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The Ultimate Moving Checklist, Tips, and Advice | TLC Moving & Storage

TLC Moving

Moving is a huge undertaking. The process can be daunting, especially if you’re trying to do it alone. To help make your move as stress-free as possible, we’ve put together the ultimate moving checklist. This list covers everything from packing tips to must-know information about your new home and the most common moving issues you may encounter.

We’ve also included a few fun moving day activities to help make the transition to your new home easier. So, whether you’re moving across town or the country, this moving checklist will help ensure that your move is as smooth as possible.

Packing Tips

Start packing early

The sooner you start, the less stressed you’ll be on moving day. Plus, it’ll give you more time to sort through your belongings and decide what you need to take with you.

Pack one room at a time

Don’t try to pack everything at once. Pack one room at a time and label each of your moving boxes with the contents and which room it goes in. This will make unpacking a lot easier.

Use sturdy boxes

You don’t want your moving boxes falling apart in transit. Be sure to use sturdy, well-constructed boxes.

Pack heavier items at the bottom of the box

This will help prevent the box from tipping over and damaging your belongings.

Wrap breakables in bubble wrap

This will help protect your fragile items from breaking during the move.

Don’t pack flammable or hazardous materials

These items should not be packed in with your other belongings. If you must pack them, label the boxes clearly so that the professional movers know to handle them carefully.

Must-Know Information About Your New Home

Before you move, it’s important to have a few key pieces of information about your new home. Here are a few important details to add to your moving checklist:

  • The address and phone number of your new home
  • The name and phone number of your new landlord or property manager
  • The utilities that are included in your rent
  • Whether there is any furniture included in the rental unit
  • The rules and regulations of the community or building you’ll be moving into

Fun Moving Day Activities

To help make moving day a little more fun, we’ve put together a moving checklist of activities you can do with your family and friends.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Have a picnic lunch: After all the boxes are packed and loaded into the moving truck, have a picnic lunch in your new yard or park.
  • Go for a walk: Explore your new neighbourhood and find the closest grocery store, coffee shop, or post office.
  • Visit a nearby attraction: If you’re moving to a new city, take some time to visit a nearby attraction. This could be a museum, zoo, or historic site.
  • Have a movie night: After a long day of moving, relax and watch a movie with your family or friends. Pop some popcorn and make it a fun evening in.
  • Take a final walk through your old neighbourhood and talk about all of the great memories you’ve created there.
  • Make a list of all the businesses in your areas, choose a few small businesses to visit first once you’re settled in.

Ideal moving timeline

4 weeks before moving checklist

Purge your belongings:

Now is the time to get rid of anything you don’t need or want. Have a garage sale, donate to charity, or throw away anything that you don’t want to bring with you.

Arrange for utilities to be turned off at your old home and turned on at your new home:

Contact your utility companies (electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash) and let them know when you’ll move.

Arrange for your mail to be forwarded to your new address:

Fill out a change of address form at your local post office or online at the USPS website. Whenever mail is sent to your old address, the post office will automatically forward it to your new address.

2 weeks before moving checklist

Confirm your move with the moving company:

Make sure you have a confirmed date and time for the move. If you’re doing it yourself, make sure you have reserved a moving truck.

Make travel arrangements, if necessary:

If you’re moving out of state or a long distance, make sure you have your travel arrangements (hotel, flights, etc.) all squared away.

Transfer your school records:

If you have kids, you’ll need to transfer their school records to their new school district.

Arrange for pet care:

If you’re going to be traveling with pets, make sure you have arranged for someone to take care of them during the move. This could be a friend, family member, or professional pet sitter.

1 week before your moving date

Finish packing:

Be sure to pack any remaining items and label all of the boxes.

Clean your old home:

You want to leave your old home in good condition for the new tenants or owners. If you put down a security deposit when you moved in, you may lose the security deposit if the home is left dirty or in poor condition.

Defrost your freezer and refrigerator:

If you’re moving in the summer, you’ll need to defrost your fridge and freezer a few days before the move. This will prevent food from spoiling during transport.

Moving day

Get an early start:

The earlier you start, the less stressed you’ll be. Plus, it’ll give you more time to get settled into your new home.

Pack a bag of essentials:

This should include things like toiletries, a change of clothes, medications, and any other items you’ll need during the first few days in your new home.

Make sure all of your belongings are loaded onto the moving truck:

You don’t want to leave anything behind.

Do a final walk through your old home:

Once everything is loaded up, do a quick walkthrough of your old home to ensure you didn’t forget anything.

Get settled into your new home:

Unpack your essentials first, and then start unpacking the rest of your boxes. Be sure to take some time to explore your new neighbourhood.

3 days after moving checklist

File a claim for any damaged belongings:

If any of your belongings were damaged during the move, be sure to file a claim with the moving company.

Reconnect your utilities:

Contact your utility providers (electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash) and let them know you’ve moved in.

Schedule a time for trash pickup:

Find out when trash is picked up in your new neighbourhood and be sure to put your trash out on that day.

Meet your neighbours:

Get to know the people who live around you. Introduce yourself and maybe even throw a housewarming party.

Explore your new neighbourhood:

Take some time to walk around and explore your new surroundings. Check out the local parks, restaurants, and shops.

Hiring a moving company/professional movers or renting a moving truck

Get multiple estimates:

Be sure to get at least three different estimates from different companies.

Ask about their insurance:

Make sure the company is insured in case any of your belongings are damaged during the move.

Confirm the date and time of your move:

You want to make sure you have a confirmed date and time for when the movers will arrive.

Get a written contract:

Be sure to get everything in writing so there is no confusion about what services are being provided and what the cost will be.

Pack your belongings:

Be sure to pack all of your belongings ahead of time so the movers can just load them onto the truck.

Be present on moving day:

You want to be there to supervise the loading and unloading of your belongings.

Inspect your belongings:

Once everything is unloaded, take a few minutes to inspect your belongings for any damage.

Sign the contract:

Once you’re satisfied with the move, be sure to sign the contract.

Ways to save money on your moving expenses:

Get multiple estimates:

Be sure to get at least three different estimates from different companies.

Do it yourself:

If you’re able, pack up your belongings and move them yourself. This will save you a lot of money.

Ask for discounts:

Some companies offer discounts for AAA members, seniors, students, and military personnel. Be sure to ask about any discounts that may be available.

Get rid of stuff:

The more stuff you have, the more it will cost to move. Get rid of anything you don’t need and you’ll save yourself some money.


Offer to do something for the company in exchange for a lower price. This could be something like painting their truck or helping them pack up boxes.

Haggle: Try to negotiate a lower price with the company. This is especially effective if you’re moving during the off-season or mid-week.

Tips for making your move go smoothly:

Start early:

The sooner you start packing, the better. You don’t want to be rushed and end up forgetting something important.

Get organized:

Make a list of everything you need to do and put it in a place where you can easily refer to it.

Pack smart:

Don’t pack things you won’t need right away. Pack them in labeled boxes so you know where everything is.

Get help:

Ask your friends and family to help you with the move. They can pack boxes, clean, and do other tasks to make the process easier.

Hire a professional moving company:

If you’re really stressed about the move, consider hiring a professional moving company. They will take care of everything for you so you can relax.

Enjoy the process: Moving can be a stressful time, but it can also be an exciting adventure. Try to focus on the positive and enjoy the experience.

Common moving issues to keep in mind

Damage to belongings:

One of the biggest concerns when moving is damage to your belongings. Be sure to pack them carefully and use insurance if possible.

Losing things:

It’s easy to lose track of things when you’re moving. Be sure to label everything and keep a list of what you’ve packed so you don’t lose anything.

Movers not showing up:

This is a rare but possible occurrence. Be sure to confirm the date and time of your move ahead of time and have a backup plan in case the movers don’t show up.

Extra charges:

Sometimes a moving company will try to charge you for extra for some professional moving services, such as packing or assembling furniture. Ask about all charges upfront, so you’re not surprised later.

Damage to your new home:

Another concern when moving is damage to your new home. Inspect everything before the movers leave and take pictures if possible.

The best way to avoid any issues during your move is to be prepared. If you know what to expect and plan, you’ll likely have a smooth and stress-free move. Thanks for reading! We hope this article was helpful.