An organized move is an easier move. Use this moving list to get a head start!

Whether your last move was across the country or across the street, it probably ended with two words: “Never again!” But you don’t always have the luxury of staying in the same place forever. Sooner or later, you’re bound to find yourself surrounded by cardboard boxes and packing tape―again.

To make things smoother this go-around, look no further than this moving to-do list that details not only what needs to get done, but the right time to do different tasks to minimize stress. Print it out, check every item off week by week, and maybe the two words that end your next move will simply be “I’m home.”


2 Months Before

  • Sort and purge

Go through every room of your house and decide what you’d like to keep and what you can get rid of. Think about whether any items will require special packing or extra insurance coverage.

  • Research movers

Start investigating moving company options. Do not rely on a quote over the phone; request an on-site estimate. Get an estimate in writing from each company

  • Create a moving binder

Use this binder to keep track of everything—all your estimates, your receipts, and an inventory of all the items you’re moving.

  • Organize school records

Go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new school district.


6 Weeks before

  • Use it or lose it

Start using up things that you don’t want to move, like frozen or perishable foods and cleaning supplies.

  • Take measurements

Check room dimensions at your new home, if possible, and make sure larger pieces of furniture will fit through the door.

1 Month before

  • Choose your mover and confirm the arrangements

Select a company and get written confirmation of your moving date, costs, and other details.

  • Begin packing

Start packing the things that you use most infrequently, such as the waffle iron and croquet set. While packing, note items of special value that might require additional insurance from your moving company.

  • Label

Clearly label and number each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for. This will help you to keep an inventory of your belongings. Pack and label “essentials” boxes of items you’ll need right away.

  • Separate valuables

Add items such as jewelry and important files to a safe box that you’ll personally transport to your new home. Make sure to put the mover’s estimate in this box. You’ll need it for reference on moving day.

  • Do a change of address

Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form or do it online. In case there are stragglers, it’s always wise to ask a close neighbor to look out for mail after you’ve moved. Check-in with them two weeks after the move, and again two weeks after that

  • Notify important parties

Alert the following of your move: banks, brokerage firms, your employer’s human resources department, magazines and newspapers you subscribe to, and credit card, insurance, and utility companies.

  • Forward medical records

Arrange for medical records to be sent to any new health-care providers or obtain copies of them yourself.




2 Weeks before

  • Arrange to be off from work on moving day

Notify your office that you plan to supervise the move and therefore need the day off.

  • Get a tune-up

Take your car to a garage and ask the mechanic to consider what services might be needed if you’re moving to a new climate.

  • Clean out your safe-deposit box

If you’ll be changing banks, remove the contents of your safe-deposit box and put them in the safe box that you’ll take with you on moving day.

  • Contact the moving company

Reconfirm the arrangements.

1 Week before

  • Refill prescriptions

Stock up on prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks.

  • Pack your suitcases

Aim to finish your general packing a few days before your moving date. Then pack suitcases for everyone in the family with enough clothes to wear for a few days.

A Few Days Before

  • Defrost the freezer

If your refrigerator is moving with you, make sure to empty, clean, and defrost it at least 24 hours before moving day.

  • Double-check the details

Reconfirm the moving company’s arrival time and other specifics and make sure you have prepared exact, written directions to your new home for the staff. Include contact information, such as your cell phone number.

  • Plan for the payment

If you haven’t already arranged to pay your mover with a credit card, get a money order, cashier’s check, or cash for payment and tip. If the staff has done a good job, 10-15% of the total fee is a good tip. If your move was especially difficult, you might tip each mover up to 20-30%. Don’t forget that refreshments are always appreciated.



Moving Day

  • Verify

Make sure that the moving truck that shows up is from the company you hired

  • Take inventory

Before the movers leave, sign the bill of lading/inventory list and keep a copy.


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