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The Ultimate Moving Checklist for 2022

10 min read
Family gets ready to relocate homes using a moving checklist

Moving can be exciting, but it can also be a long and difficult process. From the physical requirements to the extra mental load, packing up your current home and heading to a new place can be exhausting. Creating and using a checklist for moving can help limit your stress and keep you ahead of schedule. To make moving as stress-free as possible, we've prepared a few moving tips that will help you get to a new location and adapt to a new neighborhood fast.

So… You’re Moving?

There’s a lot to do before, during, and after moving. Fortunately, there are steps you can take during the months leading up to your move that make the entire moving experience easier. Some can even save you money. 

  1. Moving Checklist for 2 Months Prior to the Move

  2. Moving Checklist for 1 Month Prior to the Move

  3. Moving Checklist for 2 Weeks Prior to the Move

  4. Moving Checklist for the Big Day: Don’t Forget These 3 Things

Moving Checklist for 2 Months Prior to the Move

If you have a lot of time to prepare for your move, getting an early start on your moving checklist will give you plenty of time to prepare. It may even help you avoid some of the stress that comes with the moving process.

  1. Find your new home

  2. Create your organization system

  3. Contact moving companies

  4. Book rentals

  5. Estimate your moving budget

  6. Make a list of items to sell

  7. Request time off

  8. Give your landlord notice

  9. Review school-transfer requirements.

1. Find your new home.

Once you’ve made up your mind to move, the first (and most obvious) step is to check out available real estate and find your new home. For rentals, sites like Zillow or Trulia let you identify homes based on your search criteria. If you’re buying, find a realtor who’s familiar with the area and can provide recommendations for neighborhoods based on what you need. If you plan on living with roommates, it's smart to find those people first—they can help with the house hunt.

2. Create your organization system.

You’ll soon have quotes from professional movers, items to sell, and a budget that’s in flux. Get organized before you become overwhelmed. Keep everything in one, easy to access place. If you’re moving with a partner or roommate, make sure everyone is on the same page to avoid confusion or conflict down the road. 

3. Contact moving companies.

Contact several moving companies to get moving quotes. This will be crucial in estimating and creating your moving budget. Some companies may want to schedule in-house tours, while others can offer rough estimates online. Compare the costs of full-service moving companies versus DIY approaches. You can also do the packing and unpacking yourself and then hire people to help with loading and unloading. 

4. Book rentals.

If you know you’re going to rent a truck, book it early. You can keep an eye on prices and, if they drop, cancel and book the cheaper option. You may also want to book other services you’ll need, like a storage unit or car shipping service, as well as make travel arrangements for long-distance moves. 

5. Estimate your moving budget.

Moving costs vary significantly depending on how far you’re moving and how much stuff you need to move. A small local move might cost $1,000 or less, while a large interstate move could cost you over $10,000. And that doesn’t include the upfront costs often associated with moving into a new home, such as security deposits. Starting to prepare your budget early on by creating a moving expenses checklist that gives you more time to save up.

6. Make a list of items to sell.

Organize a garage sale before the move to get rid of any unwanted items. The money you earn from selling items can go toward your moving budget. And as a bonus, your moving costs may go down—especially if you offload large, heavy, or fragile items. However, before letting go of your couch or dining room table, or any other essential items, consider the cost of moving the item versus buying one later. 

7. Request time off.

If you’ll need to take time off work for your move, give your employer a heads up to avoid any potential scheduling issues. When you’re hiring movers, a weekday move may be cheaper than moving on the weekend. But even if you are moving on a Saturday or Sunday, taking a Friday or Monday off could be a good idea to give yourself time to prepare or settle in. 

8. Give your landlord notice.

Renters are typically required to give their landlord at least a 30-day-notice before they move. Even if your lease is coming to an end, in most cases you’re still required to tell your landlord you’re moving out, or the lease might automatically go month-to-month. If you’re already on a month-to-month term, giving a long notice might not be required, but the landlord will probably appreciate it. 

9. Review school-transfer requirements.

If you have children who will be going to a new school, do some research to see what’s needed for the transfer. If you have a choice of schools, you may want to schedule tours or request letters of recommendation from current teachers. You’ll also need to ask their current school to transfer their school records.

Moving Checklist for 1 Month Prior to the Move

As your move draws near, confirm your plans and start packing. Try to stay organized during this phase by referring to the moving checklist from time to time to minimize last-minute scrambling.  

  1. Confirm details with movers

  2. Get packing supplies and start packing

  3. Keep track of your possessions

  4. Figure out parking for your moving truck or containers

  5. Recruit friends

  6. Sell your stuff

1. Confirm details with movers.

Compare your quotes and decide which movers, if any, you’re going to hire. Read over the fine print and confirm the move date before signing. For interstate moves, look up the company on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to avoid potential scams. For local moves, try to verify the company’s experience and authenticity through online reviews or referrals. 

2. Get packing supplies and start packing.

To save money and decrease your carbon footprint, try to collect free packing supplies when possible. Ask local businesses if you can have their used boxes, or look for people giving away their old moving supplies for free online. The beginning of the month is generally your best bet for finding used moving supplies. You can also start packing items that you won’t need in the coming month. 

3. Keep track of your possessions.

Create a list of your valuables and know where they are. Label moving boxes with the types of items they contain, and track which items are in which box. One of your most important packing tips: take pictures or a video of all your items. Documentation is important if something is stolen or damaged during the move and you need to file an insurance claim. 

4. Figure out parking for your moving truck or containers.

If you have a truck rental or using moving containers or pods, you’ll need a place for them in front of your current and new home. You may need to get temporary parking permits or reserve space with the local governments. 

5. Recruit friends.

You may be able to save money if friends and family members help with part of your move. Ask early so they can save the date, and make sure you set aside a little money for a thank you gift or meal. 

6. Sell your stuff.

Based on the list you made last month, start selling off anything you don’t need. This not only gives you some extra cash for the move, it might lessen the cost of your relocation as well. 

Moving Checklist for 2 Weeks Prior to the Move

With just two weeks to go, you’re getting close to the big day. This is the time to reach out to current service providers to update your contact information and transfer services to ensure a seamless transition into your new home. 

  1. Forward your mail

  2. Update your address

  3. Get new telecom and insurance quotes

  4. Gather your most important possessions

  5. Donate unsold items

  6. Cancel local memberships

  7. Schedule sitters

  8. Set up moving insurance

  9. Keep packing

  10. Schedule walkthroughs

1. Forward your mail.

Set up mail forwarding with USPS online by filling out their change of address form. You can choose the start date for mail forwarding, and the post office will automatically forward most of your mail to your new address. 

2. Update your address.

Reach out to your bank, credit card companies, and healthcare providers to inform them about the change of address and phone number. If you have any subscription services—like newspaper or water delivery—make sure they’re aware of your move out date as well. 

3. Get new telecom and insurance quotes.

Renters, homeowners, and auto insurance rates may vary depending on where you live—as do internet and cable subscriptions. Get quotes from insurance companies and telecom providers based on your new address and see if you can save money by switching.

4. Gather your most important possessions.

Keep your most valuable possessions and important documents in a safe place so they won’t get lost—perhaps in a dedicated box or container so you always know where they are during the move. If you’re hiring a moving service or helpers for loading, you may want to set these boxes aside and keep them with you during the move. 

5. Donate unsold items.

Look for ways to give away items you weren’t able to sell, including non-perishable food. For items that aren’t in good enough condition to donate, you may want to recycle them, arrange a run to the dump or hire a trash removal service. 

6. Cancel local memberships.

Unless you’re moving locally, you may want to cancel or transfer memberships that you have in town prior to your relocation. Even gym memberships, which can be notoriously difficult to get out of, often have a clause that lets you cancel early if you’re moving out of the area. 

7. Schedule sitters.

You may want to hire a pet sitter or babysitter for the moving day. Reach out and schedule them now so can they pick up your pet before the chaos starts. 

8. Set up moving insurance.

Moving services’ insurance coverage could be limited, and a homeowner’s or renter’s policy might not cover all the gaps. Look into buying a moving insurance policy from a third party to cover your possessions if they’re lost, stolen, or damaged. If you have a long drive ahead, look into roadside assistance programs. Some may require a higher-level membership if you’re driving a large truck, but it could be worth it depending on how far you’re traveling. 

9. Keep packing.

Unless you’re hiring movers who will disassemble and pack/unpack everything for you, get started on the large furniture and anything else you won’t need in the coming weeks. If you’re using shipping containers, you may want to start loading them before moving day. 

10. Schedule walkthroughs.

If you’re renting, you may want to schedule a walkthrough with your landlord to go over any damages that could affect your security deposit. Ask about what’s required to get your full security deposit back—and have them sign off on a written list. If your new home is nearby, take pictures during the walkthrough before you move in to document existing damage. 

Moving Checklist for the Big Day: Don’t Forget These 3 Things

If you’ve been following your moving checklist, you shouldn’t be feeling overwhelmed come moving time. Still, start with an energizing breakfast and get ready for a full day. 

  1. Update and check your inventory list.

  2. Do a final walkthrough

  3. Tip your helpers

1. Update and check your inventory list.

Keep your inventory list up to date as you or your movers are loading boxes. Some moving companies may also have a list you can cross-reference to make sure everything is accounted for. 

2. Do a final walkthrough.

Once your old home is empty, take a few minutes to take a final walk and double-check that nothing was left behind. Note any damage that might have been caused during the packing or moving, and take final pictures for your records. 

3. Tip your helpers.

Whether you’ve hired movers or recruited friends, offer a cash tip or buy lunch as a thank you. If you’ve done everything on your own, tip yourself for a job well done. 

3 Ways to Save on Your Move

Even a small, local move can be expensive. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, here are a few tips that can save you money. 

1. Get free packing material.

With enough planning, you may find there are high-quality boxes available for free online and from local businesses. You can also choose to wrap fragile items in clothing or linens blankets rather than buying packing peanuts or bubble wrap.

2. Consider moving during the offseason.

When you’re hiring movers, you may be able to save money by moving during the work week. If you can, avoid a summer move as rates tend to be cheaper during fall and winter.

3. Set a budget for your new home.

Many people feel excited or pressured to furnish and decorate a new house quickly. But give yourself time to get a feel for the new space and search for deals before making large purchases.

Consider How You’ll Finance Your Move

Whether you have a few months or a few weeks to prepare, you may need to finance some of the moving expenses. A moving loan can quickly get you the funds you need with a low monthly payment and fixed interest rate. 

Check your moving loan rates for free, without any obligation or impact on your credit. 

Moving checklist FAQs

1. How much does it cost to move homes?

Moving expenses depend on how far you’re moving, how much stuff you have, and how much help you’re hiring. A local move may cost a few hundred dollars if you DIY, or a little over $1,000 if you hire movers. Hiring movers to help with a cross-country move for a two-bedroom room could range from $2,500 to $7,000.

2. Do personal loans make sense for moving?

A personal loan for moving—i.e., a moving loan—could make sense if you need more than a couple of months to pay off the loan. A low interest rate and monthly payment can make it more inexpensive and manageable when compared to charging it on a credit card. However, if you can pay off the debt sooner, a credit card might be an easier option. 

3. How long before you move should you start packing?

The sooner you start the packing process, the better. Start by packing any items you know you won’t need before the move. But also, keep an inventory and label boxes so you can easily find items you already packed. 

4. How can you save costs when moving cross country?

Moving across the country can be especially expensive. You may be able to save money by selling large furniture or items before your move. Also, get multiple quotes from moving companies and moving loan lenders to find the best offers. At LendingClub, you can check your rate for free without impacting your credit score.

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