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Share to PinterestYour Step-By-Step Moving Guide

Your Step-By-Step Moving Guide

By Staff Writer
Share to PinterestYour Step-By-Step Moving Guide

Whether you're moving across town or across the country, packing up one home and unpacking at your new one means plenty of work. However, with some smart strategies and the right supplies, you can make your next move a seamless experience. Keep this Ultimate Moving Checklist on hand to help ensure your move is successful and as low-stress as possible, from packing to unpacking and everything in between.


Declutter your current home

Share to PinterestA young woman moving into a new apartment
Catherine Delahaye/ Getty Images

Reduce your current possessions by decluttering before you start packing. Begin by carefully assessing your closets and cabinets to identify items you don't need. Perhaps you'll find some old clothes to donate or a set of dinnerware you haven't used in years. The more you declutter, the less you'll have to move.

Consider the layout of your new space to determine if there's any furniture you don't need. A new apartment or house might require different pieces than what you have now. Save yourself the hassle of moving furniture you can't use; donate or sell it before you move.


Schedule movers or truck rentals

Share to PinterestTruck car moving house for customers, delivering boxes and furniture.
tampatra/ Getty Images

Whether you're undertaking the move yourself or hiring professionals, you'll want to line up the people or trucks you need ahead of time. Decide whether you'll hire local or national movers to help you transport your belongings. Alternatively, you can rent a truck and take on the task yourself. If you do, find some friends or family members to help you move large, heavy items.


Stock up on supplies

Share to PinterestShot of a young couple taking a break while moving house
Dean Mitchell/ Getty Images

Make sure you have all the supplies you need on hand before you start packing. These supplies may include:

  • Moving boxes in various sizes
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper
  • A box cutter or scissors
  • Permanent markers
  • Furniture pads and covers
  • Dolly or hand truck

If you're hiring professional movers, find out what supplies they provide, so you don't overbuy.


Pack like a pro

Share to PinterestA couple unwrapping/packing boxes in the kitchen
Catherine Delahaye/ Getty Images

Smart packing simplifies unpacking and makes it easier to transport your items. Consider these tips to pack like a pro:

  • Pack heavy items in small boxes and lightweight items in larger boxes.
  • Build each box with the heaviest items on the bottom and the lightest items on top.
  • Keep similar items together for easy unpacking. Don't mix items from different rooms.
  • Clearly label each box with the room in your new house and its contents, so you know where it goes and what's inside.
  • Tape each box closed to secure your items.
  • Use bubble wrap for breakable items, and label the box as fragile, so you or your movers remember to transport it gently.


Clean as you go

Share to PinterestBeautiful woman unpacking her favorite books in her new apartment.
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Cleaning up your old place is a must for new tenants or owners, and if it's a rental, getting your security deposit back may depend on this step. If you're not outsourcing the cleaning, do it as you pack each room. For example, once you've emptied the kitchen cabinets, wipe them down inside and out, and vacuum rooms when you've cleared them of all furniture. Breaking up the cleaning into smaller tasks makes it more manageable.


Set up utilities and internet service

Share to PinterestMan unboxing cardboard box in kitchen with girlfriend sitting on dining table at home
Maskot/ Getty Images

Make sure you transfer your utilities if you're moving locally. If you're moving to a new area, set up new services in conjunction with your move-in date. When you arrive at your new home, you'll want the utilities turned on and ready to use. In addition, be sure your internet service is transferred or turned on to ensure a seamless move from one house to the next.


Pack an essentials kit

Share to PinterestA happy young couple moving into a new apartment
Catherine Delahaye/ Getty Images

You'll need some essentials when you get to your new place. Pack these items in a separate box that you transport with you—don't pack it in the moving truck. Fill your kit with these must-haves:

  • Bed sheets and pillows
  • Multipurpose cleaner
  • Toiletries
  • Disposable or lightweight utensils and dishware
  • Snacks and beverages
  • Electronics chargers
  • Pet supplies, including food and bowls
  • Pajamas and a change of clothes for everyone in your family


Transport important possessions safely

Share to PinterestTwo young female friends carrying a sofa out of a house together while moving to a new home
AJ_Watt/ Getty Images

Safely move your valuable possessions with you, not in the moving truck. An expandable file folder can hold important paperwork, including your birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards, and more. Small family heirlooms or jewelry can be packed securely in a box and kept in your vehicle.

Doing so ensures that these items don't get lost in transit by someone who doesn't recognize their significance.


Envision your new space

Share to Pinterestcouple picking paint colors for new home
MoMo Productions/ Getty Images

Moving into your new space is easier when you have a plan for each room's potential layout. Take some time to consider where you want to position the furniture, so you (or your movers) can set everything up correctly. Putting furniture in the right spot when it arrives will save you time and allow you to start unpacking and decorating more quickly.


Unpack your boxes strategically

Share to PinterestCouple with cats sitting on the floor
bymuratdeniz/ Getty Images

Focus on unpacking your essentials first. For example, you might want to organize your kitchen early in the unpacking process, so you can put together some easy meals while you get settled in. Focus on finding homes for cookware, dishes, and small appliances first.

You'll also want to stock your bathroom with toiletries and towels, and make sure beds are set up with sheets, blankets, and pillows.



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