The Ultimate Moving Day Checklist

We have found that one of the best ways to ensure a smooth transition with as little stress as possible is to stay organized and use a countdown checklist. We have prepared the THE ULTIMATE MOVING DAY CHECKLIST for you and hope that it helps you while you prepare for the Big Day! Have fun and remember, if we can help, please let us know!

Six to Eight Weeks before Moving Day:

  • Decide whether you want to do any of the packing or have it done by the moving company’s experienced personnel.
  • Get a few estimates from moving companies.
  • If you are moving yourself, get estimates from at least two truck rental companies.
  • Arrange for closing or transfer of charge accounts.
  • Check personal insurance policies to see whether moving is covered.
  • Transfer fire, theft and other personal property insurance to ensure coverage at the new home.
  • Obtain transcripts of the children’s school records and credentials from school authorities or secure transcripts of school records, if you prefer to take them along.
  • Gather medical and dental records including vaccination data, medical prescriptions, dates of last examinations, history of past illnesses and so on.
  • Ask your doctor and dentist to recommend colleagues in the new city. Be sure to check current telephone numbers and addresses of physicians, dentist and hospital, which will help when transferring your records.
  • Obtain letters of introduction from your church, organization, club, and business Associates.
  • Transfer, sell or resign memberships in clubs or associations.
  • Report your move to any lending agency with which you do business. A lender’s permission may be required to move personal property in which the lender has an interest.

Four to Six Weeks before Moving Day:

Planning Your Packing

  • If you plan to do the packing yourself, start collecting suitable containers. You can purchase specialized containers from most moving companies, such as: Small cartons for heavy items (books, record albums, and tools), Wardrobe containers, Large cartons for bulky items (pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys), Medium-sized cartons for bulkier but not so heavy items (towels, linens, and small appliances)

Collect other packing materials

  • White paper, Tissue paper, Paper towels, Non printed paper, Newspapers, Tape or Strong twine for sealing containers, Scissors or Sharp knife (keep out of children’s reach), Felt marker to mark containers, Notebook & Pencil for listing contents, Labels or Stickers (Available from moving company)

Set goals and deadlines to ensure that all packing is completed by moving day.

  • You may want to pack one room per week. Attach a list of contents to each carton. Separate and mark goods that will go into storage. Consider having a garage sale to dispose of unwanted items. If you donate clothing or household goods to charitable organizations, get receipts showing their approximate value for tax deductions? Remember that the cost of moving an item may be greater than replacing it. Begin to use up large supplies of canned goods and frozen foods. Buy only what will be used before moving.

Places To Notify of Impending Address Change

  • Utility Companies: Electric, Gas, Water, Telephone, DSL, Cable, Trash removal
  • Professional Services: Doctor, Dentist, Accountant, Lawyer, Stock broker
  • Insurance Agents: Life, Health, Fire, Auto, Recreational Vehicle(s)
  • Established Business Accounts: Credit cards, Motor Vehicle Department
  • Finance companies: Banks, Department stores, Credit Card Companies
  • Government and Public Offices: Social Security Administration, Federal and state income tax offices, Voter Registration
  • Publications: Newspapers, Magazines
  • Relatives, friends, neighbors & business associates
  • Misc: Book and record clubs, Schools and colleges, Church
  • Landlord, if you are a tenant
  • Tenants, if you are a landlord.


One month before the move:

  • Start a log of moving expense receipts. Keep all records & receipts related to the move, some of which may be tax deductible.
  • Fill out the Personal Household Inventory for each room. This is important for establishing the amount of declared valuation for the shipment and as a permanent inventory for insurance purposes. Prepare a separate high-value inventory if the shipment will contain articles of “extraordinary” value. Items that might fall into this category are: Antiques, Art Collections, Cameras, China Collections, Computer Equipment, Crystal, Figurines, Firearms, Jewelry, Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs, Silver, Stones Or Gems, Tapestries, TVs Or Stereos
  • Plan to have your mechanical & electrical equipment & appliances properly serviced for shipping prior to the arrival of the moving van. For safe moving, have these items prepared by a licensed or properly trained technician.
  • Arrange for storage facility if necessary
  • Arrange transport service for vehicles or pets, if needed.
  • Contact your bank, arrange transfer of accounts.
  • Submit change-of-address forms to the U.S. Postal Service:
  • Give day care provider notice that you will be withdrawing your child.
  • Contact new schools, arrange for transfer of records.
  • Contact your doctors. Get referrals for new physicians.
  • Change your property, auto, and medical insurance policies.
  • Check with your insurance provider to see how your possessions are covered during transit.
  • Organize important documents in a fire-safe box.
  • Cancel newspaper subscriptions. Change your address on magazine subscriptions.
  • Arrange for temporary housing, if needed.

Two – three weeks before the move:

  • Hold a garage sale to get rid of the things you don’t want to take.
  • Arrange for disconnection and changeover of utilities.
  • Take measurements of rooms in your new house. Try to determine where furniture will be placed.
  • Begin packing things that aren’t used on a daily basis.
  • Try not to buy anymore perishable food items.
  • Transfer prescriptions and be sure you have an adequate supply of medications on hand.
  • Make family travel plans – Reserve air or rail transportation and hotel accommodations as needed and have your car prepared for the trip: tires, brakes, lubrication, oil change, and tune-up-as needed.
  • Dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, pressure cans or paint thinner.
  • Drain oil and fuel from your power mower and other machinery.
  • Discard partly used cans of oil, paint, syrup or any other substance that may leak.
  • Carefully tape-seal and place in individual waterproof bags any jars of liquids or semi-liquids you do not wish to discard.
  • Have rugs cleaned that are to be moved. Leave them rolled and wrapped when they are returned from the cleaners.
  • If draperies are to be moved, have them cleaned and ready for alterations that might be needed in your new home.
  • Collect items that are being cleaned stored or repaired (clothing, shoes, watches).
  • Empty your locker at any club you are a member of.
  • Return library books and anything borrowed from friends or neighbors.
  • Collect things you may have loaned.
  • Decide what to do with your houseplants.
  • Set a date with a reliable service person to prepare your appliances for shipment, preferably the day before the move. Depending on the appliance, post service may be needed for refrigerator, freezer, range, washer, dryer and others. For more information, request a free booklet, generally provided by most Home Removal companies. Pianos and organs need to be prepared for moving by a specialized technician.

One week before the move:

  • Make an inventory list of all items going with you personally.
  • Confirm arrangements and dates with moving and storage companies.
  • Inform friends and relatives of your new address.
  • Have your cleaning supplies ready.
  • Pack yard and shed items.
  • Confirm arrangements with auto and pet transportation companies.
  • Contact the utility companies and make necessary arrangements for service.

One to two days before the move:

  • Clean and defrost the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Close bank accounts.
  • Purchase traveler’s checks, if needed.
  • Finish all financial matters relating to the sale or lease of your home.
  • Finish packing all your belongings Check contents of drawers. Remove all things that can spill or break. Soft goods such as blankets, pillows, blouses, shirts and lingerie may be left in drawers.
  • Pin clothing to hangers if it is to be moved in wardrobe cartons to keep it from slipping off.
  • Pack a box of items that will be needed first at the new home. Clearly mark this box “Load Last”
  • Remove items left in the attic or other storage areas.
  • Be sure the water is emptied from your steam iron.
  • Take the telephone directory with you for contacting former doctors, dentists, suppliers, etc., and for preparing holiday card lists.
  • Pack suitcases for the trip to the new home. Put in extra clothing for emergencies.
  • Consider packing a picnic lunch to eat while traveling. Take along snacks such as fruit and cookies for the children. Include towels for a quick cleanup.
  • Confirm arrival time of your moving van/truck.

Moving day:

  • Confirm delivery address, directions and delivery date with movers.
  • Supervise the move. Make sure boxes are clearly marked.
  • Thoroughly clean your house or apartment before leaving.
  • Check thermostat. Make sure doors are closed and locked and appliances are turned off. Leave garage door openers and keys with new owners or renters, if necessary.
  • Note all utility meter readings
  • Make sure your real estate agent knows how to contact you.

Loading Your Belongings

  • Be on hand when the movers arrive. Otherwise, it is important to let the mover know to whom you have given authority to take your place. Be sure this person knows exactly what to do. Remember the person may be asked to sign documents obligating you to charges.
  • Accompany the van operator through the house inspecting and tagging each piece of furniture with an identifying number. These numbers, along with a description of your goods and their condition at the time of loading, will appear on the inventory.
  • Be sure the condition of each item is recorded and the van operator has a clear understanding about what is to be loaded last. It is your responsibility to see that all of your goods are loaded, so remain on the premises until loading is completed. After making a final tour of the house to be sure no items have been overlooked, check and sign the inventory. Get your copy and keep it in a safe place.
  • Check to see the van operator has the exact destination address. Be specific as to where and how you can be reached pending the arrival of your household goods.
  • Leave the phone connected throughout the moving day. Leave a note listing your new address in a conspicuous place in the house so the new occupants will be able to forward any of your mail inadvertently delivered to them.

Take a last look around:

  • Water shut off?
  • Gas shut off?
  • Air-conditioning shut off?
  • Light switches turned off?
  • All utilities arranged for disconnection?
  • Windows shut and locked?
  • Have you left anything?
  • Lock the house and leave the keys with a responsible person or in a prearranged location.

Arrival day:

  • Make sure all utilities are functioning.
  • Let family and friends know you have arrived safely.
  • Begin unpacking necessities.
  • Let your kids begin unpacking and getting their rooms together.
  • Contact the destination mover whose name appears on the forms signed as soon as possible and indicate where and how you can be reached.
  • Make sure the house is ready for occupancy before the van arrives.
  • To save time and confusion, place a floor plan of your new home at the entrance the movers will use, indicating where each piece of furniture should go.
  • When unloading, each piece of furniture will be placed as you direct, including the lying of rugs and setting up of bed frames, box springs and mattresses. However, appliances and fixtures may not be installed. At your request and additional cost, the agent may arrange for this service and for refilling of waterbed mattresses.
  • Check your household goods, as they are unloaded. If there is a change in the condition of the property from that noted on the inventory at the time of loading or if any items are missing, note any damage and/or missing items on the van operator’s copy of the inventory sheet. By signing the inventory sheet, you are acknowledging receipt of all items listed. Personally report any loss or damage to the moving company agent at destination immediately. (You must file the claim yourself; the van operator cannot do it for you.)
  • To prevent possible damage, television sets, other electronic equipment and certain major appliances should not be used for 24 hours after delivery, allowing them time to adjust to room temperature. If you have paid for unpacking, you are entitled to unpacking service and removal of the cartons.

Getting Settled

  • If you have not already done so, contact the utility companies and make necessary arrangements for service. Ask if any of them provides free appliance connection service.
  • Make arrangements for reinstallation of appliances.
  • Keep all documents pertaining to your move in a safe place. You will need them for verification of moving expenses and for filing your income tax returns. For more information on tax-deductible moving expenses, consult an Accountant or Tax specialist.
  • Check with the post office for any mail being held and ask for delivery to start.
  • Have your medical and dental records transferred after selecting a family physician and dentist.
  • You may want to select a Lawyer to discuss laws pertaining to your destination state, county and/or city. Be sure to cover such matters as wills, transfers of property and investments, insurance regulations, inheritance laws, taxes and the like. Most laws affect a family as soon as residence in the new state and city is established. Register to vote.
  • Locate the selected schools. Take the children, introduce yourself and register them.

And lastly, kick your feet up, relax, and enjoy!!

To help ensure a smooth transition into your new neighborhood, CLICK HERE for the contact information for your new local utility companies. Should you have any questions or require assistance, CONTACT US today!