Moving Checklist

Moving in Virginia?  Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your upcoming move:

Two Months Prior to Moving Day:

  • If you are using a mover, get a few estimates from moving companies.
  • If you are moving yourself, get costs from at least two truck rental companies.
  • Start going through your home and deciding what you want to move, and what you want to get rid of.  Note valuable items that will need special packing or extra insurance coverage, such as plasma TV’s, computers, and paintings.
  • Start a moving folder to keep track of estimates and receipts.
  • Arrange to have school records transferred to your child’s new school district.


Six Weeks Prior to Moving Day:

  • Select your mover, confirm dates, and get written confirmation of all the costs and details of your move.
  • Make arrangements for storage if necessary.
  • Order boxes and other packing supplies.
  • Create a floor plan of your new home for furniture placement.  Make sure you have enough room for your larger pieces of furniture and that you can get them through the door.
  • Start using foods (such as frozen and perishable foods) and cleaning supplies (such as bleach and aerosols) that you don’t want to move, or that are too dangerous to move.


Four Weeks Prior to Moving Day:

  • Start packing, beginning with things you use infrequently.  As you pack, note items of special value.
  • If you purchase supplemental insurance from your moving company, you must declare in writing any items valued at or over $100 per pound (a computer, for example).
  • If you are moving yourself, reserve a rental truck.
  • Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form, or do it online at
  • If you are moving out of the area, obtain copies of medical records or ask that they be forwarded to your new providers.  Ask for referrals.
  • Collect your important records – Gather personal and family records, including medical, dental, veterinary, and school records; legal and financial documents; birth certificates, passports, and insurance documents.
  • Alert the following about your move, either in writing, by phone, or online:
    • Banks
    • Credit-card companies
    • Brokerage firms
    • Insurance companies
    • Utility companies
    • Human-resources department at work
    • Doctors, other Health-care providers, veterinarian
    • Magazines and newspapers you subscribe to.


Three Weeks Prior to Moving Day:

  • Properly dispose of items that cannot be moved, such as flammable liquids.
  • If you are moving in or out of an apartment or Condo, arrange for use of the elevator.
  • Make child-care arrangements for moving day.
  • Hold your moving sale.


Two Weeks Prior to Moving Day:

  • Reconfirm the movers.
  • Arrange to dispose of items that were not sold in your moving sale.
  • Return any borrowed items (including library books) and retrieve any loaned items.
  • Assemble a file folder of information to leave for the new owner of your home.


One Week Prior to Moving Day:

  • Fill any prescriptions you’ll need in the next couple of weeks.
  • Aim to finish packing a couple of days before the moving date.
  • Have your boxes labeled and numbered.  Pack and clearly mark an “essentials” box of items you’ll need right away.
  • Pack a travel kit:  Put aside critical items like a checkbook, credit cards, personal phone book, ID, jewelry, important files, flashlight, keys, toiletries, tools, paper plates, cups, towels, travel alarm clock, aspirin, bandages and games for the kids. 
  • Pack suitcases for everyone in the family, with enough clothes for a few days.

A Few Days Prior to Moving Day:

  • Reconfirm the moving-day, arrival time, and other details with the moving company.
  • Prepare detailed written directions to your new home for the movers; including your contact information (a cell-phone number is ideal).
  • Set aside anything that will travel in your car, so it will not be loaded on the truck.
  • Pack a box of items that will be needed first at the new house.  Clearly mark this box “Load Last”.
  • Obtain cash or cashiers check for the trip and to pay the movers.
  • If moving yourself, dismantle beds and other large furniture.

Moving Day:

  • Make sure the truck that shows up is from the moving company you hired.  It should have the same USDOT (US Department of Transportation) number painted on the side that you were given when you collected the estimate. (Bait-and-switch scams are not unheard-of.)
  • Plan to be home for the entire time it takes the movers to get you packed and loaded.
  • Before the movers leave, sign and keep a copy of the mover’s bill of lading/inventory list.  Keep this paperwork in a safe place.
  • Take one last walk through and make sure nothing has been forgotten or overlooked.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked and switches are turned off.

 Delivery Day:

  • Check your belongings carefully and note on the inventory paperwork any damaged items.
  • On an out of town move, be prepared to pay the driver before your possessions are unloaded.
  • Supervise unloading and unpacking.

 Enjoy Your New Home!