House moving checklist
John F. Smith
December 25, 2011
Seven to Eight Weeks Before Move
Set your move date.
Contact moving companies for estimates and information
Tip: book well in advance because it can be busy at key times of the year.
Make a budget for moving expenses.
If your move is business-related, ask your employer which moving expenses they will pay.
Begin taking an inventory of each room in your house
Decide what to bring and what to sell, donate or throw away.
If you are selling items, make arrangements (online, yard sale, etc).
If you are donating items, deliver them or arrange for pickup
Save receipts for tax records. Find a tax consultant if you need help.
Get packing materials like boxes, cartons and labels or investigate packing services.
Begin packing as soon as possible.
Speak to your insurance agent in case you need to transfer or cancel your insurance coverage (medical, property, fire, auto)
Find a new insurance agent if necessary.
If you are moving to a foreign country, be sure your documents (passport, visa, inoculations) are up to date.
If you’re moving to a new country, research financial and insurance options.
Book transportation to your new home.
If your children will switch schools, research new schools and contact them for enrollment.
Four to Six Weeks Before Move
Check with current utility companies (gas, electric, water) to either switch or cancel services
If cancelling, check for deposit refund and find new utility companies.
Cancel or transfer telephone numbers and services (including mobiles), as well as cable and/or internet connection.
Cancel or transfer home services (landscaping, snow removal, etc.)
If you’re moving your pet, investigate pet relocation services.
Make plans for moving special items like a piano, grandfather clock, plants, etc.
When packing, be sure to separate cleaning materials, tools and garbage bags so they are handy on moving day.
Think about where you’d like your furniture to go in your new home
Create a floor plan.
Three Weeks Before Move
Collect everything you have loaned out, had repaired, stored or cleaned and return everything you have borrowed.
Make hotel reservations if you’ll need them.
Gather your important documents (insurance, medical, finance, legal, school records, etc).
Get your automobile serviced.
If you need to ship your vehicle, find a transportation company.
If you are not taking your car with you but are renting, then find a car rental agency at your new destination.
If you have newspaper or magazine subscriptions, notify them of your upcoming address change.
If you have a pet, check with veterinarian for pet records and immunizations.
Have a farewell party.
Two Weeks Before Move
Find storage options for those items you cannot move immediately and may need to store temporarily.
Transfer or close bank accounts.
Make sure you have home insurance coverage from the day you move in to your new home.
If you drive, find out if you’ll need to convert your driver’s license or get a new one.
Make backup copies of important files on your computer before packing everything away
Scan paper documents so you have backup electronic versions.
As you pack, label boxes with helpful descriptions such as ‘Fragile,’ ‘Load First,’ ‘Load Last’ and ‘Do Not Load.’
If you have any hazardous material you aren’t taking with you, dispose of it properly (batteries, computer equipment, paint, chemicals, etc).
If you are transporting a lawn mower or power tools, be safe and empty the oil and gasoline.
Find a cleaning service to do a final clean of your home.
Notify your friends and/or family of your new address and phone number(s).
Alert health care providers of your change of address or find new health care services.
Consider moving your jewelry and other valuables (wills, stock certificates, etc) to a safe deposit box or other secure location to prevent loss or theft during the move.
Arrange to keep important items close to you during the move (passports, documents, jewelry, collectibles, photos, etc).
One Week Before Move
Separate and label items you will take so that the movers don’t transport them.
If you have children or pets, arrange for someone to look after them during the move.
Pack a suitcase with the clothes and toiletries you’ll need during the first few days in your new home.
Go to the post office to arrange for your post to be forwarded (there is usually a fee for this service).
If you have any prescriptions, transfer them to a drugstore or pharmacy in your new town.
Alert your realtor and neighbors that the house will be empty.
Research your new neighborhood (city council, crime rates, parks and public spaces, transportation, shops, banks, leisure and cultural activities, nightlife, etc).
Make arrangements for payment to your moving and/or packing company, either in advance or on moving day.
Empty, defrost and clean your fridge and freezer.
Caution the packers, movers and/or driver about fragile or precious items.
Oversee inventory as it is being loaded.
Read the Bill of Lading and Inventory carefully before signing and keep them in a safe place.
Double check that the driver has the proper delivery address and scheduled delivery date/time.
Give driver relevant phone numbers to contact you in case of a problem or change.
Do a final check both inside and outside of the house
Do not leave your old house until after the movers have gone.
Turn off all lights, heating, air conditioning and water
Lock all doors and windows. Check security systems, alarms, etc.
After The Move
Don’t feel stressed to have everything organized immediately
Give yourself a few weeks to get settled.
Upon moving in, change all locks and get a security/alarm system.
Read architecture and design magazines and websites for inspiration on how to personalize your new home.
Visit a home show to get decorating ideas for style, design, floor plans, etc.
Make sure your new home is environmentally friendly. Go green!
If you will remodel your new home, see our ‘Renovate a House’ checklist.
Hire an interior decorator.
Inspect the areas outside your home and remove poisonous plants.
Once you are settled in your new home, have a housewarming party!
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