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Moving Guide

Getting ready for the move? We’ve already started the work for you. 

8 Weeks Before

Gather 3 written estimates from professional moving companies. Get recommendations from friends, family and/or the Better Business Bureau. Go to to learn more about your rights when working with moving companies. Consider extra insurance.

Create a moving binder or folder to keep all moving-related paperwork, contact information and notes.

Begin a list of businesses you’ll need to contact about your change of address: credit cards, banks, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, utilities, insurance companies, HR department. Include your on-line accounts.

Contact your children’s school to have their academic records transferred to the new school.

Contact your doctors to get copies of your family’s medical records.

6 Weeks Before

Gather moving supplies including boxes, box cutters, bubble wrap, tape, labels and permanent markers. Get a box-labeling system in place: numbered boxes, color-coding by room and a master list with inventory.

Select your mover and confirm date, costs and other details.

Begin the purge. Create three zones: TAKING, DONATING, DISGARDING. Begin with closets and then go through each room individually and decide what you want to bring with you. Do first round of donations of unwanted goods to charities, sell items on-line and/or have garage sale.

Begin packing items in the attic, in the basement and those items in the very back of the cabinets that you don’t use regularly. Clearly label each box and where it will go at the new address.

4 Weeks Before

Use up food from refrigerator, freezer and pantry.

Forward your mail: fill out official change of address form on-line or with the U.S. Post Office.

Take off work on moving day to oversee the transfer.

Separate valuables. You should personally transport jewelry and important files.

Make copies of important papers like birth certificates, passports, medical and dental records.

Make copies of any important loan docs you might need for the new home purchase.

2 Weeks Before

Arrange to move plants and pets.

Cancel all subscriptions and set up delivery in new neighborhood.

Put together packet of home information for the new owners of your home including warranties, house history and vendor recommendations.

Defrost freezers.

Fill nail holes.

Fill prescriptions.

Withdraw cash to tip movers and cover any unexpected expenses. Generally 10-15% of the total fee is a good tip, but if any part of the move was especially difficult consider tipping each mover up to $100. Keep water and snacks on hand for movers.

Designate a bathroom for use.

Reconfirm with the moving company all the details.

1 Week Before

Dispose of flammable items (paint, gasoline, propane, chemicals, aerosol cans)

Back up computers.

Take a photo of how all electronics are hooked up so you’ll know how to put back together quickly.

Each family member should pack a suitcase with clothing for the first few days. Remember toiletries and medications.

Hire a cleaning company to come in and clean after the movers leave or schedule a day to come back and clean for new owners.

Clean appliances.

Double-check with movers again to confirm date, time and address.

Arrange for someone to watch the kids while everything is being loaded.

Pack the things you need first in a clear plastic bin. This includes things like box cutter, scissors, paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, selected cookware, power strips, phone chargers, tablets, toilet paper, tissue, tools, tape, baggies, etc. The plastic bin allows you to see what you need. Keep the bin with you in the car.

Clean out and defrost refrigerator two-days before moving.

Moving Day

Pack a small cooler with water, soda and snacks to have on-hand throughout the day.

Perform a last sweep of the house—a grid check. Look through all closets, cabinets, shelves. Check attic, crawlspace, under stairs and storage unit. Check dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, washing machine and dryer.

Exchange contact information with the driver.