Once you and your agent work through the process of selling your home, there comes a point when it’s time to switch gears and get ready to move. It can be difficult to juggle the various steps of the moving process, especially if you’re Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time. Using a moving checklist will help you stay organized and on schedule throughout your moving timeline.
Moving Checklist: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Moving Process
We’ve included a comprehensive checklist below of all the steps you’ll need to complete to ensure a smooth, successful move. This list is also available as an interactive web page and downloadable PDF here: Moving Checklist
Twelve Weeks Before:
- Get estimates from professional movers or truck rental companies if needed.
- Once you’ve selected a mover, discuss insurance, packing, loading and delivery, and the claims procedure.
Six to Eight Weeks Before:
- Use up things that may be difficult to move, such as frozen food.
- Sort through your possessions. Decide what you want to keep, what you want to sell, and what you wish to donate to charity.
- Record serial numbers on electronic equipment, take photos (or video) of all your belongings and create an inventory list.
- If you are moving yourself, use your inventory list to determine how many boxes you will need. Stock up on the items you’ll need from our “Moving Essentials” list.
- Obtain a change of address packet from the post office and send it to creditors, magazine subscription offices, and catalog vendors.
- Discuss tax-deductible moving expenses with your accountant and begin keeping accurate records.
- If you’re moving to a new community, contact the Chamber of Commerce and school district and request information about services.
- Make reservations with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies, if needed.
- Begin packing nonessential items.
Two to Four Weeks Before:
- Arrange for storage, if needed.
- If you have items you don’t want to pack and move, hold a yard sale.
- Update the address listed on your car registration, license, and insurance.
- Transfer your bank accounts and safe-deposit box items to new branch locations if needed. Cancel or redirect any direct deposit or automatic payments from your accounts.
- Make special arrangements to move your pets and consult your veterinarian about ways to make travel comfortable for them.
- Have your car checked and serviced if you’ll need to drive it a long distance.
- Change your utilities, including phone, power, and water, from your old address to your new address.
Week of Moving Day:
- Defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
- Have movers pack your belongings.
- Label each box with the contents and the room where you want it to be delivered.
- If you’re using a moving company, arrange to pay for their services in full, or the remainder of what you owe, upon delivery.
- Set aside legal documents and valuables that you do not want packed.
- Pack clothing and toiletries, along with extra clothes in case the moving company is delayed.
- Give your travel itinerary to a close friend or relative so they can reach you as needed.
- Pack a first-day box with items that you’ll want accessible before other boxes are unpacked. See our list of suggested items on the right and add any others you’ll want to include.
- Pick up the truck as early as possible if you are moving yourself.
- Make a list of every item and box loaded on the truck.
- Let the mover know how to reach you.
- Double-check your closets, cupboards, attic, basement, yard, and garage for any left-behind items.
- Be on hand at the new home to answer questions and give instructions to the mover.
- Check off boxes and items as they come off the truck.
- Install new locks.
- Confirm that the utilities have been turned on and are ready for use.
- Unpack your first-day box.
- Unpack your children’s toys and find a safe place for them to play.
- Examine your goods for damage.
Our Moving Checklist page has all the information above, plus helpful lists for Moving Essentials and which items to pack in your First-Day Box available as a downloadable PDF.