What are the Ingredients of a Perfect Moving To-Do List

Relocating to another state is a massive undertaking, and it will involve a lot of planning and coordination between many entities. That is why it is crucial to have the best moving to-do list to navigate the whole process with ease. And if you wonder what is the first thing to do when moving, creating a to-do list for moving should be among the top candidates.

Person making a list for interstate moving overlay
May 28, 2019 Posted in Moving Checklist

Relocating to another city will demand a lot of organization and planning, but if you create a list of things to do when moving and stick to it, this process will be much easier, and best of all, you will have a stress-free relocation.

Why Is It Important to Have a Comprehensive Moving to Do List?

Organizing a move is stressful and overwhelming. You will be full of questions like “what all do I need to do when I move” and “what should I do the week before moving.” To avoid answering these in the middle of the process, the best would be to have all the answers ready in advance. And this is exactly what a moving list of things to do will do. You will create a listing of all the questions and answers about relocating to another state. And we will help you to come up with the list. Once you have the list, you should keep it until relocation to a new home is over.

Question and answer sign
With the right questions, half of the problems will be resolved without ever arising

Create a Checklist of Expenditures

Is there a checklist for moving? Yes, but it should be made by you and tailored to your needs. The best way to start your listings is by creating a relocation budget. This way, you will know your plan and expenditures and how much money you need to put aside. Begin with calculations as soon as you decide where to live since house hunting and selling the old house will be the most expensive and time-consuming processes.

You’ll need at least three months to purchase a new house, and while you are looking for new houses, you should prepare your old one for sale. Once this process is over, you can start making a budget and see how much money you require for further actions. Here are things your relocating budget must have:

Include Booking a Moving Company Too

Looking for state-to-state movers should be the second most important thing on your checklist. You will need a couple of days to find the best companies. And once you do that place them on the agenda and start making the calls. Find at least five interstate relocation companies in your area that seem like a good choice and ask for a free quote. Also, go through online reviews and see what kind of opinion people have about those companies. To avoid any relocation scams, check online if these companies have a USDOT number.

Once you have narrowed down your choice to three companies, ask each company for an in-home estimation of your move, and finally, pick the one with the best price for the interstate moving service they provide. And ensure you do this in a timely manner because a couple of weeks is not enough to arrange everything. When deciding which company to choose, consider what that company has to offer alongside the price. For example, do they have storage units on their own or rent them from a third party? Also, ask if they provide a packing service, as that can be a great help, especially if you are relocating at the last minute.

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Nothing Can Be Done Without the Right Supplies

The next item on your agenda is to purchase high-quality packing materials. Because no matter how well you organize your packaging, if your belongings are not properly protected, it will all be for nothing. For all your belongings, the best choice is to buy medium size boxes. You will pack fewer things in a single box, making a box easier to carry. Here are supplies you have to purchase:

  • Bubble and plastic wrap,
  • Packing paper,
  • Cushioning,
  • Cardboard sheets,
  • Styrofoam sheets and board,
  • Corrugated cardboard rolls,
  • Duct tape and duct tape gun,
  • Labels and markers,
  • Garbage and vacuum bags.
Man and woman packing for moving interstate
If you are not sure how to protect your fragiles, ask movers to help you

You Need to Begin With Packaging Weeks Before Relocation Day

Relocating an entire house is best done with some packaging strategy in place, and the sooner you begin, the more efficient your move will be. So create plans and time on your calendar to begin this process at least three weeks in advance. Begin packing by clearing one room in your house where you will do all the packaging.

If you have a garage or basement, that would be the best choice, but if you don’t have one, you can clear one room in the house you barely use. Ensure to begin packaging at least three weeks before your relocation is scheduled. Begin with the things you don’t use at the moment. Naturally, if you are relocating in winter, pack summer clothing first. Or when you begin packing shoes, start with those you know you will not wear until you relocate. Leave the rooms you know you will use daily, such as the kitchen and bathroom, for the last.

An Inventory of All Items You Plan to Bring Should Be On Your Checklist

When you begin packaging, take a notebook and start making a moving inventory list of things you are planning to bring. Place this inventory in your to-do listing so you can keep track of things you must label later on. This will make your labeling much faster, and you will have a checklist ready for your movers when they arrive to give you an in-home estimation. The more detail you have on a checklist, the more precise your estimation will be. Also, we don’t have to mention that you will make claims for insurance with an inventory if something goes missing or broken, and your unpacking after relocation will be much easier.

Make a Space for Downsizing of Your Home

Before you begin packaging, the best would be to downsize before the move, so while deciding what to keep, you will at the same time have a listing of things to get rid of and a moving packing list. So downsizing should be done before packing. Decluttering before a move is extremely important. Not only will you have fewer things to pack, but you will finally get rid of things that have been in your way.

While packaging, create piles in each room of items you are keeping and get rid of. Then merge those piles in your working area and begin another round of sorting. See what items you can donate, what can be sold in a garage sale, and what you must toss away. Take some boxes and place all the items you plan to get rid of inside. And free yourself from those belongings by helping someone in need.

People giving stuff for donation
You can donate some of the stuff you don't want anymore

Put Packing Bags and Boxes of Essentials

Create a thorough inventory of essentials you must not forget and divide them into two categories on your to-do listing – necessities you will bring and ones that will be shipped by movers. Before you begin packaging all of your items, create a checklist of essentials you must have while traveling to your home. Here you will have to put all your important documents and other valuable items (jewelry, laptop, phones). Once you start packaging, put aside things that will go in your bag of relocation essentials. Pack bags for each family member like you are going on a short vacation.

On the other hand, it would be good if you could create a box of essentials as well. This box should be placed on a truck last, so it would be first to unload. Here you should put all the items you need for successful unpacking, such as tools and cleaning supplies, and items you will require for normal functioning until you are fully unpacked. Here are some items you should put in your essentials, and of course, you can add things according to your needs:

  • Toilet paper,
  • Hairdryer,
  • Plates and mugs,
  • Spoons and forks,
  • Towels,
  • Bedding.
Person vacuum cleans the house
Don't forget to put your vacuum cleaner among essentials

Find Room for Arranging Your Paperwork

Before you begin packing and selling your home, you should get your paperwork in order. Put on your to-do listing all the papers you must organize. No matter if you are selling your house without an agent or with the help of one, one thing is for sure – moving interstate requires a lot of paperwork. But on the other hand, it is alose one of a kind opportunity for you to arrange your important document once and for all.

You can finally get rid of all the bills, coupons, and uncategorized papers you have. Yes, it will take some patience, but while you are packaging your entire house, why not take the opportunity and arrange documents as well? Go to the nearest store and buy a binder for your papers. And like when sorting clothing or shoes, make piles of documents you have to shred, toss, or keep. Once those piles are made, do another round of sorting. Take “to keep” pile and divide the documents in the following order:

  • Personal documents,
  • House papers,
  • Car papers,
  • Medical records,
  • Pet medical records,
  • Contracts,
  • Legal papers (funds, wills).

For a more professional approach, check this video.

New Health and Car Insurance Will Have to Make Their Way to Checklist

Moving state to state is stressful, and in all that chaos, some important things can be forgotten. This is why it’s important to have a checklist of things to do when moving into a new house and state. Aside from the fact that you will have to update the address on your driving license, you will have to take new plates and car insurance. As you know, some states have lower car insurance programs, so you have to align your current insurance with the state you are relocating to. Just a friendly reminder that if you keep your old insurance because of the lower plan this will be considered fraud.

Another great thing about relocating is that it is considered a qualifying event, so if you are not pleased with your current health policy, relocating to another state will give you a chance to change it. Also, if you are relocating for a job, don’t forget to ask your employer about health policy and whether it covers your family members or not. Just make sure to apply on time. You will have a couple of weeks of enrollment period when you must apply.

Girl talking to the man on a video call
Ask your employer all about health policy

Renovation and Other Plans Both for Old and New House

Another thing that needs to be on your relocation lists is cleaning your old house before relocation and doing the same at your new location. But if you do more cleaning before, the less will you do after. So the best relocation tip is to clean everything before you pack it. This way, you will have nice and clean belongings you can put in their place right away. Now will also be a good opportunity to do deep cleaning of your furniture. Find a cleaning agency and book them weeks in advance, and if you have carpet, you can arrange deep cleaning of that too.

If you plan to make changes in your home, do this while you are preparing for the move, or if the renovations are more demanding, do this sooner. And don’t forget to clean your house before you begin unpacking – what is the point of putting clean belongings in a dirty house?

Girl cleaning windows
Clean every surface

Bonus Tips to Get You Through the Big Day

Even if everything is boxed up and ready for movers, there are things you can do on your relocation day to smooth things up. For example, you can place all your boxes in one room so the movers can load everything faster. Designate one room in a house to be your safe room. Here you will put your essentials, kids, and pet. This will be the room where only you and your family members can enter on a relocation day.

Another thing you must not forget is to have bottles of water and soda available for you and workers. Also, don’t pack your coffee maker until the last box is ready to be placed on a truck. Buy some paper cups and plates, and don’t forget to order a nice meal for you and your workers. The nice thing will be to ask them what they want to eat and then order that. Most people order pizza, which is usually great since everybody loves pizza. But if you are eating the same thing each day, it can get annoying.

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.



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