Moving is an exhausting endeavor that will suck the life from your veins. There’s always too much to do and too little time. However, a good game plan will go a long way in maintaining sanity through the moving process. So without further adieu, here is the ultimate moving checklist:
8 weeks to go…
- Buy a good binder. This is where you’ll store all your important documents like lease agreements, utility bills, moving company info, phone numbers, and vacate papers. Add little a light at the end of the tunnel by including floor plans from the new home, or maybe even a few decorating ideas.
- Read the move-out procedure. Dig out the old lease and find the paragraph that describes move-out procedures. Read it over carefully and then store it in the binder.
- Notify your landlord. Most apartments require a written letter at least one month prior to move-out. Check to see that the letter has reached its proper destination, and be sure to keep a copy in your binder.
- Notify everyone else. This includes your family, friends, employer, doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc. If you are moving with children, make sure to notify their school and arrange to have their records transferred if necessary.
- Create a moving budget. Research all the costs involved in moving. This includes food, gas, rental trucks, moving companies (or buying pizza for your helpful friends), as well as the cost to turn on the lights and get the internet running in your new pad. Put this detailed budget in your binder.
- Gather supplies. You’ll want plenty of baskets, crates, cardboard boxes, duct tape, and sharpies to stay organized as you pack up. It’s best to start accumulating them now.
- Purge. Use some of those boxes to create a purge pile. Label each box as give-away, sell, recycle, or donate. If you’re getting rid of furniture, deal with that ASAP – especially if you are throwing it away, as there are usually restrictions on how much junk you can put on the curb each week.
6 weeks to go…
- Coordinate the movers. Whether you’ve decided on hired help or the help of friends and family, make sure the date is reserved on their calendar. Take inventory of any especially large or heavy items and double-check with your movers to make sure they can handle everything.
- Schedule the utilities. You’ll need to schedule a turn-off date and turn-on date for each residence, or a transfer date if you’ll be using the same utility companies.
- Shop smart. Stop buying bulk foods and non-perishables. Instead, create a meal plan that will allow you to empty out all the food already in the fridge, the freezer, and the pantry.
4 weeks to go…
- Change your address. Fill out a change of address form for the U.S. Postal Service. You’ll also want to change the address on your driver’s license and/or identification card. Then start the process of updating your address at the bank, the doctor, the credit card company, the insurance company, and anyone else that will need to mail important documents.
- Start packing. Begin with your heaviest items, then build the mountain of boxes upwards until you’ve packed the most valuable, precious, and fragile pieces of your life.
- Schedule a sitter. If you have kids or pets, be sure to schedule a sitter for the move. Things will be much easier if they are out of harm’s way and out of your hair.
- Schedule a day off of work. You’ll need it.
2 weeks to go…
- Double-check your appointments. Reconfirm all appointments with movers, friends/family, utility companies, sitters and landlords.
- Finish packing. Leave only what you really need to survive – a few clothes, a few dishes, some toiletries, and bed stuff.
- Clean. Start cleaning now so you can deal with any issues that may arise. Stained carpets and damaged walls could cause you to lose the security deposit.
- Schedule a walk-through. Call your current landlord to schedule a walk-through of the apartment. Be sure to inform them of any prior damage. Skipping this step means that you forfeit your ability to argue with any decisions the landlord makes about your security deposit.
- Schedule your check-in date. Make sure you have the correct moving date. Get your new apartment keys. Get a parking pass. Make sure you know all the necessary details when it comes to actually walking into your new apartment.
Don’t relax yet, because the fun is just beginning! Now it’s time to go over the entire checklist again. Make sure all your appointments are in order, all your important things are packed, and all the littlest details are taken care of. Then take care of all the moving-day essentials:
- Pack all your remaining belongings.
- Clean out the fridge.
- Pack up the leftover cleaning supplies.
- Take out the trash.
- Do a final walk-through to check for any forgotten items.
- Complete all move-out procedures outlined in your lease.
- Tie up any loose ends.
- Pick up some champagne to christen the new home (just kidding, that might leave a stain!).