The Ultimate Moving Checklist

3D Clipboard with checklist and parcel cardboard boxes. Report on delivery and return of orders. Transportation service.

If you remember your last move being full of clutter, stress, and confusion, you are probably dreading the next one. When you create and stick to our ultimate moving checklist, you make your next move easier and much more tolerable.

Pre-Move Prep (8-12 Weeks Before the Move)

Preparing certain items well before your move can significantly reduce your workload. Take a good look at your finances and decide if you have enough for a moving company or whether it’ll be more affordable to rent a truck and move yourself.

If hiring movers, start researching companies. Always get a written estimate for professional movers that includes a USDOT number. This certifies registration with the Department of Transportation.

If you’ll be doing a long distance move, you’ll also need to make travel arrangements and confirm car shipping several weeks in advance of your moving date. Designate a binder for your inventory, quotes, and credit card receipts for tax deduction purposes. You can use this binder for medical records and other information.

Identify what you are and aren’t going to keep; consider donating items or having a garage sale.

Early Planning (4-8 Weeks Before the Move)

List and purchase the items you’ll need for moving, such as tape, boxes, and packing material, and start the packing process.

Pack one room at a time and color-code boxes for easy identification when you arrive at your destination.

Pack first-day essentials like clothing, kitchen, bathroom, and cleaning supplies into a clear tote. This is also the time to notify friends and family, as well as phone, utility, and cable companies, of your upcoming address change. Notify your employer that you’ll need to request time off from work to complete your move.

Final Prep (2-4 Weeks Before the Move)

Call to schedule the connection of utilities and other services at your new address. This is also the time to confirm the details with your moving or truck rental company. Those with pets and family members who will be moving with them should also ensure their essential items are ready.

Last-Minute To-Dos (1 Week Before the Move)

Finish packing and identify any items that you didn’t include in your essentials box (some commonly missed items include a shower curtain, tools, and towels). Deep clean your old home, which should include your refrigerator and freezer, as well as any areas used for storage.

Be sure to check yard and garage space for anything you may have left behind and ensure these areas are also tidied up for the next occupants. Don’t forget to pay any security deposits as well.

Moving Day

Conduct a final walkthrough to double check that you’ve packed what you want to bring with you. Complete any final paperwork and payment for the moving company or truck rental and place the receipts in your moving binder. When you arrive, Locate your color-coded boxes and place them in their assigned rooms.

If you have been following this checklist, congratulations; this moving process should go much more smoothly than previous moves! Still, as you know, things can and do happen. So take deep breaths, be patient, and know that it will soon be over!


Young man using laptop reading document at new home

Now that you’ve arrived at your new home, you can also do a walkthrough here to check whether any additional cleaning is needed. Locate your essentials box and unpack it first. That way, you’ll have the coffee, tea, clothing, dishes, towels, and other things you’ll need ready for you after a long moving day.

Just as you did when you were packing, unpack one room at a time.  Arrange furniture for functionality and comfort and ensure that it’s out of high-traffic areas where you will be lugging boxes.

When you have a spare minute or two, think about how you’d like your home to look and sketch it out to make setup easier. This is also a good time to go over your address and other changes and make sure nothing was missed.

Ready to make your move as smooth as possible? The moving checklist from Samba Moving will allow you to divide daunting tasks into smaller and more manageable chunks that will save you lots of time and frustration.