Moving Checklist: RealtorKJ

The whirlwind of moving can quickly take on the effects of a hurricane when you add in kids, pets, or special circumstances. As is the case with most things in life, planning is key!

Whether you have six months, or six days to get it all done, just take a deep breath, prepare and let’s get planning!

Once you have decided to move, and established a loose timeline, its time to prep, prioritize and pack. Knowing what you touch and use daily as opposed to items in closets, storage and in the very back of cupboards makes it easier to start packing early on. If you are able to spread the work out, you, your family, and your pets will all feel at ease.


It may seem strange to think about unpacking before you start packing. Spend an evening visualizing the space you are going into. If you don’t have anything concrete, then use how you’d like the space to look and function once you’re unpacked. Using this method, you are able to create logical boxes that are easy to pack and unpack. This is also a benefit if you’re enlisting help to get packed up.

Walk through your home with a notepad. If you have multiple bathrooms and have surplus items in every one, consolidate it into one place and pack them together. Do you have sports items all throughout your home? Are there shoes in several places? Do you have coats in three different closets? Make note of these needed moves and set this aside. This is great task for a well-intentioned neighbors, friends and family.

Next up– packing kit! If you’re in a single level, one or two should be enough. If you have a large home, or multi-level, I like one per packer, or at least one per level. This can be a shoebox, a storage bin, or even a reusable grocery bag stocked with packing tape, several permanent markers, utility knife and or scissors, a handful or various size boxes, and a few trash bags.

The last step before you start packing, which is completely optional, is to create a staging area. If you are packing a month or two ahead of time, this will make your home totally livable until you leave. If you are knocking this out in a short period of time, or are packing a space you don’t use often (i.e. guest room, guest bath, storage spaces, etc.) then you can obviously choose to leave boxes in those spaces. In my experience, I feel most at ease when I can see all of my packed boxes (clearly labeled) in one area, ready to move. It also makes day-of go by crazy fast!


{Pack First} Once you have prepped your home, check out the graphic below for items that are easiest to pack ahead of time:


{Pack Well} After you have tackled those items, it’s time to spend some time packing these items, well! Pick a good movie, place everything in your largest space, and spread out your supplies. For items that need boxing, I prefer to work with a buddy to keep things moving quickly and efficiently. For fragile items, since these will be packed last, it’s smart to set a space where odd-shaped, no-box items will go. Leave them there so they don’t get broken or damaged.


{Pack Last} These are the items you will need until your last day in this home and right away in the new home: essential toiletries, tableware for a few meals, select technology, laundry and cleaning supplies, pet food, tools, one set of sheets for each bed, a set of towels per person, TP for each bathroom, paper towels for the bathroom and everyday kitchen items. Find a way to identify this set of boxes clearly. Pack them all in clear bins, identify them with colored packing tape, or mark them with a 8×11 piece of paper. Pack these LAST so they get unloaded first. Set them in a place where they are easy to access and won’t get buried in stacks of boxes.


Final Tips:

  1. Submit your forwarding address with banks, utility providers, magazines, etc.
  2. If you’re moving a refrigerator, have it empty and unplugged a few days before so it has a chance to thaw. Clean it well before you put it in your new home.
  3. Make sure you are done packing on the day of moving, If you’re stuck making a mad day to get things in a box, you won’t be available to oversee, direct and keep an eye on where all items are going.
  4. Have kids and or pets? Make arrangements for them to be cared for on the day of moving.
  5. Place important documents in a safe container, and place it with your “need immediately” boxes. Move these personally and don not pack them with the rest of your things.
  6. Create sell, donate, and trash piles in every room as you’re packing. Coordinate drop-offs and pickups the week of your move.
  7. If there is any way possible, get in to your new place the day before you’re set to move in, give it a quick clean, or hire a team to get in and prep the space.
  8. If disassembling furniture, throw the hardware in a ziplock bag, label it and tape it to the underside of the piece.
  9. Take a picture of electronics and how they’re connected prior to disconnecting.
  10. Have big furniture? Hire movers, it’s worth it. Let your friends help with boxes.
  11. Linens pack easily in large trash bags, or work well as box fillers when you have just a little bit of room left.
  12. Replace toilet seats in your new home. Because… ew.
  13. While unpacking, use post-its to map out areas like kitchens, garage, and bathrooms. Having a visual of the flow makes unpacking much easier.
  14. Where to begin unpacking? Your bed. Always the beds. Believe me, you’ll be wiped.

{Welcome home!}


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