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Moving checklist

By Trulia | Published: Oct 14, 2009 | 24 Comments

Use this checklist from Trulia to make sure that all these needed tasks for your move are completed before the big day:

  • Hire a moving company

    Using recommendations from people you know and organizations like the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and the Better Business Bureau, hire a moving company. Be sure to get competitive bids first. Look to hire a company six to eight weeks before your move.

  • Take inventory

    Make a list of the belongings you plan to move and their worth, to better track them.

  • Get additional insurance, if needed

    Look into how much insurance coverage your mover and your homeowner's insurance company provide for your belongings during your move, and if need be, purchase additional insurance from your mover or from a third-party insurer.

  • Cut back

    The less stuff you own, the less you'll have to move. Whittle away at your possessions through garage sales, online selling or by donating items to charity.

  • Get supplies

    Moving requires plenty of boxes, packing tape and protective packaging like bubble wrap or crumpled newspaper. Try to get used boxes and newspapers from friends and family and from local stores, and if you have to, buy fresh supplies. Don't forget markers and labels to clearly identify what's in which box.

  • Be organized

    Working several weeks before your move, map out which items will be moved to which room in your new place. Pack items according to in which room they'll be placed. Pack heavier items first, placing lighter items on top. Pack breakables in their own boxes, clearly noting "fragile" on the box.

    Separate valuable items and important documents (e.g., jewelry, birth certificates, bank statements, etc.) and place in a fire-safe box. If you can, personally move them yourself.

    Pack items you'll need right away in your new home (e.g., toiletry, medicines and clothing) in a separate box and make sure you can find it easily once you've relocated.

  • Stop services

    Set a date to have utilities and other services (cable, magazine subscriptions) terminated at your old place.

  • Start services

    Make preparations so that needed services (phone, cable, utilities, mail service) are up and running when you move into your new home. Register with or locate new doctors, schools, babysitters, etc., in your new location.

  • Notify

    Let the United States Postal Service, friends and family, schools, employer, your bank, your lender, your credit card company and other businesses who serve you know of your change of address.

  • Unpack

    If you have the time, give yourself at least a day or two to unpack and settle in to your new location before diving back into your job and daily routine.


By Jim Paulson, Owner/Broker,  Wed Jan 6 2010, 23:53
I also suggest thinking ahead of what home you will be moving into. For example, as you pack the older, smaller home; don't lable the boxes from the room they came from, label them where they need to end up!
By Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor,  Fri Mar 26 2010, 16:00
Tip: shooting video is a quick and reliable way to take inventory of the items in your home. It will save you a lot of time and can be an interested memento in the future!
By E. Lopez,  Tue Apr 27 2010, 19:19
Unpacking may need more than two days, especially if relocating under any difficult circumstances. For me? A week to lay in supplies, groceries, services.
By Cyndi Lesinski,  Tue Jun 29 2010, 23:08
If you have a pet, plan accordingly.
By Fran Rokicki,  Mon Sep 13 2010, 15:52
I suggest that my clients start packing up items that they will not be using on a daily basis. When buyers come through your home, it encourages them to purchase your home, when they see some of your things packed up and ready to go. I recommend movingcoach.com. My client's love their service!

If I can be of assistance to you, please feel free to contact me.
By Sandra J Steele,  Sun Oct 3 2010, 10:22
Being organized will help you during your move which can get extremely trying. Don't move everything with you. Have a garage sale or donate items you have not used in 6-7 month. This will help your move to be much more trouble free.
By Anita Clark,  Tue Nov 23 2010, 07:41
Not included, but important to your overall well-being, is to get the kids involved in the process. Give them a stake by letting them clean/box up their own room, take care of/keep the pets out of the way, have a yard sale, visit with friends, etc. Once you arrive, let them help with unpacking, picking their room colors/furniture placement, mapping out/walking their school route, etc. If kids are onboard, and productive, the entire move is easier for everyone.
By Marilyn Tolhuizen,  Thu Dec 16 2010, 17:19
It is Christmas time as I write this and I find myself telling my clients to pack their Christmas things away for the move-not just for the closet. Hopefully-even in this market we will sell their home before next Christmas.
By Lisa Barall-Matt,  Wed Feb 9 2011, 07:28
One thing that many homeowners should consider in their move is possibly renting a POD in order to remove those items easily that they don't currently need in their present home. Not only will it help them get a jump on the move it will also aid in potentially improving the ability to show a less cluttered home.
By Belinda Spillman,  Fri Feb 25 2011, 10:23
This is a great checklist. Moving is always such a stressful task. I love the taking inventory tip!
By Deborah Griffin,  Fri May 27 2011, 19:48
One thing to consider when relocating to another state…will my furniture be the right size and style for my new home? I have had many buyers relocate and pay dearly with moving costs to end up wishing they would have left most of it behind. What may look beautiful in one home may not in another.
By Adrian Provost,  Mon Feb 27 2012, 17:25
Good post*
By Ryan Conover,  Tue Apr 3 2012, 13:13
Label Boxes according to content rather than what room they should go in. When moving into a new home you may have new rooms that you use for different uses.
By Matie,  Mon Jun 25 2012, 04:35
Great check list!

By Natalie T. Rich,  Tue Sep 18 2012, 10:54
Everything on this checklist is on point! Great tips/ideas from these comments too, thanks.
By Jeff Metcalf, REALTOR®,  Sat Nov 17 2012, 21:43
Thanks for sharing~
By Dianne Sylvester,  Thu Aug 15 2013, 15:59
Moving does not have to be overwhelming. PLAN PLAN PLAN!!!
By Judi Monday, CRS,  Sun Dec 1 2013, 09:41
Organization is definitely the key for a successful move!
By Carmen Brodeur- Top 1% Realtor,  Fri Dec 13 2013, 19:27
Great tips.
By Belinda CIPKOWSKI RECOMMENDED,  Sun Jun 15 2014, 05:40
Awesome advise!
By brad.hooper76,  Wed Sep 17 2014, 08:44
Thank you for the list! I completely forgot about the moving supplies. I would not have been able to get very far without those. I need to go get more tape and boxes. I should also get some markers, so I know what is in each box. http://www.route37storage.com
By AudreyGreenwood,  Wed Oct 8 2014, 20:35
It is amazing how such a simple checklist such as this can help a person to carry out his/her moving out process in a much better and efficient manner. When we list out the things that we need to perform, we can become more competent and avoid missing out any important detail. Packing things into moving boxes is just a simple step we all are much aware of. However, steps like insurance and supplies are some examples on what we tend to forget about if not listed out right from the beginning.

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