You’ve sold your house — congratulations! Now you just have to move everything you own to your new place. No big deal, right? Well, no — if you’re like most of us, it’s a big deal. Here is our moving checklist with our tips and suggestions for planning your transition from one home to another.
Reserve a truck ASAP
As soon as you have a moving date, the first thing you’ll need to do is reserve a moving truck or service. If you’re packing and moving everything yourselves, begin contacting companies like Uhaul to get estimates, pick a company and reserve your truck.
If you are hiring a moving service like Atlas or United, you’ll likely have to schedule an appointment for a representative to come to your house to estimate how large of a truck they’ll need and how long it will take to box up your belongings, load them onto the truck and then drive to your new home and unload. Once you have the estimates, you can pick the one that will work for you financially and time-wise and make your reservations.
You’ll also need to make sure you have arrangements for moving any extra cars, RVs, boats, etc. that you can’t drive to your new home. If you have pets that need special transportation, now is the time to arrange that, as well.
After you’ve scheduled the truck or service, you’ll want to contact them about a week before your moving day to make sure they still have your reservation. Many companies will contact you to do this, but if they don’t, be sure to do it yourself. Moving is stressful enough on its own — the last thing you want is to find out on moving day that the reservation for your truck is lost and there is no truck for you.
Two weeks to one month before the move
This is when you need to begin contacting organizations to change your mailing address and arrange for service disconnects. The list includes:
- The post office for change-of-address forms (you can do this online here)
- The utility and power companies at your old house and your new house
- The school district for your old house and new house to arrange records transfers
- Your bank and credit card companies
- Any insurance providers you use
- Your Internet provider, cable company and phone company
- Newspaper and magazine publications you wish to keep
- Cleaning, security, pest control and lawn maintenance services
- Your pharmacy and doctor’s office
- The Department of Motor Vehicles, Veterans Administration and other government agencies you use
- Any other services you subscribe to — Netflix, Amazon, wine of the month, etc.
You’ll also want to begin compiling folders of important documents that you’ll want to take with you (birth certificates, marriage licenses, Social Security cards, financial documents, etc.) and of information that you want to leave for the buyers of your news house (keys, appliance manuals, maintenance schedules, etc.).
You’ll also want to start packing — even if you’re hiring a service, there will be things that are important to you that you want to move yourself. Figure out what those are and start boxing them up ahead of your move date.
One to two weeks before the move
This is when you’ll want to make sure any home repairs that need to be made are finished. You’ll also want to start cleaning — especially the lesser-used areas of your house, like the basement and attic and garage.
You’ll also need to start cleaning out your fridge and pantry and using up food that you aren’t going to move with you.
This is also a good time to make sure you get your cars serviced, make sure your pets visit the vet for any last-minute shots or medicine refills they need and make sure your prescriptions are filled.
If you’re moving yourself, keep packing those boxes!
The week of the move
This week you’ll want to pack a box of essentials so when you get to your new home, you have utensils and plates and the coffee maker within easy access. You’ll also want to pack a travel bag for yourself so you don’t have to unpack every single box to find your toothbrush and toothpaste the first night you’re in your new home. Also make sure you have some cash on hand; it comes in handy for tips and eating out.
You should prepare appliances during this week. Clean the stove. Drain gas and oil from lawn equipment. Check your gas grills and heaters. Wait until 24 hours before you leave to clean out and defrost the refrigerator and freezer.
Make sure you print out your moving contract; if you have any questions, this is the time to call.
If you’re moving yourself, pack as much as possible before moving day — the less you have to do before you load the truck, the more relaxed you’ll be.
The day of the move
If you hired a service, be sure that you are at your old house for as much of the day as possible. You will want to be there for possessions that need special treatment. Be sure to discuss that with the movers right away. A checklist can help a lot here. Print an extra for the movers.
If you’re moving yourself, you’ll be busy spending the day packing the truck and boxing up any last-minute items.
Once the trucks are packed, take one last walk through your old home. Make sure you haven’t left anything important behind. Then, before you leave, you’ll want to take care of last-minute cleaning. Check to make sure the lights are off and the thermostat is set properly. Say your last goodbyes. This can be a tough moment, but your future is all yours. Enjoy your new home!