Get a pen and paper ready! It’s time to start making your checklist for moving into a new house. From budgeting for the move to preparing for life in your new home, there’s a never-ending list of things to do when moving to a house for the first time. If you’re in the process of preparing your moving checklist, be sure to include these 21 easy-to-miss steps.
- The legitimacy of the moving company
Whatever you do, don’t overlook moving company reviews when making your checklist for moving into a house. Before hiring a moving company, be sure to do your homework and choose a mover that is licensed, insured and trustworthy. You can do so by checking the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Moving.com’s directory and the FMCSA’s lookup system.
- The new home’s measurements
Before moving into a new house, don’t forget to take a look at the blueprint of your new home. Measure all interior spaces, as well as your own furniture. This way, you’ll know exactly what belongings will fit where in your new home. You’ll also be able to better direct your movers where to place all your furnishings.
- Transferring the utilities
A few weeks prior to moving, contact your utility service providers to let them know about your move. While you have them on the phone, go ahead and schedule your disconnect and connect dates for gas and electric. Additionally, you should contact your cable and internet service provider, as well as your security system provider to schedule an installation date after the move. For more information, check out our Moving Utilities Center.
- Your move date
Want a less expensive move? Choose a mid-week, mid-month moving date when hiring professional movers or renting a moving truck. Also, avoid peak moving season when rates are typically higher. Instead, aim for a move between the months of October and April when demand is lowest.
- Forwarding the mail
Don’t forget to forward your snail mail before a move. Otherwise, you could end up missing out on important bills, letters, and packages. To forward your mail before the move, go to USPS.com and choose the date you wish to begin receiving mail at your new address.
- The moving company’s non-allowable list
Hiring a moving company? Don’t overlook their list of non-allowable. These items typically include aerosol cans, paints, pesticides, cleaning solvents, scuba tanks, propane tanks, fire extinguishers and fertilizer – just to name a few. Be sure to check with your moving company for specifics.
- Labeling all boxes
If you’re packing your belongings without labeling the boxes, you’re making a huge mistake. All fragile items should be labeled as such to avoid becoming damaged while in route. Items should also be labeled according to their corresponding rooms, such as “kitchen,” “bathroom,” etc.
- Using the right moving supplies
Using damaged boxes or the wrong boxes is a big mistake when moving. Certain items, such as your television, mirrors, and artwork may require a specific type of moving the box (think: telescope boxes). They also may require professional packing. So before purchasing any moving supplies, visit Moving.com’s box center to find the appropriate boxes for the job.
- Researching the new neighborhood’s schools
Don’t overlook your new city’s schools. If you have school-age children, be sure to do your research on both the neighborhood’s public and private schools before moving. For school ratings with GreatSchools, check here.
- Finding new healthcare providers
Don’t forget to find new healthcare providers when you move. I suggest first asking your current primary care physician for any recommendations they may have in your new city. If they don’t have recommendations, check with your health insurance company to find a doctor that is in your network of providers.
- Moving your prescriptions
Before moving, I suggest researching pharmacies in your new neighborhood or city. You’ll need to contact your current pharmacy to let them know you’re moving. You also may want to take your doctor’s written prescriptions with you. This way, you can bring them to your new pharmacy once you move.
- Changing your address
In the midst of a chaotic move, it can be easy to forget to change your billing addresses and subscription addresses. However, unless you want your magazines delivered to the wrong house or your credit cards declined, I recommend changing your address as soon as possible.
- Reserving a self-storage unit
Don’t wait until the last minute to reserve your self-storage unit. If you’re downsizing or not ready to toss your items, I recommend researching storage facilities near you. When reserving a self-storage unit, find one that offers top-notch security features, as well as a climate controlled environment.
- Researching plant transportation rules
If you’re planning on taking your plants with you on the move (and crossing state lines), you’ll need to check with your moving company for specific rules and regulations. Many states regulate which plants are allowed across their borders. For more information on state regulations and plant transportation, check out the National Plant Board’s website.
- Packing an essentials bag
Chances are good that you’re not going to want to sift through hundreds of boxes for pajamas and a toothbrush. For this reason, don’t forget to pack an essentials bag for your first night or week in your new home. The suitcase should include a few changes of clothes, PJs, toiletries, pet essentials, baby essentials, and medicine.
- Cleaning the former home
Before you move, don’t forget to do one last sweep of your old place. Once you’ve made sure everything is packed or tossed, you’ll need to do a deep clean of the home. This should include vacuuming all floors, cleaning out the fridge and wiping down surfaces.
- Organizing items before the move
Before you start packing, I recommend getting your home organized. Any items that won’t be necessary for the new home should be set aside for either donating, selling or storing. If you have a slew of belongings that need to be disposed of, trying hosting a garage sale before the move. Having less stuff to move will only make your relocation less stressful and less expensive.
- Getting cash before the move
Planning on tipping your movers? While it’s certainly not required, many people choose to tip their movers for a job well done. If tipping, be sure to grab cash prior to the move. For advice on how much to tip, check here.
- Your pet’s needs
Moving with a pet? Don’t overlook your furbaby’s needs. Be sure to pack a bag or box of pet essentials, as well as a crate if needed. Pet essentials may include pet food, toys, bones, kitty litter, etc.
- Registering your vehicle
Moving to a new state? You’ll need to get a new driver’s license as soon as possible. You’ll also need to register your vehicle and let your car insurance know about your change in address. My advice is to visit your new city’s DMV website to find rules and deadlines within the first week of your move.
- Sending out a moving announcement
Don’t forget to let your friends and family know you’ve moved! While you can certainly send out an official moving announcement through the mail, it may be easiest to email or text all contacts with your new address.
Ready to move?
Fortunately, Moving.com’s extensive network of reputable and reliable movers makes it easy to find and book the best moving company for the job. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!