The Ultimate Residential Move Checklist

A residential move checklist is a detailed list of tasks and considerations that need to be taken care of when planning and executing a move to a new home.

It serves as a guide to help homeowners stay organized and ensure that no important tasks are overlooked during the moving process.

From packing and organizing belongings to handling address changes and notifying utility companies, a residential move checklist covers all the essential steps required for a smooth and stress-free move.

By following a comprehensive checklist, homeowners can stay on track, avoid unnecessary stress, and ensure that everything is done in a timely and efficient manner.

The Ultimate Residential Move Checklist 1

The Ultimate Residential Move Checklist

1. To keep track of everything, create a moving binder or use a Google Doc. This initial step will save you a lot of time.

2. Print out your moving checklists and organize them in your moving binder.

3. Organize your documents, such as moving estimates, receipts, and other information you received from moving companies. These documents can be added to your moving binder, which will make it easy for you to find them when you need them.

4. List all of your appointments. This includes tasks such as setting up utilities, arranging inspections, and enrolling your children in a new school.

5. Measure the dimensions of your furniture. It would be unfortunate to realize on the day of moving into your new home that your couch doesn’t fit through the door. Take measurements of all your larger items to prevent any potential issues.

6. Begin packing your first box, focusing on organizing your vital documents and valuables. This will help ensure that all important information is accounted for and that you can easily locate your critical items. [1]

7. Make sure you back up your files. Save your files and photos either in the cloud or on an external hard drive. Losing pictures of important moments like your wedding or your baby’s first steps would be a big loss for your new home.

8. Determine the type of move you’re planning. Decide if you want complete control and do everything yourself, if you want someone else to handle all the work, or if you prefer a middle-ground option.

9. Begin researching for moving companies. Review customer feedback, gather at least three to four quotes, and determine your budget. It is not necessary to select a company at this time, but it is important to thoroughly explore your options.

10. Create an inventory of the entire place. It’s not difficult, and it will save you from a huge headache if you need to file a claim for lost, stolen, or damaged items.

11. Sell or donate unwanted items. It is a great opportunity to have a garage sale for items you no longer want or to fulfill your promise of donating to charity.

12. Some items require special care. These include big, fragile, and oddly shaped items like pianos, sectional furniture, or snowglobe collections. Make sure to allocate more of your moving budget for these items.

13. Perform a thorough cleaning. It helps organize your belongings and improves the chances of receiving your security deposit back as a renter or simplifies the selling process if you’re a homeowner.

14. Label your boxes with specific descriptions such as “Kitchen: Dishes” or “Office: Books”.

15. Secure a storage unit. Make a reservation. If you find yourself in a situation where you shipped your belongings ahead of time or need to wait for your new home to become vacant, it is advisable to reserve a storage space at this time.

16. Choose a moving company. Confirm your budget, obtain quotes, and make the decision. Keep your receipts and important dates organized in a moving binder. If you need further assistance, refer to our comprehensive guide for finding the optimal moving company.

17. Obtain moving coverage. Hopefully, your belongings won’t sustain any breakage or damage during the move. However, it would be wise to consider moving coverage as a precautionary measure to safeguard your possessions.

18. Purchase packing supplies, including any necessary boxes and other moving supplies. Due to the fact that you have already obtained numerous free moving boxes, you should only need to purchase additional ones if necessary.

19. Contact your internet, TV, utility, and home security providers to program their services at your new home. Ensuring that all necessary services are set up and working properly is important. After all, it would be disappointing if you were unable to enjoy your new entertainment room because your TV is not functioning.

20. Notify all relevant businesses of your address change. Ensure that banks and insurance companies are aware of your new address. Make arrangements with the post office to have your mail forwarded.

21. Consider updating or canceling your memberships and subscriptions. It is not beneficial to have a gym membership if you have to travel a long distance to access it. [2]

22. Confirm important moving dates with any companies you’ve booked services through. These should already be listed in your moving binder. Now you just need to verify everything is still scheduled as planned.

23. Start packing. Ensure that you have finished your inventory, gathered and labeled your boxes, and identified your valuables. It is now time to proceed with the actual packing process.

24. Update your driver’s license, auto insurance, and car registration. You need to follow the specific process for the state you’re moving to.

25. Gather your suitcases. Ensure each family member has a suitcase to use. Pack necessary items such as pajamas, clean socks, and swimsuits for the hotel pool.

26. In addition to your clothes, pack a 24-hour moving kit with other essentials. Include snacks, flashlights, phone chargers, medication, and any other vital items that your family might need.

27. Prioritize what needs to be unpacked first. Trying to unpack everything in one day can be difficult, so it is advisable to break the project down into smaller tasks and plan accordingly.

28. Before moving day, ensure that all your packing is completed. Trying to pack on loading day is a major mistake and should be avoided. It is important to have everything organized and ready for your movers or rental truck when they arrive.

29. Verify the paperwork. If you have hired movers, kindly request official documentation from them. This is to ensure that they are the intended individuals and that all aspects of your move align with your expectations.

30. Arrange your beds and the bathroom. Keep track of the location of your sheets, pillowcases, and toilet paper. These are essential items that you would not want to be without on the first day.

31. Check your utilities to ensure they are functioning properly. Conduct research on methods to reduce your utility expenses and save money.

The Ultimate Residential Move Checklist 2


[1] The Ultimate Moving Checklist and To-Do Timeline. (2022, August 30). Real Simple.

[2] Chevlen, D., & Dillon, K. (2023, May 4). The Ultimate Moving Checklist. Wirecutter: Reviews for the Real World.


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