“Instead of cleaning my house,” goes the old joke, “I’ll just move to another one.” But when you’re preparing for a move, it doesn’t take long to realize how much easier it would be just to clean the house.
Whether friends are helping you or you’re hiring a moving company to pack everything and relocate you, moving can be exciting, life-changing – and stressful.
To make your move as painless as possible, it’s important to plan as far in advance of moving day as possible, says David Martin, communications director at Bellhops.
“Following a moving checklist is a key to this pre-planning,” Martin says.
Bellhops is an app-oriented moving service located in more than 50 U.S. cities. You provide the truck, and then the company provides the heavy lifters.
Looking to get a jump start on planning your move?
We’ve rounded up some more of the best moving checklists out there. Whether you are moving alone or with a family, across town or overseas, one of these lists will help you get organized and do it well. And don’t forget to check out our own story on 10 Things You Must Do Before You Move.
1. Just the Basics
This streamlined and straightforward set of home and business moving checklists from Two Men and a Truck tells you when to start cleaning out closets and get change of address cards (a month before the move) and when to clean the stove (the week of the move). There is also a check list for moving a business.
2. If You Are Hiring Professional Packers
This checklist from The Moving Blog details what you should do before the professional packers arrive. It even specifies exactly what is considered hazardous and reminds you about perishables and plants – none of which professional packers will tackle.
3. For Women Moving Alone
We like these Safety Tips for Women Moving Alone for the commonsense security checklist that applies both during the move itself and also when you’re settling into your new home.
Betty Sikes is Claims and Military Manager for Circle Moving and Storage, which represents Allied Van Lines in Long Beach, California, and she tells everyone – not just women – to research their moving company.
“You can check with the American Moving and Storage Association to make sure a moving company is on the up and up,” Sikes says.
Ask about background checks, as well. Allied Van Lines, she says, does a background check on every employee who goes inside people’s homes.
4. Print and Check Every Box
Mayflower’s printable moving checklist suggests what to do week-by-week. It’s nicely detailed, right down to when to “empty your locker at the club or gym.”
5. There is an App For That
The free moveAtlas app, available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, offers “Don’t Forget” and “Around the House” checklists for your move, as well as packing tips and a four-week planner. There’s also a checklist for moving day.
6. For Military Families
The Ultimate Guide to Military PCS Moves, Overseas Edition, written by a military wife with plenty of moving experience, divides tasks into those you should do when you are anticipating the move but don’t have orders yet, and those for once you have orders, three to six months before moving, one to two months before, and one to two weeks before. It’s detailed, and specific to military families (“Obtain anti-terrorism training,” which she explains is required for family members over 14, is one item). It too is printable.
7. Moving With Children
This checklist for moving with kids centers around Portland, but you can easily transfer its great ideas to your own location to make moving fun and simple for your children. See #4, “Pack a treasure box.”
Lori Collins Burgan’s book Moving with Kids: 25 Ways to Ease Your Family’s Transition to a New Home is divided into 25 tips to make a move easier on children. Her favorite?
“Empower your children to make as many decisions as possible. This is a decision being forced upon them, and they have no control over it,” she says. “It’s important to find things throughout the process of moving in which children can exercise some control.”
8. When You Can’t Remember Where You Packed Anything
The $1.99 Moving Van app, for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, lets you keep track of what’s in each box (and take photos of the items) and then assign each box to a room for the movers. It lets you find your items when you’ve moved in but not yet unpacked. It can be useful if needed for insurance purposes, as well.