About a month ago, my wife and I moved from Jacksonville, Florida to Provo, Utah. We were inexperienced movers, but we found this detailed moving checklist online that provided us with some great information on what to do and when to do it.
Before You Move
About one to two months before you move:
1. Put together some type of “moving book” to keep notes on what you’ve done and what you still need do.
2. Go buy a file to store all documentation and paperwork associated with your move.
3. If you haven’t found a moving company yet, GET ONE. The Florida Movers are one that we know of (licensed, insured, and affordable).
4. Make sure you sort out any vehicles or pets you need to take with you.
5. If you need to use storage facilities, search for the best options.
6. Make a list of everyone you need to notify to get your address changed.
7. Start contacting key financial providers such as your bank or other institutions to have your details changed and to start up the process of cancelling/setting up automatic payments and/or accounts etc (this has been a frustrating process for my wife and I due to a lack of planning).
8. Notify schools and employers of your change of address. If you move out of the area, you’ll need to register your children for a new school.
9. Start packing non-essential things whenever you have some free time. Just say to yourself, “This is not my home anymore.”
10. Find MORE boxes than you think you’ll need. The best places to go are furniture stores. Just go up to an employee and ask for any boxes they are throwing away (click HERE for more options).
11. Talk to your doctor, dentist, veterinarian etc. about your change of address or coming off their books if necessary. You may need to get copies of your records to take with you just in case. If you are moving abroad, ask about vaccinations, etc. Get any regular prescriptions filled to cover you, your family, or your pets throughout the entire moving process. If you’re moving long distance, ask for referrals to new practices.
12. Contact all of your insurers (home, vehicle, medical etc.) about your move. Ask your home insurer for details about your existing coverage for the actual and arrange new coverage or a transfer to your new home.
13. Buy a lockable box to start putting in important documents as you find them.
14. Give all service providers such as gardeners, domestic help, and regular delivery services notice of your move.
15. Cancel or change any subscriptions or memberships you have.
16. Send out change of address notices to friends and family once you have a firm moving date. You’ll have less time as the days pass, so it’s smart to get this out of the way.
17. Get a form from your local Post Office for their mail forwarding service, fill it in and send it off. You can usually change your address online now.
18. Begin making an inventory of your things and take photos/videos of any valuable items.
19. Complete any repairs to your home that you’re committed to.
About three weeks before you move:
1. Contact utility companies and service providers to have your appliances/services disconnected or reconnected in your new home if necessary.
2. Take a room a day and start packing up stuff you don’t use regularly.
3. Pick up dry-cleaning, take back library books, and think of any other similar things you may have pending in the area.
4. Have your automobile(s) serviced.
5. This takes sacrifice, but start living off your store cupboard and freezer. Stop buying frozen or perishable food (you can’t really take it with you, and it’ll make the move easier).
6. Put aside a box for any personal or essential items that you want to take with you yourself rather than let the moving company take. Make sure you mark it “DO NOT MOVE” so your movers don’t load it by mistake.
7. Pack up your garage and anything that is stored in your yard, garden, or shed.
8. Empty your lawnmower and power tools of fuel and oil.
9. Properly dispose of anything that is flammable or hazardous.
10. This is an important one. Think about what you’re going to do with the kids!
About one week before you move:
1. Call and meet with your movers and any other companies involved with the move (vehicle movers, storage facilities, etc.) and confirm all of your arrangements.
2. Keep packing!
3. Start taking apart any furniture that needs to be disassembled.
4. Check to see if your new home is still set to be insured.
5. Make sure any outstanding bills are paid.
About one or two days before you move:
1. Defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer and secure any major appliances, such as washing machines, cookers, etc. Double check to see if utility companies are confirmed to disconnect services, take meter readings, etc.
2. Finish taking apart any furniture that needs to be disassembled.
3. Sort out any plants that you’re taking with you.
4. Check that all the paperwork related to your home sale/rental/purchase is complete.
5. Close any bank accounts if necessary.
6. Go ahead and finish your major packing (click HERE for tips).
7. Pack up your computer and other electrical equipment. Write down the serial numbers in your moving book.
8. Put together a box of essentials for the move such as first aid materials, mugs, tools, paper and pen, and cleaning materials.
9. Make sure all boxes are clearly marked and labeled.
10. Start cleaning the house as you go along and finish packing.
11. Make sure you have all the documents related to your move.
During Your Move
On the moving day at your old home:
1. GET UP EARLY and don’t panic!
2. Take the bedding off beds and pack it up.
3. Walk your movers through the house. Tell them what you need them to do, and take their advice on the actual loading.
4. Make sure your movers know where they are going.
5. Give your old house a final clean.
6. Leave a note of your name, new address, and contact number for the new residents of your home so they can forward any of your mail that accidently gets sent to your old hom.
7. Have a final walkthrough to check that you’ve remembered everything. Do this BEFORE the moving truck leaves!
8. Make sure you have keys to your new home, and drop off your current keys as you’ve arranged.
9. Load everything you’re taking yourself in the car and lock it!
10. Turn everything off, lock up, and leave.
On the moving day at your new home:
1. Make sure everything is working, such as power, gas, etc. If not, call the utilities companies to find out why.
2. Personally supervise the unloading process to get everything where you want it.
3. Offer the movers a drink and snack.
4. Clean before you start unpacking.
5. Begin unpacking the essentials.
After Your Move
1. Unpack, working down from essential to non-essential items.
2. Reassemble your furniture when you have some time.
3. Don’t worry about filling wardrobes immediately if you have bought special wardrobe boxes. They can hang just fine until you have time to put them up properly.
4. Get all of your major appliances ready for use again, and hook them up.
5. Unpack all electrical items as quickly as possible and check for damage. You may have a limited window for insurance claims.
6. Register to vote and for any other local government purposes.
7. Check the your mail is being forwarded to your new address.
8. Register with a doctor, dentist, veterinarian etc.
9. Change your driver’s license, car details, etc. if necessary.
The only time I ever had to move before recently was when I was a little kid with my family. Having to take matters into my own hands was intimidating. This moving checklist really helped me sort things out. I wasn’t perfect at following it, but we got to our new home safely. The one thing we would change if we could is going with a moving company instead of UHaul. Driving across the country in a 17′ truck while towing a car is not the best thing in the world.
Like I said before, The Florida Movers is my recomendation for an affordable moving company with reliable moving services. Give them a call. The quote they give you is what they stick with; no hidden fees or gimmicks.