Moving Checklist

It’s never too early to start planning your move, and movers have found that a detailed timetable and checklist is the best strategy for a smooth transition. Additionally, it is a great way to involve the entire family in the move and to spread out some of the responsibilities among your family members.

As items are checked off, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. As the weeks pass, your checklist will ensure that nothing has been overlooked or omitted from your planning, and that alone will help relieve you of some of that anxiety.

Eight Weeks Before

  • Remove all unnecessary items from your attic, basement, shed, etc.
  • You can use frozen foods and cleaning supplies that you can’t move.
  • Learn about the new community where you will live.
  • Plan the layout of your new home and decide what you want to keep.
  • Make a list of your possessions.
  • At least three moving companies should provide you with quotes.
  • Find out if your homeowner’s insurance covers your move.
  • Place all moving papers and receipts in a file.
  • Transfer your children’s records to the new school.

Six Weeks Before

  • Tax-deductible information can be obtained from your CPA and the IRS.
  • Take inventory of your possessions. Would you be able to donate something? How much will you need?
  • Notify friends, relatives, professionals, creditors, and subscriptions.
  • Subscribe to a local paper in your new area to learn about local news, events, and community information.
  • (If applicable) Prepare for storage offsite.
  • Find medical professionals and hospitals in your new area.
  • Changing your address at the following places is a good idea: banks; credit cards; religious organizations; doctors and dentists; relatives and friends; income tax agency/social security administration; insurance agency; lawyer/CPA/ stockbroker; magazines; post office; schools, etc.
  • Organize your closets.
  • Donate items to charities or hold a moving/garage sale.
  • Hiring a moving company is a good idea.
  • You should discuss insurance coverage with your mover.
  • When relocating for a job, ask your employer what expenses they will cover.

Four Weeks Before

  • It’s time to start packing! Schedule movers/movers and purchase packing materials.
  • Give 30 days’ notice if you are currently renting.
  • Repair or clean furniture, drapes, and carpets as needed.
  • Obtain your auto/truck registration and licensing documents, your medical, dental, and school records, your birth certificates, your will, deeds, stock certificates, and other financial documents.
  • You should notify your utility companies about service disconnections and connections at your old and new addresses. Ask for final readings as well.
  • Refund unused homeowner’s insurance, security deposit, and prepaid cable service.
  • Tell your gardener / landscaper, as well as snow removal and pool service (if necessary).
  • Arrange coverage in your new home by contacting insurance companies (auto, homeowner/renter, medical, and life).

Three Weeks Before

  • Travel arrangements should be made.
  • If necessary, open bank accounts in your new location and close any accounts you have in your current location.
  • Notify the Motor Vehicle Bureau of your new address.
  • Prepare childcare for moving day.
  • Apartment dwellers should reserve the elevator for pickup and/or delivery days.

Two Weeks Before

  • Secure your home warranty.
  • Plan for the transportation of your pets and plants.
  • Prepare your vehicle for your trip by servicing it.
  • Your moving company should review the arrangements for your move.

One Week Before

  • You should prepare detailed directions and an itinerary with emergency phone numbers for your moving company.
  • Pay any outstanding bills with local retailers.
  • Pick up dry cleaning and return library books and rented items.
  • Get a copy of your pet’s records from the veterinarian.
  • Ensure that all power equipment has been drained of gas and oil.
  • Plants that cannot be moved should be given away.
  • Cancel delivery of the newspaper.
  • Ensure your prescriptions are forwarded to your new pharmacy and buy two weeks’ worth of medication.
  • You can purchase traveler’s checks.
  • Organize the payment of your move.

Two-to-Three Days Before

  • If you aren’t moving, make sure your mover packs your things.
  • It is important to defrost refrigerators and freezers.
  • You may want to give your valuables to your family and friends until the move is complete.
  • Disconnect all major appliances.
  • Make sure your former home is thoroughly cleaned.
  • Updates can be obtained from your moving company.
  • Prepare a survival kit and items for the first few nights in your new home. Keep them in separate boxes in your car. On your first night, you should bring sheets, towels, toiletries, your phone, an alarm clock, and a flashlight
  • Example Moving Survival Kit: Paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, pencils and paper, local phone book, duct tape, masking tape, trash bags, shelf liner, and aspirin or ibuprofen.

Moving Day

  • If your mover has any questions, you should be home to answer them.
  • All utility meters (gas, electric, and water) should be read.
  • Make sure you stay until the movers have finished.
  • Be sure that the bill of lading contains all relevant information and that the inventory sheet is carefully read before signing.
  • Make sure you keep copies of the bill of lading and inventory until your possessions are delivered, the charges are paid, and any claims are resolved.
  • Take one last look around to see if there is anything you have forgotten.
  • Give the movers directions to your new home and a phone number where they can reach you in case of an emergency.

At Destination

  • Set up the first-night and mover’s survival kits.
  • Welcome any movers to the destination and be available to answer questions.
  • Upon completion of the job, pay what is due. The driver is obligated by law, a federal requirement for interstate moves, to collect payment upon delivery.
  • Ensure that each and every item is listed on your inventory sheet after it is unloaded.
  • Check for damaged or missing items, promptly and carefully.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place.
  • Collect all your held mail at the post office.

Doug Ferrell


Realty Executives Main Street, LLC
1022 S. Lapeer Road
Lapeer, MI 48446

(810) 691-0731