The very thought of moving can send shivers down our spine and even cause us to break into a cold sweat. Any kind of huge change such as moving naturally brings a great amount of stress along with it. Not to mention the added hurdles of relocating to a new city or country can further complicate the process. These two factors alone can have some negative impacts such as overall lack of energy and motivation.


Moving and relocating requires being proactive, and completing certain chores well in advance of their deadlines. Hopefully, these tips will help you to accomplish that. In this article, we are going to leave out related topics such as finding the best moving company, employment, parking, researching your new neighborhood’s transportation, etc. Those are for other articles on another day. Today we are concentrating on basic planning and preparation.

Get rid of what you do not need

A lot of us are “mini hoarders.” One immediate thing we can accomplish is going through our belongings and getting rid of anything we no longer need. Moving unwanted items such as clothing and furniture to a new residence is another great waste of time and effort.

When we start narrowing down our “inventory” to only what is necessary, it is surprising how much more in control we feel. A garage sale is a terrific way of getting rid of unwanted items long before moving time. Leftovers can be donated to the Salvation Army or other charitable groups.

Secure all important papers and documents together

Moving can be hectic, to say the least, therefore we need to be aware of the exact location of all our important items. We should hand-carry important documents we do not want to lose or misplace. These items should never be put in a box for the movers.

moving checklist
Moving Checklist

Below is an example list of such items. You can create your own list and tick them off as you go:

  1. Checks
  2. Bank statements
  3. Credit Cards and Statements
  4. Tax returns
  5. Birth Certificates
  6. Address Books
  7. Home Movies
  8. Irreplaceable Memorabilia
  9. Insurance Policies
  10. Marriage Records
  11. Medical and Dental Records
  12. Military Records
  13. Passports
  14. Photos and Photo Albums
  15. Resumes
  16. School Records
  17. Stock Certificates
  18. Telephone Numbers
  19. Valuables
  20. Vehicle Documents
  21. Wills

Prepare for living at your new location well in advance

There are many things that we can do at our new location well in advance of our move that will help smooth out the bumps and grinds of our relocation process when the actual event occurs:

  • Contact your insurance companies and find out if your car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, etc. can be transferred. If not, find an Insurance Broker in your new area and discuss your needs and requirements for new policies.
  • Contact the new area utility companies and arrange for your new services. These can include Cable TV, gas, electricity, oil, telephone, water, and Internet access. The utilities at your present address can be disconnected the day after you move and the utilities at your new address can be connected the day before your arrival.
  • Go to the post office and get a moving kit. When done in advance, your mail should start arriving the day after you move into your new abode and your life will endure a minimum of chaos and clutter.
  • If you are moving to a new state, contact the DMV and get forms necessary to re-register your vehicles.
  • Prepare change of address forms for all your correspondents; credit card companies, other credit accounts, banks, insurance companies, current utility companies for final statements, magazines, and other subscriptions, family, friends, and any other persons or businesses that you correspond with regularly.
  • Open up new bank accounts.
  • Open up a new Safe Deposit Box.
  • Arrange for new medical providers.

Have a nice new legal pad available for taking down information

Have a nice legal pad ready during the days leading up to the moving process and when it begins. You do not want to be hunting for phone numbers in address books, wallets, or purses. All important phone numbers should be written clearly and legibly for both your old and new contacts: Movers, Emergency contacts, Banks, Doctors, Friends, Family members, Landlords or Real Estate Brokers, Pharmacies Schools, Storage Facilities, Utilities.


Many of us tend to procrastinate during this stressful period of our lives. However, with proper planning and preparation, though never fun, this process can at least be sane.

This checklist is not intended to be the ultimate solution. Even so, the very act of printing out these simple suggestions and reminders can become a significant security blanket as the dreaded time approaches. Good luck with your move and good luck in your new home or apartment.