Table of Contents
- Download a Free Moving Checklist Template
- The Basics: What is a Moving Checklist?
- How to Write Your Own
- Why You Need One
1. Download a Free Moving Checklist Template
Text Template – just copy and paste!
When filling out your checklist, be as detailed as possible. Make sure to include a thorough description of the property, describe its present condition, and add any additional notes that will help you keep track of it.
Inventory and Pre-Move Essentials
|||Sort and purge||Take inventory of household items, and decide whether to keep, donate, or sell them|
|||Pack||Pack up non-essential items and out of season goods/clothes|
|||Sell/donate||Hold a garage sale or donate items|
|||Get quotes||Get quotes from movers, car movers, moving trucks (ex. U-Haul, Penske, Enterprise), and storage facilities|
|||Collect records||Obtain school, medical, dental, and insurance records|
|||Notify landlord/find agent to list or lease property||Send landlord a notification of intent to vacate / Secure a real estate or property management agent to handle property sale or lease|
2-4 Weeks Prior to Moving Date
|||Reserve movers||Reserve movers, moving trucks, and/or storage facilities|
|||Cancel services||Cancel recurring services/memberships, such as newspaper, cable, water, electricity, gas, trash collection, sewer, internet, lawn, pool, gym, and landline|
|||Notify government offices||Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security, IRS, and update your voter registration|
|||Change of address||Set up a forwarding address with USPS, change address for banks, credit cards, insurance companies, etc.|
|||Start Packing||Pack by separating items for movers and for yourself to take with you|
1 Week Prior to Moving Date
|||Pack for travel||Make sure to take items with you that aren’t suitable for movers to move, such as valuables, pets, plants, etc. Also, be sure to bring items you may need during travel and your first few days of move-in, as well as cleaning supplies for the new place|
|||Confirm movers and babysitter||Confirm your reservation with movers; sign a bill of lading, and, if needed secure a friend/relative to watch over small child(ren) on the moving day|
|||Clean||Start cleaning the old home to save time on your last day|
|||Final walkthrough||In order to ensure there’s no deduction from your security deposit, do a final walkthrough to ensure nothing is left behind and there's no damage to the property.|
|||Final clean and inspect||Ensure the place is cleaned for property owner's inspection|
MS Word Template – Free to Download
Our professionally drafted moving checklist template helps you account for all property before you move out or move in to a new place. Whether it’s something seemingly insignificant, like labeling boxes, or something more important, like notifying government and administrative agencies of your move, this checklist has you covered.
Using a moving list will help ensure your property, and sanity, is preserved. Additionally, it will help prevent and effectively resolve disputes with movers, should anything be lost or damaged.
If you are relocating due to work, some companies offer a relocation package, see if yours offers payment or arrangement of moving services.
2. The Basics: What is a Moving Checklist?
A Moving Checklist is an important document to help you stay organized whether you are moving out of, or into a new home, apartment, or condo. The reality of moving is that it’s a lot of work, and is often left until the last minute to figure out important specifics, resulting in lost or broken property, arguments with movers, and a hectic move-out or move-in day.
Just as driving cross-country is infinitely easier with a good map, or GPS, a comprehensive moving checklist makes the transition from one place to another seamless and organized.
As a reference, a moving checklist is often referred to as:
- Checklist for Moving
- Relocation Checklist
- Planning Checklist
- Moving Worksheet
- Moving List
- Home Moving Checklist
- Pre-Moving Checklist
Before moving, first conduct a property audit to determine whether or not you even need or want to pack it. Some apartments already come furnished, so if that’s the case, gather up anything you don’t need and stick a “Yard Sale” sign in front of it.
3. How to Write Your Own
Comprehensive moving lists typically include three to four sections and primary milestones; taking inventory and pre-move essentials, the packing and moving stage, any last minute final details and considerations, and the move out day itself.
Inventory and Pre-Move Essentials:
- Sort and purge
- Get quotes
- Collect records
- Notify landlord/find agent to list or lease property
Packing and Moving:
- Reserve Movers
- Cancel Services
- Notify government offices
- Change of address
- Start packing
Final Details and Considerations:
- Pack for travel
- Confirm movers and babysitter
- Final walkthrough
- Final clean and inspection
If you have been the victim of a careless or unsafe moving company, you can report them by calling the FMCSA nationwide complaint hotline at 1-888-363-7238 (1-888-DOT-SAFT), or by visiting their website www.protectyourmove.gov.
4. Why You Need One
If it wasn’t already apparent, you need a moving checklist when you are moving homes, apartments, or residences. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, every year, nearly 35 million Americans move homes or apartments. Additionally, in 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported over 3,100 consumer complaints about household goods movers, a statistic that has been steadily increasing over the years.
Some common reasons you should use a moving checklist include:
- You want to conduct a proper accounting of all your property,
- You need to inform relevant government and administrative bodies of your move,
- You have fragile property that you want to document,
- You want to document the current condition of all your property
- You’re helping a family member or friend move,
- You want to make sure you get your security deposit fully refunded,
- You want to minimize disputes with landlords and movers.
A moving list should be an imperative for anyone located in the following cities and moving out of state, as they have historically received the highest number of consumer complaints over the last decade.
- New York
- Los Angeles
- San Antonio
- San Diego
Before selecting your movers, you should first conduct online due diligence by using one of the many moving company review sites. Proper research and due diligence could mean the difference between a smooth and seamless moving process, and damaged personal property, including that fine china passed down by your grandparents.
Curb and prevent small issues, before they escalate into serious problems. Failing to use a moving checklist could result in an array of issues, including:
Lost and damaged property:
- In general, moving companies are responsible for loss or damage of property, however, sometimes that can be hard to prove. A moving checklist will properly document the property and its condition, leading to a clear-cut resolution should anything go missing or become damaged.
- Without a checklist, you risk complete and utter chaos when packing and unpacking, wasting time and energy on move-out and move-in day. .
- Future disputes with your landlord or movers could require excessive and stressful legal action or arbitration.
- If your movers lose or damage anything, not only have you wasted time, you’ve also wasted your money. A moving checklist will help ensure a proper accounting of property, so there is a higher chance of receiving a refund after you move out.
- Failing to tidy up, or account for certain property could cause hassle for your landlord, and result in the loss of your security deposit.