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How to Prepare to Move to a New Home

Updated on January 29, 2019
btrbell profile image

Randi has lived all over the map but most recently she has been settled in Mesa, Arizona and is truly enjoying exploring its offers.

Moving Day is approaching. Are you ready? Do you have a plan? Have you done everything that needs to be done? Do you have a checklist?

Planning and executing a move can make you a little crazy!
Planning and executing a move can make you a little crazy! | Source

Not all moves are planned in advance. Even when you have made the decision to relocate, it seems like moving day creeps up and creeps up, until suddenly, here it is and you are NOT ready! Sometimes, when you sell your house, you don't have much time from sale to move.That is why a checklist and a plan come in handy! With all you have to deal with during a move, you don't want to forget anything.

Here are some tips to make it go more smoothly.

Moving Checklist

My list started here.
My list started here. | Source
It grew to this.
It grew to this. | Source

Be prepared with a checklist

You will probably have many lists before the the final one. I recommend that you dedicate a spiral notebook to the move. You may even want to use one that is divided up into subjects. Or you can make your own sections. I also get one that has a pocket so that I can put all receipts, business cards, contact info. and invoices in it. How complicated and detailed your list(s) will be, is dependent on how far the move is or how much of a reminder you need. If you are changing states or countries, there will be a lot more to do than if you are only changing neighborhoods. Your list is also dependent on how many people/pets you are moving.

"Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard."~Dave Mustaine

One Month Countdown

One Month Before
Two Weeks Before
The Week of the Move
Decide what is going and what is staying
Make sure everything is in working order.
Back up your computer.
Start packing what you don't need now.
If you are moving out of town, get medical/school records.
Plan what you will be doing for the last few meals as you clean out the fridge.
Have a garage sale or organize a donation.
Call all utility companies to notify of move
Return library books, pick up drycleaning.
Price/contract a moving company
Reconfirm with your mover.
Clean or hire a cleaner.

Hiring Movers

If you are hiring movers, you should get several estimates before making a final decision. If you don't have experience with a particular company, ask your friends. While they may not have personal experience, almot everyone knows someone who has used a mover. Before calling for an estimate, check out the company's credentials. These people are going to enter your home, move all your belongings and then enter your new home. Make sure they are bonded and insured. Don't use any company that has negative reviews or is otherwise, untrustworthy.

Packing up the House.

Packing is one of the most fulfilling and, at the same time, the least gratifying task. When I go to my bookshelf, weed out the books that I am giving away, then pack the ones I am keeping, I feel accomplished. I tape the box shut, write "books" across it and Voila! Done! If only it could all go like that! If only the knick knacks could be packed that quickly! Try to sandwich the easier packs in between the more difficult ones. This will keep you from getting too overwhelmed.

Number your boxes and keep a list. This will make it easier to get the boxes in the correct rooms at move in, as well as giving you options on which to move in first.

Keep empty boxes, bubble wrap, cleaning cloths, tape and markers handy. A viable alternantive to bubble wrap or tissue is washcloths and dish towels. They make a good protectant for fragile items and you have to pack them anyway.

Leave your Pajamas on Top

I call it my "survival suitcase." It is filled with the things you can't be without. I put all chronic medicines a well as a small first aid kit and mild analgesics. Yes, you can always run and buy them but will you have the time or energy to be worrying about that? If you have small children, this will be the place to put favorite toys, security blankets, diapers, etc. This is also the place to put anything for your pets that you will need handy. If you are traveling by car or airplane, this one needs to be with you! I also suggest that, however you are travelling, use your luggage in addition. This will save packing them up, are easy to transport, easy to find, as well as being the perfect receptacles for what you would like on hand!

Pack a Suitcase

I am one of those people that is all for the easy to unpack theory. It is hard enough to pack everything up, but the last thing I want to be doing when I am already exhausted from moving in, is digging into boxes looking for the things I need immediately. This is why I am most careful about how I pack the things I cannot get by without for even a few days. This should include any medicine or durable medical equipment, contact numbers, bank info., as well as a few changes of clothing. I once drove cross country with my coffee pot in tow. With my moving van several days behind me, I knew that was one thing I wasn't willing to wait for!

Don't forget to pack the cat!
Don't forget to pack the cat! | Source

Moving Experience.

The author of this hub has lived in two different countries, five different states and too many homes to count! Moving is her middle name! She was hoping for one last, permanent move but has to make at least one more before that. Many years of doing this, have perfected her skills! That being said, she still admits to having a few snafus at every move.

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."~Walt Disney

How to Cheat at Packing

As many times as I have moved, I always have those few things that I just don't know what to do with. When I start the packing process, I put a plastic container (I use a milk carton) in each room. This is where I put things that I don't know what to do with. Every couple of days, I revisit them. Sometimes, the perfect spot will open up or I will have made the decision to give it away. Whatever is still in the crate by moving day gets put into the one miscellaneous box I allot myself.

© 2013 Randi Benlulu


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    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Angela and welcome to my hubpage!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much and welcome to my page, purl3agony!~ Much appreciated!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Mary615, I wish the best of luck in your move. I know it has to be hard. My mother moved several years back and we all came and took what we wanted, as well! Thanks for stopping by!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so, so much, Mary! Wow, 42 years! Good for you! Thank you so much for your great comments and votes!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Frank! :)

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Rosemay, we'll have to compare notes sometime! No, I didn't seal her in the box (but should have!) The kitties are loving the new place and so are we! Thank you so much for beautiful comments!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Maria...thank you!!!! I am honored by your words. I am, for once., at a loss for words! Just...thank you :)

    • Angela Kane profile image

      Angela Kane 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Very useful information. When I moved the last time, it was very stressful and unorganized. I will remember the checklist above to make sure my next move a lot easier.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      7 years ago from USA

      I love the idea of using a divided notebook for making lists and keeping track of paperwork. For our last move, I had a dedicated legal pad that I made lists on, but it was not organized (and my husband kept on "borrowing" it for other stuff).

      I hope we don't have another move in our future, but I'm pinning this list just in case :) and to share with others. Thanks for the great hub!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      I am in the process of moving out of my home of 35 years. I had my four children come and write down all of my things they wanted (I had lots of collectibles). The first thing I did was box up those things and have the kids come and take them out.

      I have meant to declutter my house for a long time, now I'm glad I am forced to.

      Great advice here, Voted UP etc and shared.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      I have lived in the same house for forty-two years and the thought of moving sends shivers down my spine. Should I ever have to move you can be sure this hub will be the first thing I do....print this out and follow your excellent advice.

      I know moving is a chore and knowing what to do to makes it a bit easier and is a benefit to everyone. GREAT hub Randi. I'm sure I'm not the only one that will be bookmarking this for future reference.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, pinned and shared!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      7 years ago from Shelton

      I too am pretty good in the moving process but hubs like this really cant hurt great job with it.. and very detailed :)

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      7 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      A comprehensive and useful article for anyone that is moving. We have a lot in common I too have lived in 4 different countries and move within those countries on a regular basis. Love the coffee pot in tow, a girl after my own heart.

      The last time we moved was to the next town, was all organised and packed except for things we would need for a few days. then at the 11th hour it was deleyed for 3 weeks. It was a struggle just living with those 'few things' for 3 weeks and I must admit our takeaway consumption increased. Lol

      I don't let moving stress me out, I look on it as an opportunity to have a clear out.

      Fabulous hub and I love the time table. Just hoping you didn't seal up the box with the cat still in. Lol

      Voting UP awesome and useful

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      7 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


      You are an amazing, talented and comprehensive matter where and no matter the subject.

      It is like buried treasure, not knowing where your lovely work will turn up and I always feel richer having read it.

      Great and practical piece...voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Blossom! What a great idea, one I have never done before and wish I knew about sooner!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Carter! Much appreciated! Ithink at this stage (5 days before moving) I have 2 cheaters in each room!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      7 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Very good advice. We have moved many times and one of the first things I did each time as soon as possible was to make the beds. Then when we were exhausted from unpacking and settling in, we could just fall into them!

    • carter06 profile image


      7 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Good job with this one btrbell..these tips are great especially the plastic containers in each room to cheat with..cheers

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Pamela! I sure do hope it goes smoothly because it is coming up and I don't feel ready!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Joelle!! :)

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Kathryn! To be honest, I usually enjoy the process myself. Especially the fresh, new beginning. This time is a bit more difficult because the kids are not helping the way I would like them to :(

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Great suggestions! I hate to move and it is not easy when you have lived somewhere a long time. I think your lists would save a lot of grief while looking for lots objects. I hope you move goes well, and I believe it will due to your organizational skills.

    • kidscrafts profile image


      7 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Good luck with your move , Randi!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      7 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      I'm pretty good at the moving process, but I love reading about it, anyway! When I am getting ready to move, I enjoy the entire planning and organizing process.

      I'm moving in the next few months, depending on when I get a full time job, and this is useful.

      I have a list of things that I plan on setting aside so that I won't have to dig through boxes right away upon arriving to a new place. Many things will fit in one bookbag and my purse, including a change of clothes. The other things will be items I will pack in a few boxes, and either bring with me in the car, or pack at the end of the truck, and they're going to be labeled "Survival Box", or something like that. I started writing a list of things way in advance, so that I will be sure to have what I need in one place. And my coffee maker is going to be one of these items!

      Thanks for sharing this article with us. I will be coming back to check this out again in the future.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Joelle! You are way too kind! And pretty brave I'd say....crossing continents 7 months pregnant! Wow! Thank you so much for your votes! Much appreciated!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Ah, Suzie, I wish you a safe ad easy move! Iur move is next week and I am so not ready! Thank you for your votes and share! So appreciated!

    • kidscrafts profile image


      7 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great hub, Randi! I love your "One Month Countdown" table! Very practical! I also love your section "How to Cheat at Packing" with the milk cartons... genius! There are always those little knick knacks that are hard to place!

      Like you, I moved a few times. One of my sons, moved more than me and I my husband since childhood; and in my case I moved in three continents!

      The hardest move was from Belgium to Canada... with the cat and 7 months pregnant! I suppose I was young and fearless :-)

      Voted up, useful and interesting!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Ah, drbj, you may have to change that statement. I am here on the computer with my house all a mess! Thank you, my friend!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hi Carol! I think about you, also. Once we get settled in the new place, we will definitely get together!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Randi,

      Having had to move from Dublin to my partners and now we will have to make the move abroad so fun times ahead! Your list is going to come in so handy for that one! You are the expert mover that is for sure! Votes up ++++ shared!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, Faith! I appreciate your support, votes and share, as always and truly enjoy your comments. It's crazy, I wrote this because we are moving next week and, so far, I haven't even done half of what's on my list!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      With all of these remarkable reminders about packing and moving, I dub you, Randi, the Marvelous Moving Maven. I have spoken!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      7 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Randi,

      A most useful hub here to say the least! I have also moved a good bit in my adult life, and one does certainly learn a good lesson after each move.

      This comprehensive hub here will be most useful to all to make one's move less of a hassle for sure!

      I cannot relate to such huge moves to another country, but one time we just moved across town, and I learned a great lesson, for I had packed so well as if I were moving across the ocean or something. Then when we unloaded all of the packed up tight just perfect boxes, I was thinking ..."What was I thinking" for I just had to unpack them right then! LOL

      I love that "pajamas" reminder there ...good one!!! Also, love your pics too. So funny and reflective of just how one truly looks and feels during a move no doubt.

      Voted up ++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Bill! I love that picture, too! I was looking up "frazzled" lol!

      You hav a great weekend, as well. We are supposed to drop into the 90s on Sunday! I guess a cold front is coming in!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Good job as always Randi! Have been thinking about you..know you are in a state of frantic busyness. Lets try to set up a lunch...Would love to visit.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good job Randi! I've had to write several of these for businesses who are customers and you covered it all. I loved the first picture...priceless.

      Have a great weekend!


    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, lyricwriter! I really appreciate your votes and shares and truly enjoy reading your comments! I agree with you about the difficulties of moving. This move was an impulsive one and I haven't had any time to do anything yet. it will be chaotic!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      7 years ago from West Virginia

      Btrbell, very useful resource for anyone that is moving. Voted up, useful, interesting, and shared. Moving is tough, especially if you are a child. No matter whom, your whole life, the world as you know it is changing. It can be tough, I've did it a few times. It's very hard when you're leaving one coast for another or long distance traveling. If I could afford it, I would of hired movers! You've mentioned some great tips and useful information.


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