Moving can be a production. This checklist can help you simplify your move, avoid roadblocks, and minimize time spent hauling boxes.
One month before the move.
❏ Double-check that all repairs stated on your home inspection report have been completed in addition to the seller leaving behind warranties and receipts for the work.
❏ Check that all items included in the sale, from window blinds to appliances, are where they should be in addition to ensuring all garbage and construction debris from repairs have been removed and that the property has been left clean and damage-free.
❏ Open all windows and doors to make sure your home is safe and secure before you move in. Note any window screens that are missing along with windows that are broken or stick when opening, which could be a potential fire hazard.
❏ Carefully inspect the bathrooms to ensure they are free from mold and water damage. Check for standing water by the sink, shower, and base of the toilet while also testing the toilets to ensure they are not running.
❏ Verify all sinks and showers have hot water, don’t spray water, and don’t leak when turned off. Check to ensure all sinks and tubs are not clogged and drain properly and quickly.
❏ Review the kitchen and check for signs of mold or water damage under the sink, around the dishwasher, and near the refrigerator.
❏ Test all the kitchen appliances to ensure the oven heats properly, without smelling like gas, and the dishwasher runs a full cycle.
❏ Check the washer and dryer in the laundry room to ensure they run a full cycle without problems. And if the laundry room has a sink, fill it up to ensure that it drains properly.
❏ Test both the AC and heating system, even if it is a 90-degree day when you do your final walkthrough, as this will ensure both are working correctly.
One week before the move.
❏ Make a closing-up plan: Plan what you need to do now with your current home before you start your move. Do you need to return keys to your landlord? Will you need help cleaning and preparing your existing home to sell? Plan these details ahead of time so you can focus entirely on your new home going forward.
❏ Drive the route ahead of time: If your move is in the local area, drive the route beforehand to identify any obstacles a big moving truck might have to deal.
❏ Snap photos of empty rooms to document needed repairs: As you are packing up each room in your current home, take pictures to document any required repairs. This helps show what damage may need to be fixed and what was in perfect condition when you moved out.
❏ Begin deep cleaning: Leave your current home as clean as possible. A landlord can charge you for leaving your home too dirty. You can also save money by reducing the amount of work a cleaning crew has to do if you are hiring one.
❏ Use drop cloths to protect the floors in both houses: Plastic drop cloths cost only a few bucks but can save you big money from the potential damage caused by sliding boxes and furniture across the floors in both houses.
One day before the move.
❏ Plan food and rest breaks: Plan what you will eat along with a few scheduled breaks to rest as moving day is a long and busy day that requires all of your energy and focus.
❏ Create a timeline with goals: Create a moving day timeline or schedule with goals that help you measure your progress throughout the day as you will most likely have just one day to move out of your current home and into your new one.
❏ Make sure your keys work: If you have not already done so, test out all of the keys for your new home, along with the garage door code.
❏ Plug in appliances: Get your refrigerator ready for any groceries you might move in addition to testing lights, toilets, and sinks to ensure everything works as it did during your final walkthrough.
❏ Review your moving contract: If you are working with movers or renting a moving truck, your contract will include important times and conditions for moving day. Taking a look at this one more time helps ensure there are no moving day surprises or issues.
❏ Make a final moving inventory list: Now that everything is packed up, create a moving inventory list by counting all of your boxes, including their assigned room, and documenting everything you will be moving (boxes, furniture, appliances, etc.).
❏ Keep “essentials” close to you: Place your keys, cell phone and charger, garage door opener, and critical moving day paperwork (like this checklist) in an easy-to-access box or bag. It also helps to include a screwdriver, scissors, duct tape, and flashlight just in case you need them tomorrow.
❏ Set an alarm: You’ve got a lot to do. Set the alarm early and get a jump start on the day.
❏ Eat a good breakfast: Skip the carbs (and the crash that follows) and eat a high-protein breakfast to maximize your energy throughout the morning.
❏ Take a moment to breath: Because you woke up early, you shouldn’t feel rushed. Take a moment to breathe, relax, and reflect on all the good you have accomplished to get to this point.
❏ Review your moving inventory list: Now that you’ve almost worked through the entire moving checklist, your moving inventory list becomes one of your most important documents to review throughout the day to ensure everything gets from your current house to your new home as expected.
❏ Stay hydrated: Grab a few bottles of water to drink throughout the day to stay hydrated and focused during your move.
❏ Place a take-out order for lunch and dinner: Keep eating options simple. Your plates and utensils are boxed up, remember?
❏ Start moving: It’s time to get going as you greet the movers, pick up your rental truck, or welcome your friends and family that have volunteered to help you.
❏ Lock up: As you’ll be the last one to leave your current house, take one final walkthrough. Unplug everything, turn off the lights, and lock the door one last time.
After moving day.
❏ Clean: You might feel tired after your move, but your home will never be easier to clean than now. Get a fresh start and do a deep clean while everything is still packed in boxes.
❏ Paint: If needed, get any painting you need to finish up done now before unpacking as there is less prep work for you to do while your belongings are still in boxes.
❏ Change the locks: Who knows how many people the last homeowner trusted with spare keys. Keep your belongings secure by changing all locks.
❏ Find out when trash and recycling day is: There will be a lot to throw out. Be ready to put trash and items for recycling out to be picked up at the first chance you get.
Enjoy your new home!
Stepping foot into your new home is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. Congrats on a job well done! Your new home is an investment that will reap rewards for a lifetime.
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