Moving Packing Checklist: Tips Before You Move

Ellie Brooks

Written By Ellie Brooks

Published 06/06/22
Moving Packing Checklist: Tips Before You Move

Moving is frequently cited as one of the most stressful life changes we are bound to experience. The logistics of moving to a new home are overwhelming, and the act of packing up and transporting all your possessions requires a tremendous investment of time, money, and energy. Of course, leaving a place you have called home is emotionally draining as well.

Fortunately, a little structure and organization can mitigate the stress of moving. Preparing a thorough checklist well ahead of your moving day will help you effectively budget your time and eliminate that nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten some important task.

Whether you are a homeowner, renter, or realtor working with clients in the midst of a move, our moving tips and checklist will make for a smooth transition.

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How to Pack a House for Moving: Checklist Necessities

You need to give yourself ample time to pack up your belongings in preparation for a move. This packing checklist for moving provides recommendations to space out your packing over several weeks.

One to Two Months Before Moving

1. Research moving companies.

Moving companies can book up quickly, especially in the summer. Contact several companies to obtain quotes and confirm availability for your planned moving day.

2. Identify items to sell, donate, or discard.

Moving is a chance to declutter and pare down your belongings. Fewer possessions will also make for an easier move. Shred or recycle old papers and documents. Donate unused clothing, books, and kitchen items. Earmark items that you could sell for a reasonable profit.

3. Plan a garage sale.

Once you have identified the items you would like to sell, select a weekend to host a yard sale or garage sale. Create signs to advertise around your neighborhood and on social media. Any profit can offset your moving costs.

4. Gather moving materials.

Start to accumulate boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and packing tape. Your local grocery or liquor stores may have extra boxes they are willing to provide for free. Also consider getting drop cloths or blankets to protect your furniture during the move.

5. Make a list of legal documentation to update.

Create a running list of things to update with your new address. This includes you driver’s license and other legal documentation, online accounts, bank accounts, employment profile, and so on.

6. Assess your recurring bills and utilities.

If you have recurring charges linked to your current home—delivery services or utility accounts, for instance—alert your providers of your planned move. Ensure services cease or transfer to your new address as needed.

Two Weeks Before Moving

7. Select a moving company.

As the moving date nears, select a mover and sign a contract to guarantee service. If you’re moving items yourself, contact a truck or van rental company to confirm availability. It’s wise to purchase moving insurance as well—just in case!

8. Consolidate legal, medical, and financial documents.

Gather all sensitive documents: social security cards, passports, birth certificates, tax returns, contracts, and so on. Organize these files in a single box or bag that you can carry on your person during the move.

9. Reach out to utility and telecommunications companies.

Contact utility companies and internet providers in your new neighborhood before moving. Setting up an account ahead of time will ensure you will have power and internet on your first day in your new home.

10. Pack seasonal and nonessential items.

Your packing checklist for moving should identify nonessential items that you can pack ahead of time. This can include out-of-season clothing, sports equipment, books, knickknacks and decorations, surplus electronics, infrequently used kitchenware, artwork, and so on.

11. Dispose of hazardous materials.

Get rid of any toxic or hazardous materials around your home. This can include paints, oil, gasoline (including gas in your lawnmower or other appliances),and batteries. Local authorities can advise you on how to properly dispose of these items.

One Week Before Moving

12. Do a thorough home cleaning.

Cleaning your belongings makes for an easier move-in day. Dust all belongings and clean all surfaces. Consider vacuuming and shampooing your rugs and carpets. Clean out all appliances. If you’re moving with your refrigerator or freezer, unplug the appliance and allow it to defrost and drain. Pack, donate, or discard food and pantry items.

13. Finish packing.

As the big day approaches, finish packing as much as possible. Leave out only the items you can’t do without: select clothing items, food, bed linens, kitchenware, and such.

14. Create a moving day itinerary.

Note when the movers are due to arrive. Anticipate what time you’ll arrive at your new home. Plan how all members of your family, pets included, will get to your new home. Assign roles for family members to perform: unpacking, cleaning, organizing, and directing movers.

15. Submit a change-of-address form.

Contact the post office to ensure your mail will be forwarded to your new address.

16. Return rented equipment.

Many people rent their cable boxes, modems, and routers from their service providers. If necessary, return this equipment on or before your moving date.

17. Pack a personal bag with clean clothes, toiletries, prescriptions, electronics, and chargers.

You don’t want to hunt down important possessions on the day of your move. Pack items you’ll need to access in your first days in a separate bag. Consider a raincoat or umbrella in the case of inclement weather. You should also pack some snacks and water to tide you over during the move.

18. Consolidate cleaning materials.

You will want easy access to cleaning supplies when you move in. Consolidate brooms, dust pans, vacuums, mops, rags, and cleaning solutions so that they are all in one place.

19. Make a trip to the ATM.

In the US, it’s customary to tip your movers. Retrieve some cash beforehand so you have it when the movers call it a day.

20. Perform a final pass.

Take one last trip around your home before saying goodbye. Open all cabinets and closets. Check the attic and basement. Make sure the windows and doors are locked. Look for any small thing that you may have forgotten to pack.

For Realtors: Support Your Clients During Their Move

If you’re a real estate agent, you can partner with Liberty Home Guard to access resources that can help your clients as they transition from one home to another. Our Realtor Portal provides information on home warranty coverage and home services that can help you and your clients affordably maintain properties and repair or replace aging appliances and systems.

Real estate professionals can also use our Realtor Portal to track property information, interact with clients and other agents, adjust warranty coverage, and request invoices. Liberty Home Guard also provides a wealth of resources for clients and realtors alike, including a condensed version of the things to do when moving that we’ve outline above.

If you would like to partner with Liberty Home Guard, you can use our online form to register in minutes. If you are interested in warranty coverage for a property you own or represent, use our website for a free quote or call (866)-558-2807. 

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