Moving Checklist and Timeline

Are you excited about moving into your new home? Along with all the expectation, you are most likely feeling some anxiety over preparing to move. However, following the moving checklist and timeline below can help you anticipate each step of the process and hopefully avoid any last minute hassles.

8 Weeks Before Moving

  • Make a file folder that will store important documents, such as estimates from moving companies and receipts. Consult your tax advisor regarding expenses that are tax deductible.
  • Conduct some research on your new neighborhood. Find out where businesses like grocery stores, dry cleaners, gas stations, and restaurants are located in your new town.
  • Many cities provide a packet of information to new residents through the Chamber of Commerce. Call to request one.
  • Make a budget for moving expenses, including a moving company, and then begin requesting estimates.
  • Decide what each room in your new house will be for.

7 Weeks Before Moving ​

  • Get copies of all legal and financial records.
  • Organize and review your medical records, make sure to request any records that you do not have copies of. Let your medical providers know that you will be moving and ask for referrals to practitioners in your new area.
  • Repeat this process with your veterinarian, receiving a copy of all records and asking for referrals.
  • Call your insurance company and ask them to change your address. Also make sure that they make you aware of any rate adjustments based on your new address.
  • Make arrangements for school records to be transferred for your children to the district of your new home.
  • Make an appointment with representatives of any clubs or organizations that have a membership fee. Inform them you will be moving and make arrangements to end the relationship or transfer your membership to your new location.

6 Weeks Before Moving

  • Notify family and friends of your new address.
  • Start evaluating each room to determine items you do not want to keep and pack. Plan a garage sale and select a charity that will accept unwanted items.
  • Identify fragile objects and make a plan to hand carry these items or ship them under special conditions.
  • Plan ahead to use up items that do not travel, like frozen foods and cleaning products.
  • Consider subscribing to the newspaper in your new neighborhood to learn more about the community.
Woman Packing Boxes

5 Weeks Before Moving

  • Acquire packing supplies and begin packing items that are not used regularly.
  • Complete your evaluation of your belongings and plan how you are going to dispose of unwanted items. Be sure to collect receipts when you donate to charities.
  • Decide if you need to rent a storage bin and, if so, make arrangements.

4 Weeks Before Moving

  • Complete the postal form for a change of address. The post office can hold your mail in your new city if your home is not ready to receive mail.
  • Arrange for all of your utilities to be shut the day after you leave your house, and your new home to have them turned on the day before you arrive.
  • Plan how your pets will arrive at your new home.
  • Hold your garage sale during this weekend.
  • Cancel your newspaper subscriptions after prepaying for the next 4 weeks.

3 Weeks Before Moving 

  • Return any outstanding library books and pick up all dry cleaning.
  • Dispose of hazardous items.
  • Have scheduled maintenance performed on your car, even if it is slightly ahead of schedule.
  • Transfer your automobile registration to your new address.

2 Weeks Before Moving

  • Notify credit card companies and other bill collectors that you have changed addresses.
  • Transfer your bank account to the branch office in your new neighborhood or close the accounts, make sure to hang on to some cash to get you to your new location and pay for things until you are settled.
  • Confirm travel arrangements for pets and family.
  • Plan your menu so that you do not buy food that goes to waste. Come up with meals that need little preparation during the last weeks before the move.
  • Collect any items that you will turn over the new owners of the house.

1 Week Before Moving

  • Finalize packing and label the box that contains items you want to unpack immediately upon arriving. Pack your suitcases and valuables separately.
  • Empty any gas tanks including lawn mowers, gas grills or kerosene heaters.
  • Drain water hoses and waterbeds.
  • Empty your refrigerator the day before you move, then unplug the unit to allow it to defrost and clean it after the condensation has melted.
  • Unplug all appliances and prepare them for the move.
  • Fill prescriptions that will be due in the first few weeks after you move.
  • Arrange childcare for the day you are moving.

Moving Out

  • Carry out arrangements made for children and pets. Make sure caregivers know of your moving plans and how to contact you in case of an emergency.
  • Load your belongings in a pre-designated order. It is best to first load items that you need the least and make sure to put the heaviest items on the bottom.
  • Do a final check in every room, including closets and cabinets, to make sure that nothing has been forgotten.
  • Leave your new address with the future residents so that stray mail can be forwarded.

Moving In

  • Since you are likely to arrive to your new home before your belongings have, go through the house and check that your utilities have been connected and that appliance are functioning properly.
  • Decide where you want your furniture to be placed so that you can give clear directions once your possessions have arrived.
  • Confirm arrival time of goods and make sure you are there.

After You Move

  • Store all receipts and documentation in your move file.
  • Update your driver’s license with your new address and register to vote.
  • Send out change of address announcements.
  • Enjoy decorating and organizing your new home!

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