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.
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.
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.
Make sure you have all the supplies you need on hand before you start packing. These supplies may include:
If you're hiring professional movers, find out what supplies they provide, so you don't overbuy.
Smart packing simplifies unpacking and makes it easier to transport your items. Consider these tips to pack like a pro:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.