The Ultimate Moving Checklist and Timeline

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Moving is stressful, and it's easy to forget that there are many things to do before you can just pack up your belongings and head off. Here's a checklist of all the steps you need to take in order to move—including when they should be done by, as well as what they involve.
Moving Checklist

6 Weeks Before Moving Day

  • Do the necessary research, locate reliable local moving companies, and request price estimates for the moving services they provide. Or simply submit your moving request on The NYC Movers website to get quotes from the best movers in NYC.
  • Sell or donate any unwanted items. Don’t make the mistake of holding onto things until you find a buyer—don’t expect to get much money for old furniture, clothes, appliances, and other household goods by selling them at garage sales or thrift stores. Instead, donate them to charity or take them to one of many donation centers around town that are happy to accept your stuff in exchange for a tax deduction (check out your local Goodwill).
  • Start collecting free boxes from friends and family members who have recently relocated or got Amazon delivery.

4 Weeks Before Moving Day

  • Choose a moving company and make sure you acquire written confirmation of your move date, as well as the pricing and any other relevant details.
  • It is now time to order all moving supplies. Packing supplies, including bubble wrap, tape, and packing paper, will help in the safe transport of your items to your new location.
  • First, pack everything non-essential. Books, home decor, and electronics are just some of the things you can pack up in the weeks leading up to the move. Essentials should be the last thing you pack. These include any supplies you’ll need in the days before the move, such as cooking utensils, crockery, clothes, and toiletries.
  • Start creating an inventory of each room. It’s not as difficult as you think, and it will save you a lot of trouble if you have to file a claim for lost, stolen or damaged items.
  • Take pictures of your wire setups. People who aren’t very tech-savvy might want to take pictures of their electronics and how they’re wired together. This will make reattaching cables in your new location much faster.

3 Weeks Before Moving Day

  • It is time to update the billing addresses on all of your financial accounts, including your credit cards and bank accounts. The good news is that you can accomplish this in a matter of minutes online.
  • Change your address with the post office and notify any companies that send you mail.
  • Forward mail. If you’re planning on forwarding your mail, be sure to give yourself time for it to arrive at its destination before you move out of state or country. Otherwise, there may be some delays in delivery!
  • Request time off from work if necessary. If you’re moving on a weekday, request a personal day from your company. Those who are unable to take time off work for the relocation must arrange for a friend or family member to meet the movers on a moving day.

2 Weeks Before Moving Day

  • Get rid of anything you don’t need. Now is the time to get rid of anything you couldn’t sell and don’t need. Donate them or simply throw them away.
  • Start disassembling furniture if you don’t know how, and keep all screws safe so they don’t get lost during the transfer. Take images of the disabling process so you can reassemble it quickly when you relocate.
  • Contact your current internet service provider, cable company, utility company, and security system installer to arrange for installation services at your new location.
  • Reserve elevators for the moving day in both your existing and new locations. It is always frustrating when moving day arrives, and someone else reserves an elevator at your building, forcing you to wait your turn.
  • Start preparing for the moving-out inspection by patching holes in the walls and doing small repairs to avoid deductions from your deposit.

A Week Before Moving Day

  • Disassemble large furniture items. Before moving day, disassemble large furniture such as a couch, bed frame, or table. First of all, disassembled furniture is easy to move and less likely to break or damage. Second, if you disassemble furniture yourself, you can save money on the moving process.
  • Complete a room-by-room inventory of what needs to be moved. While most people think of this as only including their personal belongings (clothes, dishes, etc.), we recommend including household items like appliances and other electronics—you don’t want any surprises when moving day rolls around!
  • Begin cleaning empty rooms. So go ahead and start cleaning now—the earlier you tackle these tasks, the less chaos there will be on moving day itself.

1 or 2 Days Before Moving Day

  • Cancel or redirect pending deliveries. Make sure whatever you have ordered will arrive at your new address.
  • Prepare for a final move-out inspection with your landlord. Check each room to ensure that all holes in the walls have been patched, the appliance is working properly, and there is no floor damage.
  • Get cash for a tip. Tipping your movers is not a necessary step in the process, but it is considered to be standard procedure and is always appreciated.
  • Check the weather forecast. If there is a chance that it will rain or snow on the day you are moving, you can cover your things to protect them from becoming wet.

Moving Day

  • Pack the final essentials. Food, tooth brash, and other personal items must be packed on a moving day; leave nothing behind.
  • Work cooperatively with the movers. Make sure to greet movers and thank them sincerely for all of their hard work during the day! Help them to find a parking spot near your place. If you have any special requests or worries about what should be moved first (for example, fragile objects), let them know now rather than later when things get busy in your new house.
  • Make one last sweep of the house before you leave.
  • Conduct your last move-out inspection with the landlord and hand over the keys.
  • Tipping your movers is generally between $30 and $50 for each mover.

After Moving

Now that you’ve moved, you should take a few important steps to ensure that your new home is in tip-top shape.

  • Clean your new home from top to bottom, inside and out! If possible, try not to hire professionals unless it’s absolutely necessary; cleaning yourself will save money in the long run and ultimately be more rewarding than paying someone else—if only because it means all those germs have been wiped away by your own hand(s).
  • Unpack everything. You don’t want to be living out of boxes forever! This will give you time to organize and reorganize before all your furniture is fully set up and in place. It will also allow you to determine if anything was damaged during transit, so if there are any issues, contact the moving company immediately so they can fix them for you.
  • Hire a professional locksmith to change or rekey the front door locks to make sure no one else can get into your new home.
  • Leave a review on Yelp or Google, letting others know how happy (or disappointed) you were with services provided by movers/storage facilities/etc.

Planning Ahead is The Best Way to Ensure a Successful Move

The most important thing to know is that planning ahead is the best way to ensure a successful move. The more time you have to plan, the better you’ll be able to do everything that needs doing, and the smoother your move will go.

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