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The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Tuesday Nov 13th, 2018

Relocating to a new house doesn’t have to be stressful. The earlier you begin planning your move, the smoother moving day will be. Plus, if you plan out your move ahead of time, you’ll be more focused on what lies ahead, rather than where and how your belongings are getting to your new home. Here’s our list of moving essentials to help make your relocation as seamless as possible:

Six Weeks Before The Move

It's time to start planning your move. Decide what you’re packing, how you’re packing it, and when you’re relocating. Also, are you moving solo? With another person? With children? Make sure you think about the entire scope of your move, including your furry friends, too. When you’re about six weeks out, start:

Getting rid of unwanted items. Sort your furniture, clothing, toys, and other items. Choose if it’ll make the cut, or if you’ll sell, [donate], or toss it.

Deciding who will help you move. For a reliable, safe, and experienced mover, consider hiring a moving service to help with your move. Your first instinct may be to ask friends and family for help, but this might not be your best bet. While a case of beer and a large pizza to pay friends might seem like the cheaper option, it'll only get you so far.

Figuring out how you’ll pack all of your belongings. How many boxes will you need? What about shrink wrap, tape, labels, and sharpies? Finding the best ways to ship your belongings, especially fragile or expensive items, is best done in advance.

Making sure your furniture will fit in your new home. Measure doors and tight corners at your new residence to avoid a major headache down the road. Don’t end up leaving your sectional sofa on your lawn the first night in your new home simply because you couldn’t get it inside.

Taking an initial inventory. After you’ve decided what stays and what goes, make a list of everything in your home that you’re sending with the movers. Come moving day, you’ll thank yourself for making an accurate packing list when you realize your phone charger is still plugged into the wall or your dog’s still in the backyard.

Testing water and electrical items in your new home. If possible, double check your new home’s faucets, showers, toilets, smoke detectors, security systems, door locks, lights, appliances, and outlets to address issues before you arrive. Making sure repairs—whether you or your landlord are responsible—are done before you start bringing in your belongings will help you settle in faster without unnecessary headaches. You don’t want to unpack by candlelight!

Talking to your kids about the move. You don’t want the move to be more of a shock to your family than it has to be. Talking about it early on will make sure they’re prepared to relocate.

One Month Before The Move

Once you’ve planned how you’ll be moving, you’ll want to begin the initial phases of packing up your house. Progressively boxing up your home makes the moving process less arduous. Additionally, one month before you move is a great time to get all of your documents in order. A few tips for this four-week stretch:

Pack and label items that aren’t used much. This could mean anything such as holiday decorations, seasonal apparel and equipment, lawn furniture, books and magazines, waffle makers, your scented-candle collection, or your stack of bowling league trophies.

Insure high-value items. While damage to property is extremely rare with a qualified mover, it can happen. Make sure you’re covered with liability protection to mitigate some of the risk.

Update your address. Change your address with the post office, the HR department at work, your magazine and newspaper subscriptions, banks, credit card and loan companies, your insurance provider, and any other pertinent organization. If applicable, transfer or cancel any gym, golf club, fitness facility, or other memberships.

Transfer all records. Contact your child’s school, your doctor, and your veterinarian to make sure all important documents are transferred to your new providers.

Schedule time off for the move. You’ll want to be around to make sure the transition goes smoothly. Make arrangements with your employer to take the day or weekend off.

Two Weeks Before The Move

This is when you’ll want to buckle down. Packing takes time, so waiting until the last minute will cause unnecessary stress. To alleviate any home-stretch headaches:

Continue packing. While you’re still two weeks out, pack up most of your house during this time, including the garage, attic, storage area, basement, drawers and shelved items, wall decor, and, pantry items that won’t be used.

Eat perishable foods. There are certain foods you won’t be able to bring with you during your move. Plan your meals in advance and begin eating through your refrigerator and freezer to avoid wastefulness down the road.

Get rid of prohibited items. Most movers disallow certain items due to safety concerns while moving. Click here for a complete list of prohibited items with B.F. Fields. Whether you safely dispose of them or arrange to move them yourself, make sure your perishables and hazardous chemicals are properly taken care of prior to moving day.

Pack valuables separately. Any small high-value items, important documents and records, and loose cash should go with you, rather than in a moving truck.

Change the locks in your new home. This can take a few days to schedule, so make sure this is done before you arrive.

Read up on your new neighborhood. Have you found the gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and post office? If you’re moving with kids, have them research your new neighborhood to get them more excited about the move.

One Week Before The Move

Within one week of moving, you’ll want to begin thinking about what you’ll need upon immediate arrival to your new abode. Among the most important of what we’ve found include:

Setting up your home’s utilities. This includes canceling utilities for your old home. Think: water, sewer, electric, gas, cable or satellite, refuse, lawn care, and snow removal.

Finishing packing. Give yourself enough time to pick up more packing supplies if necessary. Also, leave out the clothes, snacks, toiletries, and medication needed for the remainder of your time before the move. These can fit inside a suitcase; everything else can be packed.

Planning your meals. You need to pack up your pots and pans, so make a plan for feeding your family for the next few days. Will you try to cook? Eat out? What works for you and your family?

One Day Before The Move

It’s almost time! The day before your move is your day to tie up any loose ends. Make sure you’re ready by:

Emptying and defrosting freezers and refrigerators. If they are moving with you, unplug your appliances and open their doors first thing in the morning. Defrosting a freezer with a lot of ice buildup can take more than 24 hours, so plan accordingly.

Finishing taking inventory. By now, you should be all packed up and ready for tomorrow. Finalize your list of belongings, double check their labels, and seal up all of your boxes.

Confirming your movers’ details. Verify their arrival time, payment details, and the start-to-finish schedule of their services.

Making sure everything is packed. The last thing you want is to open your closet as the movers arrive and realize you’ve forgotten everything inside. As you do another sweep of your home, don’t forget to take a few moments to reflect on your time in that house.

Moving Day

The day you’ve been planning for so long is finally here! Whether you’re excited or nervous, make sure you’ve got everything you need when the movers arrive. Our advice:

Walk through your home. Before your movers arrive, make sure anything you’d missed the day before has been packed and prepared to send off. Check every room and closet, the basement, attic, garage, your built-in shelving, and your rugs, walls, and window treatments.

Walk through again. As the movers load your belongings, take a lap around your house to ensure they haven’t missed anything. Mark off your inventory list as boxes are loaded.

Confirm written directions to your new home. You don’t want your movers to leave without giving them written instructions to your home. It’s also wise to provide them with your immediate contact information, should something change.

Leave your keys and new address. Give your old house keys to its new owners, the real estate agent, or whomever is responsible for them. Additionally, leave your new address at your old house so its new owners can forward any missed mail to you.

Inspect your belongings. Once you’ve arrived and the movers have unloaded, inspect all items to make sure nothing has been damaged. Make sure every box and piece of furniture is in its new resting place.

Prepare for living. Set up the beds, turn on refrigerators and freezers, and stock the bathroom with toilet paper, soap, and towels. Unpack the essentials first—and be sure to set up the television and order a pizza. You’ve earned it!

After You Move

Now that all the heavy lifting is done, it’s time to start making your new house feel like your home. You don’t have to unpack everything the first day—but you will want to get acquainted with your new neighborhood. Some final tips include:

Starting with personal touches. What's most important to you? If it's a favorite recliner or an heirloom bookcase, why not do that first since that'll make your new place feel like a home the first few hours you're in it. Then hang wall decorations and assemble furniture to start making your house your own.

Meeting your neighbors. Introduce yourself, ask for recommendations, and get to know the area. Remember the research you did on the neighborhood? Now’s your chance to get real recommendations from the people that have been there.

Buying or replacing fire extinguishers. You don’t want to forget about these! Also, consider replacing batteries in smoke detectors and heating and air conditioning dials.

Updating your ID. You may need to change your driver’s license or vehicle registration, depending on where you moved. Find out what your state requires.

Recycle your moving boxes. You don’t want these lying around forever, and you probably have a ton of them now. Be sure to check with your mover to see if they will recycle boxes for you.

Ready To Go?

Why make moving harder than it needs to be when B. F. Fields Moving & Storage is here to simplify the entire process? Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, we’ve got the moving solutions to get you where you need to go. For more information on B. F. Fields Moving & Storage services, click here to contact us.