The ULTIMATE Moving Checklist


Ultimate Moving Checklist

Keep, sell, give, or trash

Whether you are hiring an Austin moving company or going at it alone, follow these steps for a seamless move. Go through your home and decide which things are worth the trouble to move, which things are worth the trouble to move, which you could potentially sell, which you might want to donate, and which you should throw away.

Investigate companies to help with your move

  • Professional movers
  • Truck rentals for a DIY move
  • Maid service to clean after you’ve moved out

Create a binder

Gather important information and documents regarding your move, such as moving company estimates, purchase or rental agreements for your new home, an inventory of items that could potentially get lost or damaged during the move, or even this checklist.

Create an inventory of your home

Focus on the most important and/or valuable things to you. You will be using this list at the end of the move to make sure that everything made it safely. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of items that may get damaged to show their condition prior to the move.

Plan what will go where in your new home

If you can acquire a floorplan of your new home. Plot out where you intend to place your furniture. If there is a piece that won’t fil it’s best to figure out now, before you have gone through the trouble of moving it.

Organize school records

If you have children, arrange to have their records transferred to the new school they’ll be attending after the move.

6 Weeks Before Move

Slow down on your grocery shopping

Start using up the things that you don’t want to move, such as perishable and frozen foods, cleaning supplies, paper goods, etc.

Begin gathering boxes and other shipping containers

You can order specialty containers, such as wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes. You can also gather boxes from stores that have discarded them or from friends who may have recently moved.

Sell what you can, where you can

If you have a significant amount of items that you have decided to sell, organize a garage sale to get rid of them. You can also sell any extra things online.

Donate anything that is in good condition that you weren’t able to sell

Give to friends or donate to a local charity. Make sure to get receipts for the approximate value of the donated items for potential tax deductions later.

Throw away anything that you’re not moving, selling, donating, or giving away

Be aware that there may be a limit on what you can put out on the curb each week, so you may need to do this over the course of two or three weeks.

Selecting your moving company

Assuming you will be using one, and confirm your appointment. Make sure to get written confirmation of the appointment, costs, and any other details. When getting an estimate (it will be more accurate if you have them actually come to your home), be certain to inform the representative of any additional service, such as additional stops at storage facilities to pick up extra furniture, other items to be moved that may be in your attic or garage, and whether you have any furniture that may require special care in moving, such as a piano.

Reserve a rental truck

If this is a DIY move, reserve your truck rental.

Start packing

Start with the things that you will not be actively using before you move, such as books (If you’re an avid reader, don’t worry! You can leave a few unpacked to tide you over for the next few weeks!), specialty kitchen appliances, and out-of-season clothing.

Label each box

Label each box as you fill it, indicating which room in your new home it belongs. This will facilitate the move-in process on the other end.

Separate Valuables

Jewelry, important document, etc. Keep them in a box that you will transport personally.

Change your address

  • Post office
  • Banks
  • Credit card companies
  • Doctor’s offices
  • >Insurance providers
  • Lawyers
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Your children’s school
  • Your employer

3 weeks before move

Cancel/Transfer Utilities

Contact your current utilities providers and confirm the days they will each be disconnected. Then set them up at your new home.

Arrange childcare

If you have small children, arrange for a babysitter on moving day.

Say your goodbyes

Schedule any goodbye parties or stops

Confirm travel plans

If you are driving overnight on your move, confirm your travel plans. Book hotels or plan stops you may need to make on the way.

Forward your medical records

Have your current healthcare providers forward your medical records to your new provider. If you haven’t yet decided on healthcare providers in your new location then ask for copies of the records for yourself and ask for recommendations.

Schedule work off

Arrange to take the day off from work on the day of you move if you can. Not everyone has the luxury but if you’re one of those lucky people then do.

Confirm your rental truck

Reconfirm your appointment with the movers or your truck rental.

Dispose hazardous materials

Such as gasoline and propane, prior to moving.

Set aside things you’ll need on the first night in the new house

Put together a box or two of things that you will want/need on your first night in the new home. Label it something along the lines of “Pack last.” That way it will be the last thing in the truck, and the first thing out of the truck on the other end.

Few Days Before Moving

Double check all of the details

  • Reconfirm your appointment with the movers, including what time they will arrive and what time they expect to be done. Also make sure that they have your phone number in case there are delays or complications. If this is a DIY move, then remind anyone who has offered to help.
  • Plan your payment method. If you haven’t already arranged to pay with a credit card, have cash or a money order prepared. And don’t forget a tip for the movers. Ten to 15 percent of the total fee is considered a good tip, though exceptional work, or handling exceptionally difficult pieces of furniture (pianos, sofas containing heavy fold-up beds, etc.) could merit a higher tip.
  • If you have small children, check in with the people who will be taking care of them and make sure that your schedules are coordinated.
  • If you will be moving your refrigerator and/or freezer, now is the time to empty, clean, and defrost it.

The Moving Day

Cancel/Transfer Utilities

Keep track of things as they are loaded into the truck and compare them to the inventory you prepared.

Arrange childcare

When moving your belongings into the new home it is helpful to have a floor plan of the house printed and posted at the entrance clearly labeled so that people can easily reference where each box or piece of furniture belongs.

Forward you medical records

Double check the house and furniture for damage that may have happened during the move. Be sure to report damages to the moving company. Compare your belongings to the inventory you created prior to moving.

Do a final walk-through of your old home

  • Are all windows closed and locked?
  • Have you left anything behind?
  • Are the heater and/or air conditioner turned off?
  • Is the water shut off?
  • Have you turned in all the house keys and garage door openers?
  • Have you arranged for all of the utilities to be disconnected with their respective providers?
  • Are all doors closed and locked?
  • Is there anything else that you may have forgotten?

Make sure you are familiar with your new home. Locate the following:

  • Circuit breaker
  • Gas line shut-off
  • Water line shut-off
  • Water heater
  • Furnace/Air Conditioner
  • Previously-installed connections for internet access and television hookups

Learn about the area

Become familiar with your neighborhood and city. Meet your neighbors and locate each of the following:

  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants
  • Police stations
  • Fire stations
  • Hospitals
  • Post offices
  • Your children’s school

Double check old mailbox

If possible, have a friend or neighbor check the mail at your old home for a few weeks after you move to make sure that nothing is missed. Even if you fill out a Change of Address some mail can potentially slip through.

Update your driver’s license

Don’t forget to change your driver’s license and car registration information! Typically you are given between 10 and 30 days of moving to make this change, but each state’s laws vary so be sure to check with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your new location.

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