Moving can be overwhelming. Mayflower is committed to making the process as simple and painless as possible. That’s why we put together this complete checklist for moving to help walk you through the details, step by step. Our comprehensive moving checklist covers everything from moving companies to utilities and packing.
8 Weeks Out: Gather Estimates & Determine Your Moving Needs
- Get moving quotes.
You can schedule an appointment with your local Mayflower agent to visually survey your home and prepare an estimate. Generally, a professional mover can provide a more accurate estimate of space requirements than a layperson. This helps you avoid moving day surprises that may arise from under-estimating your needed space. Keep in mind that you must show the agent everything that is to be moved for an accurate estimate. Estimates that don’t account for stored items in the attic, basement, storage units or garage, for example, will likely be increased to reflect actual space and weight requirements if the additional items are to be included in the move.
- Decide whether you will pack yourself.
Professional moving services like Mayflower offer packing services, if you prefer to have some or all of it done for you. Your agent will answer any questions you may have about packing services.
- When do you need your boxes to arrive?
Will your belongings go door to door, or do you need to park them in storage temporarily before taking receipt of them? Ask your agent about delivery options.
- Is your company paying for the move?
Before finalizing your moving contract, be sure to refer to your company’s moving policy to determine any limitations on reimbursable services. For example, they may cover moving but not packing services.
7 Weeks Out: Selecting and Contracting a Moving Service
- Read the fine print.
Carefully review contract terms and liability for any contract. For Mayflower, be sure you understand the extent of carrier liability as outlined in your paperwork.
- Simplify your moving process.
Ask your agent about MyMayflower, your personalized move planner. In your MyMayflower portal, you can view your contracts and have on-demand access to tools designed to simplify your move.
Your MyMayflower page also lists contact details for your assigned move coordinator. Your move coordinator is available to answer your questions and provide moving tips; be sure to keep his or her name and number handy throughout your move.
- Commit to a moving service.
Sign your estimate and book your service after careful review. Still have questions? Ask your move coordinator. Mayflower is here to help you every step of the way®.
- Lock in your moving date.
It may be hard to believe, but moving dates go fast around here, so if your date is available, be sure to pin it down while you can. When booking your move, it’s a good idea to re-confirm your date and moving plan for safety.
6 Weeks Out: Notify Utilities Companies and All Service Providers
- Establish your mail forwarding.
You can easily complete a Change of Address form online at the United States Postal Service website. You can choose the start date of mail forwarding in advance, so this is easy to get out of the way early on.
- Review your personal accounts.
Go through your personal accounts, including banks, insurance providers, credit cards, magazine subscriptions, alumni networks, professional organizations and other entities that should be informed of your change of address.
- Contact utilities companies.
Set a date to disconnect your utilities. If possible, arrange to have them shut off the day after moving day.
- Reach out to your personal network.
Notify friends and family of your new address via email or snail mail.
- Notify your professional services contacts.
Notify doctors, lawyers, accountants and any business associates who need to be made aware of your move. You may wish to request copies of medical or legal records before moving. Speak with your insurance providers to be sure you have adequate coverage during your move.
- Order your moving supplies.
Read our overview of moving supplies and start thinking about what you will need to have on hand.
5 Weeks Out: Lighten your load ─ toss, sell or give away what you can
- Get organized.
Start going through room by room to determine what is worthy of making the move with you. What would be easier to just get rid of?
- Start sorting.
For everything you don’t plan on keeping, you can generally sort it into three categories:
- Trash (little or no value)
- Donation or Garage sale (for used items with generally lower value)
- Re-sale (for new, like-new and higher value items that you may not want to donate)
- Items to be tossed.
For trash, explore recycling options, particularly for older electronic items such as non-working computers, old cell phones, old eyeglass frames…even ink cartridges and batteries. Some of these items can be recycled for cash. Be sure you appropriately dispose of any hazardous materials or electronics.
- Items to be donated.
For donation, choose your favorite charity to support. An easy option is bulk bagging everything to drop off at your local Goodwill. If you choose to donate to a charity, don’t forget to get a receipt to demonstrate the value of your donations for tax deduction purposes.
- Items to be sold.
If you are going to have a garage sale, you can combine the lower value and higher value items you may not want to hang on to. If your selection seems a bit sparse, consider asking neighbors if any of them would like to pitch in for a combined garage sale that might be more attractive to potential buyers.
If you don’t want to bother with a garage sale, you can post your items for sale online or go through re-sale boutiques. This is best for new, like-new and higher value items.
4 Weeks Out Moving Checklist: Confirmations and cars
- Check for any change of plans.
Has there been a change in the items you plan on moving? A change in dates? Be sure to update your moving agent.
- Check in with your agent or move coordinator.
Reconfirm that your agent has your destination address and the phone numbers where you can be reached.
- Review the origination-to-destination plan.
Will there be any additional stops to pick up or deliver goods to a location other than the main pickup and delivery points? If so, confirm that this is reflected on your personal moving planner.
- Confirm auto transports.
Is your car being moved? Do you need to drive it to a loading site for auto transport? How about drop off at the destination location ─ you’ll want to confirm where that is. If you have any questions about this process, or where you need to go, consult with your move coordinator.
- If driving, plan your trip.
Will you be driving? Be sure to have your car properly serviced before the trip. You don’t want a fan belt to break in the middle of nowhere.
3 Weeks Out Moving Checklist: Prepare friends, family and belongings
- Visit your local spots.
Take your family to visit and say goodbye to your favorite local places that hold happy memories.
- Let your kids say their goodbyes.
Plan a small going-away party or get together for your children and their friends.
- Say your goodbyes.
Consider having a casual dinner or barbeque to say farewell to your own friends and colleagues.
- Make travel plans.
Make family travel plans (if you haven’t already). Verify hotel room and airline ticket reservations. If you’re traveling with a pet, be sure your accommodations allow for four-legged friends.
- Plan for your trip and first night in your new home.
Think about which items your family will want to have with them during your move and on your first night in your new home (see first night box info). Make sure to set these items aside so they don’t end up packed at the bottom of the moving van where you can’t get to them.
- Begin packing.
Are you packing yourself? Now is a good time to start packing some of your family’s less frequently-used items such as books and out of season clothes. You will appreciate having a head start on packing as your moving date nears. Read our packing tips and pack carefully to keep potential damage to a minimum.
- Prepare fabrics.
Clean rugs and draperies. Leave them wrapped when they come back from the cleaners; this will keep them clean until they reach your new home.
- What not to do.
Do not clean upholstered furniture before moving. The moisture from cleaning could leave furniture vulnerable to mold during periods of storage.
- Get appraisals.
Have antiques, artwork and expensive collections appraised before the move and get the estimated value in writing. Avoid treating wooden antiques and fine wood furniture with wax, oils or polishes before moving, as some such products may soften the wood, leaving it at risk to damage (even from protective packing such as soft furniture pads).
- Prepare appliances.
Moving with major appliances? Set an appointment with a service technician to prepare your major appliances for shipment, or have your Mayflower agent recommend someone who is authorized to perform this service.
2 Weeks Out: Plan for pets and overlooked items
- Coordinate your pet’s move.
Reconfirm travel plans for pets. Will you need to board them or leave them with friends?
- Take your pet to the vet.
Take your pets to their veterinarian to be sure you have all required health certificates and inoculations required for your destination state.
- Don’t forget to pick up items from servicers.
Pick up anything you’ve had cleaned, repaired, altered or serviced.
- Retrieve locker items.
Empty lockers at places such as the club, gym, dance studios, sports training facilities or bowling alleys.
- Empty safe deposit boxes.
Do you have wall safes or hidden places for valuables throughout your house? Don’t leave thousands of dollars worth of valuables in a wall for the next occupant to find.
- Return borrowed items.
Be sure to return library books, schoolbooks and anything you may have borrowed from friends or neighbors.
- Connect with your move coordinator.
Reconfirm all details with your move coordinator.
1 Week To Go: Last minute details
- Prepare your appliances.
Be present when the appliance service representative arrives to prepare your appliances for shipment.
- Check in with your move coordinator.
If you have any questions, reach out to your move coordinator. Go through your moving plan with him or her to confirm accuracy of all details.
- Finalize packing.
If you are doing your own packing, be sure that everything is ready to go before moving day.
- Double check you’re appropriately handling non-allowables.
Many common household items are on our list of non-allowables. Have you reviewed this list and made a plan for safe disposal of flammable substances? Non-allowables include items such as cleaning fluids, matches, fireworks, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, weed killer, gasoline, paint, bleach, propane tanks and anything that is flammable, combustible or stored in a container that is likely to leak. Be sure to follow proper disposal guidelines as these hazardous substances pose a threat to the water supply.
1 Day Away: The final countdown
- Note fragile items.
Point out to the movers any extra-fragile items that need special attention. If certain items should not be packed or moved, be sure they are clearly marked with permanent marker. Ideally, these should be set to the side, separate from other boxes.
- Label your “Load Last” items.
Clearly label any items or boxes you will want first when the truck arrives at your new home (valuables, electronics, etc.). These should also be segregated from other boxes, to avoid being loaded by mistake. Your movers should have “Load Last” labels for you to use.
- Unplug any electronic appliances.
Be sure to unplug appliances 24 hours prior to the move so that they will be at room temperature on moving day. This includes computers and audio/video equipment.
Moving Day Checklist: Paperwork and details
- Plan to be on site to see your boxes loaded.
Remain close by until the truck is fully loaded. After making a final tour of your house, check and sign the inventory. The van operator will give you a copy of it; it is important that you keep this safe.
- Moving day paperwork will include:
- High-Value Inventory Form: this form states whether or not items of extraordinary value are included in the shipment.
- Bill of Lading / Freight Bill: this form states the terms and conditions under which your goods are moved. It is also your receipt for the shipment, so be sure to keep this someplace secure.
- Keep all moving documents in a secure location.
You may need them for verification of moving expenses when you file your tax returns.
- Verify your new address with your driver.
Double check that the van operator has the correct destination address.
- Be sure the driver has your contact information.
Ensure your driver has all contact info ─ including phone numbers ─ so you can be reached if needed prior to the arrival of your belongings.
- Before you leave, take a final look around. Confirm:
- Is everything shut off (water, furnace, A/C, lights)?
- Are the windows and doors all closed and locked?
- Do you need to leave your house keys somewhere?
Delivery Day Checklist
- Be present to accept delivery of your belongings.
If you are unable to be there yourself, you will need an authorized representative to accept delivery and pay any charges on your behalf.
- Be available.
On the day of delivery, the driver will contact you by phone and may just stop by if he or she is unable to reach you. If no one is available to accept delivery of your belongings within the free waiting time (typically two hours), you may request additional time.
- Check your items.
If you see a noticeable change in the condition of your property as it is unloaded, note these discrepancies on the inventory. By signing the inventory copy, you acknowledge receipt and condition of all items listed.
- Direct the movers with your belongings.
Your furniture will be placed according to your direction. This includes laying rugs and setting up beds. However, if you would like your mattresses to be unpacked or have appliances installed, ask your move coordinator if these services are included ahead of time. If they are not, your move coordinator can arrange for this as an additional service.
- Have a floor plan drawn.
If possible, have a floor plan of your new home available to help the movers understand where you want each piece of furniture to go.
After the Move Checklist: Settling in
- Check with the post office.
If you’re not immediately receiving mail, check with your new post office to see if mail has been held for you.
- Get your driver’s license and your vehicles registered.
Start the process to obtain your auto registration and a new driver’s license.
- Find a local attorney.
Consider finding an attorney to review laws that may be different from your prior city, county or state. You should ask about wills, investments, insurance, taxes, etc.
For additional delivery day tips, see our destination checklist. Once you are successfully moved, find even more tips for getting settled in our move-in checklist.