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Home moving checklist: How to make it easier 

 January 25, 2021

By Scott Teesdale  

minutes read time

Whether you just bought a home and are planning to move in soon or just sold your home and need to vacate quickly, we can all agree that the home moving process is stressful and tiresome. That’s why we created a home moving checklist for you!

Although moving is usually the same process regardless if it’s an apartment or mega-mansion, this checklist is specifically for home buyers and home sellers who are moving to or from a place.

Coordinate with seller or buyer

Number one on our home moving checklist, the home buyer and seller should agree to the possession of the home and moving date(s). Ideally, this would be done at the time of the contract, but definitely long before the closing date). Above all, get these agreements in writing to avoid unnecessary hassles on moving day! Leverage your agents to help you negotiate these dates and times.

Planning Ahead

Start planning early; it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself is to prepare for the process. Once you are reasonably confident that you will be proceeding with the purchase or sale, start weeding out your current possessions. Toss (or give away, or sell at a yard sale) things that you don’t want to move. This goes a long way toward uncluttering your life, too!

Compare moving plans

Are you going to want to do the entire move yourself? Will you want a professional mover to handle the entire process? Don’t wait until the last minute–or you may be doing the whole move on your own. Compare rates and services, as well as availability. Keep in mind that if you hire movers, you’ll want to make sure they are licensed and bonded in your home state, and if you are moving across states, make sure they are licensed and bonded there too.

Setting a budget

It’s essential to have a rough estimate of the total cost of moving from one place to another. This not only prepares you for the expenses you’ll be later facing and helps you be prepared for them, but it also saves you from the sudden shock of hefty bills that are sure to turn up later. You can use a moving cost calculator to have an idea of your required budget. 

Decluttering

Rather than trying to pack in everything and carry a bunch of useless stuff with you, get rid of everything you no longer need. You can drop off old clothes at different donation centers and sell things like old furniture.

Canceling & restarting your utilities

This is something that can be easily missed once you’re occupied with the move, although it only requires a couple of phone calls. It’s better to do this as soon as you know you’re vacating a place and have a new address. And for your new place, make sure all utilities will be on and working before your move-in date.

Getting in contact with professional movers

With the right moving company, your move can seem like a breeze. You can find movers that have been vetted for quality, reliability, and trustworthiness on different sites like moving.com, moveadvisor.com, or you can get in contact with companies on Groupon, Yelp, etc. It’s recommended to get quotes from a few different companies to find the best option.   

Picking the right van or truck

If you’re not hiring a moving agency and doing it all yourself, consider getting a truck with a ramp to move your stuff. This might be a tad bit more expensive, but it will save you the hassle and risk of breakage that comes with a truck with no ramp. If you’re not carrying anything too heavy or too oversized, a van to move your items should suffice.

Saving boxes

Start saving all the boxes from your Amazon purchases (or other stores) the moment the decision to move becomes final. Ask your friends to start collecting any boxes they come across too. You can also go to different grocery stores or marts and ask for any spare or used packaging boxes.  

Eating up

In circumstances like these, a lot of food often goes to waste. To prevent this, stop buying any non-essential groceries a few days before moving and try to eat whatever you already have. Get creative with the ingredients!

Packing

Moving onto what is probably the most challenging part of the entire procedure-getting everything sorted out, categorized, and packed. It can also easily become one of the most exciting and fun parts if you make a checklist and keep in mind the following things. 

Pack in stages

It’s better to divide the entire process into sub-stages and tackle one portion at a time rather than leave it all for the end. You can start with the rooms that are the toughest or with things that are the least used. 

Packing in small boxes

The smaller the container, the easier it is to carry, and the more compactly things can be packed into it. Stuffing too much into a big box can make it harder to find the needed items and can also make unpacking a struggle. On this note, try to keep the contents of a box distinct and not mix different things like toys with clothes, etc.

Don’t take anything out of the dressers

You’re going to have to arrange everything in the dressers once you’ve moved. You can cut down this task by carefully wrapping a plastic sheet around the dresser drawers so that the contents inside remain safe and protected. Once moved, simply remove the sheet.

Wrap in a ‘Russian doll’ style

This means exactly what it sounds like; nestle things within one another. This is especially true for crockery, decoration pieces, and other small items. This helps to utilize as much space as possible while also ensuring that everything is tightly packed. 

Use a lot of bubble wrap

To protect fragile elements from breakage, scratches, and fractures, wrap them in generous layerings of bubble wrap. You can also substitute this with clothes, towels or scrunched up newspapers.

Mark the boxes

This will save you a whole lot of confusion and distress while unpacking, and you’ll be glad you made the extra effort before. You can either use a color-coding system, marking boxes meant for a specific room with one color-or you can use waterproof markers to label the boxes, indicating their constituents. 

Take pictures of electronics

Re-assembling electronic equipment can be arduous, especially when there are so many wires. For this purpose, take a clear picture of the specific wiring of each device, which you can simply follow later. 

Keep hazardous items out

It’s best not to pack anything which might be toxic, corrosive, explosive, flammable, or harmful to other things. Try to dispose of such materials in a safe and environmentally friendly manner beforehand.

Make a binder

It’s easy to lose your documents in all the hustle and bustle. However, the chances of you needing and worrying about them soon are high. To keep a hold of them, allocate a binder for this specific purpose, and just keep that binder with you.

Create a “staging area”

Each time you’ve finished packing a box or organizing a room to be moved, put everything in a pile to act as a “staging area” for the movers. This saves a lot of the aggravation of having boxes scattered throughout your present living quarters and gives you a place to look should you need an already-packed item.

Moving

For the final step, there are just a few guidelines that you should consider to avoid any mishaps.

  • Defrost your fridge to avoid having to carry around a leaky fridge.
  • Make a bag of essential items that you’ll be needing soon after moving in, rather than packing them up with everything else.
  • Pre-order utilities for the new place.
  • Plan something for kids/ pets to keep them occupied while you deal with all the tough stuff.

Got your home moving checklist ready? Get started!

Despite how arduous the whole thing can be, it’s all absolutely worth it and can actually be quite satisfying. It’s essential to accept that this is not an easy job and will take more time than you initially thought. There will be ups and downs and times when it can all feel a bit overwhelming, but as long as you follow this home moving checklist we put together for you, things will feel a little more simplified.

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I use data and technology to help Millennials navigate the ins-and-outs of buying or selling a home in today's market. From appraisals to mortgages to zoning, I cover it all with the goal to teach others. Connect with me on social via the icons above.

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