Transferring furniture and household goods from your old house to the new one goes more smoothly if you plan ahead. That’s why we’ve come up with this checklist that starts eight weeks before moving day and even includes what you need to do after moving day.
Eight Weeks Before:
- Declutter and purge. Room by room decide what you want to get rid of, what you want to keep and see if any items might require special packing.
Research movers. Ask friends and family for recommendations.
- Ask if they are a member of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA).
- Ask if they will do an on-site estimate.
- Ask what insurance is included.
- Get the estimates in writing.
- Create a binder or moving file. Put all your estimates, receipts and an inventory of the items you will be moving in it.
- Ask your doctors for referrals in your new city.
Six Weeks Before:
- Hire the mover you’re most comfortable with.
- Request a copy of the signed contract from the mover.
- Order or buy boxes and other packing supplies you’ll need.
- Take measurements of doors in your new home to make sure large pieces of furniture will fit through them.
- Arrange to have medical records, school records and veterinarian records sent to the providers you’ve chosen in your new city.
- Contact your homeowner’s insurance agent to see if you need to change or add on coverage.
- Cancel or transfer memberships to health clubs and any membership organizations.
One Month Before:
- Start packing the items you don’t use much. Label each box with the room it’s destined for and a number, like “Master Bedroom, #1." Assign each room a color and place the appropriately-colored sticker on the boxes.
- Place valuable jewelry and important papers in a safe box that you’ll hand carry to your new home on moving day.
- Fill out a change of address either online at usps.gov or in person at your local post office.
- Inform the following service providers of your move: banks, financial planners, stockbrokers, human resources at your employers’, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, credit card companies, insurance agents, cell phone provider and utility companies. Discuss shut off day with the utility companies at this time.
- Make travel arrangements for your pets, if necessary. Place copies of their medical and immunization records in your moving binder.
Three Weeks Before:
- Plan how you will move your house plants.
- Dispose of flammable items and poisons.
- Take moving day off from your job.
- Have a locksmith change the locks in your new home.
- Continue packing boxes with contents of your garage, attic and storage areas.
Two Weeks Before:
- Notify government offices of your move, including the city or county tax assessor, state vehicle registration, Social Security Administration, IRS, and Veterans Administration.
- Confirm travel arrangements if it takes more than one day to get to your new home.
- Start using up your perishable food.
- Make a folder with critical information about your old house for the new owner.
- Get your vehicles ready for a new climate if you’re moving to one.
- Remove the contents of any safety deposit boxes and put them in the safebox.
- Continue packing.
- Call to have utilities turned on in your new place.
One Week Before:
- Print out the address of your new home and driving directions and include your cell phone number to give to the movers.
- Finish packing. Set aside enough clothing for five to seven days and put it in a suitcase.
- Call the moving company with any questions you have.
- Fill any prescriptions you’ll need for the next two weeks.
- Pack a box of essentials that you’ll keep with you during the move. This could include medication, snacks and water, toiletries, camera, etc.
- Drain gas and oil from lawn mowers, gas grills, heaters, etc.
- Drain water from hoses.
Two Days Before:
- Empty and defrost refrigerators and freezers.
- Confirm moving day details with the moving company. Check on arrival time.
- Get cash to tip your movers and to have on hand for emergencies.
- Take care of payment for the movers if you haven’t already.
- Create a written inventory of your packed boxes.
- Walk through your home and yard before movers arrive to make sure you’ve packed everything.
- Give your old house keys to your real estate agent or landlord.
- Check items and boxes off your inventory list as they are loaded.
- Before the movers leave, sign the bill of lading or inventory list and keep a copy.
- Check every room and closet for missed items after the movers have left.
- Leave a note with your new address so new occupants can forward your mail.
- Test appliances, faucets, toilets, smoke detectors and security systems in your new home.
- Set up the beds first.
- Unpack boxes and begin organizing your new spaces.
- Inspect furniture and other household goods that have been moved for damages. Photograph those with damage.
One Week After Moving Day:
- Recycle your moving boxes.
- Buy fire extinguishers if you don’t already have them.
- Hang pictures and other simple projects that make your house a home.
- Get acquainted with your new community and find out where everything is located.
- Find out local requirements for vehicle registration and drivers’ licenses.