Moving checklist what not to forget
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Checklist for moving to a new house

I moved about 3 weeks ago. I’ve moved over half a dozen times in my adult life so this certainly wasn’t my first rodeo. Yet, I forgot how much work it takes until we were actually moving. There were also little odds and ends that we forgot. I thought I would make a Moving Checklist to help others who are moving remember some of what we forgot. Plus, I’ll be able to reference this moving out checklist myself when we move again.

Free Printable Moving Checklist

  1. Pack up as early as possible. We always decide to purge unused items after we start packing. You come across items you haven’t used in a while and should not keep. It is a great time to sort through your belongings. However, that makes it more time-consuming. So begin packing early and make a big donate pile. Also make sure that you’ll have time to run to Goodwill (or wherever you plan to donate items) after you’ve finished packing.
  2. Start saving money early. Moving always results in unexpected expenses. Maybe you have plenty of storage at your current place, but your new place will have fewer closets so you’ll need more shelving. Maybe you’ll need a new kitchen table because yours won’t fit in the new space. Maybe your new landlord will tack on processing fees to your new lease. It always seems to be something different, but we always find moving to be more expensive than we expected, so it’s better to over-estimate costs.
  3.  Buy packing tape and sharpies. It’s so much easier to know where to pile boxes in your new place, and to unpack when every box is labeled with the room it belongs in, or a rough summary of what is included in the box.
  4. If you have pets, check out my 10 tips for moving with dogs post.
  5. Over-estimate your moving time. If you have a lease that is ending, give yourself an extra day or two. When we are about thalf way through moving I always think ‘Wow it’s getting quite empty in here! We’re almost done!’ but then as we keep going, way more items come out of drawers, cabinets, closets, etc than I anticipated and we end up having a LOT more work left than I thought. Our most recent move, we originally thought we would be out Friday night but we had to move literally all weekend and brought the last load to our new place at 11pm. Learn from our mistake and over-estimate your time!
  6. Search for packing hacks on Pinterest. My favorite is the one that recommends using a trash bag to pack away your hanging clothing (still on the hangers!) so that you don’t have to remove each piece one by one.
  7. If you de-assemble furniture when packing up, use a plastic baggy for the hardware and secure it to the furniture. For example, we taped the screws from our bed frame to the bedframe.
  8. Do a final walk through. Open every drawer, every cupboard and cabinet, walk around the outside of the house, look in every part of your garage, open the fridge and freezer, look in the medicine cabinet, etc before leaving that final time.
  9. Take photos before you leave. These can be used as proof of what the move-out condition of the house was like.
  10. Provide your new address or other contact info to your neighbors and landlord. This way your landlord will be able to contact you to arrange to return your deposit money, and your neighbor can contact you if mail or packages are accidentally left at your old place.
  11. Forward your mail to your new address.
  12. Make a list of bills or services to cancel or transfer. Wifi, cabel, electricity, renters insurance, etc. In our old duplex, the previous tenant kept getting electricity bills (for an apartment that was empty) for six months! You don’t want to pay for services you aren’t using, so remember to cancel them. Be sure to take your wifi router with you as most companies will require that it is returned or they will charge you a fee. Ours (at&t) told us we would be charged $150 if we didn’t ship the router back to them.
  13. Add your new address to a note in your phone, or write it on a piece of paper to keep in your wallet. You’ll inevitably be asked for your new address before you have it memorized!
  14. Update your address records in important places such as your child’s school or daycare, your license, medical ID bracelets, pet ID tags or microchips, your children’s backpack tag, etc.

Free printable: I created a printable checklist that includes each of these 14 checkpoints but in a short and sweet list. Click the link to view the free printable moving checklist and print it for yourself.

Is there anything else on your moving to-do list? Feel free to share in the comments!


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This post currently has 8 responses.

  • Marisela Zuniga

    This is a very helpful check list! We just moved to our first home in June, it was a lot of work

  • Heather!

    I have moved a GAJILLION times (or so), and my favorite tip is something I figured out through unfortunate experience. While broken items have been few, thankfully, most of the items that did get broken were broken because movers dropped boxes, either on the floor or onto other boxes. To minimize that kind of damage, I started reinforcing each box with magazines or bubble mailers on every side, as well as the top and bottom. It cushions blows from any angle. I don’t think I ever had a single broken item after I figured that out!

    (The paper and plastic type of bubble mailer is not recyclable, so this is a great way to at least reuse them. The trick is to start saving them as soon as you think you might be moving, ’cause it takes a lot!)

  • Peggy Nunn

    These are great ideas. I hope I never have to move again but if I do…. I have your list.

  • Julie Waldron

    These are great ideas! We moved 4 months ago. Thankfully, we didn’t have to pack up everything. Our daughter and her husband moved into our old house and we still have some items stored upstairs and in the basement. But, yeah moving is a LOT of work!

  • Sarah L

    I haven’t moved in 30 years. Just thinking about moving gives me a headache. Good tips to remember.

  • ellen beck

    We have been house hunting. I know we are going to be a mess as we have not moved in 33 years! I think I would have most of the bases covered but you have a number of poointers that will help. I am excited and yet nervous to move but I am looking forward to getting rid of things we just keep holding on to.

  • Lauryn R

    This is an awesome moving checklist, thank you so much for sharing! I have moved so many times in my life that it makes me sick just thinking about moving! It really does help to be organized and prepared though.

  • gloria patterson

    This is a great list, I can remember doing most of this when I moved 5 yrs ago. My niece just moved recently she could have used this list. One thing to add on this list … make sure you have help when moving. My niece could not find any friends/family that could get off in the middle of the week. So just the two of them moved ever thing just about killed them.

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