The Best Moving Checklist of 2019
Moving to a new house? Are you wondering what to do or worried about how to handle things without wasting much of your time? Just relax and continue reading our moving house checklist without stressing yourself with the thought of the strenuous task of relocating the house.
To be realistic, relocation is a stressful task. For this reason, to help you stay on track, we have created an epic relocation checklist. All that you need before, during and after the move would be figured out with our help. You’d move within the short time frame if all your possessions could magically appear your new home without engaging in any strenuous task on your part.
If you break the tasks (scheduling, packing, and cleaning) into weekly-to-do lists, the relocation process can be less of a stressful task. For a successful moving day, iMoving.com provides all the necessary tools. You can stay organized while you relocate through a customizable moving checklist, email reminders, coupons, and personal tasks list. From the beginning to the end of the moving process, our moving planner is readily available to begin before your relocation and provides helpful recommendations to get things done in easier ways.
We believe that things can be easily forgotten when there is much to think about during your moving process; hence, these tips and checklist will hopefully help to streamline your moving process. To start with, let’s define what a checklist is?
What is a Checklist?
A list of items you need to inspect, check or verify is known as a checklist. They are used in medical surgeries, building inspections, and another imaginable field, most especially – in the moving process. You will not miss or forget any important steps while using a checklist. The compensation for potential limits of human attention and memory makes a checklist a type of job used to reduce failure. In carrying out a task, the checklist helps to ensure completeness and competency at the right time.
Basic Moving Checklist
You want to plan before your actual move as much as possible. To make it seem less overwhelming and stressful, it is better to break it down into phases. For a complete and successful relocation, different tasks can be scheduled by week. Most important tasks are listed below. With a little help from this stage-by-stage timeline, you can schedule an organized relocation even though you may not be able to move mountains.
Below is a preview of some significant tasks to do and the exact time to do them:
2 Months before Moving
The secret to a stress-free relocation is prior preparation even though you would probably see it to be too early. Contrary to general belief, moving house requires more, and there are great chances that some hurdles may arise during the packing process. When you pack your possessions all by yourself, this usually happens. There are, however, some steps that can help you stay out of these packing complications. These include:
- On Google Drive, create a relocation file or folder to store receipts, moving quotes and other related records about your move. Such records may include how much a particular moving company is quoting you, the price charge of fifteen to twenty boxes. Store these in a document for easy reference as all these details can be easily forgotten over time.
- Create a reasonable budget for relocation expenses. It is understandable that your wine fridge and that new sectional item require hiring a professional moving company, but you have to set your priorities straight.
- Be in the knowing that before signing any documents, you need to read through them. Know about the documents you will be receiving before the moving day and make sure you don’t allow contracts to intimidate you. This is so important, and that is why we have it as a number on our list.
- Take time off work for relocation day. Plan to move and take off on Friday if possible. This is a very nice tip as you get to organize yourself for the rest of the weekend.
- Locate and choose a school for your children. To get the best school in your area, agents can help you locate one. Just contact one for help.
- Furthermore, request for your kid's transcript from their old school to be used for their new school. The new school that your children will attend will need the transcript no matter the distance of your move. To avoid your kid(s) getting left behind, get prepared.
- Organize a garage sale and donate any of your belongings that you couldn’t sell.
- Unusual items such as fine art, pool tables or safes, pianos, and guns require extra moving plan as they are fragile. You may need to hire specialty mover to move these items as the moving company you hire may not have the qualification required to move some larger and highly prized items. Ensure you understand to the fullest what your movers will not move to allow you to plan it out.
- Verify the legitimacy of your moving company with their Department of Transportation number, i.e., DOT number.
6 Weeks before you Move
It is important to make sure you are getting all your packed items in a row when you are six weeks away from your move. You will need to spend time with friends and family if you are moving out of town. You will also need to organize your life (in general) and belongings. Keep reading this moving checklist to discover all you need to do, as there are many tasks that you must engage in this time. Six weeks is still enough to get all the tasks done, so do not panic. Remember, six weeks before you move is all about packing. Perform the following tasks:
- Before moving day, make time for family and friends. You can throw a simple dinner party to catch the last memories of your current home. You don’t necessarily need an elaborate party to get this done.
- Get free moving boxes from grocery, office supply, liquor stores, and restaurants. Your local bookstore is also not left out. They will be more than happy to hand over some boxes to you for free as they have more than required.
- To make moving day stress-free, research packing hacks.
- Using different colored tapes/stickers for each room; label your moving boxes to make unpacking a lot easier when you get to your new home.
- Before your highly prized items go on the moving truck, take inventory of it all. You can as well make a private list of the boxes used to pack them. This is the right time to do this.
- To avoid having textbooks stacked on top of your grandmother’s china, mark moving boxes that contain fragile items.
- Before unplugging, take photos of all electronics. When you are reconnecting them at your new home, the images will help refresh your memory.
- For easy furniture reassembly, put all your hardware in labeled bags.
- Wrap your water glasses in dish towels, gather t-shirts, towels, socks, and linens to use as free packing supplies.
- Find out if there are any moving day requirements if you are relocating into a new apartment.
- Before moving out, address minor home repairs. This might help you in getting your security deposit back or not if you live in an apartment.
- Service your vehicle if you are moving across state lines to avoid a breakdown during the move.
- Do not leave jacks, spare tires and any other items in your car if your relocation requires shipping your car.
- To make sure all the furniture will fit, measure the elevators, stairways, and doorways twice.
- For places of interest such as a restaurant or new favorite hangout spot in your new community, conduct a little research on the area. Yelp are the best places, to begin with.
- Lastly, pack a little day by day. Packing all your items the night before the move is not what you would want to do.
4 Weeks before you Move
You are moving within this month. Spend time arranging all of your official documents in order and as well ditch the boxes and packing tape this week. Important documents that you will need to bring along to your new place are to be gathered now. Things like selling and donating items are also to be done this week. Getting rid of things you neither want nor need in time like this makes it easier to complete your moving checklist. Do the following:
- To cover all your possessions during the move, purchase insurance coverage.
- You may need a parking permit for relocation day, be sure to confirm parking options for your truck.
- Items like bleach, aerosol cans, frozen foods and others that you can’t pack or sell are to be used or donated.
- Organize all legal and financial records in a single place.
- For everyone in your household, gather their birth certificates. Make sure important documents travel with you during the move.
- In your new area, find a snow removal service and landscaper.
- Return books to the library.
- Return both video game and movie rentals.
- Do not forget to pick up clothes from the dry cleaner
- Dental, optical and medical records of everyone in your home are to be compiled and cross-checked.
- Find a new dentist, vet, and doctor in your new neighborhood if you are moving across the country.
- Update your voter registration information.
- Plan your route and book hotels if you are relocating to a long distance.
- Schedule installation and/or cancel your old internet, phone and cable bundles.
- For your pets' collars, ensure they have ID tags.
- Get any necessary pet medication and request copies of vet records
- Ensure your pets have every vaccination if you are relocating out of the country.
- To have some fun while moving and unpacking your household, make a moving day playlist.
3 Weeks before you Move
Sort out your annual valuables, sentimental items and subscriptions now that the basics have been settled. Cancel all newspaper home delivery in your current home and set up delivery in your new home, if you have not done so. Gather jewelry, small family heirlooms, and valuable paperwork. These special items are to be kept separately from your moving boxes and should be transported by hand or through a shipping service with insurance which offers a tracking system for your items. Take photos of any highly prized possessions and take note of any existing damage, dings, and scratches to your furniture.
2 Weeks before you Move
It is time to update your accounts and records for your new home and address as you are just two weeks out from moving. Planning ahead meals, pets, packing, children and medications are part of the things you would want to consider in these two weeks before your move. For this two week point, ensure you have everything marked, and you will be happy you did. Expected to do the following two weeks to your move:
- To organize your moving-related receptions and bills, create a moving file. To claim a deduction at tax time, you will need to keep a list of moving expenses.
- Flammables, poisonous and corrosive items are to be recycled or disposed of and make sure you do this properly.
- Use every food items you have in the freezer and prepare meals that will sustain you for two-weeks. You can check out some great meal preparation ideas on the internet.
- Return items you borrowed from family and friends.
- Back up your computer files, you will be glad you have everything saved in an alternative storage device if something should happen to your computer during your move.
- Cancel your current service with trash removal and recycling and set up a new one for your new home.
- Remove light bulbs from all lamps you plan to take along with you.
- Clean out safe deposit box and any lockers you might have at community center or gym if you are moving to a long distance.
- Get and fill all your prescriptions from the pharmacy.
- A list of emergency of preferred providers and service technician should be prepared. Searching for plumbers online while your toilet is overflowing in your new home is not what you will like; so, prepare for it.
- Arrange for a play date or line up a babysitter for your little ones to keep them safe during your move.
- During your move, find somewhere safe for pets probably with a friend who would love to dog sit, or you look into doggy daycare to keep them temporarily.
- To find your way to work when you finally move, use public transportation or Google Maps.
- Send out moving announcement to family and friends and those who deserve to know. There are several creative ways to make your new address known to them.
- Update your new address with credit cards, payroll department at work, banks, and loan providers. Remember to order new checks as well.
- Forward your mail to your new address.
- Within 10 days of relocation, change the address for Social Security benefits. Inform the IRS, Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration and other government offices of the change in your address.
- Transfer your renters or homeowners from your current home to your new home.
- Cancel or transfer your membership at yoga studio, Cross–fit facility, gym, etc.
- For magazine and newspaper subscription, update your address if you have not done so.
- Utilities like electric, natural gas, water are to be transferred to your new home.
- Update your driver’s license to match your new address.
- For your car registration and auto insurance, change your address.
- Before moving your outdoor furniture, make sure you clean them.
- If necessary, transfer your medical prescriptions to a new pharmacy in your new neighborhood.
1 Week before your Move
The moving day is finally here. Before moving to your new home, tie any loose end. After your move-out date, your utilities should be turned off in your old home and have it all turned on in your new home a day before you move in. these and many more you need to tidy up in this one week to go.
- Chemicals, aerosol cans, paint and other flammable items that cannot be transported are to be disposed of.
- Double check the items you packed. Schedule a pickup by your chosen organization if you have more items to donate.
- Back up your computers to alternative storage.
- Make sure everyone in the family pack a suitcase containing comfortable clothes and toiletries for a two-week vacation-like move.
- Be sure to contact your moving company to confirm details like cell phone numbers, moving day arrival time and any last minute details.
- Schedule a day you will come back to the old house for final cleaning or hire a cleaning company to do a quick clean once the moving company leaves the premises.
- While you celebrate the memories you have made in your old home, get prepared to start a new phase in your life. This is so important.
- Ask your movers if they work with Move for Hunger so you can donate unopened food.
- Ensure scheduled deliveries are redirected or canceled. Make sure your pending deliveries are sent to your new home address instead.
- Clean the old home for the incoming occupants.
- Unplug your freezer and fridge a night before the move to defrost. To absorb any water that leaks, ensure you lay a towel in front of it.
- Drain water hoses to your ice maker and washing machine.
- Empty oil and gas from snow blowers, heaters, grills, and lawn mowers.
- If necessary, leave a note or small gift for the incoming residents.
- Ensure you check the shelves or closet corners for any hiding item
- Fill nail holes with a bar of soap before conducting a final walk through the house with your landlord.
- Prepare for rain or snow while you watch the weather channel.
- Pack every essential item you will need within the first day in your new home in a special box.
- Make a plan for an unexpected scenario such as movers running late.
- To prove your empty place is in move-out condition, take photographs of it.
- Embark on the move with enough cash to buy snacks and to tip your movers.
- In most cases, previous homeowners are only required to sweep their apartment or house, so clean your new place yourself to get the tip-top shape and sparkling look you so much like.
A Day before you Move
Ensure you pack all necessary suitcases that you plan to move with you the day before your move. Shoes, clothing, important documents or valuables, pajamas, toiletries, pet and baby necessities, medications and other first week essentials are to be the content of these cases. Packing a moving day box that contains scissors, tape, paper towels, toilet paper, flashlights, bed linens, tools, light bulbs, and trash bags should also be considered.
Ensure you give your neighbors a notice about the move if you share a driveway with them or live in an HOA community. This will not only give them enough time to move their cars but also is the respectful thing to do. A nice gesture for a job well done is ‘tipping movers.’ Head to the ATM to withdraw cash for moving day if you plan to tip your movers.
You have been led to this present moment by all your preparations so far. To get you to this stage, you have checked off about 100 items on this moving checklist. Make sure you get an early start on a moving day. Begin the day early and get moving. You will get to unpack your belongings and settled in earlier if you move in earlier.
You can keep track of what you have and what the moving company is transporting for you by taking inventory of all your possessions. You can also go through your driver’s inventory sheet. Make a note of any damaged items before you embark on the move. Fragile items such as lamps or appliances can be snapped with a camera for insurance purposes and liability coverage. Before you move out, ensure you do a final sweep of your home to avoid leaving any of your items behind.
Look into any easy-to-miss spots such as washers, kitchen cabinets, bathtubs, and dryers. Go ahead and hand over the key to your landlord or new homeowners if you don’t have a plan to come back after the move to finish up some other stuff. You are expected to do these on the moving day:
- Get up early by setting the alarm.
- During the move, protect your carpets and floors
- Tip your movers; they have worked for you all day.
- Make your bed and unpack toiletries and shower curtain as soon as your movers leave. This makes shower and nap much easier as they are probably the first thing you will want to do after the move.
- Meet your neighbors.
- You have probably eaten enough to take out, so go grocery shopping. You will be saved from unnecessary spending once you have food at home.
- To have privacy for your first night without curtains or shades yet, cover your windows with a sheet to sleep more comfortably.
- Appreciate your broker or real estate agent as they are the reason behind your move to this beautiful new home. Send them a simple thank you note.
1 Month after you Move
Unpacking and home arrangement are gradual processes that may take months before you achieve your taste in your new home. Start with the bed linens, kitchenware, the content of suitcase and other essentials to avoid being overwhelmed by the unpacking process. Go from one room to the other till you are done with unpacking the rest of the house after you have unpacked the important items. A fresh start in a new and clean home is incomparable.
- Give your home a good, thorough cleaning during the first week after the move. These include dusting all surfaces, mopping and vacuuming. Arrange for a professional cleaning company to do the job for you during the first month if you lack time to do it yourself. Check the status of your security deposit with your old home landlord if it was a rented apartment. To avoid your check getting lost on the way, make sure the landlord knows your new address.
- To get a good sense of the new neighborhood, bike, drive or walk around the town. You will be able to find places like museums, parks, libraries, grocery stores, pharmacies, schools, and hardware stores by exploring the town.
- Changing the locks is one of the safe ways to keep your house secure since you have no idea whom the former residents gave their keys to during their stay in the house. Try installing an additional deadbolt if changing all the locks sounds a bit too expensive for you.
- Try calling your city’s sanitation department or ask your neighbor to find out details on trash and recycling as it differs from one city to another. You need to change the batteries of your smoke alarms once you notice they are beeping. For each floor in your home, purchase a carbon monoxide detector. To identify any potential bug problems in your home, arrange for a local exterminator to visit your new home.
- To ensure that they receive tax refunds and correspondence, those relocating should update their information with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can do this by using form 8822 to submit an address at any time or by writing the new address in the appropriate boxes on your tax return. You may need to establish legal domicile for tax purposes if you are relocating into a new state. Check out the state’s official government website to find information on the numerous ways to establish a domicile in your new state of residence.
- You will need to get a new driver’s license from your state’s DMV if you have a car. Some states required new residents to obtain a driver’s license within a particular period after moving in. You will probably need proof of your social security number, existing driver’s license, proof of residency and any additional means of identification.
- To change your voter registration, call or visit your local town hall. You may be able to establish domicile and register to vote the same day when you visit the DMV to get a driver’s license.
- To ensure that your kid stays safe and sound in the new home, make sure you baby-proof the home during the first few weeks if you are moving with a baby. Begin with the removal of potentially dangerous packing materials immediately. You can as well continue by placing outlet covers over electrical outlets near the floor and set up baby gates to block stairs.
- Introduce yourself to your new neighbors after you move in. Walk up to their doors, ring the doorbell and say hello to them. You might make a few new friends in the process as most people will appreciate the gesture.
- Look into registering your pet during the first few weeks after the move if you are moving into a new state or across country lines. Many areas require owners to register their pets and purchase a license within a month of moving even though requirements differ, depending on the state. The purpose behind this is to ensure public safety by making sure that animals receive their necessary treatments.
- Find a reputable local electrician to come to your house to check any outlets that are overheating or not working. They will also help with assessing whether your electrical panel needs to be updated or not and also help with hanging light fixtures if you ask them to.
How to Pack Checklist for Moving
Most experts recommend that you do the packing room by room and load the truck the same way if you are doing the packing yourself. iMoving also agrees and write an overview of the content of the boxes and mark all boxes with the name of the room they belong to. Packing checklist is as follows:
First Things First – Supplies
You will need the following packing supplies:
- Boxes: Even though you can purchase moving boxes from a moving company, you can as well get them for free. Check with grocery stores, alcoholic beverage control stores, and other local retail shops as they mostly have leftover boxes.
- Padding: This is similar to cushion fragile items, and it includes bubble wraps. If you want to save money, consider using T-shirts, socks, and towels instead.
- Blankets: To protect furniture edges such as tables from scratches and the likes, you will need blankets. You can as well save money by using simple house blankets which you will want to transport with you.
- Tape: You will definitely need a good old duct tape.
Below packing tips will go a long way in your packing process:
- Bowls and plates can be packed together in boxes. Use paper or bubble wrap for fine china.]
- Before putting into boxes, wrap each piece of glass separately.
- Pack silverware in the same packaging they came in. Pack them in sets and cover with plastic or paper in the absence of that.
- Secure your appliances with duct tape after you wrap cords around them and cover them with paper.
- Pack in boxes and cushion using paper or towels. Put electronics in the original packaging as advised. Wrap them in towels and blankets, then place them in boxes instead – if you do not have them.
- Fill open spaces with padding.
- Use a blanket to wrap your mirrors and artwork.
- Label boxes and bags and break down the beds. Place in plastic storage the bed hardware attached to the headboard and hold with duct tape.
- To store hanging clothes and unpack them easily, buy wardrobe carton.
- Store jewelry in a container which will be with you on the move
- Place your bathroom towels, toiletries and makeup in a box, as you would need them often.
- Washer hoses are to be disconnected and store inside the machine while you tape the cord with its appliance.
- Repeat the same tip with dryer vent
- Dispose of fabric softeners, bleach, and detergents as they can be dangerous to transport.
- Drain oil and gas from the heater, mover and other lawn equipment
- Pack hoes, axes, saws in your toolbox after wrapping them in old towels accordingly.
- Dispose of paint, fertilizer and weed killer.
Moving Checklist – Whom to Notify about the Address Change
There are certain places where you have to inform them about your new home address. To avoid any kind of problems in the future, our moving house checklist will spell out these major places.
- To update your contact details for payroll and other purposes, inform your employer.
- Insurance policies
- Credit/Debit card companies
- Driving License
- Car insurance
- V5C Vehicle Log Book
- School or university
- Department of work and pensions if you have any money you are expecting from them.
- Electoral Roll
- Local Gym and Club Membership
- Cable or Satellite Service Provider
- TV License
- Healthcare service
- Electricity/ Gas/ Water suppliers
- National Insurance, HMRC and DVLA
- Council tax
- Royal Mail
Moving Checklist – 12 Things to Remember
From the above moving checklist, 12 important things to do while moving are stated below:
Reducing the number of items you have to pack, sort, and transport, organize and unpack is the easiest way to simplify your move into a new home. Take a very closer look at possessions by going through your current home one room to the other. Make a list of what you want to get rid of and what you want to keep.
- Raid the Pantry
There may be some things in your refrigerator that are not worth moving, depending on the distance you are moving. Take inventory of foods that are hard to transport, the ones expiring soon and frozen foods. You can as well try to use up these food items before your moving date and avoid purchasing such items when you go shopping before the actual moving day.
- Decide on a Mover
You will want to do some research on different moving companies in your area if you are going to pay for a mover. Get moving quotes from at least five of them and schedule your moving date as early as possible. If you are moving long distance, you can request for moving quote from our list of moving companies as they are great for handling any move.
Lining up your help from family and friends as soon as possible if you are relying on this source for help. Reservation of a moving truck from a local rental company should also be given consideration. You can as well get help moving or have someone assemble your furniture for you when needed.
- Buy Packing Supplies
Packing your moving supplies ahead of time is a great idea. You will want to purchase bubble wraps, moving boxes, markers and packing tapes if you fail to keep an eye out for free moving boxes from local stores or on Craigslist. Folding all of your clothes for a move only to unpack and rehang them in your new home is a waste of time, getting a wardrobe box is the best idea to save yourself the time and stress.
- Order Ahead
Order some essentials ahead of your move if you are relocating into your first place or you are expanding into a larger space. You will enjoy your first few nights in your new home when you plan ahead of the move.
- Start Packing
The packing aspect is much easier if you did a good job of purging your belongings. When you pack ahead of time, you save yourself from the chaotic associated with moving day. Season clothes, garage, home, office, decorations, books, and other items that you won’t need some days before your move are to be the first items you pack. Essential kitchen items should be the last you pack while you work your way through the house until you get to the important items like toiletries and current wardrobe.
- Schedule Time off Work
Ensure you get the time off work if you plan to move during the week. In order to get all settled into your new home, you might as well consider taking off the day after your move, even if you are relocating on the weekend.
- Change your Utilities
Inform your utility companies of your relocation by placing a call to them. That will in some cases mean canceling service with your current utility company and setting up services with a new provider in your new locality. A technician in some cases may need to come to the house before they can turn on services, for this cause, ensure you make the call to the company a few weeks before the actual moving day. You will surely want to have internet, trash service, gas, power, sewer, and water readily available when you move.
- Change of Address
You can get into a lot of problems especially during tax season if you miss important mail after you move. File a change of address with the post office to make sure you don’t miss any of your mail. You can as well do it online as it will only take a few minutes. You must also ensure you make a proper change to your address with your credit card companies, insurance providers, banks and other important institutions.
- Change your Locks
You never know who has keys to your new home when relocating into a new home as previous homeowners, some of your neighbors, or even old occupants might have spare keys. Ensure you order a replacement lock set before the move-in day so you can replace the locks once you move into the new home.
- Deep Cleaning
Before your belongings are moved in, your new home will be much easier to clean. If you have the chance, it is recommended that you schedule a deep cleaning before the moving day.
- Deduct your Moving Expenses from your Taxes
Through your relocation process, ensure you save your receipts. At the end of the year, you can deduct your moving expenses from your taxes in some cases. This helps you to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the distance of your move. Both small items such as moving boxes and big-ticket items such as the cost of hiring a relocation company could be eligible for the deduction.
Wow… what a successful moving! If you have a yard, invite your neighbors to a small party as it is time to celebrate. This also gives you the best shot at making new friends. We hope you find our checklist useful. Happy moving!
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