After weeks of gathering personal information, printing off bank statements and tax records, and waiting for the bank to approve and underwrite your loan, the time has come—you’ve signed your lender’s paperwork and bought a new house. Now for the really fun part: packing and moving. In the hectic time to come, use this checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything important during your move.
A Month Before
Use it or lose it
Garage sale and donation time. Get rid of anything you aren’t planning on taking with you. Eat what you can from your pantry and try not to buy anything you won’t use up in a few weeks. Finish off near empty bottles of shampoo or cleaning supplies if possible.
Start gathering boxes. Before you buy them from a moving company, ask local drug stores, pet stores, or book stores if they have boxes you can take. Craigslist and local social media communities can also be good sources for free boxes. Buy tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, markers and labels.
Arrange a moving truck and/or professional movers
Price shop and book these with plenty of time to spare. This will allow you to read their policies, decide on mover’s insurance, and make a list of your expensive items.
Two Weeks Before
Start with items you won’t miss for a few weeks, like framed pictures, clothes that aren’t in season, or rarely used dishes. Be sure to label everything, and mark boxes clearly according to room so unpacking is a little less painful.
Let people know where you’re going
Fill out a Change of Address form at your local post office or online, and make a list of people and businesses that need to know your new address, such as your workplace, government agencies, credit card companies, doctor’s offices, insurance, magazine subscriptions, and online retailers or monthly subscriptions (think Amazon, BirchBox, Blue Apron). Pay attention to the mail you get in the next couple of weeks and update accordingly.
Contact the water and electric companies, internet, cable/satellite, and any services you subscribe to such as housekeeping or routine air conditioning service. Give them your move out date and forwarding address if needed.
Don’t leave packing until the last minute
Don’t do any packing on moving day; get it done ahead of time. Remember to keep an overnight bag of clothes and toiletries for easy access.
Confirm the movers
Double check that everything is set with the moving company if you are using one; you don’t want any unfortunate surprises on moving day.
Leave it nicer than you found it
Be sure to allow time for wiping countertops and vacuuming floors to leave the house looking nice for the next occupants. If the thought of cleaning after packing is too stressful, consider hiring a housekeeping company to do it for you.
Last but not least, enjoy your new chapter. This is an exciting time!