• 11/30/2022

Moving Checklist: Everything You Need to Do Before You Move

A woman sits on the floor in an empty house.

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Uprooting your carefully situated belongings feels daunting, whether you’re moving across town or to the other side of the country. Between packing boxes, changing your address and scheduling movers, your head quickly fills with endless to-dos spinning around and keeping you awake at night. Creating a moving checklist, however, can help ease the stress.

Having every task written out will help you track what you’ve accomplished and what you have left to deal with. Follow this moving checklist to ensure an easy transition.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist

8 Weeks Out

Starting your prep two months before your official move date gives you plenty of time to get everything in order. 


Before packing, you should go through each room and find items you no longer want or need. Start small by throwing out trash and work your way up to more difficult things like kitchen gadgets, clothing and sentimental items. 

Determine Your Budget

Moves can be expensive. Will you need to budget for air travel, gas, a storage unit or moving vans? You’ll have to determine if you have enough in your budget to hire a moving company or if you’ll be doing the work on your own. 

Give Notice

Renters should give their landlords a heads-up since many require at least a 60-day notice. Also, even though a two-week notice is standard for most employers, it’s best to let them know earlier. 

7 Weeks Out

It’s research week. Spend time learning more about your new home and neighborhood. 

Research Moving Companies

Using a moving company to help you relocate takes a significant burden off your shoulders. However, they range in price and quality, so spend some time reading reviews and asking for recommendations. 

Learn More About Your Neighborhood

You’ve chosen a new place to live, now spend an hour or so this week learning all you can about it. You’ll get even more excited about your move. 

People walk through a neighborhood in San Francisco.

Plan Your Layout

Start thinking about how your furniture will fit in the new home. If you have it in your budget, look for a new piece of furniture as a housewarming present for yourself. 

6 Weeks Out

These tasks may take a while, so starting early will set you up for success. 

Gather Supplies

You’re going to need a boatload of packing supplies. Ask around at local grocery stores for free boxes. You should also start buying bubble wrap, rolls of tape and packing peanuts. 

Use up Consumables

Start using up your consumables. Work through your fridge, freezer, cleaning supplies and personal care items. 

Schedule Travel

Schedule your flight, rental car or moving van well in advance so you can search for the best rates and ensure you get what you need. 

5 Weeks Out

Your main priority in week five is to continue your preparations and enlist the help of friends and family. 

Get Your Friends on Board

Whether you use professional movers or not, you’ll still need help from a few friends and family members. Give them plenty of notice so they can get your move on their calendar. 

4 Weeks Out

You’re officially a month away from the big day. The preparations start to amp up as you begin packing and telling the world about your move. 

Choose a Mover and Sort Out the Details

It’s time to select your moving company if you’re using one. Ask them any questions you have, get an invoice and arrange all the details. 

Start Packing

Begin by packing things you know you can live without for a month. Each week it’ll be easier to box up more of your possessions. Put things in boxes by room and label them clearly to make unpacking go much more smoothly. 

A woman folds clothes.

Fill Out the Change of Address

Filling out a change of address form is relatively simple, but getting everything transferred to your new address can be a pain. Alert the post office and contact any subscription companies and magazines as well. 

Prepare to Shut Off Utilities

Utility companies prefer it when you give them a few weeks’ notice of your impending move. Don’t have utilities shut off until after the sale closes. Renters probably won’t need to worry about canceling service. 

3 Weeks Out

Continue packing, gathering moving supplies and using up perishable items. Another round of decluttering is also a great idea.

2 Weeks Out

You’re almost there. Continue with your preparations from previous weeks, but also put in for time off and get your car ready. 

Take Off Work

This is your official reminder to put in your two weeks’ notice. However, if you’re holding on to your current job, you should still take personal time on your moving day. 

Prep Your Car

You’ll want to transport valuables, important papers and highly breakable items in your car. Take it in for servicing and clear out any junk to make room. You may even want to invest in some car cleaning supplies to give it a deep clean before loading up.

1 Week Out

At this point, you should have finished with all the packing except what you absolutely need. You should also start prepping your old home for the new owners or renters. 

Confirm With Your Moving Company

Review and finalize all the moving day details with the company you chose. Check what time they’ll be there and the expected arrival at your new residence. 

Pack Your Suitcase

Now’s the time to pack up the rest of your belongings. Keep what you’ll need for the next few days in a suitcase — everything else should go in the last of your boxes. 

A laptop, camera, sunglasses and clothes sit around an open suitcase.

Clean Your Old Home

It’s time for some deep cleaning, whether you’re prepping for a new renter or getting your home ready to sell. Now’s a great chance to use up your remaining cleaning supplies. 

Schedule Utilities at the New House

Check with the utility providers in your new neighborhood to schedule any necessary hookups. Get everything in your name and ready to begin services the day you move in. 

Night Before

You should be pretty well prepared since you’ve been working for the last two months. Complete any last-minute tasks, get to bed early and rest up for your busy day tomorrow. 

Complete Last Minute Errands

Things will be chaotic for at least the next week, so now is the time to run any errands. Fill your prescriptions, pick up your dry cleaning and grab some takeout for dinner. 

Set Out Necessary Items

As you pack up your suitcase, leave out any important items you’ll need for tomorrow, like your cash tip for the movers and any necessary paperwork. 

Day of the Move

Take a deep breath and review your moving checklist to help you complete your move. 

Verify Your Moving Truck

Before loading anything onto the moving truck, verify its number against the one on your invoice. Sometimes thieves pose as movers and drive away with all your belongings. 

Hand in the Keys

Leave the keys inside or with a landlord, listing agent or new owners. Also, ask any friends or family members to return their copies to you. 

Supply Food and Drinks

It’s common courtesy to provide bottled water and some sort of snack or meal for people helping you move. Grab a sheet pizza or a box of doughnuts and coffee as a thank-you for everyone’s hard work. 

Take One Last Look

Once everything is out, take one last walk-through to catch anything you might have missed. Then, spend a moment saying goodbye to this chapter of your life to prepare for the next. 

A Moving Checklist Can Save the Day

Take back your peace of mind with a moving checklist. It can give you the confidence you need to pull this move off.

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