Step-by-Step Guide to Moving [Checklist, Do’s & Don’ts Included]

  • By EasyMove
  • 06 Aug 2019

If you are a last-minute person, moving is bound to be extremely stressful. But you know what - if you start taking one tiny step at a time in advance, the experience can actually be enjoyable. Here at EasyMove, we believe that moving can be a great excuse to engage your family in collaborative preparations and make time to have heart-to-heart conversations over exciting plans about the future.

Whether you are relocating to another city or just switching homes in your current city, planning ahead and being organized is the key to a successful and stress-free move. Here is the ultimate moving checklist to make your experience a lot less stressful and even enjoyable.

Moving Checklist for Week-8 and Week-7

You must be wondering – Do you really need to plan so ahead of your moving day? The answer is – yes, if you want to remove stress and panic from your moving experience.

 

  • Visit your new neighborhood

    Take a tour of the neighborhood. If you have kids, you should prepare a list of top-rated schools in the area. Also get to know the neighborhood amenities. Try to make acquaintance of your new neighbors. They can be a big help on your moving day.

 

  • Get your family mentally and emotionally prepared for the move

    Your kids may be apprehensive about moving to a new place and leaving their friends. It’s time to start getting them mentally and emotionally prepared for the move. Explain to them how things will change for the better.

 

moving family
  • Put a date stamp on your moving day

    Coming up with a date and time so early can be difficult, but you will make things a lot easier if you can put a date stamp on your move at least 60 days prior to the day. Did you know that most movers charge less if you hire them for weekdays instead of weekends? You can save some money by avoiding the weekend rush.

 

  • DIY or professional help?

    You should decide early on whether you will hire a professional moving service or you will do it on your own. It depends on the size of your move and several other factors.  EasyMove will come up with a customized plan based on your move type i.e. ‘small moving’, ‘long distance moving’, ‘craigslist delivery’, ‘commercial moving’, ‘furniture and appliance delivery’ and ‘storage moving’. If you are taking the DIY route, ask your friends and family members who you are planning to ‘enlist’ for the job whether they will be available on your moving day.

Budget for your move

Moving to another city can be expensive, so it makes sense to budget for your move. If you are relocating due to job change, find out if your new employer will cover the moving cost. EasyMove makes it extremely easy to determine your budget. You can get an estimate what the move will cost you depending on your specific needs and circumstances.

 

  • Take care of legalities

    Are you staying in a rental? Go through the terms in your rental agreement. If they require you to serve a 60-day notice, give your landlord a heads up about your moving plans. If you are selling your existing home, you should have already put it on the market. Make sure that you and your realtor are ready to close on time. Coordinating your moving day with the closing day can be a big challenge due to a variety of legal and financial obligations involved in the property transaction process, so be prepared for it.

 

Moving Checklist for Week – 6 and Week – 5

Week – 8 and Week – 7 were dedicated to laying a good foundation for a stress-free move. Over the next two weeks, you will get you and your family prepared for the day:

  • Utilities, memberships and service providers

    The utility companies take a while to disconnect their services including phone, water, cable, internet, gas, and electricity. Make sure to notify them ahead of time. Also, apply for these utilities for your new home if it doesn’t have them already. Your gym and club may need you to serve a 30-day notice for cancelling membership. Notify them on time. Are you planning to move appliances to your new home? Notify the companies, so that they can schedule a visit to remove those appliances. Let any service providers you may have hired for jobs like housekeeping, landscaping and pool maintenance know of your plans to move out.
  • Switching schools

    You have to take care of certain formalities when your kids switch schools. Find out what these formalities are and start the process of enrolling your kids in their new school.
  • Can you save money on travel?

    Don’t wait till the last moment to book flight tickets and make other travel arrangements if your move is long distance. Look for offers or early bird discounts on flight tickets.
  • Will you use old furniture?

    The answer depends on whether your old furniture will fit in the new home or not.You may also have concerns regarding whether the furniture will suit the interior of your new place. You may consider hiring a stager or an interior designer to find this out and take measurements if you have the budget and can’t do it on your own.
  • Start de-cluttering

    You may have been putting off getting rid of clutter for a long time, but not now. You should make a list of all the things you won’t need in your new home and get rid of them. You can either hold a garage sale or donate unwanted clothing, furniture or utensils.

 

Decluttering before move
  • Do you have necessary packing and moving supplies?

    Boxes of various sizes, tape, scissors, box cutters, sticker labels, colored markers, gloves, cords, blankets, pads, cleaners and paper towels are just a few of the items you will need for packing and moving.
  • Insurance and taxes

    Will your current health insurance cover you and your family in the new place? Have you donated any household items that are tax deductible? Can you deduct your moving expenses from your tax liability? This is the time to find out the answers to all these questions.

Moving Checklist for Week – 4 and Week – 3

This is the time for some heavy lifting. Here are all the steps you need to take during the Week – 4 and Week – 3:

  • Discuss your specific situation with moving company

    If you are hiring a moving company, they should tell you what time you should expect them to arrive at your address. They should also be notified about any special circumstances such as parking restrictions, steep stairs, no elevators and small doorways, so that they come fully prepared on the moving day.
  • Start packing non-essentials

    Box all the items that you won’t need over the next 30 days. They may include books, any extra clothing, utensils, footwear, toiletries and electronics. Don’t pack essentials that may be of any use before the moving day. Unpacking what you have already packed will waste your time, energy and resources.
  • Prepare a timeline for packing essentials

    This is one of the most important steps in the packing process. You should decide when you will pack which items depending on how often you use them. These essentials may include kitchen items, dinnerware, clothing and toiletries.
  • Assign duties

    If your kids are old enough, you should engage them in the packing process. They should take care of boxing their personal articles such as books, toys and clothing. You can also ask them to de-clutter their rooms and get rid of things they no longer need.
  • Come up with an unpacking plan

    Before you start boxing things, you should try to get an idea of which items will go where in your new home. It will help you label boxes, which is the next step on our moving checklist.
  • DON’T forget to label boxes

    One of the most common mistakes people make when packing is that they either forget or worse still, ignore labeling boxes. This mistake will come to haunt you when you unpack in your new home. Finding what individual item you packed in which box can be a big pain if there are no markers. You should mark the boxes to know where each box belongs. You should also consider writing down the contents of each box.
  • Box and mark ‘fragile’ items properly

    You would want the movers to handle valuable and fragile items carefully, right? Well they will be able to do it only if they know which boxes contain these items.
  • Will you need temporary accommodation?

    By this time, it must be clear whether you will need temporary accommodation. It will depend on the size of your move as well as the amount of storage space available in your new home. You should try to find a short-term rental in your budget. Hotel accommodation can be a lot more expensive than short-let apartments. In case you are planning to book one through any of the short-term rental websites such as Airbnb, you should not wait until the last minute. Just like flights, the last-minute bookings may cost you more money.
  • Car shipping

    If you are driving long distance, make sure that your car is properly serviced. If you are flying, hire a car shipping service at least 30 days prior to the moving day to ensure that it is available for use as soon as you move in.
  • Clean out the pantry and fridge

    If you are one of those people who stock up on food, make sure that you either use it up or donate it before the moving day.  
  • Let the community know

    Your close friends, colleagues, relatives and neighbors should know of your plans to move ahead of time. They deserve a chance to say goodbye, or better still, throw a goodbye party.
  • Dispose of hazardous waste

    Almost every household has items that can’t simply be tossed in the trash bin. Yours is no exception. These items include pool chemicals, fire extinguishers, paint, aerosols, fertilizers, propane tanks, loaded guns, gasoline and fireworks. Find out how and where you can get rid of them. The county authorities may have imposed certain codes and regulations for disposal of hazardous waste. Make sure to comply with these regulations.
  • Get important documents in one place

    Important documents such as auto, health and homeowners insurance, renal lease papers, employment contracts, appliance warranty documents and manuals, identification documents, passport etc. should be accounted for and probably stored in one place.
  • Consider using a service for forwarding mails

    There are many mail forwarding services such as USPS that will deliver mails to your new address after the move. You can book their service online.
  • Be mindful of your medical history and financial records

    Forgetting about medicare insurance, medical records and prescriptions is a common moving mistake. These should be a priority on your moving checklist. Update the address online to continue receiving medicare and social security benefits. Notify your doctor about your move and discuss any implications that the move may have on your ongoing treatment or therapy. Ask for referrals in the new place and have your medical records and prescription history transferred accordingly. You should also contact your bank and credit card company and notify them about the change in address.
  • Conduct an inspection of your home

    Before moving out of a rental, you would want to make sure that you don’t end up paying for any damages. You can repair minor damages on your own before the landlord performs a physical verification.
  • Have your new home move-in ready

     Hire cleaners, painters and other service providers to get your new home move-in ready. Will you need to buy new furniture? It is time to order for them so that you have them delivered soon after you move in.
  • Keep pets and plants in mind

    Moving plants can be a bit challenging, even if you hire a moving company. There could be certain legal restrictions in place with regard to the transportation of plants from one state to another. You should decide whether you want to move the plants (if it’s allowed) or make other arrangements such as giving them away to your neighbors or friends. You should also collect vaccine records concerning your pets. Also consider taking your pets to the vet for a check-up before moving.  

Moving Checklist for Week – 2 and Week – 1

If you have checked off most things on your moving checklist so far, you definitely deserve a pet on the back. You can actually relax a bit because you have already done most of the heavy lifting. Here are a few more things you need to take care of during Week – 2 and Week – 1:

  • Keep packing

     As the moving day gets closer, you should start boxing essential items also. The idea is to finish packing everything at least a couple of days before the moving day. Since these boxes will be first to be unpacked in your new home, you should label them accordingly. Write down the content of these boxes in as much detail as possible. Keep in mind that when you are packing electronics such as TV or computer, you will need to set them back up in your new home. You may need to hire professionals to reassemble them. If you are planning to do it on your own, you should click pictures of how the wires are arranged.  

 

Wires rearrange move
  • Pay off dues

    Do you have an unpaid parking ticket? Is there any outstanding property taxes? Well, this is time to settle these dues once and for all.
  • Get rid of trash

    All the de-cluttering, packing and boxing in weeks leading to the moving day may cause accumulation of more trash and disposable items. Make sure to have the trash picked up or try dumping it off at your community’s recycling center.

 

Dispose of trash before move.
  • Arrange for an inspection by landlord or buyer

    Coordinate with your landlord or property management agency for a physical inspection of your rental home. If you are selling your home, you should get the buyer or his or her realtor to arrange for a final home inspection during your last week in the house.
  • Finish packing

    As already mentioned, you should have everything boxed and ready to move at least two days prior to the move.
  • Prep the property for a handover

    Your landlord may charge a cleaning fee against your security deposit if the house is cluttered. You have already removed trash, but it will be prudent to clean the property one last time before your moving day.

Checklist for the Day before Move

  • Pack for temporary accommodation

    Depending on the number of days you expect to stay in a temporary accommodation, you should pack a suitcase containing essentials such as toiletries and clothing. Even if you are not planning to stay in a short-term rental before your new home is move-in ready, unpacking may take a couple of days. It makes sense to keep your essentials handy so that you don’t have to dig into packed boxes just to- for example - get your toothbrush.
  • Take care of last-minutes chores

    Don’t forget to clean out and drain the pantry, fixed appliances such as dishwasher, washing machine and refrigerator. Take photographs of every nook and corner of the property, particularly if you are moving out of a rental. You will kill two birds with one stone. This may help you settle any claims against your security deposit. You will also be able to make sure you aren’t leaving anything behind. If you have furniture that is too large to fit through doorways, you should disassemble it. Keep the hardware such as bolts somewhere safe as you will need them to reassemble your furniture.

Checklist for the Moving Day

The big day has finally arrived. Here are a few things you need take care of on your moving day:

  • Say goodbye to your neighbors.
  • Make sure that your movers are aware of any specific instructions with regard to which boxes go where in the truck in order of priority and your ‘unpacking plan’.
  • Don’t forget to tip your movers before they leave.
  • Take the rest of the day off before you start unpacking in your new home.

In conclusion

As you can see, moving involves a lot of planning. Not planning ahead of time is the recipe for panic and disaster. Take all the steps outlined in this guide, and everything will fall into place.