What does your moving checklist look like?

Moving is all about organization and…..timing. Set yourself a pace and get things done incrementally.

Here are just a few tips I’ve seen over time to get you to start planning the tasks to perform to make your next physical move to a new residence. It’s not perfect and you can certainly add, change, move around, or delete this list as I will in the future. If you need more tips or more formal checklist of things to do, let me know.

Moving Boxes Estimator

If you have any other suggestions that might help someone’s move go smoother, let me know.


Create a move file folder – Start numbering, labeling, and packing boxes. Before anything else – take a breath and think of the other side of the move and how organized you can be with a little preparation. Especially that little box of items you may need immediately upon arriving at your destination like toilet paper, hand soap, hand towel, plastic cups, 2-3 water bottles, etc,.

Get a large envelope (that closes so papers stay inside) preferably with dividers to collect records, receipts, plans, appointments regarding your move (keeps you focused and can help at income tax time).

Design a numbering and room ID system for each box…it’s better to write on each box a number and room where the box will go before packing or sealing the box…It’s never too early to start packing boxes for the move. In fact, you should set yourself a goal of packing at least 3 boxes per week, at least 3 months in advance of moving. You will be surprised how fast the boxes pile up and how much work there is packing most of your belongings in a hurry before you actually move. And it helps you identify what isn’t worth taking.

Sort Belongings & “unload” stuff Get rid of items you don’t or won’t need (like a singing fish). I have seen people move boxes thru 5 homes and never open the box – eventually tossing things they don’t need. Have a garage sale or donate them for a tax deduction to homeless shelters, Salvation army, Goodwill, and other charitable organizations may want them. You may want to call the United Way to identify any special needs of their associated charities.
Start gathering boxes. It’s never too early to gather boxes usually in good shape and didn’t have any food in them (i.e., bugs). Large retailers like Target, Lowes, WalMart, Home Depot, etc., now crush & recycle them so you can’t get any free boxes.

Potential sources of decent moving boxes include:

  • Bookstores – these boxes are smaller but sturdy enough for transportation of books;
  • Party store retailers – relatively durable and didn’t have food items
  • Liquor store boxes – excellent for transporting glassware
  • Friends who have recently moved may have leftover boxes
  • Grocery stores may have some smaller boxes available as they are stocking their dry-good shelves
  • Home Depot or Lowes sells moving boxes (but they crush and recycle their shipping boxes)
  • Any retailer of non food products so you don’t transport or attract bugs.

Number every box and label which room it goes into. It makes it a whole lot easier on the other end. Be sure the boxes are “full” but aren’t too heavy or overloaded. Remember that the move in and out of the home is strenuous and the boxes should be light enough to get from truck to inside each room. You may want to write a priority or the contents on the boxes of what to open first, second, third in a room. Also, when lifting boxes, lift with the legs and not your back.

(Note: Notoriously the movers will be slower than expected to stretch it out over the full day and when you arrive at your destination, the frantic moving boxes inside the house will prevent an orderly placement in each room as planned.)


Schedule movers First, determine what items you want movers to move. Then, get estimates from reputable movers and line up a truck well in advance. Be sure to call the movers/truck rental with a few days of move to assure vehicle will be available. Also, find out what expenses your company will or won’t cover.
Get records of what will be moved Separately list the large or precious items to be moved. Then get a video or picture of every vluable item to be moved with special attention to detail of conditions and description of each item. This will ensure you have a record of condition of the item before and after it gets moved.
Professional services Ask your doctor, attorney, CPA, etc, for referrals of same services in the new area.
Notify utilities leaving and to be used Find out what the “termination of service” policies are for the utilities you are dropping. Find out what happens to any deposits you made on former utilities and any new deposits to establish your new utilities.
Contact the Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Convention Bureau Get information about schools, churches, parks and recreation, maps, etc,.
Create a floor plan of your new home. This will enable you to tell the movers where items go, layout of furniture, measurements of window treatments, and identifies doorways and windows. You may also want to use the deign sheet to identify paint brands/colors of walls and trim.
Garage Sale or Donations Get rid of items that aren’t going to be moved. People moved stuff without ever opening box again.
Insurance company Notify your homeowner’s and auto insurance agent when you are to be moving.
Contact your doctor, dentist, veterinarian, school system, and others. Have your family and pets checked up on vaccinations and other conditions. Obtain copies of all your medical records from all family and veterinarian services. Also copies of all appropriate school system records including any academic, sports, or other related services.


Change of address to post office and others Notify post office(ask for kit they produce to help you), credit card companies, financial institutions, family (who you want to know you moved), friends, relatives, and magazine subscriptions of change.
Contact utilities (gas, water, electric, phone,cable, etc,.) Disconnect or stop billing for the day after your move so they are on while you move out. Establish utilities in your name for new address for the day of closing.
Food in refrigerator Limit the purchases of food to about a week’s worth the last week before leaving. Otherwise, you’ll end up throwing alot of food away.
Clean your new home Schedule someone to clean the home prior to moving furniture and belongings into the home.
Contact school(s) Make sure transacripts of former school get sent to the new school.
Savings and Checking Account Open/transfer checking/savings account at bank in area.
Homeowner’s Insurance Make sure you order Homeowner’s Insurance for the new home prior to moving. Ask you Insurance Agent if coverage may be transferred or a new policy has to be written.
Close out bank accounts Discuss arrangements with your lender to move your savings/checking account funds to the new bank’s savings/checking account.
Prescriptions Transfer all prescriptions to pharmacies. Consult with your employer’s insurance coverage to ensure the pharmacy is on your plan.
Subscriptions Cancel newspaper and transfer magazine subscriptions. Make a request to your local post office to have your mail transferred.
Notify neighbors and police If your home is to remain vacant for any period of time, notify your immediate neighbors and local Police precinct.
New Address and phone number Leave them for the new owner in case things are delivered or found that need to be sent on to you.
Drain fluids from gas power tools Moving companies usually don’t move them with these fluids.
Make a route map Print some copies of the route map in case you have more than one vehicle in your caravan of movers.

(If you are moving yourself and it may take more than one day – arrange for lodging.)

Spend all day with movers Make sure you have boxess labeled for the room they go in and when the boxes are numbered for mover’s sheets, ensure they are recorded and if possible, placed in truck close together.


Pack and backup files. Make a special box for all personal files and backup your computer hard drives.
Make sure you have driver’s license, registration and auto insurance if driving. Enter comments here.
Supervise the movers. Let the movers know which items you want packed first and last and moved onto the truck first and last.
Pack snacks and drinks. You will never know when or what you will eat. If you don’t have time to grab some food, you will have something there to eat.
Close out bank accounts Discuss arrangements with your lender to move your savings/checking account funds to the new bank’s savings/checking account.
Replace light fixtures Remove & replace any light fixtures or other repairs/things you agreed to perform.
Medicines & necessities Refill any prescriptions and pack medical kit in box you take with you.


Pack a “moving trip kit” of items that go into your car on the trip. Checkbook, cash, medications, toiletries, flashlight, toilet paper, hand towels, soap, snacks, ziplocs, and water/drinks.
Leave your forwarding address and new phone number for the Buyers There is no telling what may be delivered or found after you move. If the Buyers need to reach you, leave some contact information.
Automonbile service Have your auto serviced, check fluids and tires.
Move valuables yourself Computers, electronics, breakables, grandma’s antiques, Gold, jewelry, coins, stamps, furs, guns, stock certificates, bonds, any cash and other valuables.
Check-then re-check Just before movers leave, perform a walk of all the rooms, inside and out, backyard and frontyard, and sides of house to ensure all items are placed in moving truck.
Doors/windows/keys/remote openers Final check of home should be when movers leave, lock all doors and windows and leave. Just before movers leave, perform a walk of all the rooms, inside and out, backyard and frontyard, and sides of house to ensure all items are placed in moving truck.


Clean before moving in Clean up and if necessary, place builder’s paper on flooring in traffic areas to eliminate excessive dirt and damage.
Utilities connected Make sure they are on. If possible, contact your agent to visit the home to ensure they are working.
Condition of belongings Inspect all belongings and indicate damage on mover’s checklist.
Paperwork and keys Ensure you have lease or purchase closing paperwork proving residency; insurance paperwork; any keys/codes to move in; and contact information of family – leaving – arrival – moving company.
Inventory Checklists Movers normally number boxes. Then at move-in, they give you a numbering sheet to identify the box numbers removed from the moving van. Assign a person helping you to follow up and make sure all the appropriate box numbers are accounted for.


Keep your closing paperwork. Keep your HUD-a settlement statement and other closing paperwork handy in case the utility company needs the information to confirm your ownership of the property. Sometimes the cable company requires evidence so as not to disconnect service from active customer.
Pay outstanding bills Be sure to include your new address on all final payments.
Register autos and to vote Check with the county automobile tag office and voter’s registration office.
US Mail Check with US Post Office and occupant of your former residence to see if any mail has been held for you either at the old or the new address.

References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.

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