The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Handled Moving Guide: A comprehensive checklist to move in 30 days.

Checklists turn big jobs into bite-sized chunks; that’s what we’ve done with the Ultimate Moving Checklist. It’s a comprehensive guide with everything you’ll need for a successful move, so you never miss a step.

If you’re feeling ambitious, it’s possible to check off a few tasks in a single day. If you fall behind, there’ll be time to catch up and get back on track. Also, feel free to reorder steps if that makes more sense for your particular move.

Consider printing this checklist and using it as a space for notes like reservation or confirmation numbers, wifi passwords, and other tidbits of information you’ll need during your move.

Finalize moving details | 30 days to move

Aim to have equipment and labor booked a month before your move.

Organize your files | 29 days to move

Create an email folder and a physical folder to collect all move-related documents.

Book travel arrangements | 28 days to move

If you need a hotel, flight, or rental car for your move, now’s the time to book.

Document and measure | 27 days to move

Take photos of your current arrangement and measure furniture if needed.

Decide what’s not coming | 26 days to move

Focus on the largest and most valuable items first.

List items for sale | 25 days to move

Photograph and list the items you’re planning to sell, or set them aside for a garage sale.

Donate what you’re not selling | 24 days to move

Arrange free pickup of bulky items or take a trip to a local thrift store.

Cancel utilities and memberships | 23 days to move

Inform electric/gas/water companies, internet providers, and gyms of your move date.

Change your mailing address | 22 days to move

Fill out a change of address form at the post office; have it take effect the day before you move.

Make a food plan | 21 days to move

Start using food from the freezer and consider how/if you’ll move food to your new home.

Refill prescriptions | 20 days to move

Take care of this (or other life/health maintenance) now so you’re not in a pinch later.

Arrange pet and/or childcare | 19 days to move

Moving is disruptive for kids and pets alike; make a plan to keep them away from move day commotion.

Service your vehicle | 18 days to move

Take care of oil changes, tune-ups, or other maintenance to avoid car trouble during your move.

Get packing supplies | 17 days to move

Assemble a whole kit; you can always reference our list of Essential Packing Supplies.

Pack out-of-season items | 16 days to move

The easiest items to start packing are seasonal decorations or winter/summer clothes.

Pack a valuables box | 15 days to move

Separate high-value items like jewelry; you may consider transporting this box yourself.

Pack spare rooms | 14 days to move

If you have an extra bedroom or a den, pack there first and use it to store packed boxes.

Pack outdoor items | 13 days to move

Drain the lawnmower, disassemble the playset, and wrap up the grill as needed.

Pack the garage | 12 days to move

Decide which forgotten treasures (like that bucket of doorknobs) are coming to your new home.

Pack framed photos and artwork | 11 days to move

If it’s hanging on a wall, pack it today.

Prepare a kit of essentials | 10 days to move

Set aside essentials like paper towels, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies to use while moving.

Pack a suitcase | 9 days to move

Before you go any further, pack a suitcase for each member of the family.

Pack the bedroom | 8 days to move

Box up all the bedroom items you won’t use before you move.

Pack the kitchen | 7 days to move

Pack kitchen items, but consider leaving out a few essentials to use while you move.

Pack the bathroom(s) | 6 days to move

If it’s in the bathroom and you don’t need it before you move, today’s the day to box it up.

Make donation trip #2 | 5 days to move

Packing usually reveals more things we don’t need; make another trip and donate them today.

Clean empty rooms | 4 days to move

As you finish each room, give it a good clean (unless you’re hiring cleaners, of course).

Wash dirty laundry | 3 days to move

Moving is sweaty work; clean any dirty laundry and pack into boxes or suitcases.

Pack everything else | 2 days to move

If it’s still out, it’s probably a high-priority item. Box everything up and add a ‘high priority’ note.

Prep appliances | 1 day to move

Unplug, empty, and clean the refrigerator, stove, and any other appliances you’re moving.

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