Congratulations! You’ve bought a new home that the whole family is excited about. The thing no one is excited about? Packing.
Moving can be stressful, there’s no doubt about that. But don’t let the logistics of moving get you down. Think about how great you’ll feel once the whole process is complete and you’re all settled into your brand new home. To help things go smoothly, we’ve compiled a step-by-step moving checklist to make things as easy as possible. Ready? Let’s dive right in!
Decide on Your Moving Date
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing your moving date. When will you get your new keys? Do you want to do any renovations or redecorating before moving? Will your moving date also be your first night in your new home? Also, consider what day of the week will work best. Many people choose to move on Fridays or Saturdays to maximize the time they can spend unpacking, but your schedule may differ.
Arrange a Moving Truck
Whether you’re hiring professional movers or relying on the help of family and friends, you’ll need a vehicle to transport all of your things to your new home. Price out some local full-service and moving truck rental companies and ask around your social circle to see if anyone with a truck is available to help with your move. Once you’ve decided on the best option for you, make all the necessary arrangements to schedule it.
Arrange Specialty Moving
If you have items that are especially heavy, delicate or valuable, you may want to consider hiring specialty movers. After all, you wouldn’t want regular movers to handle your piano, antique furniture or fine art.
Schedule Cable and Internet Installation
You’ll probably want to arrange for this installation on your move-in date or very soon thereafter. The serviceperson may have to run cables along your baseboards, and this will be much easier without needing to pull furniture out of the way. And besides, you’ll probably want to have your Wi-Fi ready as soon as possible!
Schedule Home Security System Installation
This goes right along with cable and internet installation. If you plan on having a security system, then you’ll want to arrange it very close to your move date.
Change of Address
This is a big one. You’ll never be more aware of how many different services use your address than when you need to change it. Just to name a few, you’ll need to contact USPS, any regular or recurring delivery services, your bank, credit card company, student loan repayment service, employer’s HR department for payroll and healthcare, auto insurance carrier and the DMV to update your license and registration. In the weeks and months before your move, keep a running list of every time you use your address so it’ll be easier to make the changes when the time comes.
Even if you’re just moving a few minutes down the road, you should double-check which school district your new home is in. If it turns out that your children will have to change schools, you will have to contact their current schools and arrange for their transcripts and any other files to be transferred. Touring the new school with your child would also be a good way to help ease the transition.
Pick Out New Furniture & Appliances
There’s no reason to move unwanted furniture into your new home! Sell or donate your old things and start shopping for new ones. As for the appliances, make a list of everything your new home needs and select the perfect pieces. For instance, new construction may not come with a washer and dryer. A re-sale home may have an outdated refrigerator or stove. Whatever new items you purchase, the easiest option is to schedule them for delivery directly to your new home.
If you’re happy with the color and condition of the paint in your place, then you don’t have to worry about this step. But if you’d like to put some color up (or the previous owners had terrible taste!) then this section is for you. Depending on your situation, you may have access to your new home before you officially move in. If so, the best time to paint is when you don’t have to worry about covering or moving furniture out of the way. This also applies to any renovations, like flooring and tile updates. If you don’t have access to the home ahead of your moving date, you’ll definitely have to plan carefully. Maybe you decide to not fully unpack each room until the painting is complete.
Collect Moving Boxes and Packing Materials
Don’t wait until the last minute to source your moving boxes! While you can easily purchase them in bulk, save yourself the money and visit a local box store to ask for their leftover boxes in the back. And start saving your junk mail to use as padding between your delicate items. Here’s a bonus tip: You can also use clothes as packing material; ex. Layering a T-shirt between each of your dinner plates.
While this is the most obvious item on the list, it is also the most important one. Take some time to consider what you can pack early and what will need to be packed closer to your moving date. And remember to research helpful packing tips, such as labeling your boxes on all four sides.
Don’t carry new things in that you’ll never use! As you’re packing, look at every item with a scrutinizing eye. Do you really want to make room for it in your new home? Does it spark joy? If it doesn’t, then it’s time to purge it. Collect your unwanted items and donate them to a local Goodwill or other institution.
Clean Your Old Place
Once everything is packed and ready, it’s a good idea to clean up for the new owners. You wouldn’t want to move into a new home and find a mess, so do them the same courtesy of cleaning up. If you’re renting, this is usually part of the regular process, and you may have to meet with the landlord and do a walkthrough to ensure you get your security deposit back.
Arrange for Daycare
While this step isn’t necessary, it makes your move a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about watching your small children while you’re also supervising movers. The same goes for pets; you don’t want to risk your beloved family dog running away with the front door opening and closing all day. Ask a friend or family member to take your children and pets for the day so they stay safe and you can focus on the move.
Prepare for the Weather
Take a look at the weather forecast on your moving date. Is there going to be a heatwave? Have lots of water ready. Is it going to be cold? Have gloves and hand warmers for yourself and those helping you. Is there a good chance of rain? Lay down drop cloths to protect your new floors from water and mud. Whatever the weather, preparing for it will make the day go a lot more smoothly.
Put Together a Day-Of Bag
Even with all your belongings packed, you’ll still need to brush your teeth on the morning of your move. Put together a bag of essentials you’ll need for moving day and the first day in your new home. Having items like toiletries, a change of clothes or two and a phone charger all in one place will prevent you from having to sift through several different boxes to find them.
Do a Final Walkthrough
Everything is packed, you’ve got your day-of bag, and there’s nothing left to do until the truck arrives tomorrow morning. Do one last, thorough walkthrough of your entire home to make sure nothing is forgotten. Open every cabinet and every drawer, check the attic and the basement, and check your backyard, just in case. You don’t want to remember you’ve left something in your old home after you’ve settled into your new one.
After the Move…
Once the last box is off the truck, there are lots to do. But after your critical boxes are unpacked and your most important furniture is in place, next on the list should be cleaning your new home. Even if it’s new construction, it always feels good to know your home is spic and span, especially the kitchen and bathrooms.
Ready for a slightly more fun to-do list? Join your community Facebook page to find out about upcoming events where you can meet your new neighbors. Take some family photos and share them on social media to show all of your friends your amazing new space. And (if you’re feeling up to it), you could even throw a housewarming party. Last but not least, it’s time to relax and enjoy all the benefits of your new home!