Countdown to Moving day Checklist

Moving can be overwhelming! But you can break this huge project down into bite-sized pieces with weekly goals to keep you on track.


Here's a weekly packing list for you!

eight weeks before

  • Go through your pantry and freezer and make a list of the things you want to use up in meals before the move. Then make a meal plan to use those. 
  • Remove unnecessary items from your attic, basement, storage shed etc. 
  • Make an inventory sheet of all of the large items that will be moved. The moving company will want this for the estimate. 
  • Get estimates from professional movers or truck rental companies if you are moving yourself. Once you've selected a mover, discuss insurance, packing, loading and delivery, and the claims procedure. 
  • Call your homeowners insurance agent to find out to what degree your move is covered. 
  • Begin to sort through your possessions and decide what you want to keep, what you want to sell, and what you wish to donate to charity. Start with large items first such as furniture, then move through room by room and closet by closet. If you can, begin to move these items into one place in your home such as the garage, which will help you only focus on what is left as these other items are donated or sold. 
  • Record serial numbers on electronic equipment and take photos or a video of all your belongings. 
  • Discuss tax-deductible moving expenses with your accountant and begin keeping accurate records. 
  • Create a file for documenting all moving papers and receipts. 
  • Arrange to transfer your children’s school records. 
  • If you're moving to a new community, contact the Chamber of Commerce and school district and request information about services and processes.

six weeks before

  • Subscribe to a local paper in your new community and familiarize yourself with local government, community, and social news and activities. 
  • Arrange for storage, if needed. 
  • Locate high-quality health-care professionals and hospitals in your new location. 
  • Obtain a change of address packet from the post office and send to creditors, magazine subscriptions, catalog vendors, religious organizations, doctors/dentist, US Treasury, Social Security 
  • Administration, insurance company, lawyer, CPA, stockbroker, post office, and schools.
    If relocating due to a job, contact your employer to see what costs, if any, they will cover.

four weeks before

  • If you are moving yourself, use your inventory list to guesstimate how many boxes you will need and get them. You can purchase those at stores such as Lowes or Home Depot. Grocery stores sometimes will have boxes you can have for free. 
  • Begin packing non-essential items. In fact, if you don’t need it in the next eight weeks, pack it up! Make sure you label each box with contents and what room it should be moved to. 
  • If you have items you don't want to pack and move, hold a yard sale or start selling on Craigslist or via Facebook. 
  • Make special arrangements to move pets and consult your veterinarian about ways to make travel comfortable for them. 
  • Make phone calls to the correct companies to change your utilities: Phone, power, garbage, cable, sewer, water, cable and internet provider. In some cases you are simply changing an address while in other cases, you may be cancelling a service. Keep track of which companies you have called and the status. 
  • Discuss your upcoming move with your homeowner and car insurance companies. 
  • Send furniture, drapes and carpets for repair/cleaning as needed. 
  • Gather auto licensing and registration documents, medical, dental and school records, birth certificates, wills, deeds, stock and other financial documentation, etc. 
  • Notify your gardener, snow removal service, and pool service (if applicable).

three weeks before

  • Make your travel plans. 
  • If you bank locally, you may want to transfer your bank accounts to new branch location. Make sure you remove items from your safe-deposit box if needed (but have a plan for transferring these items safely). If you need to move to a new financial institution, now is the time to make that decision. 
  • Notify your state’s Motor Vehicle Bureau of your new address. 
  • Arrange for childcare on moving day. 
  • NOTE: For apartment dwellers, reserve the elevator for pickup and/or delivery dates.

two weeks before

  • Have your car checked and serviced for the trip if it is a long one. 
  • Talk to your pharmacist about transferring important medical prescriptions. 
  • If you are changing doctors, dentists, etc, get your medical records transferred. 
  • Contact your moving company and review arrangements for your move.

one week before

  • Defrost your refrigerator and freezer. Get rid of any remaining food or give to a friend. 
  • Set aside legal documents and valuables that you do not want packed and will be keeping with you. 
  • Pack clothing and toiletries, along with extra clothes in case the moving company is delayed. 
  • Pack first-night items and a survival kit. Keep them in separate boxes in your car. First Night Items: Sheets, Towels, Toiletries, Phone, Alarm Clock, Change of Clothes, and Flashlight 
  • Mover’s Survival Kit: Scissors, utility knife, coffee cups, instant coffee/tea or a coffee maker, water and soft drinks, snacks, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, pencils and paper, local phone book, masking and/or duct tape, trash bags, shelf liner, and aspirin or ibuprofen. 
  • Plan your moving day itinerary including who will be where.

2-3 days before

  • Prepare detailed directions and an itinerary with emergency numbers for your moving company. 
  • Return library books and any other items you may have borrowed. 
  • Pick up dry cleaning. 
  • Extract gas from small appliances such as your lawn mower. 
  • Give away plants not being moved. 
  • If you haven’t gone through sealed dry food goods, consider donating to your local food bank. 
  • Get car license, registration and insurance in order. 
  • Notify any other service providers about your upcoming move and cancel service. 
  • Take pets to the veterinarian and get copies of their records. 
  • Set aside the items you will need just before, during, and after your move. 
  • Begin packing the items that you will need after your move, starting with the most non-essential. 
  • If you are moving far and the weather is different where you are moving to versus where you are from, make sure the clothing you are packing accounts for this.

Moving Day

the home you are moving from

  • Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric, and water). 
  • Pick up the truck(s) as early as possible if you are moving yourself. 
  • Make a list of the boxes and items as they go on the truck.
    Complete information on the bill of lading and carefully read the document and the inventory sheet before signing it. 
  • Keep your copies of the bill of lading and inventory until your possessions are delivered, the charges are paid, and any claims are settled. 
  • If a mover is moving you, exchange phone numbers. 
  • Double-check closets, cupboards, attic, basement, crawl space, and garage for any left-behind items. 
  • Leave all keys, remotes, etc with your real estate agent and let them know you have left.

the home you are moving to

  • Unpack first-night items and mover’s survival kit. 
  • Be on hand at the new home to give the movers instructions. 
  • Check off boxes and items as they come off the truck. 
  • Examine your goods for damage.

And Don't Forget!


Make sure you cancel service at the old home and activate it at your new home if applicable. 

  • Electricity 
  • Telephone 
  • Water 
  • Cable, satellite, internet provider 
  • Gas 
  • If propane, oil tanks, solar panels are leased, make sure ownership change has been properly documented.


  • Don’t forget to change ownership of your security system and cancel your monitoring service 
  • If your home has smart home technologies, if the HUB stays with the property, be sure to change ownership.

Make sure you cancel or transfer service

  • Housekeeper 
  • Gardener 
  • Pool Service 
  • Exterminator

of course...

Make sure you go through your keys – house keys, mailbox, storage sheds, etc, and provide these to the new homeowner (and make sure you get them from the homeowner selling you the home). Also get extra keys from friends and family who may have copies. Garage door and gate remotes should also get handed off to the next owner. Also remember to change your pet’s license and chip information and get a new id for their collars.