Buying a new home is very exciting. Moving in can be exciting, too, but it can also be quite overwhelming. There is so much to do and remember. That is why I created this comprehensive moving checklist for those buying a new home. It will help you know what to do and when to do it so that your move will feel less stressful. Here is a printable checklist for planning your move.
8 Weeks Before the Move
- Create a Moving Folder: This folder will hold all your moving details including:
- This checklist
- Receipts for moving related expenses
- Phone numbers for moving-related services
- Dates and details of phone calls related to your move
- Contracts related to the move
- Pick a moving company: If you are using professional movers, find them this week. If you are moving yourself, rent your moving truck and contact your friends and family so they can save the date.
- Learn about tax deductions: Some moving expenses are tax deductible. Speak with a professional to help you know which ones are. Be sure to save all your receipts.
- Reduce your “stuff”: Moving is a great time to get rid of unwanted items. You will also want to consider which furniture will go into your new home. Make a determination about what you will do with the items you are not taking. Consider a yard sale, classifieds, or donating these items.
- Find a storage unit: Some people have items to store rather than move. If this applies to you, find a storage unit that is clean and dry.
- Gather personal records: If you are moving to a new city, you will need to get your personal records from doctors, dentists, and schools.
- Get references: If you will be looking for a new job, this is a good time to ask for references from your current employer or friends in the community that know you.
7 Weeks Before the Move
- Learn about your new area: Once you move, you’ll have to find new stores, news outlets, doctors, schools, daycare, gym facilities, and other conveniences. Begin some online research. Consider joining a social media group related to your new area and ask questions.
- Contact new school: If you have children going to a new school, go ahead and provide their records and your moving date to the principal. Be sure to ask about the dress code so you can order uniforms or buy appropriate clothing before the first day of school.
- Talk to your landlord: If you are renting your current home, now is the time to let your landlord know your moving date.
- Begin to use up opened items: Moving with opened food, frozen food, or cleaning supplies is difficult, especially since many moving companies will not move these items. Think about ways to use up these items between now and your moving date.
- Contact those who need to know: Make a list of people that need to know you are moving. These include friends, credit card companies, other lenders, subscription services, etc
6 Weeks Before the Move
- Gather packing material: If your moving company does not provide boxes and paper, begin collecting them now. Local stores often will give you boxes. Also, check free classifieds as many people pass on their boxes after a move.
- Start to sort: Begin the process of going through closets and cupboards. Items that will not go with you need to be sold or given away.
5 Weeks Before the Move
- Contact the post office: Give a change of address form to the post office with your moving date so that your mail can be forwarded.
- Make arrangements for plants and animals: If you have plants or pets, they will have to be moved separately. If you are moving across state lines, you may not be able to bring plants with you. Check to see what rules apply. Be sure to buy or borrow appropriate animal carriers to make the move less stressful on your pets.
- Contact utility companies: You will need to disconnect your old utilities and connect your new ones. Be sure to leave your utilities on long enough for you to move and do any cleaning afterward. Have the new ones turned on in time for your arrival with your belongings. Be sure that you connect everything you will need which can include electric, oil, gas, water, telephone, cable, satellite, Internet, trash, etc.
- Plan your yard sale: You should plan your sale 3 weeks before your move, but plan it now. Contact your local paper to find out how to get your sale into the classifieds.
- Make reservations: If you are moving a long distance away, you may need to make hotel reservations or other travel arrangements such as airline tickets.
4 Weeks Before the Move
- Check out your new floor plan: Go ahead and measure your furniture and start figuring out placement of this furniture in your new home. If new furniture is needed, now is the time to order it.
- Consider your “after move” clean: Moving day will be very busy. If you don’t want to clean up your old home, consider hiring a professional.
- Clean out garage and storage sheds: If you are having a yard sale next week, put items you will no longer need in the garage sale pile.
- Dispose of chemicals: You will not be able to move certain chemicals, especially those that are flammable like gasoline, oil, or paint. Contact your local government offices to determine how your community disposes of these items.
3 Weeks Before the Move
- Time to begin packing: Unless your moving company is doing all the packing for you, you should begin to pack for the move. Label boxes on several sides with the name of the room the box will go to as well as a list of contents in the box.
- Service your car: If you will be traveling to your new home by car, have the oil changed, check the tire pressure, and top up on any fluids. If moving to a colder climate, be sure to have antifreeze added to your radiator.
- Have your yard sale: After the sale is over, take remaining items to be donated.
2 Weeks Before the Move
- Confirm with your moving company: Be sure that they have you on the schedule and that you know the details for the day of the move.
- Continue packing
- Go to your bank: If you are moving to a new area, you may need to close your local account. Be sure to empty your safety deposit box as well. Contact your new bank to begin opening an account. You may have to sign forms in person, but you can get the ball rolling.
- Stock up on medications: If you take prescriptions, be sure to have enough medication to last you 2 weeks after the move. This gives you time to transfer your prescriptions after finding a new pharmacy.
- Return borrowed items: Give back anything you may have borrowed from friends and neighbors, return library books, and DVD rentals.
- Pick up items: Get back any items that have been borrowed from you. Be sure to pick up items from the dry cleaners.
1 Week Before the Move
- Go over this list: Be sure that you have not forgotten anything on the list up to this point.
- Confirm your utilities: Contact your current and future utility companies to be sure they have the correct turn on and shut off dates.
- Defrost your freezer: If your freezer needs to be manually defrosted, do so now.
- Pack your suitcase: You will want to pack enough clothes and personal items to get you through the first few days of the move. This suitcase should travel with you and not be put into the moving van.
- Pack a toolkit: You may need a few tools before you find the ones you’ve packed for the move. This toolkit should include a hammer, screwdriver, box cutter, tape, and a few small nails.
- Finish packing
- Keys to new home: Make arrangements for picking up the keys to your new home.
1 Day Before the Move
- Charge your phone: Having a dead phone on the day of the move will be difficult.
- Final walk-through: Check through your home to be sure you didn’t leave anything. Check closets, cupboards, outside storage buildings, and unusual places you keep things.
Moving Out Day
- Greet your movers: If you aren’t going to be there, make sure someone you trust is. They will have to be authorized to sign any papers. Make sure your movers have your phone number as well as other numbers in case you aren’t reachable, and they have questions.
- Read your Bill of Loading and Inventory: This is the description of your items and their condition when they were put into the truck. Make sure they are correct. This is how the company determines if they have damaged any of your items.
- Lock your house: Be sure to turn off your lights, as well as lock all the doors and windows when you leave. Also, be sure to leave the keys.
Moving In Day
- Meet the movers at your new home
- Check inventory sheets: Do this as items are removed from the check. If you notice damaged items or items that are missing, note them immediately.
- Be the foreman: Let the movers know where you want which items. Since you already know where you want the large pieces of furniture, you can have the movers put them in the right places.
- Begin unpacking: On moving day, all you need to unpack are the beds, bedding, and a few essential items for cooking in the kitchen.
- Charge up electronics: Plug in items that need to be charged, such as phones, tablets, or laptops.
- Be friendly to your neighbors: Spend a few moments to say hello to your new neighbors.
Print out this handy checklist for planning your move.