The Ulimate Moving Checklist [Printable Download]

Moving is consistently listed as one of the most stressful experiences a family can go through. When I was bouncing between apartment complexes every year, each and every move was a struggle. There are hundreds of tasks to manage in a short period of time.

This is our in-depth moving checklist. Since situations vary considerably, go through this list and cross off tasks that don’t apply to your situation. Utilize this however you’d like and good luck on the new chapter in your life!

Clickable image to download the free printable ultimate moving checklist showing off the PDF on an iPad screen

Download the printable version.

2 Months Before

  • Create a moving folder
    Keep track of receipts, estimates, dates, tax-deductible expenses, and photos. Start a physical folder as well as digital folder that can be easily accessible from the cloud.
  • Research moving services
    Ask about cancellation policies, liability coverage, and check the BetterBusiness Bureau status as well as their Google reviews.
  • Visit your new community
  • Budget for your move
  • Research schools
  • Find a roommate
  • Give notice to your landlord (often 60 days before move)
  • Discuss move with children
    Respect their feelings as they might be overwhelmed by a move, especially if it is outside of their current community. Make note of everything they might need or things they want to do before moving.

6 Weeks Before

  • Schedule Move
  • ~Hire professional movers
  • ~~Verify their Department of Transportation number
  • ~Ask friends to help and schedule a date with them
  • ~Book a rental truck
  • ~Reserve a storage unit
  • Collect moving supplies
    Order your supplies online and/or get your boxes for free from local stores. Liquor stores are a great option!
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Notify schools
  • ~Enroll in new schools
  • ~Organize and transfer school records
  • Take measurements for large items at your old and new home

1 Month Before

  • Use up frozen, refrigerated, or other foods that you don’t want to transport
  • Pack up items that aren’t often used
  • Sort items into keep, sell, donate, and toss
  • Organize a garage sale
  • ~Donate gently-used items after garage sale
  • Sell appliances or schedule appliance moving services
  • Update all memberships
    This includes your gym, organizations you are a member of, clubs, etc.
  • Schedule minor home repairs
    This might help you get a full return on your deposit! Most rental homes and apartment complexes will not charge you for a repair if you request it to be completed before you move out.Most rental homes and apartment complexes will not charge you for a repair if you request it to be completed before you move out.
  • Purchase moving insurance

3 Weeks Before

  • Service your vehicle if driving for your move
  • Begin packing
    Write detailed descriptions of what is in each box – color coding works best. Keep hardware together in labeled bags that are easy to access.
  • ~Take photos of electronics so you know where cords go
  • ~Gather warranty information, manuals, and instructions
  • ~Collect all small valuable items and personally transport them
  • ~Collect all important documents
  • ~~Birth certificates
  • ~~Medical files
  • ~~Passports
  • ~~Important financial files
  • Dispose of hazardous items (propane, paint, fertilizers, etc.)
  • Confirm moving date with moving company and/or friends
  • Secure temporary housing or hotels
  • Make arrangements to move your vehicle if moving separately
  • ~Clean your car of all belongs including spare tires
  • Notify friends and family
  • Notify service providers
  • Notify and cancel utilities
  • Set up utilities for new home
  • Request time off work for move
  • Fill out a Change of Address form with the USPS

2 Weeks Before

  • Arrange for child care during move
  • Arrange for pet care during move
  • ~Visit the vet
  • ~Get all shot records
  • ~Get sedation meds if necessary
  • ~Updated pet id tags and leashes
  • Arrange transportation or re-homing of plants
  • Pay any outstanding parking tickets
  • Change address
  • ~Social security
  • ~Medicare
  • ~Banking institutions
  • ~Credit cards
  • ~Loans
  • ~Subscription shipments
  • ~IRS
  • ~Car insurance
  • ~Health insurance
  • ~Homeowners / Renter’s insurance
  • ~Payroll
  • ~Magazines & Newspapers
  • Secure new insurance (health, car, homeowners, renters, etc.)
  • Forward medical records
  • Secure a parking spot for a moving truck (permit if necessary)
  • Schedule maintenance and painters for new home
  • Make a moving day playlist (or cross-country drive playlist)

1 Week Before

  • Order new furniture and decor
  • Clean old home
  • Clean all appliances
  • ~Defrost the freezer if moving it
  • ~Drain hoses to washing machine and ice maker
  • ~Empty oil and gas from grills, heaters, lawn mowers, and snow blowers
  • Clean outdoor furniture
  • Finish last-minute tasks
  • Plan week of meals (without need for appliances)
  • Complete a final inspection with landlord
  • Take picture of your old home once it is cleaned
  • Pack essentials in easy-to-access locations
  • Secure final trash and recycling collection
  • Properly dispose of large items that you need to toss
  • Refill prescriptions and transfer future prescriptions
  • Backup computer and other digital documents
  • Drop off donations including furniture and unopened food

Day Before

  • Pack suitcases and final essential items
  • Get cash for a tip for movers
  • Get bottled water
  • Take inventory of belongings
  • Take photos of fragile items for insurance purposes
  • Plan payments (credit cards, money orders, cashier’s check, etc.)
  • Remove all light bulbs from lamps

Moving Day

  • Protect floors and carpets for move
  • Order food for friends if you’re DIY-ing your move
  • Do a final sweep
  • Hand over keys
  • Verify the Department of Transportation number day-of with the one you were given during scheduling

After Move

  • Clean new house
  • Unpack
  • Check on security deposit from previous home
  • Change the locks to your new home
  • Make note of trash pickup days
  • Check smoke alarms
  • Schedule pest control
  • Update driver’s license
  • Register to vote
  • Baby-proof and pet-proof the new home
  • Register your pet
  • Go grocery shopping

If you are located in Washington State and looking to sell your home quickly, we're here to help. We can close homes in as few as 7 days without any repairs or even cleaning. And, if you're moving locally, we'll help cover the cost of the move as well. We want to make relocating to a new home in Washington as quick and easy as possible.

*The featured image was generated by an AI with Dall•e 2.

Download the Checklist

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