Moving Checklist and Planning Guide

Moving from one place to another, whether it's across town or across the country can be quite a harrowing experience. Planning ahead and keeping a checklist can help you make sure the move goes as smoothly as possible while also preserving your sanity!

Moving Schedule by the Week

  1. 8 Weeks Out
  2. 7 Weeks
  3. 6 Weeks
  4. 5 Weeks
  5. 4 Weeks
  6. 3 Weeks
  7. 2 Weeks
  8. 1 Week
  9. A few days before
  10. Checklist

Things to do 8 weeks before the move:

  • Create a "move file" to keep track of estimates, receipts and other important information.
  • Check with the IRS for possible tax deductions - including moving expenses.
  • Read up on moving tips from our blog
  • Start researching your new community. The Internet is a great resource for finding online community guides and newspapers.
  • Contact the Chamber of Commerce to request their new resident packet.
  • Draw out a floor plan of your new home and start deciding which function each room will serve. Begin planning how to move into your new home.
  • Begin researching auto shipping companies.


Things to do 7 weeks before the move:

  • Create a moving organizer binder. Get pocket dividers to separate sections and hold receipts. 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.


Things to do 6 weeks before the move:

  • Order supplies. Order boxes and other supplies such as tape, Bubble Wrap, and permanent markers. Don’t forget to order specialty containers, such as dish barrels or wardrobe boxes.
    Related: Where to Buy Moving Supplies
  • 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.


Things to do 5 weeks before the move:

  • 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. Make sure to declare, in writing, any items valued over $100 per pound, such as a computer.
  • 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.


Things to do 4 weeks before the move:

  • Do a change of address. Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form, or do it online at But 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 him or her 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, magazine and newspapers you subscribe to, and credit card, insurance, and utility companies.
  • Arrange for utility transfers. Notify current and future utility providers of your move date. Note when current security deposits will be refunded and how much is due when for the new ones.


Things to do 3 weeks before the move:

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


Things to do 2 weeks before the move:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Contact the moving company. Reconfirm the arrangements.


Things to do 1 weeks before the move:

  • 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.
  • Pack a box of cleaning supplies. This way you will be ready to clean after everything is out of your old place and clean before putting everything away at your new home.


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 to 15 percent of the total fee is a good tip. If your move was especially difficult, you might tip each mover up to $100. Don’t forget that refreshments are always appreciated.
  • Hire a babysitter or arrange to send the kids to a friend’s house for the day



  • Clear the walkways to make it easier for the movers. Move potted plants. Remove all doormats and rugs.
  • Disconnect the spring on the screen door so it stays open during the loading process.
  • Take all garbage out of the house.
  • Movers get into huge trouble for leaving anything behind. So many people have been shocked to find their garbage packed into their garbage cans and sent along for the move!
  • Make sure drivers have your cell phone number and you have theirs, along with their names.
  • Things come up on moving day- make sure you have a way to stay in contact.
  • Be available for movers' questions.
  • You need to be visible and available at all times- near the door is usually a good spot.
  • Perform final checks before leaving current home.
  • Are the air conditioning, fans, and heat turned off?
  • Is the water shut off, including to hoses?
  • Are the light switches turned off?
  • Are the keys and garage door openers for current home turned in or left on the kitchen counter?
  • Anything left in refrigerator, freezer, stove, drawer under stove, in closets, in bathroom, under porch, in garage, in attic, in crawlway?
  • Did you pack your hoses and sprinklers?


Moving Truck
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