Moving Checklist: 7 Things to Do Before You Move
The moving process will challenge even the most organized of people. It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying a new home or renting—there are so many tasks to sift through and so much information to remember. While you sign contract papers, review home inspection reports or navigate the home loan process, don’t forget to attend to the following essential items. This checklist will help you remember some of the less obvious but most important parts of your move.
1. Create a Moving Schedule
You’ll have several important dates to remember from now until moving day. These events may include the deadline for hiring your preferred movers or the closing date on your new home. Other events of note include home inspections and contract signings.
Put every appointment on your smartphone calendar or write it inside a notebook or planner. When you have an overall view of your deadline list, you can better prioritize the tasks that you’ll need to fit in with your usual responsibilities. This strategy will also ensure you don’t miss anything critical, like having a down payment in your bank account by a certain day or taking a day off from work so you can meet with your real estate agent.
2. Remove Outdated Items
While your old couch or dining table may have served you well, it may not be suitable for your new home or apartment. Make an inventory of everything that needs replacement or won’t fit in your fresh space. Once you know what you don’t want anymore, plan to get rid of it.
Donate the items to charity, find out how to have a garage sale or sell everything online. If you remove the old and outdated items now, you’ll have less to lug around on moving day. This could translate to a cheaper move. At the very least, it’ll be a less stressful experience. Plus, you won’t clutter your brand new home with shabby furniture and décor.
3. Imagine Your New Space
Now that you’re free of your old items, it’s time to envision your new home. Take a tour of each room, imagining your furniture, artwork and family inside. If possible, snap photos of each space so you can have them with you while you brainstorm or shop. It may also be helpful to see how the old tenants decorated the rooms or keep a file of pictures you took during the open house.
Once you know where you’re placing your bed, sofa and dining set, you can evaluate whether something is missing. A large painting may be the perfect accent for your family room, or you might want to put a futon in your new office. With this information in mind, you can create a
shopping list and budget for additional supplies.
4. Adjust Services and Subscriptions
Create a list of the services and subscriptions you have at your home. This may include weekly pool cleaning services, monthly maid service NYC or a food delivery program. Give them your new address or tell them when they can start at your new place.
If you’re moving to a new town or city, you may not be able to use the same service. Find out about their cancellation policies ahead of time, so there are no surprises. Some companies may be willing to cancel a contract or recurring subscription if you write a letter stating your situation. If there’s no such policy available, you may need to create a budget for terminating the program. Other important transfers include utilities, change of address for the postal service and address changes at school and work.
5. Decide If You Need Movers
If you’re relocating a few miles away or don’t have a lot of furniture, you may not need a moving service. Your options include transferring the items in your own vehicle, asking a friend for help or renting a trailer or box truck. There are some instances when movers are necessary. These include long distance moves and if you have a big family with many large, heavy furniture items. Some people don’t want to touch their grand piano or try to transport their kids’ playground pieces, leaving the process to the experts.
Of course, you can also opt for a moving team if you simply want a more stress-free experience. If you have a certain mover in mind, call them as far in advance as possible. They’ll ask you when you’re moving, where you’re going and the type of furniture you’re expecting to transfer. The answers to their questions will help them decide if they have the bandwidth to move you on your preferred date. Shop around if your preferred mover isn’t available or if you want to find the best deal for your budget. Some companies offer deals for seniors, veterans and large moves.
6. Purchase Home Essentials
When you imagined your new space, you may have decided you need home essentials like new décor accents, area rugs or window coverings. Creating a budget for these items can help you shop smarter. Some discount stores will have quality pieces for excellent prices, while online retailers also offer great deals on furniture, treatments and decorations.
Once you decide if you need to buy new shades for your new home or can’t live without a pop of color in your décor, look for businesses that manufacture and sell the items directly. Home outlets are also a savvy option. Many new homeowners or renters like to make a priority list of the supplies they absolutely have to have—and the ones they want but can live without. Window coverings and lighting is something you’ll want on Day One, while you can put a gorgeous new mirror or fluffier set of towels off until you’ve recouped your budget.
7. Take Care of Kids and Pets
Babies, toddlers and pets will also need an action plan. Moving cats or dogs? Have their crate, food and comfort items ready before the big day. If their supplies are ready to go, you’ll be able to focus on making them feel less flustered. Keep your furry friends away from valuables and packing items, which can injure them or make them sick.
Small children also thrive on consistency, so be mindful of their needs as you organize and pack. While you’re filling boxes, be sure to leave a few toys and blankets to take in the car. Consider making a bag of drinks, snacks and entertainment for the ride over to your new place. The more satisfied your kids are throughout the move, the easier it will be for them to adjust to unpacking and getting comfortable in their surroundings.
Checklists Make Moving Easier
It’s easy to get tired of organizing and planning, especially when you’re doing so during the moving process. However, writing out a checklist and sticking to it will make moving less stressful overall. Keep each of these considerations in mind as you move, and you’ll find you have less to do once you get to your new home. You’ll also work less hard, save more money and enjoy your place much faster.