Whether you’re relocating to a new city, upgrading to a larger home, or downsizing to something with less maintenance, there are a ton of things to do before moving! To ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible, it’s advisable to come up with a moving checklist that can act as a step-by-step guide to help you stay organized and on track in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the big move. To help you out, in this article, we’ll be laying out a three-month guide focused on how to get ready for a move–from researching moving companies to defrosting your freezer–that will help make your next move as easy and stress-free as possible!
What to Do before Moving: Your Guide to Moving to a New Home
3 Months Prior to Move
- Sort and Declutter – Long before moving day, it’s important to figure out what you are taking with you – and what you’re going to sell, donate, or throw in the trash. Start by creating a room-by-room inventory of everything you want to keep, and then begin thinking about whether any item will need special packing or insurance coverage.
- Set a Budget – Before making any purchases or big decisions, be sure to set a moving budget that includes not only things like hiring a moving company or renting a moving truck, but also boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, labels, moving blankets, and other packing supplies.
- Research Movers – Begin investigating different moving companies and comparing moving truck sizes and prices. Get estimates based on an on-site estimate, and be sure that the company is registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation. And don’t forget to ask about additional charges or available discounts!
- Create a Moving Binder – Putting together a binder or spreadsheet can help you keep track of everything, including moving company estimates, receipts, your “moving to a new home” checklist, and the inventory list of every item you’ll be moving.
6 Weeks Prior to Move
- Reserve Moving Truck/Company – Once you have your quotes and comps, you can go ahead and book the rental moving truck or hire a moving company to assist you on the big day.
- Purchase Packing Supplies – Sticking within your budget, purchase boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, labels, moving blankets, permanent markers, cleaning supplies, and anything else you might need to help you box and organize your possessions.
- Transfer Records – If you’re moving to a new city, you’ll want all your records transferred to the new area. This can include school transcripts, medical records, prescriptions, and veterinary records.
- Take Time Off Work – The last thing you want is a work conflict cropping up to complicate your moving day. Think proactively and take two or three days off work to ensure the move has your full attention.
- Take Photos of Sellable Items – Anything that you plan to sell, be it furniture, appliances, home décor etc., take photos and create online listings on sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and eBay.
- Recruit Friends and Family – If you plan to solicit moving help from friends or family, make the ask now, as opposed to a few days before.
1 Month Prior to Move
- File Change of Address – Alert the U.S. Postal Service to your change of address to ensure no postal complications.
- Contact Utility and Cable Providers – If you’re not transferring services, determine a stop date with your current utility provider, find an internet and cable provider in your new area, and schedule a day for installation.
- Start Packing – Methodically begin packing all the possessions you intend to take with you. Establishing a packing schedule can alleviate last-minute stress. And be sure to label all boxes and storage containers with the rooms they will be going to in your new house.
- Use Perishable Food Items – Plan meals utilizing any perishable food that is in your refrigerator, freezer, or pantry so it doesn’t go to waste.
1 Week Prior to Move
- Contact Moving Help – You’ll want to confirm the date and time of your move with the moving company, as well as any friends and family that have agreed to help out.
- Clean House – Whether you’re renting or you own your own home, don’t forget to thoroughly clean the house before moving out, including the refrigerator and pantry.
- Set Up a Final Walkthrough – Establish a time that you can meet with your landlord or real estate agent to do a final inspection of your old home, noting any damages or issues that could be deducted from your security deposit.
- Dontae and Dispose of Unwanted Items – You can donate clothes, furniture, and appliances to nonprofits like Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, and any hazardous or toxic chemicals, like household cleaners or paint, should be disposed of in an authorized way.
3 Days Prior to Move
- Pack Suitcases – Once your general packing is finished, you can pack suitcases for yourself and family members, making sure to pack enough clothes to last a couple of days, just in case something goes awry!
- Defrost Fridge and Freezer – Empty, clean, and defrost your fridge and freezer at least 24 hours prior to moving out.
- Disassemble Remaining Furniture – Take apart any additional furniture that might be problematic moving, and place all the hardware and components in a labeled zip lock bag.
- Take Out Cash – You’ll want to tip the moving staff 10 to 15 percent, depending on the quality of the work, and don’t forget to get bottles of water to keep them hydrated during the difficult job.
- Verify Moving Company – When the moving truck arrives, make sure that the USDOT number painted on the side matches the number on the quote given to you. There are plenty of scammers out there in NYC and the surrounding area, and it’s important that you verify you’ve hired a reputable company like Bennett Movers to handle such an important job.
- Order Pizza – If you have friends and family helping out, order a couple of pizzas to thank them for all the hard work!
- Do a Final Walkthrough – Do a final walkthrough of the house to ensure all your belongings are packed and loaded. Make sure all windows are closed, lights are off, heat/air is set to neutral, and all the doors are locked.
- Sign Bill of Lading – Finally, sign the inventory list before the movers leave, and keep a copy for your personal records.
If you currently live in New York City or the surrounding areas and you’re preparing for a move, let Bennett Movers take the load off your shoulders. Contact us today to get a free quote from NYC’s most trusted moving company!