A new home is a great time to start fresh and leave old habits behind. To make sure you don't forget anything in the process, use this handy moving checklist. It's full of great tips to help you from beginning to end. Print it out and post it on your fridge or bulletin board, so you'll always know what you have left to do.
UP TO ONE MONTH BEFORE YOU MOVE
Use the 4-Pile Principle to get rid of anything that doesn't need to move with you, and donate it to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. This saves space and money by lightening your load, and helps you get a better idea of how much you have to move.
Decide if you want to use a mover to help you move. If you decide on a mover, find a reputable one and get references. And book early if you plan on moving during the busy summer moving season, especially August and September.
Get lots of storage bins (more than you think you'll need) in different sizes. You'll need small bins for heavy items like books, and bigger ones for lighter items like pillows and bedding.
Get a head start by packing out-of-season clothes, holiday decorations and books you don't plan on opening again in the next few months. Try tackling one of these categories each week until you move in order to spread out the work.
Be sure to label ALL bins no matter how big or small. Label each one with the room it's destined for, a description of its contents, and the priority with which it needs to be unpacked (for example, sheets and towels may be a "1", while holiday decorations may be a "4".)
Don't leave empty spaces in bins. Fill in the gaps with blankets, beach towels, and linens to maximize space.
Keep all bins for a particular room stacked together. This will make it easier to unpack after you move, since they will likely end up in the same spot.
Tape or tie long items like garden tools or hockey sticks in bundles.
Inform utility companies of your move so you will have power and water service when you move in.
ONE WEEK BEFORE YOU MOVE
Be sure to notify the post office, your bank, any magazine subscriptions and other service providers of your address change.
Pack and label extremely fragile or meaningful items as fragile and consider moving them to your new home yourself to avoid damage.
Create a "moving kit" that you can take from room to room that includes tape, scissors, a label maker, Sharpies and wrapping material so you have everything you need at hand.
Pack a bin for your family that includes clothing and toiletries that you will need the week prior to and the week after your move.
Pack another bin that includes kitchen supplies like paper plates, plastic cutlery and cups that you will need in the first few days of your move. This will allow you to feel comfortable packing up your kitchen, knowing you can use these for pizza or takeout before unpacking the kitchen.
ONE DAY BEFORE YOU MOVE
Pack linens room by room in Roughneck Clears and label them "1"s, so it will be easy to find them and make the beds in your new home.
Pack any condiments, perishable foods and other items from your fridge that you are bringing with you into a 5-day cooler, especially if you have a long move.