If you have an impending move in your future, you want to get started right away. But how do you do that? What are the first steps of moving? If you start slowly and move methodically toward your end goal, you can have a smooth move.

Two Months Prior to Moving Day

  • Throw out things you aren't using. Go through each room of your home and sort through the items in there. Make piles for items that are going to the trash, items going to Goodwill, and items you are going to sell via Craigslist or garage sale.
  • Start your moving binder. A simple notebook where you can store receipts, inventories of rooms and items you're moving, lists of to-dos, and estimates.
  • Begin asking around about moving companies. Ask everyone you encounter for a recommendation. Begin researching companies online. Check out the moving company's Yelp page for complaints. Also Google company names with the word "reviews" after it and then do another search with the word "scam" after it.
  • Begin compiling written estimates from each company you communicate with. Check out their CPUC registration.
  • Contact your doctor's offices, specialists, and children's schools. Arrange for records to be transferred to the new location.

Six Weeks Prior to Moving Day

  • If you are getting your moving supplies online, order them now. If you are buying them locally, begin assembling those supplies. Don't forget the specialty boxes you will need, packing materials, tape, and markers.
  • Start thinking about using up perishables and liquid items such as cleaning supplies.
  • Measure the dimensions of your current home and new home—or get someone to do this if it is in another city. You want to be sure every piece of furniture can go through the doorways they need to.

One Month Prior to Moving Day

  • Settle on a mover and reserve your moving date. Get written confirmation of the estimated costs, arrival time and date, as well as where your possessions will be delivered.
  • Start packing up your home. Begin with items you are not currently using. Keep a list of expensive items that need additional insurance and declare them to the company.
  • Carefully and thoughtfully label your boxes. There is nothing worse than arriving in your new home, needing an item and having to open dozens of boxes to find it.
  • Arrange for a separate box with your valuables and files to travel with you. Place the estimate from the movers into the box.
  • Contact your post office to arrange your change of address.
  • Change magazine and newspaper subscriptions so your address is correct. Contact your bank, investment firm, utility company, cable, and water companies. Arrange change of address information. Also, set up the date of disconnect. If you are moving within the same city, set up reconnect at your new location. If you are moving to another city, call local companies in your new location and set up installation dates.

Two Weeks Prior to Moving Day

  • Make sure you have moving day off from work. If you are relocating to another city, and changing companies, put in your official notice.
  • Take your vehicle in for a tune-up. Check in with your mechanic to be sure your car is in tiptop shape if you are relocating to another place. If you are changing climate, this is especially important.
  • If you have a safe-deposit box and you are changing cities and banks, go to the bank and remove its contents.
  • Confirm moving date with the moving company.

One Week Prior to Moving Day

  • Pack your suitcases with a few days' change of clothes and necessary items.
  • Refill any prescriptions you will need for the next few weeks.

A Couple Days Prior to Moving Day

  • Re-confirm with your Los Angeles moving company.
  • If you need a cashier's check, cash, or a money order to pay for the move, arrange that now.
  • Defrost your freezer.

Moving Day

  • Wake up early, eat a good breakfast.
  • Confirm the name on the moving company is the company you hired.
  • Sign the inventory list from the movers and put your copy in your safe box.

This checklist will help you get from point A to point B with all of your belongings and sanity.


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