8 Weeks BeforeResearch

  • Research and compare moving logistics options: find moving companies or self-moving truck rentals; check their ratings on Better Business Bureau; ask family or friends for recommendations

what to do 8 weeks before moving - apartment moving checklist
  • Research how to move your car, if needed; find and compare auto movers, what they offer, check their reviews and ratings online

  • Research self-storage rental companies, if you’ll need to store your things temporarily

  • Read about moving insurance coverage and what is being offered by the various moving services

  • Get to know your new town and neighborhood better, including banks, doctors, dentists, vets, schools, lawyers, accountants, public transportation, gyms, athletic clubs, social groups, organizations, etc.

  • Get in touch with friends and acquaintances that live in the area and get recommendations of doctors, dentists, schools, daycares, baby sitters and other services you may need

  • Gather all your financial records related to banking, credit, investments, taxes, and other financial accounts, to determine whether any need to be transferred, closed, or notified

gather and keep important documents before you move
  • Gather all medical, dental, vet records, prescriptions and health and dental insurance records to have them organized and handy for when it comes time to notify them and request record transfers

  • Gather all legal documents, including requesting from your local attorney original documents that you must take with you, such as estate planning documents, real estate contracts, business records, and any other important contracts

Hunting for an apartment for rent? Make sure you’re getting a good deal by checking rents in your area. Check up-to-date rent rates in your city and neighborhood on RENTCafé’s listings pages.

Week 7Get Estimates & Make Lists

  • Choose three reputable moving companies and contact them; request in-person estimates that include an actual inventory

  • Get estimates from at least 3 companies for shipping your car, if needed, and compare prices, terms and conditions

  • Make a list of moving expenses: moving company or moving truck, auto shipping, packing supplies, transportation for yourself (and your family), any possible cancellation fees, set-up fees for new accounts, etc.

moving expenses list
  • Budget for moving expenses, plan ahead how you’ll be paying for the big expenses (moving company, plane tickets, etc.), as you will have to pay in full significant amounts all at once

  • Stay organized with your paperwork; start a file for your lists, notes, estimates, and other information useful for your move

  • Make a list of all companies to must notify when you move: banks, investment firms, health insurance company, dental insurance company, auto insurance company, life insurance company, wholesale membership clubs

  • Write down all online accounts that require a change of address: banking, credit cards, investments, and shopping sites like eBay, Amazon, PayPal

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Week 6Book, Assess & Organize

  • Choose and book a moving company (or moving truck) and lock-in your moving date

  • Book your airplane tickets (if you’re traveling by air) in advance, to make sure you get a good price and lock in your travel date

  • Arrange transportation for your pet, if needed; a good source to learn about your options is

  • Assess and organize items room by room, as being organized makes packing more manageable

De-clutter your home before you move
  • Begin organizing your closets and sorting out clothing, accessories and shoes you do not want to keep

  • Choose what you can donate to charity and schedule a charity organization of your choice to pick them up (for example Salvation Army or a veterans’ charity

  • Sell online (on CraigsList or eBay) value items and things that are not worth the cost of moving, but which you don’t want to give away for free

  • Plan a yard sale to get rid of the items you no longer want, and to make some extra cash

Things to do when you move - get rid of stuff by having a garage sale
  • Give away items to friends and family, if they express interest in having them

  • Schedule and do your regular doctor check-ups (especially if there’s one coming up in the next 2 months), before you move, so that you won’t have to worry about it right after your move

  • If you’re planning to place some of your belongings in temporary storage, find a self-storage facility and make arrangements

  • Contact your auto insurance agent and find out what changes need to be made to your policy

  • Contact your other insurance companies, as needed, to update your address and find out if and how this affects the terms of your policy

  • Contact health clubs, gyms, organizations, and groups to cancel or transfer memberships

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Week 5Start packing

  • Notify your close family and friends that you are moving; save time and energy by emailing them your new address all at once

  • Stock up on common moving supplies: different-sized boxes, heavy-duty boxes, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, lots of tape, markers, wrapping foil

Moving and packing checklist
  • Look online for other items you might need like space-saving vacuum bags, special boxes for framed art, storage for odd-shaped objects

  • Create a system that best works for your needs to index your boxes; label them by room, by type, by person, and create a digital inventory list

  • Plan to pack one room at a time, starting with the least used room first

  • First pack items that you rarely use: off-season clothing, unused small appliances and electronics, and stored-away gadgets

Week 4Update Address & Transfer Records

  • Submit a change-of-address form. Go to your local post office and submit a change-of-address form in order to ensure that all your mail will be properly forwarded. You can do this online in order to save time.

  • Refer back to the lists you made in Week 7; it’s time to contact those businesses to update your address

  • Request 1 or 2 days off from your work for date(s) planned for your move (unless you are changing jobs)

  • Make babysitting/pet sitting arrangements for a couple of days when you need to focus on your move, if needed

Transfer school records when moving
  • If you have children, talk to the current and future school/daycare to transfer school records and make plans for a smooth transition

  • Find a new primary doctor (and pediatrician, if you have children) and arrange for your medical records to be transferred

  • Find a new dentist and arrange for your records to be transferred

  • Find a new veterinarian and arrange for your pet’s records to be transferred (if needed)

  • Continue packing

Week 3Take care of speciality items

  • Change the delivery of your newspapers and magazines to your new home

  • Gather important documents, jewelry, and valuables and pack them separately in your personal bags or to ship them with a trackable delivery with insurance

packing jewelry before moving
  • Take an inventory of your most expensive or cherished possessions and take photos of them, to have proof in case of damage

  • Take an inventory of your furniture and make a note of any pre-existing damage, take photos if you can

  • If you’re driving long distance to your new home, have your car checked up and serviced for a long drive

  • Plan how to transport your plants, if needed

  • Continue packing

Week 2Tie up loose ends

  • Use up food from the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, to minimize waste

  • Double check that you’ve updated your address everywhere where needed

  • Double-check what type of moving insurance you have

  • Notify movers ahead of time in case you’re moving big appliances which may need special handling; likewise, for gas appliances, consult with your gas utility provider

Moving appliances
  • Refill your medication prescriptions and keep them easily accessible by packing them in your hand bag

  • Keep some cash on hand for tips and small expenses, as you may not be able to pay by credit card everywhere

  • Update your shipping address on amazon, ebay, paypal and other online shopping sites you use, and direct any scheduled or future shipments to the correct address

  • Continue packing

Week 1Take care of the final details

  • Plan to transfer utilities. Call your utility companies – electricity, water, gas, telephone, mobile, internet, TV cable, sewer, trash – and put in a request to turn off utilities at the old address on the day after your move

  • Close your utility accounts if you’re changing utility providers and arrange for refunds that are due

  • Contact utility companies in your new area to open a new account (if it’s a new provider) or to turn on the utilities on the date prior to your arrival

  • Safely dispose of flammable items. Do not pack any flammable items (spray cans, nail polish remover, bathroom cleaners, rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid, and many more); check the instructions on the back of their packaging how to dispose of them properly

  • Schedule another pickup with your local charity, if you found more stuff to donate

Packing computers when moving
  • Create a backup of all computer data and pack the external hard drives containing the backed up data in a different box from your computers, in sealed waterproof bags; preferably, pack backups of sensitive data in your personal bag

  • Make sure you have a way to check your e-mail and pay bills on time while your computer is being moved; automatic bill payments can save you from being late and incurring unwanted fees

  • Pack a personal suitcase with toiletries, essentials, valuables and comfortable clothes for each person in your household; keep these suitcases with you

  • Do a final box count, to have an accurate count for your records and for the moving company, if they request it

  • Measure doorways and furniture to see if larger pieces fit through the door or need to be taken apart

Measure Doorways for furniture such as the couch
  • Confirm the important details with your moving company to avoid any last minute misunderstandings: phone numbers on both sides, contact person’s name, destination address, date and time when the truck will arrive, etc.

  • Ensure your old place is clean. Hire a cleaning firm or person, ask for a friend to help you, or do the cleaning yourself, after you move all your stuff out

  • Leave a note for the new tenants or owners with your contact information in case they have questions or need to forward your mail, if you wish


  • Make sure the moving truck is the right one in order to avoid scams. Check that the USDOT number on the side of the truck matches the number on the estimate you were given

  • Supervise the truck loading, if you want to ensure that boxes and items that need special handling are loaded a certain way

  • Sign the movers’ inventory list and keep a copy for your records, in case anything’s missing upon delivery

  • Check the apartment or house to make sure nothing was left behind and everything looks in order

moving day
  • Do a quick final cleaning and take out the trash; it’s not only courteous, but it’s probably required by your lease

  • Turn down the thermostat and turn off light switches, to prevent energy waste

  • Shut and lock all windows to prevent unwanted intruders and vandalism while the unit is vacant

  • Take pictures of every room, to have proof in case there are any questions later or claims of damage from your landlord

  • Turn in the keys and any access cards to your landlord; forgetting to do this may result in being charged by your landlord for the cost of replacing the locks

  • Take your personal bags that contain your travel items and necessities

  • You’re off to your new home!

Congratulations! Moving can be easy if you divide everything up into easy to grasp steps!

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