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The Most Complete Moving Checklist You’ll Ever Need

May 27, 2021
Dachshund dog posing inside of a moving box

Moving into a new home is exciting, exhilarating and—let’s face it—a bit chaotic. There are so many things to do, and it can be hard to keep track of it all. To help you stay organized, we’ve created a moving checklist of 30 things to keep in mind before, during and after your move.

Before you move checklist

1. Schedule an inspection of your new home

It’s always a good idea to get a professional inspection when moving into a new house. If you notice any defects or damages during the inspection, the seller can take care of repairs before you move in.

2. Plan a moving date

Determine what date you will be moving into your new home. If you want to do any home improvement projects (such as painting) before you move in, then you may want to give yourself a few weeks in between your closing date and your moving date.

3. Research moving companies

Find a reputable moving company near you and request an estimate. If you live in the U.S., you can verify that a moving company is licensed by checking their USDOT number. While hiring professionals might not be necessary for a smaller move, it can make the process much easier for you.

4. Hire movers and confirm a date and time

Once you’ve selected a moving company that you want to work with, be sure to book a date and time for your move. Moving companies often charge less for weekdays.

5. Reserve a moving truck, if needed

If you decide to move without the help of a moving company, you’ll need to reserve a rental truck. You should make a reservation with a rental company as soon as you know your moving date—preferably at least a few weeks in advance. 

6. Request time off for your move

At minimum, you’ll want your moving day off from work. It can also be a good idea to take a few days off before and after your move, so you have time to pack and unpack.

7. Set up utilities for your new home

The last thing you want when moving to a new house is to be without power. A few weeks before you move, contact your utility company and ask them to transfer your services to your new home on your moving day. You will also want to contact your internet provider. 

8. Research your new neighborhood

While you wait for your moving day to arrive, you can get a head start on researching your new neighborhood. If you have kids, do some research into their new school district and start the process of getting them registered. This is also a great time to look into local healthcare providers, pharmacies, grocery stores and more.

Packing checklist

9. Downsize your belongings 

Weeks before you plan to move, pare down your belongings to only what you really want to bring into your next chapter. A new home means a fresh start, so make sure your belongings aren’t weighing you down. Take lessons from Marie Kondo—practice minimalism and let go of objects you don’t like or use and anything broken or expired.

10. Donate unwanted items

Donate any gently used items to thrift stores or charities. You’ll feel much better parting with your belongings if you know they’ll find a new home.

11. Get lots of boxes

You’re going to need boxes—lots of boxes. Ask friends and family or local businesses if they have any you can have or borrow. You can even rent reusable, eco-friendly boxes from companies like U-Haul.

12. Label and organize your boxes

Once you have the boxes, label them with numbers and prepare a reference paper where you can keep track of what you pack in each box. This will save you time when you unpack after the move. Also be sure to note which boxes contain fragile items.

13. Start packing early

If you can, start packing early—at least a month before you plan on moving. Start with items that you can live without for the next few weeks, such as décor, books and DVDs.

14. Pack room by room

Tackle rooms one by one and place similar items together if possible. Make sure to write down what you pack in each numbered box on your reference sheet, so you can easily find everything you’re looking for when you start the unpacking process.

15. Keep track of cables and hardware

When packing electronics, make sure to keep cables and chargers nearby. Similarly, if you need to disassemble any furniture, keep track of the screws and hardware that go with each item of furniture by placing them in labeled plastic bags.

16. Gather important documents

It’s easy for things to get lost when moving into a new house, so be sure that you know where all of your important documents are. This includes passports, birth certificates, and medical or financial records.

17. Pack a suitcase for your first few days

Pack a suitcase with some of your favorite clothes as well as toiletries, snacks, medication and anything else you might need shortly after the move. In the moving process, your stuff will be inaccessible, and you don’t want anything important buried deep in the mountain of boxes. This suitcase should have everything you need to make it through the packing, transporting and unpacking process.

Moving day checklist

18. Transport important items yourself

There are some items that you won’t want to risk throwing into the moving truck. Consider moving things like your important documents, your suitcase of essentials, and any fragile boxes in your own car.

19. Take care of your pets

If you have pets, make sure you have a plan for how to get them settled into your new house. It may be a good idea to bring your pets over to your new place before the movers arrive.

20. Relax and treat yourself

Moving day is stressful. While your things are being transported, treat yourself to iced coffee or something else that makes you smile.

21. Make your bed

Making your bed should be one of your top priorities after your movers leave. The last thing you want is to be exhausted after a long moving day and realize that you have no idea where your pillows and bedding are.

22. Set up an unpacking station

Choose a space in your new home to be ground zero for unpacking. Make sure you have a way to listen to music or podcasts to keep you entertained while you work and remember to take breaks. Use your numbered reference sheet to easily find what you need and have fun organizing your new space!

After you move checklist

23. Clean up your old house

If you haven’t already, be sure to clean your old house so that it’s ready for new residents. This is also a good opportunity to ensure that you or your movers left nothing behind.

24. Change your address

Make sure that you notify the post office of your new address. You will also want to change the billing address for your credit cards and update your voter registration. 

25. Forward your mail

You may still receive mail at your old address for a while, so it can be a good idea to forward your mail to make sure you don’t miss anything. If you live in the U.S., you can request your mail to be forwarded by filling out a form on the USPS website.

26. Unpack essentials first

Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to unpack everything within the first week or two. Focus on unpacking the things you really need first, then move on to less important items.

27. Meet your neighbors

Introducing yourself to your new neighbors is easier if you’ve just moved in. Stop by and say hello sometime during your first few days.

28. Buy new furniture and decor

You may want to buy some new furniture or decor after moving into a new home. After unpacking, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to style your new home.

29. Explore your community

Take some time to get familiar with your new neighborhood. Check out your community’s amenities and common spaces, or scope out some local restaurants.

30. Remember that settling in takes time

No matter how well prepared you are, settling into a new home takes time as you adjust to a new layout and new routines. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the process, and you’ll feel right at home in no time!

Find more homebuyer resources

We hope that this checklist is able to make your move a little less overwhelming. If you’re moving soon, the Brookfield Residential blog has resources available to answer your questions on the homebuying process. And if you’re still looking for the perfect new home, contact us to learn more about our available communities.