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Moving Checklist: Everything You Need to Move into Your New Home

Looking for a checklist of duties to prepare you for your move? Look no further.

A cartoon picture of a girl in a room with a couch and moving boxes

Whether it’s your first or fifth one time doing it, buying a home is a huge milestone in anyone’s life. It marks a new beginning that is sure to be rife with opportunities to make wonderful memories. One thing that’s not so exciting about moving, however, is the actual process of moving.

Packing up your old home, labeling boxes, and physically taking things from one place to another is, unfortunately, just a part of buying a new house. Even though it’s a hassle at the best of times, it doesn’t have to be the disorganized chaos that we so often hear about. We created a move-in checklist that will help you stay on top of everything. If you’re in the process of moving into a new home and you want some tips for when that fateful day comes, keep reading…

Make a Plan of Action

As soon as you’ve decided on a move-in date, you’ll need to make a plan for how you what that day to go. So, sit down and answer all of the below questions before going on to the next step. We recommend physically writing or typing your answers out so you’ll have a plan you can reference later.

  • When should I start utilities at my new home?
  • When should I end utilities at my current home?
  • Are there small repairs that need to be made that would be easier to do without stuff in the house?
  • What can I move to the new house before the big moving day?
  • What items should I keep, donate, or throw away?
  • Should I hire movers? If not, who is available to help me move?
  • What will I need to purchase to make my move as smooth as possible?
  • Should I take time off work to move or wait until the weekend?
  • What order should I pack and unpack rooms?
  • What will I need to keep out until moving day in order for me to live comfortably?

Get Packing Materials

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to gather your moving materials. There are plenty of things you’ll need to help the transition from your old home to your new one. Stock up on the following items:

  • Bubble wrap OR choose the eco-friendly route and wrap breakables in garments and linens that you already own
  • Moving boxes
  • Moving blankets can be purchased but are often included in moving services or moving truck rentals so don’t forget to ask if you need them.
  • Packing paper can be purchased but collecting newspapers, paper grocery bags, and saving up packing materials from online purchases is often sufficient.
  • Packing tape
  • Permanent markers
  • Trash bags

A living room with a giant window is void of items all except a pile of moving boxes.

Start Packing Your Home Slowly

If a more relaxed timeline is an option we recommend taking your time during the packing process. If you’re in a time crunch, feel free to skip ahead to the next step. Whenever possible, consider how soon you will need the items you are packing and make sure the important stuff is easy to find. This is a great time to go through your items, find things that have been hiding away, and to purge what no longer serves your lifestyle. Here are some things you can do:

  • Go through your home and take an inventory of each room. Think about how each item will fit into your new house and whether or not it is worth keeping.
  • Pack up and clearly label rarely used items.
  • Clear a space for all your boxes by packing up your least-used room.
  • If need be, set up some temporary or permanent storage to house the things you want to keep, but don’t necessarily need on a day-to-day (or even month-to-month) basis. But do some soul searching and ask yourself if the items are really worth paying to house elsewhere.

Take Your Packing Efforts into Overdrive

Now it’s time to do the heavy lifting to actually start packing up your home. You’ll want to do this carefully because eventually, you’ll need to find everything again. Here are some tips that will help you along.

  • Make a note of how many boxes are being used in each room and number them all at the end. For instance, if there are eleven boxes from the kitchen, label each box “Kitchen Box 1 of 11”, “Kitchen Box 2 of 11”, and so forth. This way, you’ll be able to place each box where they need to be and determine whether one is missing.
  • Make sure you wrap your more delicate items with care whether using news/packing paper, household linens or garments to protect them. When they’re packed away, mark them as “Fragile”.
  • If you are packing anything that needs to be taken apart, keep all of its elements together using plastic bags or clearly marked paper envelopes.

Prep the New House

A couple of days before the big move, we recommend going to your new home, if possible, to drop off some boxes and to deliver any materials you’ll need for the move. Here are some other things you can do.

  • Take an inventory of the various fixtures in the home. If you notice anything that needs to be repaired, make a note.
  • If any cleaning needs to be done it is best to get that out of the way before the space fills up. Sweep, mop, and vacuum before you move in if needed.
  • Check to see if your window treatments, are in working order. If they aren’t, make a note to find treatments that will work for the room you’re in. Oh, and we can help with that.

A woman measures a window on an exposed brick wall indoors.

Get Ready for the Move

Once you’re completely packed and your new house is all prepped, it’s time to get ready for moving day! You’re almost there, so do these last-minute items to help get you over the finish line.

  • Give your old home a wipe down if it needs it. You don’t necessarily have to deep clean it, but make sure that it looks like you’ve cleaned up after yourself so the next owners or occupants don’t have to do as much for their move.
  • Pack an overnight bag for your first night that includes bedding, toiletries, toilet papers, and a fresh change of clothes so you have everything you need in one place when you’re trying to avoid walking into boxes the next day.
  • Confirm that your utilities are transferred over to your new home.
  • Prepare for the movers. If you hired professional help don't forget to have cash to tip them and water to offer them. If your friends and family helping, be sure to have snacks and drinks for them.

Happy Moving Day!

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final lap. Now all you need to do is transport your belongings and you’ll be in your new house. Whether you hired movers or have friends to help you, wake up early and get your day started. That way, you can pack up the last minute items, like your toiletries, coffee maker, etc.

When help arrives don't me afraid to delegate. Remember, you’re running the show, so make sure that everyone has a job and that they are doing it efficiently. After all, no one likes moving, so the faster everyone goes, the faster you’ll be done. Then, once the truck is packed, head over to your new home, unload, and rejoice – you’ve done it!

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