Moving Checklist: 12 Essential To-Do’s

Published on October 16, 2017

– 5 min read

Moving into a new home or apartment? Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or seasoned moving vet, it’s nearly impossible to remember all the little things that need to be done when you move. That’s why we created this moving checklist!

There are a few crucial things you can do early on in the process to make moving day a breeze; and a few other things you’ll want to take care after you’re in your new pad. Below we’ve listed the 12 important tasks. Check them out or download your own printable checklist here.


Get Your Checklist

1. Purge!

The easiest way to simplify your move into a new home is reduce the amount of stuff you have to sort, pack, transport, unpack, and organize. Go through your current home room by room and take a long hard look at everything you own. Make a list of what you want to keep and what you’re ready to get rid of. If the item is high-value, you can try selling it on the plethora of marketplaces like eBay, Facebook Marketplaces or Nextdoor. You can donate most items as well.

2. Raid the pantry

Depending on how far you’re moving, there may be quite a few things in your pantry or refrigerator that aren’t worth moving. Take stock of food that is expiring soon, frozen food, or items that are hard to transport. If you can, try to use these things before your moving date, and avoid repurchasing these items at the grocery store leading up to the big move. If you can’t consume it all, consider donating to a food bank or sharing food with neighbors.

3. Decide on a mover

Are you going to pay for a moving company? If so, you’ll want to do some research on different movers in your area, get some quotes, and schedule your moving date ahead of time. If you’re relying on the good graces of your friends and family, it’s best to start lining up your help as soon as possible. You might also want to consider reserving a moving truck from a local rental company.

4. Get packing supplies

You’ll want to get your packing supplies ahead of time. If you can, keep an eye out for free boxes on craigslist or from local businesses. Otherwise you’ll want to purchase boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and markers. It’s also a good idea to get a wardrobe box – folding all of your clothes for a move only to unpack and rehang them in your new closet. Some moving companies provide these supplies for an additional costs. If you’re hiring out, be sure to ask what’s included in your package.

5. Order ahead

If you’re moving into your first place, or you’re expanding into a larger home, order some essentials ahead of time. A little planning ahead will make your first few nights in your new home much more pleasant.

6. Start packing

If you did a good job at #1 on this list, this part is much easier. Moving day is chaotic enough, do yourself a favor and pack your boxes ahead of time. Start with the items that you won’t need in the days leading up to the move – think out of season clothes, books, decorations, home office, garage etc. Work your way through the house until you get to the essentials – toiletries, your current wardrobe, and the essential kitchen items should come last. Knowing where the silverware and plates are for your first meal at home after a long move day will be appreciated.

7. Schedule time off of work

If you’re moving during the week, make sure to get the time off of work. Even if you’re moving on a weekend, you might consider taking off the day after your move so you can get settled into your new home.

8. Change your utilities

Make sure to call your utility companies and let them know you’re moving. In some cases, that will mean canceling service with your existing company and setting up services with a new provider. Make sure to call the company a week or two before your move in date – in some cases, a technician may need to come to the house before they turn on services. You’ll want to make sure you have water, power, gas, sewer, trash service, and internet.

9. Change of address

Missing important mail after you move can create some real problems, especially when tax season comes. To make sure nothing falls through the cracks, file a change of address with the post office. You can do it online here, and it only takes a few minutes. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve updated your address with your banks, insurance providers, credit card companies, and other major institutions.

10. Deep cleaning

Your new home will be much easier to clean before everything is moved in. We recommend scheduling a deep cleaning prior to move in day if you have the chance. Amazon offers a new program that makes it easy to hire local professionals for in-home services.

11. Change your locks

When moving into a new home, you never know who has keys to your existing locks. Old tenants, previous homeowners, or even some of your neighbors might have spare keys. It’s a good idea to replace the locks on move-in day, make sure to order a replacement lock set ahead of time.

12. Deduct your moving expenses from your taxes

Make sure to save your receipts through your moving process. In many cases, such as when you relocate for a job, you can deduct your moving expenses from your taxes at the end of the year, saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on how far you’re moving. Everything from small items like moving boxes to big ticket items like the cost of a moving company could be eligible. You can go here to learn more about whether or not you qualify for a deduction.


We hope these 12 tips help make moving day a breeze! If you’re looking for even more moving guidance check out this ultimate guide.

If you’re currently renting, make sure to also give your landlord notice, schedule a move out inspection on your current place, and take care of any required repairs/cleaning yourself so you get your deposit back.

If you’re looking for inspiration on items for your new home, check out this list of New Home Essentials over at Home Buying Checklist. If you’re purchasing your first home, check out suggestions on What To Do After Buying A House.

Aaron LaRue
Aaron LaRue is a consumer product manager at Clara. He has encyclopedic knowledge of mortgages, loves camping, and is a TV junky. He originally hails from Los Angeles.
Want to know how much house you can buy? Calculate Home Affordability

Clara is an online lender helping individuals and families finance their lives in a more efficient, transparent and empowered way.

Learn More

The Clara Team is Now Part of SoFi

We are excited to announce that the Clara team is now part of SoFi. Three years ...
We are excited to announce that the Clara team is ...
1 min read

Questions to Ask a Home Inspector

Before you buy a home, it’s important to order a home inspection from a profes...
Before you buy a home, it’s important to order a...
4 min read

Negotiating After Home Inspections

After a home inspection, you as the buyer are in a position to think through the...
After a home inspection, you as the buyer are in a...
3 min read