Moving 101: Helpful Moving Checklist

Moving can be a stressful and time-consuming task, especially when planned on the fly. It’s easy for things to get a little hectic, but it’s also easy to make plans that cut down the chaos considerably. We’ve put together our favorite moving tips and tricks in a simple, easy to follow checklist. Follow the steps below and make this move one for the books!

moving boxes and white chair in truck

Photo Source: Listotic

Easy Moving Checklist:

Two Months Before:

  1. Sort and Donate. Eight weeks before your move, it’s time to go through those drawers, cabinets and closets and start sorting the essential from the disposable. A good rule of thumb: if you haven’t used it in six months, it’s time to trash or donate!
  2. Do your research. Start researching moving companies or rentals. By doing so before it’s down to the wire, you’ll have time to research and secure the best price or package.
  3. Purge storage spaces. If you’re storing items in a basement or in a rental, it’s time to sort through your stuff. Particularly if you’re leaving the state, there’s no point in paying to move or store things that are no longer useful.

Six Weeks Before:

  1. Make your reservations. Choose your mover or rental company and make reservations. You’ll rest easier knowing this is taken care of!
  2. Order supplies. Order boxes, tape, packing peanuts, and other necessary moving supplies.
  3. Change your address. Fill out change of address forms with your moving date included.
  4. Notify schools of new address. Make sure your children’s schools are aware of your new address to make sure you get any necessary correspondence, or contact your new local schools for enrollment information.

One Month Before:

  1. Confirm travel plans. If your move involves car, plane or train reservations, confirm they’re correct before the move begins in earnest.
  2. Start packing. It may seem early, but four weeks is the appropriate time to begin separating valuables, labeling furniture and packing up non-essential items.
  3. Confirm move date with utilities. Check with your local utility companies to ensure service will be switched off after your move.
  4. Handle your records. Make sure any school, medical, employer, or insurance records are transferred if necessary.

brown dining room with mirrors and packed chairs

Photo Source: Martha Stewart

Two Weeks Before:

  1. Arrange time off. If you’re moving locally, you may want to request a day or two off to handle the bulk of the move in person.
  2. Separate Valuables. Make sure anything valuable, sentimental, or fragile is packed and labeled accordingly. You may want to keep these items with you instead of entrusting them to a moving company.
  3. Confirm moving reservations and make payments. Make sure your movers or rentals will be ready and available on time.
  4. Send moving announcements. Now’s the time to mail those personalized moving announcements! Make sure to include your new address in its entirety.


One Week Before:

  1. Finish packing. Anything not used daily should be packed with roughly a week to go.
  2. Set aside “essentials.” Every member of the family should have a few suitcases for their daily essentials. These items will travel with you personally on moving day.
  3. Run last-minute errands. Begin a shopping or ‘to-do’ list and check off your items in bulk to avoid multiple trips and errands.

Moving Day:

  1. Designate a point-person. If you’ll be working on the day, designate a second-in-command to field questions, supervise movers, or make sure the family arrives in one piece.
  2. Deliver the goods. If you’re moving with a bunch of folks or helping out a friend or family member, consider a fun DIY moving kit to make their day go a little more smoothly.
  3. Make sure utilities are on. Call your local utility companies and make sure everything’s set up, working, and in your name.
  4. Do a last check. Lock windows and doors of the old place. Remember to turn off lights and double-check cabinets, closets and doors.
  5. Designate a few helpers. If you’re receiving offers to help, make sure to delegate a few tasks (like unloading boxes, sweeping up the old place, or even ordering pizzas).
  6. Check in with post office. Make sure you’re officially registered at your new address, ask for any mail being held and confirm you’re ready to service to begin!



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Category: Home Ideas & DIY
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3 Responses

  1. Jane Fox says:

    Great timeline! It’s amazing how stressful moving can be, even when it’s a local move, so advice like this is really great. I really like your advice to sort and donate. We all accumulate so much stuff, and moving is a great opportunity to purge a little. Thanks for the helpful article!

  2. Dale Scott says:

    Very helpful post. I think this article is a great followup about what to pack for seniors moving from their residential homes to a retirement community.

  3. Cora Lin says:

    Great checklist! I’m very glad I found your post, because it’s exactly what I needed right now. I’m organizing and planning, and have two months left only, and as I read your list I found I’ve missed many things that need to be done. Thank you for all the helpful information and tips!

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