Start 2 Months Beforehand —The Ultimate Moving Checklist + Timeline

Everyone knows that moving is a long and involved process. You can choose to either stress out over the seemingly unlimited tasks that need to get done, or you can conquer your move by planning in advance. Here is a breakdown for what you should be doing prior to your move:


2 Months Before

Create A Moving Binder

This could be a physical binder, or if you prefer going paperless use an app like Evernote. Keep all your notes, receipts, confirmation numbers, and documents that you need for moving.

Start Collecting Estimates from Moving Companies

Begin to estimate how much your move is going to cost. Don’t forget to compare prices between companies and shop around. Or, let Moved do this for you. We’ll obtain the best quotes for your move, saving you time, stress, and money!


It is never too early to start getting rid of things you don’t need. Start early and work through one room at a time.

Get Updated Pet Records

This could be required by your new landlord or HOA, and will be much appreciated by your new vet.

1 Month Before

Get Doctor Recommendations For Your New Area

It can take several weeks for your current physician’s office to transfer your records over to a new office, so you don’t want to delay.

Host a Moving Sale

Sell the items you don’t want to take with you. If you live in an apartment or don’t want to host a sale, there are plenty of online options to choose from — try Craigslist, LetGo, or OfferUp. Donate anything that doesn’t sell.

Schedule a Donation Pick-up

Gather the items that you want to donate and call a donation center in your area that will pick up items. Be sure to schedule the pick-up at least one month before you move as they book up far in advance.

Gather Copies of Your Financial Records and Legal Documents

These are documents that you don’t want to worry about finding once everything is boxed up. Gather them into one place and make sure you know where they are at all times.

Start the Process of School Enrollment

If you have children find out what requirements they need to enroll in their new school, such as shot records and a physical.

Order Your Moving Supplies

You will need lots of boxes and packing supplies to protect your valuable items. Try contacting grocery stores and flower shops in your area to see if you can collect the boxes they are finished with.

Begin Packing the Items That You Do Not Use Often

Clearly label the boxes of things you already have packed away, such as holiday decorations

Reserve Your Moving Date With the Moving Company

Confirm the finer details of the move — such as suggested form of payment, what’s included and not included in the quote (i.e. disassembly of items, reassembly of items, insurance, arrival time, etc.).Read more here on working with a moving company.

3 Weeks Before

Start Using up Pantry and Freezer Food

When grocery shopping start to only buy what you need for the immediate time. You don’t want to pay extra to move boxes of cupboard staples.

Continue Packing

Work at a steady pace so you aren’t having to rush at the end. Taking your time will ensure that you have time to properly label your boxes as you go.

Think About Your “Essentials Bag”

This bag could include things like your Moving Binder, toothbrush, toothpaste, medication, phone charger, and a roll of toilet paper. This is a bag that you will take with you as you move instead of putting on the truck. Having the list prepared early will stop you from accidentally packing these items.

Develop a Plan for Moving Any House Plants

You cannot move them on the trucks. Depending on what type of plant you have, you could try shipping them or if at all possible bring them with you in your vehicle. If they are too large consider your option of just taking a clipping with you to start again in your new home.

2 Weeks Before

Make Travel Plans

If you are making a long-distance move you will need travel reservations. If you are driving long distance, have your car serviced to make sure it is ready and safe for travel.

Have a Moving Party

Throw yourself a moving party so you have a last chance to say good-bye to family and friends in the area.

Plan Your New Furniture Layout

Develop a plan for where you are going to place furniture in your new home. Draw a sketch to help movers place items in your new home.

Confirm Travel Dates with the Moving Company

Confirm dates and times with any company that will be involved with your move.

Create an Easy Menu Plan

The coming week is going to be busy and many of your kitchen items will be in boxes. Eliminate needing to spend time cooking and cleaning dishes.

Continue Purging Items and Packing

Really thing about what items you need and purge everything else.

Start Working on Your Change of Address Forms

Moved can update your address with the postal service, free of charge!

1 Week Before

Purge and Pack Everything

If you don’t use it on a daily basis it is time to pack it up. If you do use it on a daily basis then you will most likely want to mark it for your Essentials Bag.

Contact credit card companies and banks with your new location and moving date

Charges in a new location can cause your account to be flagged.

Prepare your appliances

If you are moving your refrigerator make sure that you empty and defrost it with at least 24 hours to go before your move.

Pack your outdoor items

Drain water from the outdoor hose and prepare all outdoor furniture and landscaping items for the move. Drain gasoline from lawn mowers, trimmers, and other equipment.

Deep clean the house or apartment

If you were renting make sure you do any repairs necessary to get your security deposit back.

Notify your service providers and utility companies about your move

This includes trash, lawn-care, daycare, electric, cell phone, internet etc.

Transfer memberships

If possible transfer your memberships at places like health clubs, gyms, or business networking groups.

Day Before Moving

Pack your essentials bag

Include any clothes you will need for moving day and a few days until you are settled in your new home

Complete the remainder of packing

It’s time for anything that is still unpacked to get packed.

Moving Day

Start early

Moving day always takes longer than expected so start early.

Get ready for the movers

Place flooring protector throughout your house since your helpers or movers are not going to be taking shoes on and off as they enter and exit.

Double check all rooms

Look inside of closets and cabinets to make sure that you have not forgotten anything. Don’t forget the attic, basement, and garage if you have them.

Have a moment

Take one minute to walk through once your home is empty and soak in all the good memories that you had. Then make sure all windows and doors are locked and the keys have been transferred.


Hang on to all of your receipts for your moving expenses.

If any discrepancies come up later you will want to have a good record.

If you have moved states get your new driver’s license and tags for your vehicle

This process differs from state to state. Contact the DMV prior to going into the office so you know exactly what you need to have. Keep your vehicle titles, birth certificate, and proof of residency together in one location during your move.

Register to vote

If moving out of state this is easily completed when obtaining your new driver’s license.

Send out a change of address to all family and friends

Family and friends might not send you mail on a regular basis so make sure you notify them of your new address. The change of address card that you complete with the USPS will not help if they mail you something after the 6 month period.

Settle in and get to know your new home

Take time to enjoy establishing your new home. Hit the streets and find your new favorite restaurants and hang out spots.


Here is a printable version of our moving checklist!


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4 Reasons You Should Move More Often

We get it — the thought of moving typically send shivers down your spine. The packing, the unpacking, scheduling movers, changing your address— the process can feel overwhelming. But, there is actually a lot that can be gained from moving more often.

1. Moving Gives You a New Adventure

If you aren’t excited about where you live, it’s time to make a move! There are so many places to explore and things to see.

Try making a BIG move and set off to a new state. Head to the coast and experience the salt life — fresh seafood dinners, beautiful beaches and the sand between your toes. Maybe take off to the mountains and live the ski bum / hiker life. The country is filled with unique adventures!

Is that a little too much adventure for you? Do you have a job you love and don’t want to leave? Find a new place within your current city to move. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of visiting the same restaurants and activities within close proximity of your home. Shake it up a bit! Moving lets you find new restaurants, new social groups, new night life, and maybe even a new hobby or two.

Whether you are moving neighborhoods or across the country, a new adventure will await you.

2. Moving Can Save You Money

That’s right! Chances are when you think of moving you think of all the money you will be spending — first and last month’s rent, security deposit, professional movers, boxes, bubble wrap, and all that comes along with it. But, making a move can actually benefit you financially. Here are some ways you can save money:

  • Finding a place that is cheaper to rent will save you money month after month.
  • Mortgage rates are still close to record setting lows. You might be able to make the jump to being a homeowner and put your money towards a long-term investment.
  • Stuff might cost less. Retailers charge different prices based on the area. You could move one zip code over and find your favorite products at the store for a lower price.
  • Lower property, income and sales taxes.
  • A shorter commute can save you some cash on gas, cabs or public transportation.
  • All those coupons! When you change your address, you get a magical envelope in the mail with all kinds of coupons and discount codes. (Ok, so maybe this alone isn’t the best reason to move, but you’ll save a bit on new home purchases.)

3. Moving Makes You Eliminate Junk

Let’s face it, once you have lived in a place for a few years you have accumulated a lot of stuff that you don’t need anymore. It may be things that meant something to you at the time, but don’t anymore, or just things you held onto for no reason at all.

Start by getting rid of the things that you have never used or will never use again. Do you still have that Crock-Pot that you got for your birthday from Grandma last year? What about a bag full of stuffed animals from when you were a child? Or clothes that have been pushed to the darkest parts of your closet? Moving is the perfect time to rid these items.

Next, move on to the things that you have too many of. Do you really need 40 winter jackets, 50 pairs of shoes and 200 books that you’ve already read? Choose a few of your favorites and toss (or donate!) the rest.

4. Moving Gives You a Fresh Start

Everyone needs a fresh start from time to time. Maybe you received an exciting new job opportunity with a big pay raise in a new city. Or, maybe the end of a relationship is giving you the chance to find a new start. Whatever event is going on in your life, a move to new home can be just the thing you need.

The place you live is more than four walls — it’s your home and it holds memories and reminders of the past. If the time has come for you to move on, do it!

Let’s be honest… sometimes the process of moving can suck. But, the results of moving can payoff for you mentally, relationally and financially.

The Top 5 Rental Truck Companies

If you’ve decided to move yourself, and you want to hire a rental truck, you should know what options are available to you. While most cities will have many local options for you to choose from, there are five major national rental truck companies: U-Haul, Budget, Penske, Ryder and Enterprise.

Here’s what you need to know about each one:


U-Haul is by far the most popular and well-known rental truck company out there. Here are some notes…

  • Over 20,000 locations across the U.S.
  • Widest selection of truck rental options: pickup trucks, cargo vans, 10’, 15’, 17’, 20’, 26’ trucks. Added bonus: even their smallest truck (10’) can tow vehicles.
  • A number of cargo, utility and car trailers available for rent.
  • U-Box containers: these are basically portable storage containers.
  • One month of free self-storage with one-way equipment rentals.
  • Guaranteed reservations: if the equipment you reserved is unavailable when you need it, you get $50.
  • Storage/packing materials available for purchase: boxes, tape, furniture pads, plastic wrap, bubble wrap, etc.
  • Reserve with cash, credit or debit cards.
  • Offers one-way move options (good for long distance moves).


  • Four different vehicle options: cargo van, 12’ 16’ and 24’ trucks. The 16’ and 24’ trucks both have 3 seats available in the cab, tow capacity and a loading ramp for easy loading.
  • Car carriers and tow dollies available for rental.
  • You can also rent furniture pads and hand trucks (dollies).
  • No reservation guarantees. Of course, Budget claims they do not overbook, but sometimes overlap can happen, and if it does, you’re left in the dust.
  • Credit card required for reservations.
  • Offers one-way move options (good for long distance moves).
  • Discounts for military, veterans, students, police, fire and EMT, AARP, motor club and Bar Association members.


  • Large fleet of over 50,000 trucks, which Penske claims are the newest and best-maintained vehicles in the business.
  • 2000 pick-up/drop-off locations, including all Home Depot locations.
  • 12’, 16’, 22’, 24’ truck rental options. Loading ramps and vehicle towing available on the three largest truck options.
  • Packing supplies available for purchase, including boxes, tape, furniture pads, mattress bags, hand trucks, box cutters, bubble wrap, etc.
  • Offers vehicle towing equipment rentals and self-storage options.
  • Guaranteed reservations if made 48 hours in advance.
  • Offers one-way move options (good for long distance moves).
  • Discounts for military, veterans, students.


  • 500 pick-up locations across the continental US.
  • Rental options include cargo vans and 20’ and 26’ trucks, both of which have lift-gates.
  • No vehicle towing options available for rental and you are not allowed to tow your own trailer if you have one.
  • Does not offer one-way move options, so best for local moves. You can take the truck as far as you want, but you’ll have to return it to the same place from which you picked it up.
  • Credit card required for reservations.


  • 250 pick-up locations across the continental US.
  • Many rental options: 15’, 16’, 24’, and 26’ trucks, ½ ton, ¾ ton and 1 ton pickup trucks and five cargo van options. The largest three trucks have lift gates.
  • No vehicle-towing equipment available for rent. To tow your vehicle, you’d need to rent the ¾ ton or 1-ton pickup truck and use your own car carrier or tow dolly.
  • No one-way rental options, so only good for local moves.

For more information on rental trucks, check out our guide on Finding the Best Rental Truck Deal.

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How to Move Awkward Things: Art and Aquariums

Another post in our “How to Move Awkward Things” series!


If the painting is covered in glass, start at step 1. If it’s not covered in glass, skip to step 3.

  1. Tape a large “X” across the glass so that, if it breaks, it will stay in place.

  2. Cover the glass fully with cardboard, carpet, foam or a drop-cloth.

  3. Wrap the painting in bubble wrap, and tape it in place.

  4. Place the painting in a box, and add packing materials (bubble wrap, paper, packing peanuts, etc.) until it is secure. Most moving and shipping companies will sell appropriately-sized boxes, or you create your own with some cardboard and strategically applied tape.

  5. Write “Painting — FRAGILE” on the side of the box.


First and foremost, you want to minimize the amount of time your fish will spend outside of the aquarium. Moving is extremely stressful for your fish, so your aquarium should be one of the last things you take down, and one of the first things you put up in your new home.

If you’re moving locally, bring as much water from the tank with you as possible. Fish are highly sensitive to water chemistry, and reintroducing them to the same water environment will make the move much easier on them. Clean 5-gallon buckets are useful for this. If you’re moving long distance, however, you’ll most likely need to start over and set up your aquarium as if it was brand new.

For transport, fish and plants can be kept safely in sealed bags half-filled with water for 1–2 hours at most. For longer moves, go with a sealed bucket, and for moves of a few days or weeks, ask a local pet store if they can take your fish/plants while you move. Some will even air-ship your fish to you afterward.

Finally, make sure to have plenty of towels/rags on hand to deal with the inevitable spills!

  1. Using a siphon hose, siphon off a sizeable portion of the tank water into prepared buckets.

  2. Remove all the decorations, taking care that no fish are hiding in them.

  3. Remove any live plants, placing them in bags or water-filled buckets for the trip.

  4. Soak the fish-net in water for 10–15 minutes to soften it, then use it to gently transfer your fish to bags or buckets. Depending on the length of the move, consider aerating the buckets to make sure the fish have enough oxygen.

  5. Remove pumps, filters and heaters.

  6. Siphon off the rest of the water and remove all the gravel.

  7. Move the tank.

When moving back in, simply reverse the process. Put the gravel back in, then the water, decorations plants and fish. Set up the filters/heaters, but let the water sit for 30 minutes or so before turning on the heater again.

Over the next few days, check the tank-water often to make sure it is the right temperature and pH balance.

For help moving other awkward things, check out our guides on Electronics and Expensive Clothes and China and Couches.

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How to Move Awkward Things: Electronics and Expensive Clothes

Here’s another post in our “How to Move Awkward Things” series!


  1. Back up your computers! Beyond being an expensive hassle, a damaged computer can also mean lost documents, photos, music and movies. Invest in an external hard-drive or some online cloud storage (or both).

  2. Remove batteries, CDs, DVDs, ink cartridges, etc.

  3. Before disconnecting wires, use color-coded stickers to mark which wires go where, or take photos, for easy reinstallation in your new home.

  4. Pack multi-part stereo systems and the like together, and keep wires, remotes, etc. with the things they go to.

  5. The best way to pack electronics is to use the original boxes and padded foam inserts. Make sure to wrap the electronics in plastic bags first, or wrap in clean linens or packing paper, to keep out dust. If you have the manuals, check them for any specific instructions they have regarding moving the device.

  6. You can sometimes buy replacement packaging from the manufacturer, including the foam inserts.

  7. You can also find most manuals online these days.

  8. If you don’t have the original boxes, follow the same dust-avoidance step as above, and then wrap each piece in bubble wrap, blankets or moving pads for extra protection. Don’t be afraid to go overboard here — the more protection the better!

  9. Consider packing each piece of electronics in two boxes for extra protection. Pack the device in one box, using peanuts or padding to ensure a snug and secure fit, then put that box into a bigger box, with more padding or peanuts.

  10. Pack speakers and screens standing right-side up.

  11. Large flat-screen TVs may require special wooden crating. Be careful and don’t injure yourself while moving!

  12. Write FRAGILE, and THIS WAY UP on at least two opposite sides of each box.

  13. Electronics are extremely heat-sensitive, and should be kept in climate-controlled areas when moving. As the back of a moving truck is not climate-controlled, this means keeping electronics with you in your car whenever possible.

  14. Finally, consider purchasing extra insurance coverage for all your electronics. As explained in our guide to moving insurance, most moving companies’ basic insurance coverage will not fully cover the cost of valuable items like electronics.

Expensive Clothes

  • First time movers may not know that there is such a thing as a wardrobe box! These helpful boxes come with a built in metal rod for you to hang clothes from. This is your best bet when you are moving expensive, designer clothes.

  • If you haven’t already, now is the time to ditch the wire-hangers and invest in some quality, wooden or padded hangers.

  • Fill shoes with balled up socks to help them keep their shape, and wrap them in tissue paper and bubble wrap or paper to avoid scratches.

  • If you know your clothes will be in long-term storage, you might want to use mothballs or natural alternatives such as sachets of lavender, cloves or cedar chips. Also, avoid plastic containers as clothes cannot breathe in them well and could end up damaged.

For help moving other awkward things, check out our guides on Art and Aquariums and China and Couches.

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How to Move Awkward Things: Couches and China

It’s moving day, and everyone is busy packing except you. You are standing in the living room, hands on your hips, looking back and forth between the couch and the door. How am I supposed to get this thing out of here?!

Have no fear! We are here to help, with this first post in our “How to Move Awkward Things” series. Let’s get started!


Your weapon of choice in this battle is the measuring tape. Measure the width, height (with and without legs, if they are removable), and length of your couch. Then measure the width and height of whatever area you need to move your couch through, whether it’s a stairwell, elevator or door frame.

Do a general measuring of the space on the other side of what you want to squeeze the couch through as well. There’s no point in successfully moving the couch through a door only to get stuck in the stairwell!

You have three options for fitting a couch through a doorway:

  1. If the doorway is wider than the couch, you are good to go! Simply walk it on through.

  2. If the doorway is wider than the couch is tall, then you can turn it on its side (with the legs pointing horizontally), and walk it through that way.

  3. If the doorway is taller than the couch is long, then you can stand it upright and angle through the door.

If none of the above situations is going to work case, try removing the couch legs or taking the door off its hinges for a few extra inches of wiggle room, or simply look for other ways to get in/out of the room, such as a back door or a large side-window.

If all else fails, you can always call a professional to take the couch apart, move it and put it back to together in your new home — an effective, but expensive option.


These items are obviously very fragile, and need as much protection as they can get. Here’s what to do:

  1. Layer the bottom of the box with packing peanuts, packing foam or wadded newspaper. This is an important step, so don’t skip it or skimp on the padding!

  2. Wrap each piece in bubble-wrap or newspaper (or both).

  3. Place large serving platters on the bottom.

  4. Stack cups, bowls, dishes, etc. in sets of three or four, upside down.

  5. Plates are strongest standing up on their edges, and should be packed accordingly.

  6. For serving dishes with lids, wrap the dish and lid individually, then together.

  7. Continue packing the box this way until it’s full, then fill any remaining space with extra packing materials, until everything is snug and secure. You want there to be no wiggle-room.

  8. Top the box with extra packing materials, close it and tape it up, and write FRAGILE — CHINA/CRYSTAL in big letters on the box!

For help moving other awkward things, check out our guides on Electronics and Expensive Clothes and Art and Aquariums.

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Do You Really Need A Moving Company? The Answer.

DIY vs Hiring A Mover

Moving is an exciting time in your life. It can also be extremely hectic.

The first question you need to answer is how you will move your stuff from point A to point B. “Should I hire a moving company? Should I do it myself?”

Fear not.

The best way to answer this question is to calculate how much your move would cost to do on your own vs with a company.

The “do on your own” calculation must also include the time you will personally have to put in to coordinate everything and make it happen.

Time = Money!

The more complex your move is, the more valuable a moving company will be to you. So here’s how you gauge the complexity and cost to figure out if you need one…

1) The Distance.

The move’s price increases with distance. There is the obvious cost associated with gas and tolls, but also consider that the moving company takes on more risk with every extra mile. The further they need to transport cargo, the riskier it is. Additionally, if you are paying by the hour, this travel time will increase your final cost.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a company, the shorter the move, the easier and less expensive it is. This won’t give you the answer but it’s the first input into your cost equation.

2) The Volume.

How much stuff do you have? If you’re packing up a 3 or 4-bedroom place, it’s going to get crazy and you’re going to spend a lot of time packing, organizing, loading, unloading, and unpacking.

With that sort of size, a moving company is the better call. It’s more efficient, cost-effective, and will save you a lot of time. For a studio or 1-bedroom, you likely can do it yourself but that also depends on…

3) The Large and Fragile.

If you have stuff that is large and/or fragile, it will likely require special tools, multiple people, or experience with such moves to do it successfully. This is where a moving company excels.

This doesn’t mean you can’t do the move yourself, but it’s a factor to consider. Some people will do everything themselves but hire movers specifically for the large and fragile stuff. This approach can help drive overall cost down while making sure these items are properly handled.

4) The Extras.

Many moving companies offer things like packing, storage, installation and assembly & disassembly of furniture. These obviously cost more money but the convenience is worth it for many people.

Avoid this fate — let your movers handle assembly

Avoid this fate — let your movers handle assembly

Again — the more complex (determined by the above) your move is, the more value you will get out of hiring a moving company.

Get a few quotes from reputable moving companies (or have a Moved Concierge do it for you!) and compare those to what it would cost for you to do it by yourself. For that calculation make sure you account for the time it will take you, the coordination headaches you’ll endure, and consider if you have the supplies and friends to help you get it done or if you’ll have to pay for those things anyway.

Should you decide to hire a moving company, the next thing to figure out is what type of mover you need.

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