FREE moving checklist: printable, interactive, downloadable in PDF

Let’s face it: the home moving process can be too chaotic and disorganized to your liking. Soon enough you’ll be battling a myriad of things to do, tasks to complete, and jobs to execute. In a nutshell, you’ll have your hands pretty full, that’s for sure.

Believe it or not, there’s only one fool-proof way to introduce structured order into your own home move and make it a successful one as a result: to use a detailed moving checklist and planner that will keep you informed about which task you’re supposed to do next. It’s like having a personal reminder with you throughout the move!

Do yourself a favor and take advantage of this free printable moving checklist that you can also download as a PDF document to your computer, tablet or phone for easy access at any time. Wait, but there’s more: this ultimate moving checklist is also 100% INTERACTIVE, which means you can use its built-in interactivity feature to mark various moving tasks as complete right inside the browser.

One more thing: we believe that the best moving checklists should also be easy to use, practical and useful, so we made every effort to make our residential moving checklist to be just that.

Try it and you’ll love it!

Before Moving Day: Stay Organized

Proper organization when moving home proves to be the key to a successful house move. Your interactive moving checklist begins with the things you need to do to achieve that high level of pre-move organization.

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  • Request a moving quote
    Get in touch with top-rated moving companies and ask them for precise cost estimates after a preliminary visual inspection of your home. Use the free moving cost estimator to make that critical initial contact.
  • Organize your moving paperwork
    Keep all move-related paperwork in a safe place, preferably a special binder that should never leave your side. Your price quotes, receipts, moving contracts, home inventory sheets and other important documents should all be in there.
  • Change your address with the USPS
    Get in touch with the USPS and initiate a change of address procedure. Why? A new home means a new postal address, right? It’s easier than you think: just refer to our change of address checklist and you’ll have this task sorted out in no time.
  • Make your new address known
    Notify important government institutions, businesses, and organizations of your recently changed address. Also, don’t forget to share that essential piece of information with friends and work colleagues. You’ve got options: e-mail, phone, social networks, or best of all – in person.
  • Transfer your home utilities
    Contact all corresponding utility companies and arrange the transfer of all utilities from your current home to the new residence – electricity, water, gas, phone service, Internet, and cable TV.
  • Cancel delivery services and subscriptions
    Cancel subscriptions and delivery services you will no longer need at your old home. For better or worse, remember to discontinue all your current memberships to clubs, gyms or hobby groups.
  • Get your medical records
    Find time in your busy schedule to visit your family doctor so that you can get all the documents required for the registration with a new physician in the new city. Get your dental records as well.
  • Get school records
    Visit the school your child goes to and obtain documentation that you will need to register him or her with a new school. Ask if they can do an inter-school transfer of those records.
  • Have your pet checked up
    Take your dear pet to the vet for a detailed medical check-up before Moving day. Get a copy of the immunization record and discuss whether or not your animal friend may need any anti-anxiety medication on the road.
  • Organize a moving sale
    Consider organizing a moving sale to get rid of all the things you won’t be taking with you. The cash from the garage sale or yard sale will supplement your moving budget.

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Before Moving Day: Hire Movers

Your interstate moving checklist must include the essential tasks related to hiring the services of a professional moving company.

  • Solve the dilemma
    Make up your mind about using professional moving services. When moving long distance across the country or transporting a number of specialty items, choose to hire movers as it will be the logical choice.
  • Work out a moving budget
    Set up a moving budget to better understand your financial situation. Use your personal relocation budget to make the most cost-effective choices and save money on your move.
  • Request accurate cost estimates
    Ask top rated movers in your area to visit your home and give you moving cost estimates based on your home move parameters. In-home surveys are a must for precise cost estimation, so stay away from companies that refuse to visit your home.
  • Voice your concerns
    Use the unique opportunity of having relocation specialists in your home to ask them all the questions that may be troubling you. Voice your concern with the movers and make a mental note of the professional answers you get.
  • Compare moving quotes
    Make a comparative analysis of the price estimates you have received to sort out the quotes you can afford from the ones that are beyond your resources. Pay special attention to the extra services and their respective charges
  • Research moving companies
    Find time to research the professional movers under consideration because the price offers alone should not be the deciding factor. Check the companies’ reputation /access moving reviews/ and their legal status with the Department of Transportation (DOT), and credibility with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Prove your negotiation skills
    Do your best to negotiate a better deal with the movers because moving company rates can be rather expensive. Contact movers and ask them for current promotions, first-time customer deals, or package deals. Look for discount coupons online.
  • Make your choice
    Choose your relocation partner based on their moving cost estimate, range of accessorial services, online reputation in terms of moving reviews and customer ratings, level of professionalism, and personal impressions.
  • Reserve your move
    Book your move as soon as you have picked a mover. Keep in mind that you may get an additional discount for early booking so the sooner, the better. If possible, opt for a move day during the week, away from weekends and the beginning and end of the month.

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Before Moving Day: Move by Yourself

Your local moving checklist should definitely include the jobs you need to execute in order to manage a self-move across town or to a neighboring town or city – local moving.

  • Evaluate your self-moving options
    Assess your move parameters to see if you can possibly manage to organize a self-move. The prerequisites for a successful self-move: short move distance, availability of a moving van and loyal friends, enough time to prepare for the move, lack of any special household items and previous home moving experience.
  • Ask friends for assistance
    Reach out to your pals early enough so that you have a better chance of securing their moving help. Some friends may back up in the last minute so keep that possibility in mind.
  • Rent a moving vehicle
    Secure a moving vehicle of the right type and size. If a friend of yours has a pickup truck you can borrow, then you’re in luck. If not, get in touch with a truck rental company and see what they will offer you.
  • Get the required moving equipment
    Remember that you won’t be able to move on your own without having proper moving equipment such as a furniture dolly (4 wheels) or an appliance dolly (two wheels), furniture sliders, straps, moving blanket, and a number of essential hand tools.
  • Find (free) packing materials
    Consult the packing checklist below to learn what type of packing supplies you will need to procure. For now, you need to remember that you don’t have to purchase all your packing materials brand new. Instead, get hold of cardboard boxes in good condition from friends or from local businesses.
  • Follow all safety rules
    Stay 100% safe when moving on your own by following strictly the proper lifting techniques, by using the right type of moving equipment, by asking your friends to be there with you when lifting and moving heavy furniture, by dressing appropriately for the occasion, and by keeping small children and pets away from the action.
  • Disassemble large furniture
    Take apart your large and heavy furniture pieces so that they can pass safely through narrow hallways and even narrower doorways. If a furniture piece still won’t get through an opening, try various exit angles or consider removing the door temporarily.
  • Load the moving van
    Use all the manpower and brainpower you have at your disposal to load the moving vehicle quickly and safely. Keep small and valuable items in the cab with you at all times. The heaviest objects go first, followed by medium-heavy furniture pieces and finally – the boxes.
  • Prepare your car for the trip
    Get your car to an authorized service station to be checked out and serviced before you embark on your relocation journey. If you plan to fly to your new home, then contact a reputable auto transporter to have your car hauled safely and quickly to the new address.
  • Plan your relocation journey
    Plan your car trip well to avoid last-minute issues and troubles of various nature. Prepare to take your pet with you in the car because under no circumstances are moving companies allowed to transport pets across the country.

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Packing Checklist: Pack like a Pro Packer

The packing moving checklist continues with the most important and time-consuming task in your moving timeline – packing for a move.

  • Weigh in your packing options
    Pack whatever you can by yourself to save money. Clothes, shoes, and books are non-breakable items so you can easily pack them on your own. Leave specialty and valuable items for professional packers who are both experienced and insured.
  • Get free packing boxes
    Try to find cardboard boxes for free because the moving containers will be your biggest expense in terms of packing supplies. Ask friends for spare boxes and visit large local businesses that deal with cardboard boxes on a daily basis.
  • Secure required packing materials
    Get hold of all necessary packing supplies if you intend to pack your home on your own. You’re going to need white packing paper, rolls of bubble wrap, protective blankets, high-quality packing tape and marker pens for labeling the boxes.
  • Make an inventory of your home
    Inventory your home prior to packing in order to identify household items that are not worth moving at all. Go from room to room and decide what stays behind and what doesn’t. Be ruthless in your decisions as each extra item to be moved means more money out of your pocket.
  • Get rid of any unwanted items
    Take advantage of the ideal pre-packing period to purge your home of any useless and long-forgotten items. Do not lose time and money packing up things you won’t use again. Sell, gift or recycle the stuff you’re leaving behind.
  • Dispose of items forbidden for transportation
    Be mindful that a number of household items are considered hazardous and perishable, so they are not allowed to be packed and transported during a move. Contact your mover and ask for their list of non-allowable items.
  • Start the packing process
    Start packing your things as soon as you possibly can to avoid that last-minute stress right before Moving day. Which rooms to pack first when moving? Begin with your storage areas – garage, basement, attic, guest room, then move the packing action into the kitchen.
  • Observe packing safety
    Remember that packing safely is more important than packing quickly. Inspect carefully each box for any signs of damage and double-tape its bottom for extra security. Use smaller boxes for heavier items and larger boxes for smaller things.
  • Protect your breakables
    Proceed with extreme caution when packing fragile and breakable items. Use plenty of packing paper and bubble during the wrapping process. Arrange the wrapped pieces carefully inside pre-padded double-walled cardboard boxes.
  • Take care of your valuables
    Pack all your valuable items and keep them with you at all times. Do not make the mistake of handling important documents, electronic gadgets, jewelry pieces or collector’s items to your movers regardless of how reputable they may be.
  • Pack essentials boxes
    Pack all essential items into special boxes which you will move yourself. Basically, you’ll need those Open-first boxes until you get reunited with your ordinary household items. Place inside prescription medicine, toiletries, a change of clothes for everyone, and so on.
  • Label your moving boxes
    Don’t forget to label packed boxes for easier identification when you get to unpacking those containers after the move. Use color markers to mark the content, destination room and any handling instructions on each box.

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Moving Day: Make the Big Day Count

It’s Moving day – the most stressful period of the home move when things can easily get a bit chaotic. Follow this moving day checklist to keep things running smoothly.

  • Get a good rest
    Try to get a good night’s sleep because chances are that your move out day will be as energy-draining as it can get. You’re going to need to wake up early on Moving day to give yourself more time for last-minute tasks.
  • Wear suitable clothes and shoes
    Make sure you wear clothes and shoes that match the occasion. Select comfortable non-baggy clothes that will let you move freely. Choose closed shoes that have anti-slip soles and decent protection for the ankles.
  • Make SAFETY a priority
    Keep in mind that the day of your home move can be rather unpredictable, which can also be interpreted as dangerous. Have small children and pets in a room away from the relocation chaos. Also, use specialized moving equipment instead of lifting and carrying heavy items with your hands.
  • Meet your movers
    Be there to meet your movers at the right time and show them around your home. They should know what to do but you’re expected to stay close by in case they have some questions for you.
  • Do a security check
    Go from room to room and make sure things are okay and that all household items meant to be moved are already in the moving van. Check windows and doors, check if the electricity, as well as the water supply and gas supply are safely turned off.
  • Avoid Moving day blunders
    Be prepared for the most important day of your move by knowing which moving day mistakes to avoid. Stay in complete control of your house move to prevent property damage and possible personal injuries.

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After the move is over, you will still have a number of important tasks to take care of. Of course, the major challenge ahead of you is to unpack the huge piles of freshly delivered moving boxes so that you can begin, little by little, to get your life back on track.

Consult our special unpacking checklist for hand-picked unpacking tips.

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