Congratulations on your move! What an exciting time. I love moving. I don’t know about you but, I find excitement in new places. I get a thrill exploring a new neighborhood and finding my local shops. This likely stems from my moving around a bit in my youth. My husband on the other hand hates moving. His parents have lived in the same house for over 40 years, so he doesn’t see moving as quite the adventure I do.
Regardless of how you feel, or where your anxiety stems from, here’s a checklist to get yourself in order before the big day. This is the actual checklist I used to move us across the country – something that was a first for both of us.
Before Moving Day
Some people get these done well in advance of moving day. I’ve seen some checklists that recommend you start this 6 weeks before! The procrastinator in me thinks that’s insane. On our big move from California to Virginia, I started this checklist 3 weeks before the movers arrived and finished a couple days before.
Book the Movers or Rental Truck
I’ve done it both ways and I will always budget for the movers from now on. But there’s nothing wrong with renting a U-Haul and DIY-ing it.
Make an Inventory of all Your Stuff
Regardless of how your stuff is moving, you should take an inventory. This is a step that many of us forget, so if you’re a little rushed just make sure you take photos of the expensive stuff and make a quick little note. An inventory is also important for insurance purposes. Heaven forbid something happens to your things in transit, you will need to create an inventory in order to get replacements.
Pack a Suitcase With Your Essentials
Think about packing your suitcase with all the necessities you will need for the number of days you will be away from your stuff. When we moved to Virginia we didn’t see our stuff for 15 days! You may be living out of suitcases for a few days before the move, so make sure you calculate that in too! Be sure to include the following:
- Toiletries – including shampoo and conditioner
- Clean sheets – for all the different beds. Some people recommend putting these in your Day 1 box, but you have no idea how you will feel by the time all the boxes are unloaded. Just do yourself a favor and keep the sheets separate.
Pack Up Room by Room, Leaving the Kitchen for Last
Packing up, room by room really helped me focus. By doing this, I knew that each room was completely packed, so I didn’t have to worry about any last-minute items that I have to shove in random boxes. If you can, try to keep all the boxes in the room you packed them from. This will help keep boxes together, so it’s easier for you when you unpack the truck.
If you’re a procrastinator like me, this will seem tedious and time-consuming. I can tell you from experience, it is not! Be sure to label all your boxes for content and which room it belongs in your new place. I’ve definitely opened boxes labeled ‘Kitchen’ and there was one kitchen appliance and the rest were baby toys. Don’t be like me, label it all!
Pack Two Boxes for Your Day 1 Needs
Box one will have all your cleaning supplies, and box two will have disposable plates, utensils, and cups. If you decided against packing sheets in your suitcase, make a third box for these.
Cancel Your Utilities
I didn’t want to have to deal with this during the most stressful time of moving (the last week), so I called all my companies 3 weeks before our scheduled move date. Some places will make you wait until you’re closer to your date, but most will let you cancel if you’re within a 3-week window.
Schedule Utility Appointments for Your New Place
You may as well get a jump on these appointments now. A few companies tend to book up quickly, and you wouldn’t want to go without electricity/gas/internet!
Book Cleaning Crews for Both Places
Trust me on this, pay it forward. Book a cleaning crew for the place you’re moving out of and the place you’re moving into. Sure you could clean yourself, but is that really something you want to do after you’ve finished packing and prior to unboxing all your stuff? The answer is no.
On Moving Day
So you’ve packed up your whole place and the big day finally arrives! Don’t celebrate yet, you still have a bit of work to do.
Take the Day Off Work
If you can manage this, I highly recommend moving on a weekday. Logistically it’s easier and it allows a little more breathing space to unpack everything. We have always moved during the week and will continue to do so until we land on dream drive.
Pack Day 1 Boxes Last
Your day 1 boxes should be last on, first off. Don’t make a rookie mistake and bury them somewhere in between your hall closet and bathroom boxes! These are important and should be treated as such!
Keep Your Valuables With You
This one seems pretty obvious to me, but with all the hustle and bustle things can get lost in the shuffle. If you can, the morning of the move, put any smaller valuables in your purse or suitcase and tuck it in the corner with a note that they are not to be moved. Make a note of any valuables going on the truck and be sure to take pictures before they get loaded.
Have Cash On Hand
Quick Tip: If you hired movers, this one is for you. At the end of the move, it’s appropriate to tip the guys moving the furniture. It doesn’t have to be a lot, $20-$50 is enough, but make sure you hand each guy his own money. I don’t trust supervisors to always have their employees backs, and if I hand the money out myself, I know it went to each person.
After the Move
Alright friends. You are so close, but don’t drop the ball yet! There are just a few final steps that need to be completed before you can run off into the sunset toward your new place.
Don’t Forget to Leave the Keys
Again, you are no dummy, but make sure you leave all the sets of keys you have. We had to round up 5 sets when we sold our first house and it was a mission to remember who all had keys!
Conduct a Final Walk-Through and Take Pictures
It’s pretty common practice to do a final walk-through with your landlord or buyers, but one key is to take pictures so they can’t try and stiff you with some outrageous bill. Don’t be shy and ask if they have questions about anything they see. That way they can’t surprise you in a few weeks with a bill you didn’t see coming.
Give Yourself a Pat on the Back
You deserve it! You worked hard and got everything moved out.
Now that you’ve moved into your new place, check out my post on 6 Things You Need to do First.
Phew, thanks for sticking with me on this one. I know it seems daunting, but you will get it all done! If you’re interested in my Moving Checklist Freebie, click on the image to download and print!
Did I leave anything important off the list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.