Moving households isn’t only about boxing clothes and dishes; it’s about packing up a life in one home and starting over in the new one. Even if you have months to carefully plan your move, it’s a challenge to remember everything that needs to be done. Here’s a checklist to make the transition a little easier.
Hire help: Get moving company recommendations and bids, then hire one 6-8 weeks before you move.
Take inventory: List the items that are going with you and inventory them with your camera phone.
Get insured: Will your mover and homeowner’s insurance adequately cover your belongings during the move? If not, purchase additional insurance.
Cut back: Pare down your pile of possessions through yard sales, online selling or donations.
Get supplies: Collect clean, used boxes and newspapers. Don’t forget packing tape and markers.
Stay organized: Map out where items will go in your new place and pack them by room. Clearly mark what’s in each box, especially fragile breakables.
Keep it close: Hand-carry valuables and important documents in a fire-safe box.
Be ready: Separately pack toiletries, medicines and clothing to easily find them after the move.
Notify people: Share your change of address with friends and family, schools, your employer and landlord, if necessary.
Stop and start services: Determine dates to stop utilities/services at your old place and start them at your new one.
- U.S. Postal Service
- Telephone (home and wireless)
- Insurance companies (property, health)
- Educational facilities
- Child care and pet care
- Doctors, veterinarians, lawyers and other professional services
- Magazines, newspapers and other subscriptions Clubs and memberships Financial institutions: bank accounts, loans, credits cards, autopay services
- Auto finance company
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Social Security Administration
- State/federal tax bureaus and the electoral roll
- Tax assessor
- Color code each room in your new home, then pack and label your boxes to match their new location.
- Use suitcases to pack clothes you’ll need right away.
- Keep essential items close on hand: Tape, scissors, utility knife, hand soap, dish soap, kitchen sponge, hand towels, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, toilet paper, flashlight, batteries, matches, emergency kits, snacks and beverages, cups and plates.
- Include kids in your moving strategy: Let them play in their new bedroom and help you pack.
- Your pets are moving too: Keep water bowls, food, collars, leashes and licenses nearby along with a familiar toy to reduce their anxiety.
- If possible, take a day or two to unpack and settle into your new home.