There are a lot of moving parts to relocating—from the planning stages to the actual move to post-move tasks. And often we get overwhelmed and miss important steps in the process, causing headaches and making more work for ourselves. One way to make sure we stay on schedule and on task, is to have a checklist. But sometimes we aren’t sure what that checklist needs to entail.
To help you ensure you’re doing everything right and on time here’s a handy checklist we’ve put together for you:
Two Months Prior to Move
- Go Through Stuff
At this point, you want to make sure to only move items that you want to keep. Don’t move them first, then realize they need to be tossed. Purge, sell, or donate the items you don’t intend to move.
- Create Moving Folder
Put together a folder where you can keep all paperwork related to moving. This includes realtor information, moving company estimates, or checklists to help you stay on track.
Start gathering information on moving companies. Ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. Read online reviews and start getting quotes for your move from different companies. Always ask for on-site estimates as opposed to on the phone quotes. Make sure the companies you’re considering each have proper documentation and insurance and are reviewed well.
- Use Up Food
Start using the food in your fridge and freezer and be conscious of what you purchase until moving day. You want to empty out your reserves as much as possible to reduce waste.
Six Weeks Prior to Move
- Get Supplies Together
Whether you plan on purchasing or gathering supplies from different sources (such as collecting boxes from stores), start getting your packing and moving materials together. These include labels, markers, boxes, tape, dollies and the like. When it comes to boxes, opt for a few extra so you’re not frantically looking for them at the last minute. Also, don’t forget covers for your furniture and mattresses.
One Month Prior to Move
- Secure Moving Company
Choose the moving company you are planning to use. Set and confirm moving date, time and costs, and a sign contract with the company.
- Start Sorting and Packing
Sort what you want to move yourself and what you’ll be handing over to the moving company. Then begin packing. Although it might seem too early to pack your items one month prior to moving day, you can certainly box up the things you rarely use or are out of season first, then pack those items that you often use closer to moving day. Make sure you label every box clearly with the room it’s going into. Keep an inventory sheet so you know exactly how many boxes you have and what is inside of each one.
- Provide Change of Address
Notify the post office and all interested parties of your new address and ask for your mail to be forwarded. For general mail you can visit your local post office or go to USPS.com/move for convenience and speed. For other entities such as credit card or insurance companies you can either contact them online or give them a call.
Two Weeks Prior to Move
- Confirm Date with Moving Company
Call and confirm your move date with the relocation company and ensure that everything is set according to plan.
- Take Moving Day Off
If your move does not fall on a weekend or a day you are not typically off from work, make sure you arrange to be around to supervise the move.
- Ensure Most Packing is Done
By this time you should be mostly packed and only have what you need for the next two weeks.
One Week Prior to Move
- Refill Prescriptions for Everyone
If you or anyone else takes medication, be sure you have enough supply to last you through the move and for several days after. If you have any pets, make sure to refill their prescriptions as well.
- Transfer Utilities
Make sure you arrange to have utilities turned off at the end of moving day at the old place and turned on at the new place by the time you get there. This includes water, electricity, gas, cable, and phone if using a landline.
- Plan for Paying Movers
If you haven’t yet paid the moving company be sure you have your payment ready—whether in the form of a card or check or some other method. Confirm with the company what they prefer. It’s never smart to pay them in cash. However, have tips ready in the form of cash. Tips are generally 10 to 15 percent of the total move. In addition to tips, you can also provide movers with drinks and refreshments.
- Pack Your Car
Take your valuables and the items you prefer handle yourself and pack them in the vehicle you’re traveling in. Leave enough room for anyone riding with you and don’t forget to account for car seats and pet carriers.
- Defrost the Freezer
Make sure the fridge and freezer are empty and clean. Defrost the freezer if required.
- Check Inventory
Make sure to double-check the number of boxes and items leaving your apartment and arriving at the new place.