Moving Checklist

When you buy your new NorCal home and relocate to Northern, CA, one of the challenges you will face will be creating a system to keep track of not only all your belongings, but keeping track of your schedule as well.  The following moving checklist and moving tips may help organize your time and make the process a little more manageable.

What to do before you move:

  • Sort through your belongings to reduce the number of things you move. Rule of thumb: If you haven’t used it in a year, consider getting rid of it instead of paying to move it. Donating to a qualifying charity and receiving a tax deduction is sometimes a great option, too.
  • Have a garage sale (or sales).
  • Decide whether to move yourself or hire a professional; the cost to move yourself will be much lower, but the time commitment and added risk of damage are both significant. Get bids from 3 professional movers and compare. Hint: Take (and save) digital pictures of important items before they’re moved. Don't pack the camera!
  • Gather packing supplies: boxes, packing material, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper (blank newspaper), felt markers, scissors, etc.
  • Transfer, sell or resign memberships in clubs and associations.
  • Place legal, medical, financial, insurance and personal records in a safe and accessible location. There are online options for this now.
  • Establish credit in your new city in advance of the move, if possible.
  • If you are making a long-distance move, make travel arrangements with the airlines, hotel and rental car agency. If you're driving to your new home, use Google or Yahoo Maps and plan your best travel route. Depending on the season, this may not necessarily be the shortest route.
  • Arrange for school authorities to transfer your children's school records to your new location.
  • Separate goods going into storage.
  • Purchase appropriate insurance binders for valuables being moved.

4-6 weeks before moving:

  • Pack any items that aren't regularly used, such as off-season clothes and decorations and items in storage areas (garage, attic and closets).
  • Notify post office, utilities, professional services, insurance agencies, business government and public offices and any magazine subscriptions. Much, if not all of this can now be done online.
  • Make travel arrangements for your pets, if necessary.
  • If you're driving, get your car tuned up; check on any required repairs and consider joining AAA.
  • Obtain contact info of utility companies in new city. Utilities can sometimes be connected before you arrive – now typically done online. We have a long list of local moving and new-resident resources here.
  • Use up supplies of household items to avoid moving them. Most moving companies will not take them and will not cover any damage caused by you discretely packing them.
  • Back up important computer files to CD's, in the cloud, or an external hard drive.
  • Inventory items being moved to help determine the amount of valuation. Keep written and digital-photo records.

2-3 weeks before moving:

  • Confirm your pack dates with the moving company and supply destination phone numbers.
  • Sign up for services and utilities at your new residence. Hint: Try to avoid having to place new deposits by referencing your previous account(s).
  • Move/change your cell phone carrier and service. Hint: You should be able to keep your main number even if you switch carriers. It’s also a good time to re-evaluate service plans.
  • Take all pets to the veterinarian. Many states require health certificates and rabies vaccinations.
  • Return library books and anything borrowed from friends and neighbors.
  • Call friends and family and recruit help for the moving day, if necessary.
  • Confirm your travel arrangements.
  • Arrange to close or transfer your bank account(s), if appropriate. Pick up items from safe deposit box.

1 week before move:

  • Pick up items from the cleaners, repair shops or friends.
  • Pack a survival kit of clothes, medicines, special foods.
  • Finish packing all boxes minus what you'll need in the final week.
  • Inform the Post Office of your upcoming move and new address. Change of address can now be done online.
  • Plan on appropriate transportation for your pets.

Send Change of Address cards with your new address and phone number to:

  • Friends and family.
  • Banks, insurance companies, credit card companies and other financial institutions.
  • Magazines and newspapers.
  • Doctors, lawyers, accountant, and other services providers.
  • State and federal tax authorities and any other government agencies as needed. Tip: The IRS has a specific form to change your address.
  • Workplace, schools, etc.
  • Voter registration office and department of motor vehicles.

The Day Before:

  • Set aside moving materials such as tape measure, pocket knife, bubble wrap and rope.
  • Pad corners and stairways of house.
  • Lay down old sheets or moving pads in the entry and hallways to protect floor coverings.
  • Remove/secure hanging fixtures out of the way to prevent damage.
  • If moving yourself, pick up the rental truck and a hand truck or dolly to move heavy boxes.
  • If you're driving, check oil and gas in your car; check tire pressure.
  • If you're traveling, make sure you have tickets, charge cards and other essentials.

Moving Day:

Carry with you:

  • The keys to your new house.
  • Map of new town and directions to your new house.
  • The telephone number of the moving company. Hint: Try to get the driver’s cell phone number; write it down and save it in your cell phone.
  • Cash or travelers’ checks.
  • Documentation related to the sale of your home.
  • Your insurance policies and agent's phone number.
  • Your current address book or personal planner.
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines.
  • Enough clothing to get by if the movers are late. Hint: They will be late.
  • Check all closets, cabinets and storage lockers for articles overlooked.
  • Have dishes washed and dried and unplug the TV so it is at room temperature when ready to be loaded on the truck.
  • Any important personal records and documents.
  • Any items of great personal value to you that are virtually irreplaceable (for example, a photo album).
  • Sheets and towels for the first night in your new home. Hint: Be prepared to sleep on the floor when the mover is late - a blow-up mattress is a good back up to have on hand.
  • Personal hygiene items (for example: toothpaste, soap, razor).

Arrival day:

  • Show movers where to place furniture and boxes as they come into the house.
  • Check inventory to ensure that everything was delivered before signing delivery papers. Note any damages on the inventory sheet and take digital photos. Tip: It's helpful to have the movers read off the inventory numbers on boxes and furniture while you check the inventory list.
  • Unpack any valuable items, such as silver, art and jewelry upon arrival.

After the move:

  • Walk and drive around your neighborhood and community to orient yourself and your family.
  • Get new driver’s license, library cards, voter registration cards, bus passes, etc.
  • Register your children in school, if necessary.
  • Make sure you get the contact info for your new HOA, if applicable.
  • Introduce yourself to your new neighbors
  • Start living the good life in Northern California . . .