Moving in 2018? Stay Organized Every Step of the Way

There’s no denying that while moving into a new home is usually cause for celebration, it’s also a huge hassle! As soon as you sign on the dotted line for your new mortgage or lease the fun begins. Cleaning and organizing your home, researching moving companies, buying packing supplies, packing, the list goes on and on and on and on. How do you remember it all? How do you not forget something that could derail your entire move?

This is where the good news starts. We’ve created an 8-week timeline and checklist to help keep you on track and keep your move running smooth! We’ve got you covered all the way through moving day with some additional tips and tricks for surviving your actual moving day.

Download the printable checklist here


2 Months Prior

  • Research companies to help with your move – get estimates from three moving companies, consider truck rentals for a DIY move, and consider maid services to clean when you’re moved out.
  • Create a moving folder – for all important documents related to your move – moving papers, receipts, budget, leases, etc.
  • Start collecting moving supplies – to save money you can gather boxes from friends that have recently moved or stores that have discarded them. If need, order specialty containers such as wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes.
  • Inventory your home – take inventory of your things. Start planning what will go where in your new home. Decide what you might want to sell or donate.


5-6 Weeks Prior

  • Schedule your address change – change your official mailing address with USPS. Notify anyone who sends you mail: insurance companies, credit card companies, banks, school records, doctors’ offices, etc.
  • Arrange to have children’s school records transferred.
  • Keep, sell, give or trash – plan a garage sale if you have a significant amount of items to sell. What you don’t sell donate. What can’t be donated throw it away.
  • Start packing – pick a corner and start packing the things you won’t use before your move.


1 Month Prior

  • Select your final moving company – If using one, get written confirmation of the appointment, costs, and any other details.
  • Reserve a rental truck – If this is a DIY move, reserve your rental truck.
  • Separate Valuables – keep these items separate and transport personally. Including jewelry, important documents, etc.
  • Slow down on your grocery shopping – start using up things you don’t want to move, such as perishable and frozen foods, etc.
  • Cancel or transfer utilities – have services turned on/off at your new and old home. Water, cable, electric, gas, etc.
  • Review Insurance – check to see If your homeowner’s insurance covers moving and make sure to transfer coverage to your new home.
  • Arrange for repairs – make arrangements for cleaning and repair of carpets, drapery, and furniture if necessary.


2-3 Weeks Prior

  • Confirm travel plans – if you’re driving overnight, book hotels or plan stops you may need to make along the way.
  • Arrange childcare – if you have small children, arrange for a babysitter on moving day.
  • Arrange for pet care – if you have pets, make a plan for having a pet sitter on moving day.
  • Discontinue services – discontinue newspaper delivery, trach pick-up, lawn services, etc.
  • Vehicle transportation – if shipping a vehicle, clean it out and have fluids topped off.
  • Confirm your truck – reconfirm your appointment with the movers or your truck rental.
  • Schedule off work – arrange to take the day off from work on the day of your move.
  • Start really packing! Label boxes by room and number them.


1 Week Prior

  • Set aside things you’ll need on the first night in the new house – put a box or two together of things you’ll need/want on your first night. Label it so you know which box to open first.
  • Arrange for driver payment at your destination. Don’t forget to get cash to tip hired movers. 10% to 15% of the total fee is a good estimate.
  • Drain fuel from gas-powered equipment like lawn mowers.
  • Pick up and return items – pick up dry cleaning and return borrowed items to friends.
  • Fill all prescription medications


1 Day Before

  • Finish packing! Make sure everything is packed.
  • Have important documents related to the move ready.
  • Defrost and clean your refrigerator.
  • Disconnect all major appliances.


Moving Day

Plan to be at the home when movers arrive and stay until they finish loading your belongings.

Record all utility meter readings upon departure. Sign the Bill of Landing, electing your valuation protection coverage.

Keep copies of the bill of lading and inventory sheet until your possessions are delivered, the charges are paid, and any claims are settled.

Give movers directions to your new home and the phone number where you can be reached.

Take a final walk through of your home – make sure nothing has been overlooked.


  • Are all windows closed and locked?
  • Have you left anything behind?
  • Are the heater and/or AC turned off?
  • Is the water shut off?
  • Have you turned in all the house keys and garage door openers?
  • Are all doors closed and locked?
  • Is there anything else you have forgotten?


Pack Mover’s Survival Kit

  • Aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Coffee, filters, and coffee maker
  • Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Paper towels, toilet paper, soap
  • Pen and notepad
  • Scissors, utility knife, masking and/or duct tape
  • Trash bags and shelf liner
  • Water and soft drinks, snacks


Packing Tips

  • Keep jewelry, important papers and medications with you.
  • Label boxes as you pack – keep track of contents and desired room location.
  • Leave lamps, China, TVs, artwork or other breakables for movers to pack.
  • Pack heavy items in small boxes.
  • Do not over stuff boxes; leave some extra room at the top.
  • Fill open box space with crumpled paper, bubble wrap or other packing materials to protect odd shaped or loose items like glassware or toys.
  • Tape cords underneath all electrical appliances.
  • Wrap breakables in newspaper, bubble wrap, clothes or towels.
  • Avoid using plastic bags – they are less sturdy and could trap moisture.