For instance, don’t leave holes in the walls.
48. Check the weather
See what the weather is like on moving day. Make adjustments if needed.
49. Withdraw cash
You might need some money on the day of the move (for handing out tips to your movers, for example). It’s better to be prepared.
50. Clean your new place
If you can, go to your new place and clean it up before moving in.
The day has come. This day should be a breeze if you’ve done most of the items on your checklist. However, it’s essential to wake up early and move as soon as possible.
51. Protect your floors and carpets
Don’t damage the floors as you move things around the house. Learn how to protect your floors.
52. Work with the movers
Answer any questions that they might have. Let them know where boxes and furniture need to go as soon as you arrive at the new place. And remember to give them a tip.
53. Unpack the essentials
What are the essentials? You can start with your bed and toiletries. After moving around all those boxes, you’ll want to take a bath and nap.
54. Say hello to neighbors
You might want to introduce yourself to the neighbors shortly after you arrive.
55. Go grocery shopping
Stock up on food and other necessities. At least enough to last you the first few days.
56. Put up curtains
You’re going to want some privacy. Make sure you put up some curtains or shades.
57. Say thanks to your real estate broker
It’s a nice gesture. Tell your broker how much you love your new home. A thank you note will go a long way.
Download the full moving checklist PDF!
After moving day
The work does not stop after moving in. There’s stuff you need to do after moving. But, first, it’s time to finish unpacking and make your new house feel like home.
The week after moving day
Here are the things you should do the week you move into your new place.
58. Leave your moving company a review
Go ahead and leave the moving company a review. Good or bad, just tell it like it is. You’ll do their next few customers a favor.
59. Clean your new home
Clean your new carpets if you haven’t done so yet. If there’s a chimney, clean that too before you use it.
60. Unpack everything
Unpack all of your stuff. And make sure you set aside all of the boxes you used. You can throw them out, but it’s better to give them to someone else that’s moving if they’re in relatively good condition.
61. Install a security system
Don’t forget to install a security system. It’s good to have a deterrent as soon as you move in.
62. Explore your new neighborhood
Go out and explore your new community. You might have seen it through Google Maps, but nothing beats seeing everything in person.
63. Let your friends and family know you’ve arrived
Send a message to friends letting them know that you’ve arrived. And send a special thanks to friends and family members who helped you pack stuff and move.
Two weeks after moving day
You should have been able to settle in by now. But there are a few tasks left for you to do.
64. Unpack everything else
Realistically, there will still be unopened boxes this long after the move. Find the strength to open those boxes, finally. Place its contents where they need to go.
65. Make spare copies of keys
Make copies of your house keys for your babysitter, nanny, and dog walker.
66. Schedule painters
If the new house will need some touch-up, have a painter drop by and give you a quote. Or you can do it yourself if you’re not exhausted from the move. You’ll end up saving some money that way.
67. Take your pet to the vet
It’s time for your new vet to meet your pet. It’s a good idea to schedule a visit, even if it’s just to introduce the two.
68. Update your bank accounts
Now you can update your bank records to reflect your new address. This can be done in minutes online.
69. Check the status of your security deposit
You can contact your old landlord about the status of your security deposit if you haven’t received it yet.
70. Change your locks
You might want to change the locks on your new doors for added security. You never know who has a copy of the old keys.
71. Understand the trash pickup schedule
The trash schedule will differ depending on where you move. It’s best to familiarize yourself with your new trash schedule.
72. Check the smoke alarms
Just replace the old batteries with new ones. You might also want to look into getting a carbon monoxide detector.
73. Schedule maintenance work
Have an electrician come over to check the status of your home’s wiring. You never know what issues these outlets could have. The same goes for other utilities. You’ll sleep more comfortably knowing everything is in order.
You made it!
That is it. That should be everything you need to do before, during, and after you move. Was that helpful? Let us know. And as always, we love feedback. If we missed anything, let us know in the comments section below.
Congratulations on your new home! Have a great time moving.