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Stress-Free Moving: The Ultimate Moving Checklist

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By : T. Scott Clendaniel    99 or more times read
This article details the best of the moving checklists online or in print:

== 4 Weeks Prior to Move: Organizing ==

  • Set the date.
    Arrange for utility transfers. This includes:
    __ Cable/satellite television
    __ Cell phone service
    __ Electricity
    __ Gas
    __ Internet/broadband
    __ Local phone service
    __ Long distance phone service
    __ Propane
    __ Recycling pick-up
    __ Sewer
    __ Security system
    __ Trash pick-up
    __ Water

    NOTE: It’s a good idea to schedule utility “turn on dates” at least one day prior to the move date and “turn off dates” at least one day after the move to allow for emergencies or issues that may arise.

  • File change of address.

  • Make sure you have enough cash on hand to pay movers in full.

  • Start a “change of address log” of all the people you need to notify. Be sure to include:
    __ Accountant/tax preparer
    __ Alumni associations
    __ Attorneys
    __ Babysitter/ child care provider
    __ Banks (auto loans, checking accounts, credit cards, home equity, IRA’s, mortgage, safe deposit box, savings account)
    __ Broker
    __ Business cards (order new ones)
    __ Cell phone provider
    __ Child care/ daycare
    __ Chiropractor
    __ Courts, especially for traffic tickets or local disputes
    __ Credit bureaus
    __ Credit card issuers
    __ Dentist
    __ Department of Motor Vehicles
    __ Diaper service
    __ Doctor
    __ Dry cleaning pick-up and delivery
    __ Family members
    __ Health clubs
    __ House cleaning service
    __ House of worship
    __ Insurance providers (auto, health, life, other vehicles)
    __ IRS (form 8822)
    __ Lawn care
    __ Luggage tags (replace existing ones)
    __ Magazine subscriptions
    __ New business cards
    __ New employer
    __ Newspaper subscriptions
    __ Old employer
    __ Orthodontist
    __ Parent-teacher association
    __ Passport
    __ Pet sitter/ dog walker/ pet day care
    __ Pharmacy (BONUS: get year-to-date expense summary for taxes)
    __ Physical therapist
    __ Physician (BONUS: get referral for new location)
    __ Post office
    __ Professional organizations
    __ Retirement plan holders
    __ Return address labels (order new ones)
    __ Schools (BONUS: get copies of transcripts)
    __ Snow removal service
    __ Social Security Administration
    __ Swimming pool maintenance (pool cleaning, pool opening or closing)
    __ Swimming pool memberships
    __ Veterinarian BONUS get vet records and recommendations
    __ Water delivery service

== 4 Weeks Prior to Move: Resources and Packing ==

  • Hire movers or reserve the truck.

  • Recruit family and friends to help on the move.

  • Get the essential moving supplies.

    At minimum, you will need:

    __ Markers to label boxes (preferably wide tip, dark color)
    __ Moving boxes
    __ Newsprint, packing peanuts or other cushioning material
    __ Packing tape
    __ Scissors or utility knife

  • Make a moving organizer.
    You can make a moving organizer for all your important notes, receipts, and important information by getting:

    __ Binder, 3-ring, at least ˝” wide
    __ Pocket dividers to separate sections and hold important receipts
    __ Paper for keeping all your notes (3-holed graph paper is ideal for this).

  • Start packing!

  • Start separating cherished items from the non-essential.

== 2 Weeks Prior To Moving ==

  • Make arrangements to return items.
    Here are some critical items to return prior to moving:

    __ Cable/ satellite receiver boxes, remote controls, dishes
    __ Cable/DSL modems
    __ Carpet shampooer
    __ Clothing (borrowed)
    __ DVD and video game rentals
    __ Library books (neighborhood and school)
    __ Tools (borrowed or rented)
    __ Trash cans/ recycle bins
    __ Unwanted purchases

  • Make arrangements to retrieve items.
    Be sure to retrieve any of the following items:

    __ Clothing at dry cleaners, tailors or in storage
    __ Clothing lent to friends
    __ Items at repair shops
    __ Tools lent to neighbors or friends

  • Open bank accounts near your new address.

  • Create one “Open Me First” box for each room.
    You’ll need to access certain packed items almost immediately after you arrive, and they need to be packed together in special boxes (one per room) and marked with either bright red markers or special stickers so you can spot them easily. The specific rooms are:


    __ aluminum foil
    __ break-proof or disposable flatware, cups, and plates
    __ coffee maker (don’t forget the filters!)
    __ dish detergent
    __ frying pan and spatula
    __ pet food and bowels
    __ scissors
    __ tea kettle

    Main Bathroom:

    __ bath mat
    __ bath towels
    __ first-aid kit (aspirin, band-aids, hydrogen peroxide)
    __ hair dryer
    __ shampoo
    __ shower curtain and rings
    __ soap
    __ toothbrushes and toothpaste

    Tool room or drawer:

    __ batteries
    __ duct tape
    __ flashlight
    __ flat-head screwdriver
    __ hammer
    __ level
    __ Phillips-head screwdriver
    __ picture hangers
    __ tape measure
    __ utility knife

  • Finish off packing for “non-living” rooms.

  • Start eating up perishable food from freezer and refrigerator.

  • Consider holding a “Packing Party.”
    Hold a yard sale.

== 1 Week Prior to Moving Day ==

  • Confirm start time, current home address and future home address with movers.

  • Recruit friends for “moving day madness.”
  • Make arrangements for child and/or pet sitting.

== 1 Day Prior to Moving Day ==

  • Make sure everyone’s cell phone is fully charged.
    Have everyone pack one or two suitcases or a knapsack (no more).
    Even if you’re only moving across the street, having a suitcase with the following, taken with you instead of on the moving truck if possible, will make things easier once you move in:

    __ Eyeglasses
    __ Favorite toy for the kids
    __ Prescriptions
    __ Something to read
    __ Three days’ worth of changes of clothes
    __ Toothbrush and toothpaste (if not in “Open Me First” box)

== Moving Day ==

  • Start early.

  • Take all garbage out of the house.

  • Make sure drivers have your cell phone number and you have theirs, along with their names.

  • Be available for movers’ questions.

  • Perform final checks before leaving current home.

Here are some final items to verify before shutting the door for the last time:

  • Air conditioning, fans, and heat turned off?

  • Water shut off, including to hoses?

  • Light switches turned off?

  • Keys and garage door openers for current home turned in or left on the kitchen counter?

  • Anything left in refrigerator, freezer, stove, drawer under stove, in closets, in bathroom, under porch, in garage, in attic, in crawlway?

  • Did you pack your hoses and sprinklers?

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