Moving? you need a checklist

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions

Moving Checklist

The arrival of summer at Solutions also heralds the sight of moving trucks in many neighborhoods across the area. In fact, this year, the weekend of June 27 & 28 was recently named the “busiest weekend of the year” by several local moving companies.

Many people take advantage of this time of year, when school is officially out, to move their households. In order to get organized below are tips on what to do and when as you plan your move.

Moving Checklist for Sellers

* Provide the post office with your forwarding address two to four weeks ahead of the move.

Notify friends and family, schools, credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, insurance company, doctors and specialists, cell phone company, and bank of your change of address.

Arrange to disconnect utilities and have them connected at your new home.

Check insurance coverage for the items you’re moving. Usually movers only cover what they pack.

Check with your condo or co-op about any restrictions on using the elevator or particular exits for moving.

If you’re moving out of town, be sure to:

Get copies of medical and dental records and prescriptions for your family and your pets.

Get copies of school records for transfer.

Consider special car needs for pets when traveling.

If you’re nearing a pet’s regular exam, schedule it now, and start getting recommendations for veterinarians in your new town.

Contact your insurance agent to transfer medical, property, fire and auto insurance policies. Be sure to ask about coverage while you’re in transit.

Let a friend or relative know your route.

Empty your safety deposit box – if your bank doesn’t have a branch in that area look for another bank..

Be sure to transfer membership associations to your new hometown.

Check the requirements for a new driver’s license and complete auto registration at your new motor vehicle location.

If you will be making an international move, make sure your passport is up to date and has not expired. Passports generally take three weeks to process and many countries will not allow you to travel if it’s within six months of expiration.

Use this week-by-week checklist to plan your move to a new home.

60 Days Before You Move

Get quotes from at least three moving companies, and make sure they do in-home assessments so your quote is as accurate as possible.

Get an appraisal on your expensive items so you can insure them for your move.

If you’re being transferred by work, understand your company’s moving policy.

Make a moving folder or booklet – include an inventory of your household items with a video or photos. Create a designated folder for moving-related expenses where you can file all receipts. This will come in handy as many moving expenses are tax deductible. Obtain an IRS Change of Address form, Form 8822, by calling (800) 829-1040 or visiting the IRS website. You will be able to download and print form 8822 and most other IRS tax forms; e.g., Form 3903 to help deduct moving expenses.

Determine how many packing supplies you’ll need, and designate a room where you can begin to store and organize them and other items that will assist you in your move.

Research your new community and schools.

Got enough people to drive your cars to your new home? It not, you’ll need a car mover.

Make travel arrangements for you and your family. Whether it’s renting a car, scheduling a flight or reserving a hotel room, book it at a time that will give you flexibility in case anything goes awry. Be sure to arrive well before your movers’ scheduled arrival.

If time permits, you may also want to take you and your family to your dentist and/or eye doctor to get your routine check ups done.

Quick Tips

* Hold a garage sale prior to your move, or think of charities that could take your stuff.

Unless you’re buying packing materials new, keep an eye out of for used items that could be used for packing, like old towels and sheets that could be used as packing material.

Do you need storage? Start researching your storage options now.

30 Days Before You Move

By this point you should have already received estimates and hired a mover. Check to confirm all the details of the move are set. If you’re packing on your own, make the proper arrangements and get the right supplies.

Start planning where things will go in your new home.

Create an inventory of your stuff so that you can compare against the moving company’s list to ensure you don’t lose anything in the move. It’s also a good aid in determining how much moving insurance you need.

Are you taking appliances? If so, draw up a plan for how to handle them.

Get a head start on your packing by packing things that you won’t need before the move, like seasonal items such as summer sporting gear.

Arrange childcare and pet care for the day of your move, or think about a “safe” room they can be during the move itself so they’re out of the way.

Quick Tips

* Driving to your new house? Make sure your car’s ready for the trip, and that you have all the proper maps — make extra maps for the movers, just in case.

14 Days Before You Move

Begin cleaning any rooms in your house that have been emptied, such as closets, basements or attics, and check to make sure you did not leave anything unpacked.

Make arrangements to clean your new home, and the home you’re moving out of. Also, arrange for any services for your new home that will be easier to do before your things arrive: carpet-cleaning, wood floor cleaning, painting, etc.

Moving plants? Check on their special moving needs.

Find pharmacies in your new town that you can transfer your family’s prescriptions over to. Make sure you have enough required medication in case you don’t locate a new pharmacist/doctor immediately.

Organize important documents — will, passport, deeds, financial statements – to carry with you; make copies that you can pack with your household goods, but carry the originals with you. Collect valuable items such as jewelry or heirlooms and keep them separate from the rest of your packed belongings so you don’t risk losing them.

Quick Tips

Return any borrowed items, such as library books, and collect any clothing that you may have taken to be dry-cleaned.

One Week Before You Move

Pack any items you have not had a chance to pack yet. Don’t push things off until the last minute. As you’re packing, be sure you’re labeling each box for where it goes in your new home. Mark boxes “Fragile,” “Do not load,” or “Load last.”

Call mover and confirm your move date, and make any special arrangements for items like a piano.

Arrange for payment for movers, a $20-25 cash tip per mover is usual.

Confirm closing/move-in dates with your real estate agent; confirm dates with your storage people.

Discuss contingency plan for the movers running late. Where will you sleep?

Disconnect and disassemble your computer and peripherals. Back up your computer files on a disk or flash memory drive.

Dispose of paint, oil, and weed killers. Drain fuel out of mowers. Discard propane tanks from grills.

Make sure all scheduled deliveries (newspaper, milk, etc.) have been canceled or redirected to your new home.

Open a new banking account. Don’t close your old one until you move. If you bank online, be sure to update your address for statement delivery.

Get together all keys, alarm codes and garage door openers and place them in a folder so that you can be prepared to hand them over to the new owner or real estate agent.

Quick Tips

* Think about quick and easy meals you can prepare for your family to use up the remaining food in your refrigerator so that it does not go to waste.

On Moving Day

Put together a moving day survival kit or “first open” box with items you will need for the trip and immediately when you arrive at your new home. These items include toilet paper, snacks, bottled water, aspirin, cell phone, tool kit, flashlight, trash bags, scissors, hammer, screwdriver, pencils and paper, cups and plates, soap, dishes, toiletries, towels, a few days’ worth of clothes and bed linens. Be sure to plan for the contingency that your household items may arrive a day or even a few days late if you are doing a long distance move.

Double check any arrangements you might have made to transport your pet. Do you have proper travel gear?

Write out a list for your movers of things they’ll need: phone numbers; exact moving address and maps. Make sure you have the moving companies contact information with you in your moving folder. Be sure you have cash on hand for the move. Find out if you’ll owe money after the move and find out what form of payment they accept.

Check the inventory list and sign it. Put your copy in your moving folder. Read the Bill of Lading carefully and sign it, if it is correct.

In your new home, tape names to doors to assist movers; map out the floor layout so movers know what’s going where; finally, prepare your new home for moving to prevent any damage.

If you don’t have professional cleaners coming in, make sure you clean your home before leaving.

Make sure you have extra packing material on hand for things that arise last minute.

Pack pet food and pet litter.

Double check to be sure you’re on target for your utilities to be hooked up.

Do the walkthrough with your real estate agent. Make sure everything’s where it should be. Also ask for appliance manuals and such.

Quick Tips:

Empty, clean and defrost your refrigerator/freezer and use baking soda to rid it of any foul odors.

Notify the police in your town if your home will be uninhabited for a long period of time.

Before you move, mow your lawn one last time, especially if your home will not be unoccupied immediately after your departure.

Make sure you know what to do with final trash.

One Week After You Move

Did you get your moving deposits back yet?

Make sure you have fire extinguishers and detectors in your new home.

Do any quick repair work that needs to be done, if you didn’t do it before moving in.

Replace the locks if you’re uneasy about keeping the locks that came with the house.

Check on licenses for pets.

Update your new address for all these: voter registration, drivers license, tax forms, new bank account, etc.


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Kim Johnson
Signature Realty Inc. - Coral Springs, FL
Selling South Florida

Good evening Charles!

Great checklist here! Personally, I couldn't get through a day without a checklist!

Aug 14, 2015 10:25 AM #1
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Very comprehensive, very detailed list.   This is a keeper.  Thanks for posting it!

Aug 14, 2015 12:28 PM #2
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

After moving across the country so many times, and living in about 3 states at once now days I've perfected moving down to about a week activity. Great checklists though if you are more established and have been living in one place for awhile.

Aug 14, 2015 01:49 PM #3
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Charles McDonald

REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner
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