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Things To Do Before Moving

Reading time: 10 minutes

When we think of moving, we think boxes, moving trucks, packing, unpacking, and it can get quite overwhelming! However, our first priority when moving should be completing MOVING PAPERWORK! It is one of the most important steps in this 10 step checklist.

Please remember essential documents such as passports, birth certificates, and social insurance numbers should be kept with you at all times, safe and accessible.

As Zip Moving & Storage states: The process of moving, whether locally or long-distance, can be complicated.’ You don’t want to make the matters worse by having your paperwork all over the place.

To reduce stress, purchase a folder box for all your paperwork. You can even use colored folders to separate your documents to keep them neat and tidy.

Aside from the craziness going on inside your head, moving is exciting! As much as moving-day can seem chaotic, completing our checklist of things to do before moving can play a significant role in a seamless transition!

STEP #1 TO DO LIST

Are you stressed about your move? Do you feel like there are a billion things to do and you don’t know where to start? Relax, take a deep breath – you got this! 

Make yourself a cup of coffee on your day off, get your favorite planner out, and start making a moving checklist of things you need to do before you relocate. 

The earlier you start, the more accessible everything will be. You will have plenty of time to add things you remember along the way, so you won’t have to rush at the last minute. Starting a checklist will make you feel more at ease and organized.

STEP #2 HIRING A MOVING COMPANY

Not sure how to find a trustworthy and price-efficient moving company?

Do some research online about different companies and get your quote. Beware, the lowest price doesn’t always mean a better moving company. Remember, these are all your belongings, and some hold great sentimental value. Imagine unpacking your boxes to find your wedding champagne flutes broken!

Word of mouth is another great way to help you in your decision-making. Ask your friends and family about their previous experiences and what companies they chose to move with. 

Be prepared with the right questions – this is crucial in deciding which company to choose. Make sure they’re right for you and can satisfy your needs!

STEP #3 MOVING BUDGET

Many consider a moving budget only for moving company and moving truck expenses, but there’s more to it. Failing to prepare for all of your expenses will result in unexpected spending. The most significant portion of your expenses will be spent on the actual moving process, but there are a few other things to add to your budget:

  • Real estate costs
  • Gas
  • Cleaning fee (thoroughly cleaning your house when vacating)
  • Storage costs
  • Storage transportation costs
  • Packing supplies
  • Utility set up
  • New furniture for your house


Every relocation is unique, so what falls under your moving budget can vary.

Be prepared for the best and worst-case scenarios and avoid overlooking hidden fees. The last thing you want is to check your bank account and think to yourself – where did all that money go?

STEP #4 DECIDING ON A DATE

There are many factors to consider when deciding on a moving date. Are you renting? Is your lease up? Are you selling your property?

In many cities, summer is the time of the year when most people move. Summer has the perfect weather and conditions for moving. With the hot weather comes hot prices since it’s the most competitive and busiest time for moving companies. 

Summer is a good time to move if you’re moving with children…you wouldn’t want to be moving during winter and disrupt the school year, or even worse, the holidays. You don’t want the little ones worrying if Santa has their new address!

In summer, the desired booking time is 8 weeks before your move.

Booking your moving day on a weekday can lower your moving costs. The street will be less busy since your new neighbors are most likely at work, running errands, or taking their kids to sports. Also another great thing about moving on a weekday, is that you can call service providers to properly manage your utilities.

moving with no plans

TIP: Avoid moving during rush hour!

STEP #5 GATHER PACKING SUPPLIES

Moving boxes are essential to every move. Although you may be able to hire professionals to provide packing supplies and packing services, you may want to save a few dollars and do it yourself. Here’s a list of essentials you will require:

  • Boxes of various sizes
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter
  • Sticker labels
  • Sharpie permanent marker for labeling
  • Bubble wrap, packing paper

You can find these supplies at your local Home Depot or Lowes. Who doesn’t like free boxes? If you don’t want to break the bank, look into finding free boxes on Craigslist or at your local grocery store. Aside from supermarkets, liquor stores are also an excellent option for free boxes.

STEP #6 PACKING

If you’re pushing your deadline for packing or are simply overwhelmed, do not worry, it’s time to call in the pros.

With professional packers, you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Professional packers will pack your belongings safely and efficiently. If you want to stick with packing yourself, here are a few tips to help you:

DECLUTTER – Before packing anything, go through your belongings and donate or have a garage sale for any unwanted items. You’ll have less to move and less money spent on moving boxes.

KNOW WHAT TO PACK FIRST – The first thing to pack should always be the least used areas/belongings. Start off with storage rooms or guest rooms and work your way up to more commonly used areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and living room.

PACKING FRAGILE ITEMS – Pack your breakables with great care. For example, when packing dishes, put padding down in the boxes first, take each plate, and wrap it with bubble wrap. Secure with tape and place down vertically, never horizontally. To prevent them from breaking, pad the top and bottom with towels or soft padding.

PACKING CLOTHES – If you have extra cash to spare, wardrobe boxes range from $10 to $20 each. They have bars inside them so you can transfer your clothes directly from your closet to the boxes, with hangers still on, which makes packing and unpacking much faster. If you’re on a budget, you can also bring out your stashed suitcases and pack as much of your wardrobe as possible, saving a few boxes.

ESSENTIALS BOX – Pack a separate box labeled ‘essentials’ which you’ll need the first week of your move-in. Everyday items to have in your essentials box are soap, toothbrush\toothpaste, pajamas, change of clothes, towels, etc. Unpacking can be tiring, and if you have a full-time job, you won’t be able to do it as fast as you thought, that’s why this box is a life-saver!

TIP: Use clothes or towels for extra fillers or padding boxes, this way you’ll save on packing supplies!

STEP #7 TIE UP ANY LOOSE ENDS

Before starting a new chapter in your adventurous book of life, stop and reflect. You’ll realize your old house was not the only thing tying you to your old neighborhood. Don’t forget the excitement of receiving your favorite magazine in the mail each month, or weekly yoga classes at the gym around the corner, followed by a wellness check at your family doctor.

That being said, there are a few essential things to take care of to ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

NOTIFY HOME AND CAR INSURERS OF YOUR MOVE – Make sure to call your insurance company weeks in advance. Regarding your car insurance, your rate could increase depending on where you’re moving. To avoid surprises, check it off your list as soon as possible. The same goes for your home insurance. It takes weeks for the company to gather the necessary paperwork and complete the transition. If you don’t complete this task early, you might live in an uninsured house for a few weeks.

CHANGING YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER – If you’re moving quite far from your current health care provider and must do a switch, or you simply want to switch to a new doctor, a great way to do it is by asking your current doctor if they have any recommendations. Gather advice from your friends and family, they will provide you with an honest review. A third option is this tool to find physicians suitable for you: DoctorFinder.

PREPARE YOUR NEW HOME SECURITY SYSTEM – As safe as your new neighborhood may be, we live in a day and age where everything is unpredictable. For peace of mind, call your service security system provider and notify them of your move. They will guide you through setting up your new system yourself. 

If you’re unsure of what you’re doing, ask for one of their employees to come and install it for you. You know what they say, better to be safe than sorry!

TRANSFER UTILITIES – Three weeks before your big move, list all your utilities and call all your service providers. This includes electricity, gas, water, garbage pick up, mail subscriptions, phone, television, and internet.

Moving Checklist

STEP #8 CHANGING SCHOOLS

If you have school-age children, moving can be very emotional for them. Especially moving schools, where having to be the new kid in class is never easy. 

The beauty of us human beings is that we can adapt anywhere, no matter how hard it may seem. All of these life-changing experiences make up our extraordinary life.

Greatschools offer substantial information about schools in your new neighborhood. This is a great way to gather important information when making your final decision.

Or, you can make a few phone calls on your own and directly ask the schools all of the necessary questions.

TIP: Your child’s emotional state is what matters the most. They might not vocalize it so make sure to take the time out of your busy day and check on them. Speak positively about the move and make trips to interesting places near your new home to make them feel more familiar and comfortable

STEP #9 TAKE CARE OF YOUR PETS

If your new home is close, this transition for your pets won’t be too difficult. You can transport them in your car, and there will be very little paperwork involved.

However, relocating your pets a long distance will be a much more significant challenge.

There are many things to do before moving across the country with your animal friends:

  • Check rules and regulations in your new area regarding pets
  • Take your pet to the vet for a full check-up, and also request health certificates and retrieve their vaccination records
  • Get appropriate shipping containers
  • Decide on the best way to ship your pet. If it’s by air, contact your chosen airline for more information. And if it’s by your own vehicle, ensure the best comfort and safety for your pets.

STEP #10 SAYING GOODBYE TO YOUR OLD NEIGHBORHOOD

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho. 

Paulo Coelho couldn’t have said it better.

As eager and ready as you are to start creating new memories in your new home and neighborhood, slow down and take time to appreciate all the great times you had in the old.

I’m sure there are a few stories you’ll be telling your kids or even grandkids from the time you spent here. Your neighbors and friends deserve a proper goodbye. 

You can do something as simple as making reservations at your favorite restaurant to enjoy your favorite dish with good company. Or… host a party! A fun send-off with your closest friends is an exciting way to celebrate this big step in your life.

With this being said, you’re ready for your big move! Hopefully, this 10-STEP checklist gives you more insight about how to prepare for your move. 

Good luck!

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