Moving Checklist for 2021: Moving Tips & Tricks

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George Arkin
George Arkin is an experienced writer focusing on online car auctions and the full car transportation process.
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During the age of Covid-19, moving is more stressful than ever. Everything is more up in the air and uncertain. That is why moving rates have risen due to financial insecurity or loss of income.

The US Census Bureau says their statistics show a 7.9% average of housing insecurity. Whether you decide to move because of the pandemic, money or want a fresh new start somewhere new, the anxiety is all the same.

That is why you need a moving checklist. Not just one list, either. You will need several to ensure your moving process runs as smoothly as possible.

Moving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Keep reading below for our complete moving guide for everything you must do to prepare for the big move.

Pre Moving Home Checklist

There are multiple things to do before you move. Yes, even before you consider a moving-out checklist, you need to begin working on transferring the life you have solidified in your current town. You will need to think about things like your children’s schools, your subscriptions, and paying off any debts you have left.

MAKE A BINDER

If you wonder what to do before moving, you should make a binder. If you are more of an organized planner, then putting together a moving binder will work wonders. Even if you aren’t worried about the organization, you will thank yourself later for this strategy.

It doesn’t have to be super neat, either. So long as the binder lets you visualize and keep track of all the things to do when moving, you will be fine.

Inside of this binder, you should add a moving list printable. This element is critical so you can keep track of your moving steps.

Write everything down you can think of that pertains to your move. Be sure to add a small box next to each so you can check them off as you go.

Along with this list, add everything you collect from the move into the binder like:

  • Documents
  • Receipts
  • Maps
  • Order forms
  • Moving to-do list
  • Proof of canceled services
  • Moving Fees
  • Information about your new home
  • Information about schools
  • Contact list
  • Inventory of items
  • Inventory of boxes or boxes needed
  • Important dates
  • Moving company detail

These are just a few examples of what you can add to your moving book. Even if you aren’t sure you will need the document or item, it is better to be safe than sorry. You never know what could happen during the moving process.

GIVE YOUR LANDLORD NOTICE

If you have a landlord, give them notice that you are moving. Whether you live in an apartment or rent a house, you likely have a lease. Be sure that your lease is about to run out.

If you break that contract, you could be in a world of legal trouble. If you move before your lease, your landlord should know about it and agree to the move.

However, if you are moving at the very end, you won’t have to worry because your contract is over. Your landlord will want time so they can prepare to list your apartment, condo, or house as a vacancy.

CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS

One of the essential things to do when you move is to change your address. You can do this in two different ways. You can always go into the post office and tell them that you are moving.

However, in the new pandemic world, you may not want to go inside a business. No worries, you can call your local post office up on the phone or email them. You can even set a date to have your mail forwarded to your new home.

CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS

There is no guarantee that your subscriptions will forward to your new address. If you subscribe to magazines or monthly boxes, it is best to cancel those plans.

The last thing you want is to pay for something and have it sent to someone else or never make it to your doorstep. You can always start getting your monthly goodies again once you get settled.

GIVE FRIENDS YOUR NEW CONTACT INFO

Moving to a new town is fun, but it can always be sad leaving friends behind. Don’t lose touch with your connections. Write a few index cards with your new contact info to hand out to all of your friends so you can stay in touch!

MAKE A UTILITY TRANSFER

Instead of getting of having to reestablish your utilities in your new home, schedule a transfer. Consider your general utilities like:

  • Cable
  • Wifi
  • Phone
  • Power
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Electricity

Once you settle into your house, you will feel at ease to know everything will be re-connected with ease.

GET SCHOOL RECORDS

If you have children, you need to contact their schools to obtain their records. You will need this information to enroll your children in a new school wherever you move.

The school can transfer them. That makes your life easier because you won’t have to worry about potentially losing the documents in the middle of your move.

GET MEDICAL RECORDS

After you get school records, you’ll need to visit your doctor’s office. Think about what doctors have the most pertinent medical information on file for you and your family.

Go to your general practitioner, pediatrician, and any others to have them compile your medical details. Finding a new, trustworthy doctor takes time. However, giving the new doctor your medical archives can put your mind at ease.

TAKE A TRIP TO THE VET

After you take care of yourself, your children, and your family, give your pets some loving attention, too. Take them to the vet to get a check-up.

They may need an update on their vaccinations, as well. Ask the vet for your pet’s medical records so you can find them a new, trustworthy doctor in your new town.

SPEAK WITH YOUR FAMILY

Talk to your family, especially your children, about why you’re moving. Everyone has different reasons go finding a new house or town.

Your children probably have friends they will miss at school. Tell them why you have to move, so they fully understand the importance of your decision.

DO YOUR HOME REPAIRS

You don’t want to leave your old house or apartment in shambles. If you have anything that needs fixing, take care of it before you go. There are several reasons why you should make this a top priority on your to-do list for moving.

First, if you are selling the house, you want it to be perfect for potential buyers. Second, if you live in an apartment with damages, you won’t get your security deposit back.

So, take some time to run through your house and note all that needs repairs. If you can, fix them on your own. If not, hire a service to come out and do it for you.

PAY OFF BILLS

Don’t forget in the middle of moving chaos that you still have bills to pay. Keep up with what you owe for utilities. Along with those bills, handle all of your debts or loans before you move.

Packing Checklist

According to a recent survey, 1 in 8 Americans says the moving and packing process is more stressful than serving a jail sentence. To negate this stress, we recommend creating a moving packing list.

TAKE INVENTORY

Take a walk around your home with a pencil and paper. Note all of your items for our moving house checklist, especially the furniture. Categorize everything into categories, so it is easier for your to keep track.

Yes, it is tedious to take a full inventory of what you own, but it will help you down the road. For starters, you will have a full list to show your movers.

You also have a complete account of everything you own should something turn up missing. Once you finish, store this list in your moving binder.

MEASURE FURNITURE

Take complete and thorough measurements of your large furniture pieces. The last thing you want is to arrive at your new home and have the couch not fit through the door.

You should measure things like:

  • Couches
  • Large chairs
  • Entertainment centers
  • Tables
  • Beds
  • Bed frames
  • Desks
  • Dressers
  • Chests

You can also use these dimensions to create a floor plan. Instead of moving furniture around to make it fit, you will already have it figured out. Not to mention that these will also help the movers know if it will all fit in their moving truck.

FIND BOXES

Finding boxes is a challenge. Sure, you can purchase them from places like Home Depot and Lowes, but it is pricey. You can expect to spend over $50 on moving boxes if you go that route.

Some people prefer to find boxes another way, though. You can go to your local grocery store and ask them if they have any boxes from shipments that they are throwing away.

They should be happy to lend them to you. You can also go to Goodwill or your town church to see what they have lying around, too.

PACK YOUR CLOTHES

Packing your clothes is another matter. Some people find it too tedious, so they throw everything into extra-large garbage bags. That is a quick way to deal with your clothing items for sure.

You can also call up your movers and purchase wardrobe boxes. These are different from regular boxes because they are tall and contain a rod where you can hang your clothes.

PURGE UNWANTED ITEMS

While packing, you will find an obscene amount of stuff that you don’t want. Go ahead and purge those items because they do nothing but take up space.

If you have things that you forgot about or don’t remember buying, they can go. You haven’t needed them up until that point.

So, chances are, you won’t need them at all. Don’t just throw them out, though. If you have things like clothes, books, movies, or furniture, you can donate them.

LABEL EVERYTHING

Put a label on every single box you close up. You will thank yourself for this later because it will make the unpacking process a breeze.

You need to mark everything by room, including:

  • Living room
  • Dining Room
  • Kitchen
  • Family Room
  • Everyone’s bedrooms
  • Attic or Basement

Under those categories, you should have sub-categories, too. Examples of these would be something like this: Kitchen, Dishes, Silverware.

By using this method, the movers will know in which rooms to place the boxes. Now, you also know what you are unpacking, so you don’t have to guess where everything goes.

Mover Checklist

Finding the right movers to transport your items is strenuous, indeed. No doubt, you have to look around for a reputable moving company for a while before you feel comfortable. During your search, make a checklist and follow some handy tips to ensure you and your belongings arrive safely.

RESEARCH THE COMPANY

First and foremost, do a detailed search on every moving company you consider. Be sure to do an in-depth look into their website. Click on things like their list of services, prices, and consultations.

But don’t stop there. You should also find reviews across several websites. Look at the positive ratings and the negatives ones. By comparing reviews from at least three different sites, you can calculate which ones are legitimate.

Sometimes, things happen to only one or two people. However, if there is a problem with the company that everyone lists, you can be sure that it is a constant issue.

Some moving companies are more reputable than others. The Better Business Bureau reports that they receive 13,000 complaints about movers every year.

People say their movers have destroyed their items or taken them hostage for more money. That is why it’d of utmost importance that you find movers with a five-star rating.

ASK QUESTIONS

Don’t be afraid to ask the movers hard questions. This part of your moving steps might even require a checklist of its own.

Before starting, you need to brainstorm all of the questions you can think up. Write them down on a piece of paper to have in front of you when you call. The biggest question to ask is whether the moving company will provide you with every service you require.

Ask if they will:

  • Load the truck
  • Unload the truck
  • Pack for you
  • Disassemble furniture
  • Assemble furniture
  • Transport your items
  • Transport your vehicles

Keep in mind that these companies may not provide every single one of these services. You might get lucky and find one that does. If you don’t, you should prioritize which service you value over others.

Here is a list of some other questions you should ask to help you get started:

  • What hidden fees do you have?
  • Are you licensed?
  • What experience do you have?
  • What liability coverage do you provide?
  • Do you provide door-to-door shipping?
  • Can you give me a binding quote?
  • How long will it take for you to pack the truck?
  • How long will it take to unpack?
  • What is your cancellation policy?

If the company doesn’t want to answer your questions, that is a bad sign. They should provide you with feedback and make you feel as comfortable as possible.

KNOW YOUR BUDGET

You need to sit down and look at your finances. What can you afford? What can’t you afford? Knowing your budget before hiring movers will allow you to make the right decision.

You don’t want to get into a moving situation that you cannot afford because that will lead to legal issues. You want to know how much the move will cost you from beginning to end, so you don’t end up with any surprises.

LOOK AT ESTIMATES

Most moving companies allow you to get a free estimate and quote for your move. Do this for a bunch of different companies so you can compare the costs.

Note that lower prices aren’t always the best option. Sometimes, if the price is too great to be true, it probably isn’t. You should maybe choose a company with moderate prices. One that isn’t too low and isn’t too high.

You need to also look into binding estimates. These price gauges will ensure that your price won’t fluctuate during the moving process.

There are many instances where movers give one amount, and then they hit the family with a whole different, much higher bill.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

The next step to take is to get a consultation with your movers. The company will likely want to see how many items you have and how many boxes. You can have them come out to your house and physically walk around to gauge how much it will cost.

Now, in 2021, you can schedule a virtual consultation, as well. The movers will Zoom or FaceTime, and you can walk them through your house so they can see what you have to move.

PROTECT YOUR BELONGINGS

You need to understand the types of coverage out there for your move. It is beneficial to you to look into things like trip transit insurance or storage insurance.

Anything that covers the loss of your property during the move will help. Even if you don’t think you need it, you should still consider your options.

The company you hire should offer you different kinds of liability coverage. This includes both full-value protection and released value protection.

Full-Value Protection

This type of protection holds the movers responsible for anything that goes wrong with your belongings during the move. If the movers lose your items or destroy them, it is up to the company to replace them. This protection will cost extra and differs depending on what company you choose.

Released Value Protection

Released value protection is free. Aside from moving costs, you won’t have to pay extra. While that is good news, it also does not protect you very well. It only covers lost or damaged items by sixty cents per pound.

BOOK YOUR MOVE

After you’ve sorted everything out with the moving company, you can book your move. We highly suggest that you schedule your move with the company ASAP. You don’t want moving day to roll around and not be able to get movers.

HANDLE PAPERWORK

Always request copies and forms that pertain to your move and moving services. If there is a document of your estimate, costs, and coverage information, you should ask for a copy to have on file. That way, if anything goes wrong, you have proof on hand.

CALL TO CONFIRM

Don’t assume that the truck will show up on moving day. Instead, prepare for worst-case scenarios. This way, you can take action to avoid them.

Call a few days in advance to ensure the company still has your moving date scheduled. You can even call once again the day before to remind them that they need to show.

FIND AN AUTO SHIPPER

If the company you hire doesn’t offer auto shipping, you will need to find a separate service. This step only goes for people with more than one or two cars. If you have extra automobiles, find a company offering expedited car shipping services.

WAYS TO STAY SAFE DURING THE MOVE

2021 is all about following the CDC-recommended safety protocols. Staying safe while having movers come to your house is a difficult task, but not impossible.

Remember, keep at least six feet apart from others at all times. It would also be a good idea to open all of the windows of your home.

Get some air circulating, so any virus particles go outside. If you live in an area where the weather does not permit open windows, look into buying an air purifier.

You need to request the movers wear masks the entire time. On that note, you should also wear our masks for double protection. As people grab items and move around your home, try your best to disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs.

Moving Checklist

It’s finally moving day. You have completed all of the pre-work that goes into your ‘preparing to move’ checklist. Now, for a whole new onslaught of tasks you need to tackle.

If you want moving day to go smooth, begin early, get your family organized, and clean up after.

GET SOME REST

It may be tempting to stay up late the night before you move. After all, you want to take care of last-minute tasks.

Not to mention the level of moving anxiety that keeps you up all night. Try your best to put all of that aside and go to bed early. You will need your rest for the day to come.

CLEAN UP

While you wait for the movers, start cleaning your home, so you don’t have to worry about it later. Pick up any garbage discarded through your house, such as packing material. One thing many people forget is to defrost the refrigerator and clean it out.

ONE LAST CHECK

After everything is over, walk through the house one more time. You never know what could have fallen out of boxes onto the floor.

You don’t want to leave personal items behind that you won’t be able to get back. You should also take a moment to say goodbye to the house. Reflect on good memories that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Car Trip Checklist

If you are traveling cross-country or to another state, you need to consider what you need out on the road. Out of all the things to remember when moving, the car trip portion often goes overlooked.

The truth is, traveling can pose risks and other hiccups during moving. That is why you need to plan to dodge any misadventures.

PLAN YOUR ROUTE

Avoid getting lost by taking time to plan your route. You can do this in several different ways. Contact an auto club service and tell them where you need to go. They are more than happy to create a map or directions on how to get there safely.

If you don’t want to do that, you can also research what roads to take for yourself. Think about what highways are the safest to take.

Also, consider which roads will be the quickest and whether you care about paying tolls. A GPS would also work well in the event you take a wrong turn. You can buy a system at a store like Best Buy or use your phone.

FIND HOTELS

If your trip takes a few days, you need to think about where you and your family will sleep. Plan ahead how many miles you want to drive per day to arrive at your destination. By doing this, you can gauge what area you will stop at everyday and research affordable hotels.

GET YOUR CAR SERVICED

Never take your car on a long trip without taking it into a shop. Have a professional assess the state of your vehicle.

They will look at your tires, check the oil, and run routine maintenance. This step keeps you off the side of the road or from getting into a car accident.

Relocation Checklist

You’ve finally made it to your new home! It’s exciting because you are in the best place to move to start over.

Not to mention, the moving process is almost complete. There are still things to consider when moving into your new home. These involve managing your utilities, unpacking, and introducing yourself to the community.

MANAGE UTILITIES

If you want to know what to do when moving into our new home, it’s checking your utilities. They should all transfer over.

Check the power, water, and electricity to ensure they all work. You will also need to call your cable company and schedule a date for them to hook up your TV and internet.

TIP MOVERS

Don’t forget to tip the movers. After all, they loaded your packages, drove to your home, and unloaded them into your new house. It is customary that you give them a little extra on the side as a way of saying thanks.

UNPACK

Begin the unpacking process. That shouldn’t be too hard if you properly labeled everything. It could even be a fun activity.

You get to decorate your new home and watch it come alive. Plus, you don’t have to unpack all in one day. You can spread it out over a few days.

CHILDPROOF THE HOUSE

If you have small children, you’ll need to childproof everything. Chances are, your new home doesn’t have any protection for little children. Before letting them run around, take care to cover all outlets and sharp edges so they won’t get hurt.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR ANIMALS

Make sure your animals are alright. Give them plenty of water and food. Some pets don’t take to new locations very well.

New surroundings could frighten them. Give them comfort and let your animals know it’s safe. If commotion disturbs the pets, put them in a separate room until everything calms down.

VISIT SCHOOLS

You should already have a school chosen for your kids. Schedule some time to head over and introduce yourself.

Take your children along so you can show them around. A new school can be scary. But, if they see it beforehand, it may ease your child’s mind a little.

GO TO THE DMV

If you’re in a different state, head to the DMV to register your vehicle. Depending on state laws, you might need a new driver’s license and license plate.

GO OUT

You’re in a new area which means you need to get accustomed to your surroundings. Go out and explore, get some food, and see what your new town or city has to offer.

SAY HELLO

Introduce yourself to your new neighbors. You can go door to door and say hello. Explain that you are new to the area.

Most people are very welcoming when it comes to new people. You can also throw a housewarming party, invite your neighbors, and have a good time.

TAKE A MOMENT TO BREATHE

Get yourself into a quiet space and take a chance to breathe. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, look back on everything you just went through and revel in the sense of accomplishment.

You did it! Now it’s time to enjoy your new life, settle in, and de-stress.

Hire a Service

The moving process contains a slew of factors that are easy to overlook. Many people focus solely on packing and movers. In reality, it takes so much more than you realize.

If you wonder, “how do you move?” we hope this moving checklist offered more insight and helps you organize a bit better.

At Nexus Auto Transport, we want to help make your life easier. If you have automobiles that need shipping, we invite you to use our free moving calculator to get a quote with us today!

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