There’s no way around it: moving is hectic. Here’s a simple, print-and-go checklist of what you need to do and when:
Before Moving Day:
____Properly pack and label boxes with the room and the contents.
____Begin a log of what is in each box so you’ll be able to locate important items quickly.
____Have a garage sale/donate items you wont’ be moving.
____Notify doctor’s offices, dentists, your pharmacy, schools, and anyone else you might need records from.
____Call your health club and cancel or transfer your gym membership.
____Call insurance providers to find out what changes there will be to your policies.
____Call monthly memberships, lawn care services, the exterminator, day care providers, etc. and let them know you are moving.
____Fill out a change of address card at the post office and notify government agencies (IRS, vehicle registration, state tax office, etc.).
____If you use a local bank or you are moving to a location that doesn’t have your bank, close or transfer your accounts.
____If you have pets, make sure you’ve made travel arrangements for them. If you are driving to the new location with kids/pets, be sure they have what they need for the car ride.
____Gather all valuables and important documents (marriage certificate, birth certificates, passports, etc) and put them in a bag/container that will stay with you.
____Call and set up a time for utilities to be shut off at your old place. (Make it for the day AFTER your move date – you don’t want them shutting off the electricity, water, etc. in the middle of the move!)
____Call and set up a time for utilities to be turned on at your new place. (Have them turned on the day BEFORE your move date, so the fridge has time to cool and you aren’t waiting around on move-in day for the lights to come on.)
____Pack a suitcase of must-haves that will stay with you, just in case the moving van is delayed or an unexpected delay occurs (car trouble, etc.). The suitcase should contain items such changes of clothing for each family member, toothbrushes, prescriptions, and anything else you couldn't do without for a day or two.
____Clean the oven and begin taking apart large items that you don't need day-to-day, such as the swing set, pool table, patio set, etc.
____Get prescriptions filled before the move so you won't have to worry about medications while settling in to your new home.
____Before the moving process begins put protective cloth or plastic over carpet in high-traffic areas.
____Measure doorways and furniture to make sure large items can be moved without difficulty.
____Check every room, especially closets, the attic, crawl spaces, etc. to make sure you didn't leave anything behind.
____Clean your old home completely. Be sure to empty and defrost the refrigerator and unplug appliances.
____Before leaving, do one final check to make sure the house/apartment is empty.
____If you are moving out of a house that you've sold, leave the new owners a packet of important information for the house, neighborhood, etc. and write them a quick note with your new address so they can forward any stray mail.
At the New Place:
____Clean your new place completely and check for any needed repairs and replace old or worn items before the moving truck arrives.
____Protect the carpet/floors with plastic or cloth before people start unloading boxes and carrying them in.
____Cover any corners or banisters that you don't want damaged in the process of moving heavy furniture up stairs/through doorways.
____Set up beds first – boxes can wait to be unpacked over the next few days, but you'll need a place to sleep. Locate the box containing bed linens and make the beds.
____When unpacking, always start with the kitchen. Get food put in the refrigerator, cupboards, and pantry; unpack dishes; set up your toaster, microwave, and dishwasher. Movers and helpers may want drinks, kids may want snacks – moving day will work up big appetites, so having your kitchen set up will make finding those cups/snacks/plates that much easier.
____Get out and meet your neighbors! The way to make your new place a home is to get familiar with your neighborhood, so take a break from unpacking and go for a walk.