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The Best Moving Checklist

the marling
Life at The Marling
Discover Madison

Change is life’s only constant. Humans relocate to new places all the time. Some like change more than others, however, one thing is true: people are pretty good at it, whether you like it or not. When preparing for a move, the first thought is usually, “how can I make this as easy as possible?”

It’s all about providing plenty of time for yourself to pack and take care of each task. Whether this is your first move or your 50th move, this checklist will make your relocation simpler.

Six to Eight Weeks Before The Move

  • Make a list of all the tasks you will need to complete. Write down everything you will have to do, such as laundry, cleaning, and packing. When you’re able to visualize your task list, this will make completing it easier.
  • With your list created, notify your work you will be gone to move. You may think this should go without saying, however, when you have 1000 things to do, something is bound to be forgotten. Ensure you’re off of work well before the day of the move arrives.
  • Don’t forget to tell your landlord you are moving out. Always read over your lease to ensure you are providing the required notice time. The majority of leases require a 30-to-60-day notification policy, some request more to allow more time to find a new tenant.
  • Moving isn’t cheap, and it doesn’t matter if you’re rich: you need to create a moving budget. You must know how much you can spend while you move. A budget will help you decide which possessions make the transition and which items you sell to the highest bidder. Additionally, your budget will determine if move yourself, employ your friends and family, or if you can afford professional movers.
  • Feel free to throw things out. Sell whatever you don’t use or want to move to increase your moving budget and get rid of everything broken. Instagram and Depop are two great social medias to sell clothes and other belongings, Facebook Marketplace too.
  • When you know what’s staying and what’s going, organize your stuff. Divide your things into non-essential, essential, and valuables and delicate. Keep all your important paperwork in one spot.
  • Take the time to learn about your new community. It is important to locate the grocery stores, banks, parks, and other things you need and like in your new neighborhood.
  • Where you will stay while in-between apartments? Can sleep at your new location, will you need a hotel, or can you stay with family or friends?
  • If you’re moving to a new state, you must know how much time it will take to receive a new driver’s license and license plate from the local Department of Motor Vehicles. If you don’t drive, you will still need an updated photographic identification card.

Four to Five Weeks Before The Move

With cash in your pocket from sold possessions and topped-off dumpsters from all the junk you’ve been tossing out, you’re a little over a month away from the move. Now is when you should start collecting moving materials.

What Are Moving Materials?

  • Boxes
  • Bubble wrap/newspaper
  • Tape
  • Markers to label boxes

You will need to change your address. Inform your:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Bank
  • Credit unions
  • Insurance providers
  • Health care
  • Property management
  • Utility Providers

Be sure to tell the gas and electric company, your internet and cable provider, and any other utilities provider you’re moving. You don’t want to get stuck paying for the new tenant’s utilities! You might be able to have the utility providers transfer your existing accounts over to your new address, it doesn’t hurt to ask and it will save you time if you can.

  • Cancel any subscriptions you aren’t using, whether it’s a newspaper, magazine, or streaming service.
  • Service your car before you move

Your car is going to be weighed down, have the necessary maintenance performed so you don’t end up broke down on the side of the road with all your stuff.

  • Eat all food

Eat all your leftovers and donate all your canned food. Moving food is a bad idea, specifically perishables. Fruits and vegetables will bounce around and get bruised in transport. Food packaging could break and ruin other items.

Two to Three Weeks Before Moving Day

  • Prepare pets for the transition

Set up your current apartment to how your new apartment will be to get them mentally acclimated for the change. If family or friends will be watching your pet while you move, arrange a meet and greet so your pet is comfortable with them.

  • Renter’s Insurance

You will need to call your renter’s insurance provider and have them transfer your policy to your new apartment.

  • Keep valuables, important files, and essentials separate

Keep this box/these boxes with you in your vehicle during the whole move. Pack seven to ten days of clean clothes in your essentials bag. All other clothes can be packed regularly. This will prevent any unnecessary washing while packing. If you will sleep at a hotel or with family or friend(s),keep an overnight bag in your vehicle. Any item that will be used up to your move doesn’t need to be packed yet. All other belongings must be boxed, labeled, and kept near the door.

  • Don’t pack too fast

Fast-packing occurs when you don’t allot sufficient time for yourself. By chipping away at the process six to eight weeks before the day of the move, you have provided yourself with ample time to pack properly. Glass, dining ware, lampshades, mirrors, and speakers experience the most destruction from packing too fast. Pack properly so you don’t unpack broken belongings.

  • Clean your apartment

With everything packed up, your apartment probably looks rather empty. This will make cleaning easier. Don’t wait until the last minute to clean. The earlier you start, the easier it is.

  • Take a break

Have a going away party with your friends. Rest your mind, it needs it.

One Week Before Moving Day

  • Label boxes with the applicable room

Write on each box what room the contents inside belong in. This way, you can set each box down in the correct spot at your new apartment. The less you are lifting, the better.

  • Keep your valuables in your possession

You’ve moved them this far, now you’re at the final stretch. Keep all your valuables and delicate belongings in your hands, you’d hate to have a friend or mover fumble a priceless piece of yours walking into your new place.

  • Confirm all plans

Whether someone is watching your children or pets, you have hotel reservations, or you scheduled utility installations, all of these plans must be confirmed. Give yourself a few days between confirming plans and moving day to give yourself time for any last-second changes.

  • Schedule your final walk-through

If you want to see your security deposit, ensure you’re present when your landlord does the final walk-through. Your apartment must be spotless.

Moving Day

What must happen before you boxes walk out your door?

  • Ensure all boxes are near the door

This will expedite load out and prevent your freshly cleaned apartment from getting dirty.

  • Take out the trash

Ensure you haven’t left anything behind. Ensure there is no trash lingering for the landlord or next tenant to find.

  • Exchange phone numbers

Communicate is key. Make sure you explain to your moving party where you will meet them and when. Swapping phone numbers allows you to keep communication with people in other vehicles.

  • Don’t keep the apartment key

It may be nostalgic for you, but it also may prevent you from receiving your full security deposit. Give the landlord the key to your apartment.

  • Car is balanced

Ensure you vehicle is packed carefully and balanced. Improper packing can cause unnecessary wear or even cause the car to tip.

When You Arrive at Your New Apartment

  • Walk-through with property manager

If you arrive before the movers, you can ask the property manager to perform walk through. This will allow you to point out and photograph any damage caused before you moved in.

  • Ask where your family, friends, or movers should park

If there is a specific move in/move out space, let your moving party know.

  • Take all your valuables out of your car

Take your valuables out of your car and put them in your bedroom closet. Keep them out of sight to prevent anyone from getting bad ideas.

  • Be present

The movers will be looking to you to tell them where to go with boxes. Purchase a few cases of water to keep yourself and the movers hydrated during the process. Once you pay and tip your movers, lock any doors or gates that were propped open. Take a five-minute break, catch your breath, stretch, and begin arranging your new apartment.

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