Moving is a huge task and one of our most stressful life events.  It is easy to let things slip when you have so much to do.  So before you start your packing, it is a good idea to create a checklist of things that people tend to forget when moving.  Check items off as you complete them to ensure you do not forget anything.

  1. Notify your children’s new schools– Generally, it is a good idea to notify the new school several months before moving day. Let them know if your child has any special needs and ask them what information they need from the child’s current school.
  2. Let Caregivers, dog walkers, landscapers, etc. know- If you regularly use a nanny, baby-sitter, dog walker, lawn mower, or any other type of hired help, its considerate to give them a couple of months’ notice. If they are a paid service, they will want time to fill your time slot.
  3. Have the post office forward your mail- It can be easy to forget to have your mail forwarded to your new address. You can change your address with your credit card companies, cell phone companies, banks, etc., but there is bound to be something that gets forgotten. By informing the post office to forward any mail you receive to your new address, you will ensure that nothing gets lost.
  4. Label/Color-code boxes- It seems obvious but many people forget to label boxes. This makes it much more difficult when it comes time to unpack. One of the best ways to label is to assign each room a color and use colored markers to label the boxes accordingly.
  5. Purchase the correct packing materials- In the months leading up to your move, begin saving newspapers and supermarket circulars to use as padding. You can also get rolls of bubble wrap or other packing materials from the post office or FedEx locations. (Pick it up while having your mail forwarded!) You can purchase moving boxes and packing tape there as well. It can be difficult to calculate the number of boxes you will need, so it is always best to overestimate. It’s better to have more than you need than to run out!
  6. Create an Essentials Box- There will be some items that you will need immediately upon arrival in your new home. Things like toiletries and cleaning products, for example, should go in your Essentials Box. This should be kept in the car with you to be easily accessed. Think about the time of day you are moving. When you arrive at your new home will it be too late to begin unpacking?  If so, you will want your bedding and pillows, toothbrushes and shower essentials to be accessible.  If you will eat before you unpack, add some dishes and silverware, some snacks and maybe the coffee maker. If you have young children, put some of their toys or a DVD in there as well, to keep them occupied while you unpack.
  7. Do a final walk through– Once you have everything packed and loaded into the moving truck, do one final walk through in the empty house. If anything has been left behind, it will be easy to spot in an empty room.

While moving can be overwhelming, planning ahead and staying organized with make a huge difference. If you hire movers, many of these things will be taken care of for you, but if you are doing it on your own, start early enough that you will be sure to have enough time.  Things tend to get forgotten much more often when we are rushing.

For more moving tips, visit our Moving Tips and Moving Checklists pages.