A moving checklist is your first line of defense against forgetting something very important. For that reason, it’s a good idea to make yours as early as possible and refer to it often. At Mover Junction, we have a ready-made moving checklist that’s a great place to start. It covers nearly all of the essentials, and you can add other items that are unique to your family if necessary.
Even if you’ve moved household a number of times, reminders are always a great idea. The U.S. Census Bureau says that the average person goes through about 11 moves in a lifetime. That’s 11 chances to take an aspirin, or to make the process a lot easier.
Here are just a few of the hassles a good moving checklist can prevent:
#1: Moving Unnecessary Belongings
The quote that you receive from movers is based, at least in part, on the volume of belongings and furniture that they’ll load, transport and unload. Long before you get an in-home assessment from different moving companies, pare down what you own. You could host a garage sale, donate to charities or both.
#2: Hiring the Wrong Moving Company
Without a checklist, you’ll likely scramble to find a moving company. The best carriers might not be available, which minimizes your choices. You could even have trouble scheduling the move on the date that you need. Planning well in advance opens up more opportunities for you with a wider range of movers. You might also pay a higher fee for a last-minute decision where movers have to rush to issue a quote and put you on the schedule.
#3: Running Short on Moving Supplies
Anyone who has moved households at least once has probably needed more supplies partway through the job. With a checklist, you’ll remember to buy or find plenty of boxes, padding, tape and markers so that you don’t have to stop working to make a run to the packing store. It’s a good idea to estimate how much packing you’ll need after you’ve trimmed down your household belongings.
#4: Last Minute Packing
Packing right takes a lot of time, so you’ll need to think about that well in advance. Schedule several packing days and add that to your checklist. Otherwise, you’re more likely to pack in a hurry, which leads to all sorts of problems once the boxes arrive at your new home. Fragile items might be broken, boxes might be mislabeled, and some things might go missing entirely.
#5: Misplaced Personal Belongings
Hand in hand ample packing time is knowing where all of your belongings are. Remind yourself via the checklist to label every box well. This tells movers where to take the boxes, and it also helps you see at a glance what’s inside once you start to unpack. A box marked “miscellaneous” might land anywhere, which means you’ll go through loads of boxes until you find what you’re looking for.
#6: Delayed Mail Delivery
A checklist can remind you to set up a change of address with the USPS. You’ll also probably want to issue a hold on mail until you arrive and move in. Otherwise, the carrier won’t know, mail will accumulate in your mailbox, and you could lose some mail.
#7: Running Low on Prescriptions
Remember to get prescriptions filled long before you move. This should go near the top of your checklist, as you probably can’t refill unless you’re close to using the last of a medication. In some states, pharmacies won’t honor a prescription from an out-of-state physician, which can leave you without important medication. To be extra safe, ask your physician about a 60- or 90-day prescription so you’ll be sure about not running out.
#8: Packing Items You’ll Need
Without a checklist and a good plan, you might pack items that you’ll need along the way. If you’re moving across town, that’s probably not a huge problem. If you’re moving farther away, you might need that toothbrush and toothpaste that was accidentally packed in the bathroom box.
Moving is never easy, and it’s usually more time consuming than you predict. But with a good measure of preparation on the front end, you’ll temper a lot of the stress that usually accompanies it. And when you’re ready to shop for a transportation pro, we’ll help you find a moving company that handles your household with care.