What’s the first word that comes to mind when moving to a new home? You probably just said “stress,” didn’t you? Well, it’s understandable. Moving is a hectic experience. Because it’s not just moving boxes; it’s transporting your whole life to a brand-new location. By following this moving to-do list step by step, your advanced planning will pay off and give you much-needed peace of mind.

 It’s go time. You got this.

Before the Move (around 4 weeks away)

  • Let the purging begin. Go through each room in your house and start separating your belongings. Keep it, donate it, or toss it. A garage sale is also a great way to get rid of things you don’t need, especially the big-ticket items.
  • Transfer school records. If you have children, call their school(s) to switch their information to the new school. Things like report cards, standardized tests, medical records, and a list of their extracurricular activities.
  • Research moving companies. Do some online research on moving companies in your area. It’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple companies and choose the one you feel the most confident in.
  • Notify important providers. Begin calling your utility and cable providers to let them know you’ll either be closing out their services or transferring them (if available) to your new address. Also alert your bank, pharmacy, credit card companies, insurance providers, and publications you subscribe to of the change in address.
  • Order (or find) supplies. Place orders for things like boxes, tape, and bubble wrap. Don’t want to overspend on supplies? Find free boxes from grocery and office supply stores.
  • Start packing nonessentials. Things like holiday decorations, off-season clothing, artwork, hobby materials, and infrequently used kitchenware would be best to pack in this time frame.

On the Cusp (1-2 weeks away)

  • Change your address. Head to the U.S. Postal Service’s change of address page to easily update your new address in its mailing system. It’s a good idea to ask a neighbor to look out for mail after you move, just in case.
  • Plan for your children and pets. If you’re moving with children, arrange to have them taken care of. Do the same for your furry ones.
  • Pack, pack, pack. It’s time to start boxing up practically everything left in the house. Keep a marker handy so you can properly label each box. When moving, organization is as important as anything.
  • Strategize your meals. Use up food that you don’t want to move, particularly perishables. Try to plan to have nothing left in your fridge, freezer, or pantry come moving day.
  • Confirm moving plans. Contact your moving company to verify the day, time, address, and parking situation with them.

It’s Here! (days before and moving day)

  • Pack an essentials kit. Fill a box, suitcase, or bag with things you’re going to need immediately during and after your move. Things like paper products, utensils, light bulbs, a tool box, trash bags, etc. Keep it with you during the move.
  • Measure furniture and doorways. Keep a tape measure out to make sure large furniture will fit through your doors and down staircases.
  • Keep important documents handy. Documents related to movers, travel, purchases, and your old and new house should be at the ready as the move transpires.
  • Do a final sweep. Remove everything from your fridge and freezer, and give each a thorough clean. Check every other room and closet to make sure all your belongings are now packed away.
  • Make it easy for your movers. Create walkways, identify fragile items, and be as present as you can when your items are being loaded. You’ll be able to confirm everything’s accounted for and be there to answer any questions.

You Did It! (exhale)

  • Inspect the new home. Check to see that utilities and plumbing are working properly as soon as you get inside. Then go room by room to ensure they’re clean, and undamaged.
  • Unpack the essentials. Grab your essentials kit and unpack it. Then remove things like bedding, toiletries and other bathroom-centric things you’ll want to use immediately.
  • Get organized. Start putting boxes in the corresponding rooms and write out a to-do list for the next few days or weeks. Seeing your priorities laid out and crossed off will make the process of getting settled much easier to accomplish.
  • Babyproof your home (if necessary). Complete the baby steps of the babyproofing process. Make sure your bathroom, staircases, living room and the baby’s nursery are free of any hazards.    
  • Enjoy getting settled! The worst is over, and now you can appreciate the fruits of your labor. Get fully unpacked, begin shaping each room, and take in your new home and neighborhood!

In no time, you’ll be organizing and decorating your new home from floor to ceiling. But before you do, have a little fun, and see what those home-related decisions might say about your personality.

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