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A Stress-Reducing 9-Step Moving Checklist



May 9, 2024


Moving to a new home is an exciting yet daunting endeavor. From packing up your belongings to coordinating with movers, there are countless tasks to manage before the big day. To help streamline the process and alleviate some of the stress, we've compiled the ultimate pre-move checklist.


1. Start planning your upcoming move. 

The sooner the better. Homeowners have found that when they start tackling moving tasks at least 2 months in advance, the process is considerably less stressful. Whether  you're planning on moving independently or using a professional moving company, seeking professional advice can provide valuable insights on time management, packing strategies, estimating box count, and other essential factors. 

Getting a moving quote well in advance offers several key advantages. It allows for effective budget planning, time to compare prices and services, increased availability with preferred moving dates, and the opportunity to negotiate costs or additional services. 


2. Declutter and Organize

Before packing a single box, take the time to declutter your home. Sort through your belongings and decide what to keep, donate, sell, or discard. This not only lightens the load but also ensures that you're only bringing the essentials to your new home. 

Use an inventory sheet as a guide to keep track of what you plan on taking to the new location and what needs to be taken elsewhere. As you are deciding if there are pieces that are going with the new home or not, check them off the list. 


3. Take Measurements 

Don't forget to take measurements of your furniture, doorways, hallways, and new space before moving day. Measure the width, height, and depth of large furniture pieces and appliances. By taking measurements early in the moving process, you can avoid last-minute surprises and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.


4. Give Notice

If you're a renter give notice to your landlord. And homeowners may have to give a notice to the neighborhood association if applicable. Don’t forget to do any necessary repairs or upkeeps to get back any outstanding deposits. 


5. Notify Important Parties of Your Move

As you prepare for your move, it's important to notify various parties of your upcoming relocation. If you’re using a real estate professional for your relocation, ask about assistance with the address transfer process, commonly known as utility connection concierge services.  

Here are some of the essential parties to notify of your move:

  • Healthcare providers

  • Postal Service : Usps Address Change 

  • Financial Institutions

  • Insurance Providers

  • Government Agencies: DMV, IRS, SSA

  • Friends and Family

  • School or University

  • Accountants

  • Employers 

  • Online stores you regularly shop with

  • Subscription services

  • Utility companies 

  • Home Service Providers


6.  Hire Movers (unless you are planning to pack and move yourself) 

When choosing a moving company, reputation is a crucial factor. Ask around for recommendations and search for your local moving company’s google reviews. Next, inquire about the moving company's licensing status. Request their license number to verify their legitimacy and compliance with state regulations. You’ll want to be sure to discuss insurance coverage for your household items. Understanding the extent of coverage can provide peace of mind and protect your belongings in case of any mishaps during the move. 


Additionally, consider opting for in-person quotes whenever possible. In-person assessments allow movers to capture specific details about your home and belongings, which can prevent surprises on moving day. If an in-person meeting isn't feasible, virtual quotes are a convenient alternative, ensuring that movers have a thorough understanding of your requirements. Small things such as where to park on moving day, special requirements and even large item disassembly are important to discuss during the quote to ensure accuracy and avoid misunderstandings on moving day.




7. Create a Moving Binder for Organization

Keep all moving-related documents in one place by creating a moving binder. This includes contracts, receipts, and inventory lists. Having everything organized and easily accessible will help alleviate any last-minute stressors that may arise during the moving process.


8. Gather Packing Supplies and Start Packing

Before diving into packing, gather all the necessary supplies to make the process efficient. Here are some common essential packing supplies you'll need:

  1. Boxes: Gather sturdy cardboard boxes in various sizes to accommodate different items. Consider using specialty boxes for fragile items like dishes and electronics. The more uniform the boxes, the easier they are to move and stack; this will save you time and reduce the chances of damage during transit.

  2. Packing Tape: Invest in high-quality packing tape to securely seal boxes and prevent them from opening during transit (taping the bottom of the box properly is key to preventing any items from falling through and getting damaged during transport).

  3. Bubble Wrap and Packing Paper: Protect fragile items by wrapping them in bubble wrap or packing paper to cushion against bumps and impacts.

  4. Packing Peanuts or Foam: Use packing peanuts or foam inserts to fill empty spaces in boxes and provide additional cushioning for delicate items.

  5. Markers: Have markers on hand to label boxes with their contents and destination room, making unpacking easier at your new home.

Now that you have your supplies ready, here's how to break up packing your house into simple steps:

  • Declutter and Organize: Start by decluttering and organizing your belongings. Sort items into categories such as keep, donate, sell, and discard to streamline the packing process.

  • Pack Non-Essentials First: Begin packing items that you won't need in the weeks leading up to the move, such as out-of-season clothing, books, and decorative items.

  • Room-by-Room Packing: To stay organized, pack one room at a time. Start with less frequently used rooms like guest bedrooms and storage areas, then move on to more essential rooms like the kitchen and living room.

  • Pack Strategically: Pack heavier items in smaller boxes to prevent them from becoming too heavy to lift. Place lighter items on top and fill any empty spaces with packing materials to prevent shifting during transit.

  • Label Boxes Clearly: Label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. Consider color-coding boxes by room or numbering them for easy identification.

  • Keep Essentials Unpacked: Set aside a box or suitcase for essentials you'll need on moving day and during the first few days in your new home. This may include toiletries, medications, a change of clothes, important documents, and basic kitchen supplies.

  • Supervise Movers (If Applicable): If you've hired movers to pack your belongings, be present to give direction and answer any questions they may have. Ensure they follow your instructions and handle items with care.

  • Handle Small Trinkets with Care: Place small trinket items in ziplock baggies to keep them organized and prevent them from getting lost during the move.



9. Prepare for moving week

As moving week approaches, focus on final preparations for a seamless transition. Confirm logistics with movers and utility companies. Consider disassembling large furniture, condensing pantry items, and packing perishables in a cooler. Gradually pack belongings, keeping daily essentials accessible. Notify neighbors if sharing a driveway and ensure home repairs are complete. With these steps, you'll be ready for a smooth move to your new home.


10. Moving Day!

On moving day, whether you're enlisting the help of professional movers or tackling the move yourself, it's crucial to start early and well-rested. If using professional movers, be ready to greet them promptly upon their arrival and provide any necessary instructions. For those moving without professional assistance, ensure you have a plan in place for loading and transporting belongings. Begin by conducting a final walkthrough of your old home to ensure nothing is left behind and utilities are properly turned off. Don’t forget to hand over the keys, whether returning them to a landlord or handing them off to your realtor. 


Be mindful of traffic and parking restrictions at your new home, and be prepared to direct the unloading and placement of belongings. Finally, conduct a final check of your new home before settling in, ensuring that everything has been unloaded and placed correctly. By following these steps, you can help ensure a smooth transition to your new home, whether you're using movers or not.


In conclusion, moving doesn't have to be overwhelming. By following this ultimate pre-move checklist and partnering with Moving Mountains, you can ensure a seamless transition to your new home. From meticulous planning to expert packing and moving services, Moving Mountains is committed to making your relocation experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

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