So much to do, so little time. So much stuff, so few boxes. So many movers, only one truck. Moving is a time of imbalance—half your things in one place, half in another; getting used to new surroundings and missing your old ones. Having a checklist of things you need to get done before moving can help make the experience a little less stressful. Here’s a quick checklist of the most important things you need to remember to do for your move. Keep in mind that this is just a general guideline; your duties may vary according to your situation. (A move across town is obviously less involved than a move across the country!)
Moving Process: Ahead of Time (2 or more weeks before the move)
1. Provide the appropriate amount of notice to your landlord as required in your lease. If you plan a move but don’t let your landlord know, you may be stuck paying rent longer than you thought.
2. Research and select a moving company or reserve a rental moving truck if doing it yourself. Avoid moving company scams by investigating companies and getting recommendations. Communicate regularly with your moving company about the moving date, how many items you’ll be moving, and how much you’ll be charged.
3. Look for and obtain packing supplies (boxes, tape, labels, etc.) if not hiring movers.
4. Obtain any necessary moving permits, particularly if moving to a new state or country. Your moving company may be able to help you out with this.
5. Go through all of your possessions, separating what does and doesn’t need to be moved. Make plans to sell, donate, or otherwise get rid of anything you don’t want to keep, and follow up by doing so. Don’t leave yourself with a huge pile of stuff you’ll have to junk or pay to move at the last minute.
6. Create an inventory of the items you want moved so you’ll know if you’re missing anything after the move. Take pictures of valuable items so you have proof of their original condition if the movers damage them.
Moving Process: Last-Minute (Days before or day of the move)
7. Begin using up your food so you won’t have to move too much of it. Throw out or donate food you can’t use and don’t want to move.
8. Pack a travel kit with necessities so you can access needed items even when most of your possession are packed up.
9. Make sure the items you’ll need first upon moving in (towels, bedding, a lamp or two, perhaps some kitchen and bathroom essentials, etc.) are packed last so you can access them immediately upon moving in.
10. Drain power equipment and water hoses, if applicable to your situation.
11. Defrost your refrigerator and freezer, if you’re moving them.
12. Double-check the moving date and arrangements with movers or verify that your rental truck is reserved. Make sure you understand how much you’ll be charged for the moving services and what payment methods are accepted.
13. Finish packing your possessions, except for absolute essentials.
14. Determine if you’ll need to store any of your items, and make appropriate arrangements to do so. Decide if you want permanent or temporary/deliverable storage. Your moving company may be able to make recommendations, or you can also do your own research.
15. Read and understand the bill of lading provided by the moving company
These practical points to remember should help you keep on track for a successful move.