143 ways to make moving easier for you, kids, and pets — with a printable version

143 ways to make moving easier for you, kids, and pets — with a printable version

As you prepare for your big move, it’s good to have a list of things you need/want to do before the whirlwind of moving ensues.

This is your ultimate guide for the ultimate checklist of 143 things to do before, during, and after your move. Be sure to go down the list and complete them all!


Download and print this moving checklist: The Ultimate Moving Checklist With Tips


GET ORGANIZED BEFORE MOVING

About a month or two out, start organizing all the things you need to do before the big move.

1. Make a moving calendar

Put a few helpful dates on the calendar like when you’ll be moving into the new place, when you should schedule movers, and when you want things packed by.

2. Pick the best date to move

It’s smart to be strategic when choosing your moving day. Things to consider are holidays, day of the week, cold or snowy seasons.

3. Make a moving file

This includes all the details of your move like where you’ll keep all your receipts, who will move you, checklists, important files, and emergency contact information.

4. Make a binder

If you’re old school (or don’t like electronics), keep these printed documents in a binder for safekeeping. You’ll know exactly where the info is when you need it!

5. Make a moving checklist

Keep a list of all the things you need to do before moving (like this list!). This should include before, during, and after your move.

6. Create a budget

Put together an Excel or Google Sheet file of the expenses it will cost for the move. Or, if you’re old school, write it out!

7. Pick the best way to move

Will you move yourself or hire a moving company? As you’ve probably thought, moving takes a lot of work, so a moving company may be your best bet. Consider our sister company, Moishe’s.

8. Make copies of important documents

The last thing you want to happen is to lose your important documents. Either take hard copies of them or take pictures to keep them safe.

9. Research what’s best for your child

This move may be scary for your children. Reassure them that you’re researching to make everything as easy as possible. Let them help you look at schools and fun things for them to do to reassure them that this is a good thing for them too.

10. Research the new community

Do research for yourself, too! Look at the community to learn what’s around including restaurants, grocery stores, and fun things for YOU to do!


WHAT TO DO IN YOUR HOME BEFORE MOVING

Before all the moving, there are a few things you should do in the home to make moving MUCH easier.

11. Designate a “Don’t Pack Zone”

Have an area that’s “don’t pack.” Items that shouldn’t be put in boxes yet are chargers, a few dishes, and essential clothing.

12. Sell!

Download a few apps or post items on Craigslist or Facebook you don’t want to take with you.

13. Donate

Donate items to your local Goodwill or other charity. If they are big or furniture items, coordinate a pickup.

14. Get rid of things you don’t need

If you’re not able to sell or give away items, simply toss them. It’s amazing how much you can accumulate over time!

15. Recycle batteries and electronics

Take your electronics and batteries to a recycling place.

16. Disassemble furniture

Start taking apart furniture and setting it aside. Make sure you keep the screws and assembly parts!

17. Stop buying groceries a week before the move

If you make a lot of meals at home, you’ll want to stop going to the grocery store a week before. Start eating what you have around. This makes for some interesting recipes!

18. Pack for an hour at a time

Take it slow in the beginning. Only pack for an hour at a time. It’s not good to wear yourself out before the big moving day!


WHO TO TELL BEFORE MOVING

Before you pull the trigger on moving, it’s a good idea to tell certain people about your moving trip. Here are the top ones to tell.

19. Your family and friends

Let them celebrate with you! But on another note, they should know where you are going for safety purposes.

20. Tell your employer

If you’re quitting your job, then give your employer some notice to fill your job. Two weeks is an appropriate amount of time.

21. The post office

Contact the post office to have your mail forwarded. It’s a really easy process that can be done in two minutes.

22. Bank and credit card company

Update the address on your banking and credit cards. Make sure to do it all at once and you’re zip code is consistent across all accounts.

23. Your doctor

You’ll need to securely send your medical records when selecting a new doctor. When you find one, send the files over.

24. Insurance company to get a better deal

Depending on a few factors, you may get a better deal on insurance. Do this quickly in case an unforeseen event happens. You’ll want to be covered!

25. Disconnect utilities

Disconnect utilities either online or in person. Make sure you and they know the day when you’re moving out. Being without power or hot water isn’t fun.

26. Transition your other services

Other services to consider changing are cable, internet, and waste collection.

27. Cancel memberships

Cancel other membership services only accessible in your areas like the gym, yoga studio, and Crossfit.


MOVING SUPPLIES

At about two weeks out, start collecting your moving materials.

28. Get free boxes

 

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You can get free boxes from a lot of places. The liquor store or restaurants will have extra boxes they don’t need.

29. Get twice as many as you think you’ll need

It’s better to have extra than not enough — especially if they’re free!

30. Consider moving boxes

The better option, however, is moving boxes. The risk of breaking is much less.

31. Buy a few large, but mostly small boxes

Large ones should only be used for light items like blankets and towels. Small to medium-sized boxes can hold pretty much everything you own.

32. Cut handles in them

33. Grab a dolly

Rent or buy a dolly. You’ll be thankful you did.

34. Moving blankets

 

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Have moving blankets on hand for furniture. It protects it and makes it easy to move in the truck.

35. Consider moving straps

 

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This will take the weight off your legs and back when lifting heavy objects. These make moving a couch or fridge a breeze!

36. Categorize

Know where you want things to go BEFORE putting items in boxes. Kitchen, livingroom, bedroom, bathroom, and garage are a few to consider.

PRO TIP: If you’re moving to a bigger house, think about other categories than your current home. This will make unloading even easier!

37. Label label label

Have a labeling system. A marker and tape are the best tools.

38. Buy paper tape

This tape is easy to find on the role if it was ripped, easy to tear, and can be easily written on.

39. Protect with gloves

Moving heavy items is hard on the hands. Throughout the day your palms, fingers, and callouses will hurt.

40. Buy a box cutter

Use it to easily cut tape, make handles, or to cut off flaps.

41. Use colored packing tape!

 

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Make it fun with colored tape! It also makes it easier to know where items need to go in the new home.

42. Sharpie, pens, paper, and tape- — and keep it together!

 

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Have quick access to these for easy labeling!

43. Get packing material

You COULD get bubble wrap, but that’s expensive. Instead, opt to use household items like towels, blanket, socks, sweatshirts, newspaper, or plastic bags.

44. Look for the original boxes

TVs fit best in their original boxes, so if it’s in the attic, use it!

45. Buy a roll of stretch wrap

This plastic will be handy when moving furniture. It will protect it and protect any walls it may pump into. It will also keep the drawers closed.

46. Use wool string for opening boxes easier

A simple hack that will help make opening boxes easier! Place a string under the tape with a little extra in the ends. Pull the string to cut it.


CLEANING SUPPLIES

As you get ready to leave your old home, it’s best to clean as you go. Pack a room then clean it!

47. All the essentials!

You’ll need the essentials for cleaning before you move. A few to grab are a broom, a Swiffer, sponges, and bleach or other chemicals!

48. Fill in nail holes

Spackle the walls to prepare for new paint.

49. Don’t scuff walls with a hammer

Put a rubber band as an “X” on top of the hammer to prevent it from scuffing the wall when taking nails out.

50. Get stains out of carpet

Use this simple recipe to extract stains from carpet:

  • A cup of warm tap water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap (no more than this is needed)
  • 2 table spoons of rubbing alcohol
  • Add to a spray bottle
  • Spray area with recipe and use a shopvac to extract

51. Remove furniture dents in the carpet

Use ice cubes to raise carpet dents off the floor.

52. Clean hardwoods

Sweep the area well then mix warm water and a few drops of castile soap or dish soap in a bucket. Use an old towel or mop to clean the floors.


PACKING

About a week before, start pulling together the items you want to pack.

53. Start with decorations

Take down whatever is on the walls. Pictures, art, and decor can all come down and put in boxes.

54. Only pack what you DON’T need

Whatever you haven’t used in the last few months, go ahead and put that in boxes.

55. Designate “Open me first” clear bin

A few things to put in your box are paper towels, a blanket, an extension cord, and a drink to celebrate!

56. Go room by room

Start with the room you use the least and completely pack it and clean it. This will give you an idea of how much more you have to do.

57. Pack by category

Similar to packing by room, pack by category. Don’t forget to label!

58. “Last on, first off”

Designate a pile or area that will be “last on,” (like beds) to take off first when you arrive at your new home.

59. Pack well

Securely tape the bottom of the box, heavy things on the bottom, lighter on top, and don’t allow for much movement.

60. Use storage bins and luggage

You’ll have lots of extra storage around your house. Luggage and laundry bins make for great extra storage space.

61. Pack EVERYTHING in boxes

As best as you can, pack everything in boxes because it makes for easy stacking. Luggage may not be able to fit, but do your best.

62. Know what’s in each box

Number the boxes so you know what’s in each one. Keep a notepad with the corresponding box and items in it.

63. Don’t make boxes too heavy

Books will most likely be the heaviest thing you ship, use small boxes for this so you don’t hurt yourself lifting them.

64. But pack them full

Don’t allow for free space in the boxes. Utilize the space.

65. Pack breakables together

If you keep breakables together, you’ll be better able to protect them from breaking.

66. Put knives in an oven mitt

 

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Don’t cut yourself by putting your knives in an oven mitt.

67. Use dividers

Use dividers for mugs and glasses. This way you won’t need to use as much packing material. Find these at your local hardware store.

68. Glass? Tape it

If you have a glass table, tape a giant “X” across the top to prevent it from shattering in the case of possible breaking.

69. Label as “fragile”

Label all boxes as “fragile” if the contents inside could break.

70. Pack dishes and plates vertically

Rather than stacking, put them sideways. Then, all the pressure isn’t all on the bottom dish.

71. Small boxes for heavy items

Put your heaviest items — like books — in small boxes for easy carrying.

72. Use a garbage bag to hold clothing

 

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If you opt-out for leaving clothes in drawers, use a plastic bag to carry clothing. Even do the ones on hangers.

73. Vacuum-seal your clothing

Another way of packing clothes is by putting them in a vacuum-sealed bag and sucking the air from the bag.

74. Have Ziploc bags ready

Ziploc bags are handy for the little things that get left around. Keep one box designated for these full bags. It makes it easier to find later!

75. Use straws or toilet paper rolls for necklaces

Put necklaces in straws to keep them from tangling or knotting. Use toilet paper rolls for larger necklaces.

76. Use a pill case for earrings and rings

Buy a pill case at the dollar store to keep your earrings and rings together.

77. Press’n seal to lock jewelry in place

If you don’t want to use straws, this is another option. Pick some up at the grocery store.

78. Saran Wrap toiletries

A leaking bottle of soap can leave a mess in a box. Use plastic to seal the top before packing.

79. Important documents? Keep off the truck

It’s best to keep your important documents — like Social Security cards and passports — with you and not on the truck.

80. Properly pack electronics

Moisture can ruin electronics, so use Silica Gel to protect them from humidity.

81. Take photos to when taking things apart

Before you take apart electronics, snap a picture so you know how to put it together again.

82. Pack all the chargers together

Keep all the chargers and power cords in one place so you can easily find them later.

83. Pack a separate overnight bag

Pack a bag with clothes, toiletries, and other important overnight things in case you’re not able to find your packed items at the new house.


MOVING WITH YOUNG KIDS

If you have young kids, moving could be a big deal for them. Here are a few tips to help you ease the process for them.

84. Give lots of details

They need to know what life is going to be like. Give details about the new house, neighborhood, stores, and what life will be like.

85. Ask them to help

This is their move too! Ask them to help as much as possible.

86. Donate items at night

If you REALLY need to get rid of that one toy during the moving process, take it at night so they won’t notice it’s missing.

87. Have a few surprises

Buy them a new toy or go to a fun restaurant to keep their morale up.

88. Host a going-away party

If you’re moving far, let them invite their friends to say goodbye. This is good for you, too!

89. Show them pictures

Kids are very visual, so show them pictures of the new place — home, neighborhood, and school — to ease anxiety.

90. Pack them a “special bag”

Pack them a bag with their favorite toys and things to keep them busy while you move boxes and furniture.

91. Arrange a babysitter

If you can’t have the kids with you, arrange a babysitter for the big moving day.

92. Give them AND you grace

Moving is hard work. If they are crying or fussy, know that it’s probably because they’re tired. And if you’re fussy, it’s probably because of the same reason.


MOVING WITH PETS

Moving can be hard on your pets, so take the extra time to make it easy for them, too!

 

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93. Have ID tags secured in their neck

In case your pet runs away or gets lost, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re wearing an identification tag with their name, your name, and your phone number on it.

94. Have a collar and leash handy

For your dog, have a leash ready for walks when “nature calls” for your dog.

95. Have poopie bags or a litter box

Your animal will need to use the restroom at some point. Be ready when they do!

96. Wet wipes

Be ready with wet wipes in case there’s a bladder accident.

97. Have a crate or bed

If your pet finds safety in a crate or bed, bring it along for them so they feel “at home.”

98. Put dog’s food and water in the same room as before

As you’re moving out, keep your dog’s food and water in the same room if possible. This will encourage them to eat and not be as nervous.

99. Food and a bottle of water

As you leave, bring food and water for your dog and/or cat.

100. A clear photo of your pet

In the sad case of your pet running away or getting lost, have a clear photo of them to show people.

101. Meds

Don’t forget their medication if they’re taking some.

102. Toys

Bring a few toys for your pup or cat to keep them calm.

103. Grooming supplies

Bring a comb or brush to minimize hair shedding in the new house.


BIG DAY EVE

We’re just 24 hours away from the big moving day. Here are a few important things to have done on this day.

104. Be mindful

Be mindful throughout the day while packing. Take a moment to pause and consider what else needs to be done. This will help pace you and not overwhelm you.

105. Having cleaning supplies ready

Have your cleaning supplies ready for when you’re about to move out.

106. Have an easy breakfast ready

 

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Milk and cereal, bagels and peanut butter, Bananas and yogurt, or Pop-Tarts are all good options.

107. Have a snack bin ready

If you or the kids get hungry, have a snack bin ready with granola bars and water.

108. Defrost the fridge and freezer

Take everything out from the fridge, unplug it, take it outside, and open the doors. This will thaw the freezer. This will also keep it from leaking once on the truck.

109. Strive to have everything packed the day before moving day

If you can, try to have everything packed a day before moving day. This will give you a moment to relax and think about anything you forgot.


MOVING FROM THE OLD HOUSE

The big day has come! Here are a few things to remember as you move out of your old home

110. Wake up early

The early bird gets the worm. Waking early gives you a moment to breathe before moving ensues.

111. Lift with your knees

 

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Don’t hurt your back — lift with your legs.

112. Wear the right gear

Clothing that’s comfy and not loose is good moving day attire.

113. Bluetooth speaker

You’re gonna have to jam a little. Otherwise, moving may get hard and boring.

114. Don’t get locked out

Keep your keys with you at all times.

 

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PRO TIP: Use a rubber band to keep the door open.

115. Clean!

Clean the old house with the cleaning supplies you put aside. Don’t forget the window sills, vents, and fans.

116. Say goodbye

Moving can be sentimental. Take a moment to say your goodbyes before leaving the old house.


MOVING TO THE NEW HOUSE

You’re moving to the new home today! Here are a few things to remember as you move.

117. Take pics of the new place with nothing in it

Not only is this a good memory, but it’s also helpful in case something bad happens later. Insurance will need before and after photos. Or, your landlord will want to make sure it wasn’t that way when you moved in.

118. Clean the new home

Like the old house, clean the new home. Before nothing is in it, clean it from top to bottom.

119. Protect the new floor

If it’s not carpet, put down blankets to protect the floor from scratches and scuffs.

120. Consider where the big pieces will go

Before anything comes into the new home, think about where the big pieces will go.

121. Unpack!

Now it’s time to unpack! Put boxes in their designated areas according to categories.

122. Connect appliances

Plug the fridge in so it has time to cool as you unpack.

123. Consider alternate lodging

If you get to the new home late at night, consider staying at a hotel. A well-rested mover is a productive mover!

124. Make the bed first

If you decide to stay the night, pull the beds off first and make them. From our experience, you’ll move, move, and move some more until you fall in exhaustion. The bed will be ready to catch you!

125. Unpack the kid’s stuff second

The kids need to feel like they’re home from the very beginning. Unpack their toys and things first if possible.

126. Use blankets or install shades

As you prepare to go to sleep, cover the windows with a blanket or install shades. It may be bright at night and it would be nice to have that blocked out for a good night’s sleep.

127. Know when trash comes

Know when or where trash goes. You’re likely to have lots of trash accumulating as you unpack.

128. You don’t have to cook

Take the pressure off yourself and know that you don’t need to cook anything quite yet. Order takeout for a quick meal for you and the family.

129. Treat yourself!

 

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Once you feel like you’re in a good place, celebrate! The hardest part is done.

130. Change Social Security benefits address

If you’re receiving Social Security, you’ll need to change your address. Go to the Social Security website to receive assistance.


AFTER MOVING

After you’ve settled in a little, take heed of these things to make your moving process safer and easier.

131. Have locks changed

Once you get settled into your new home, you may want to have the locks changed. You never know who has a key to your new home.

132. Install security system

It may be wise to install a security system for added protection.

133. Check for other security risks

Check the doors, windows, garage, add a hidden safe.

134. Recycle packing materials

Take your packing materials to be recycled. Make sure it’s legal to drop them off.

135. Change toilet seats

Toilet seats are one of the germiest areas in a home. Change these to lower your germ risk.

136. Change air filters

Proactive homeowners will have changed the air filters along the way, but if they haven’t, now is the best time to do it. Clean air is important.

137. Try to be unpacked within two weeks

Having-half unpacked boxes laying around can be stressful. Find a place for everything.

138. Visit the DMV

Go here to change your address. Some states allow you to do this online.

In the state of New York, you have 30 days to change your driver’s License.

139. Update voter registration

Go to USA.gov to update your voter registration and address.

140. Find healthcare providers

Get a jump start on this so when you are sick, you’ll know where to go.

141. Register your vehicle

If you move to a new state, you’ll need to register it.

In New York, you have 30 days to register it.

142. Meet your new neighbors!

Take a moment to introduce yourself to your neighbors! You may need to ask them to help you with something later down the road. Or maybe they’ll need help.

143. Send moving announcements

Send out letters announcing your new move! If you love holiday cards, make sure your friends and family have your new address!


Contact Moishe’s Self Storage if you’re looking for cheap storage units in New York City to hold wine, art, or other things. Our Manhattan/The Bronx and Queens/Brooklyn Storage Facilities are conveniently located near you. We offer over 20 different storage unit sizes, available to individuals, students, and businesses. Reserve your room, view specials, or contact us.

Other resources to consider:

15 Reasons Why You Should Move To NYC In 2020

5 Ways To Find Cheap Storage In New York City

People Use Self-Storage For These 9 Reasons — Do You Need Storage?

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