The Quintessential Moving Checklist You Need

The Quintessential Moving Checklist You Need

family moving to new home with boxes

Everyone knows that moving can be an extremely stressful time for an individual or even a business. There are so many things to think about and it seems as if something unexpected always inevitably occurs. For many people, moving just becomes a giant headache that they will avoid at all costs. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way! By using a moving checklist and making realistic expectations of what your move will look like it could be a breeze.

How do we go about making this fairytale move a reality you ask? We’ve gone ahead and done the work of making the Quintessential Moving Checklist for you. Feel free to print out a copy for yourself and anyone else who may be helping you with the move!

In addition to our awesome free resource, we’re also going to break down the process of preparing, packing, moving, and keeping your sanity during your move.

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Prepare using a moving checklist

There are plenty of things you can do before you even pack your first moving box that will make the whole process so much smoother in the end. As a bonus, you will have knocked out a ton of tedious tasks right away allowing you to start feeling like you’re on top of this whole moving thing. So grab your checklist and let’s get started!

Update your mailing address

Start with updating your mailing address. There are plenty of places that you will need to do this, so you don’t miss out on all your amazing bills (or maybe that Amazon Prime package is more accurate). USPS luckily has a simple form you can follow. Other places you will need to update individually of your new address are your bank, insurance companies, and employer. Of course, don’t forget about any subscription services that you have an account with. No one would want you to miss out on your favorite Netflix shows just because of a silly move.


Next up, you need to consider the services you will be using to aid you during your move. It’s time to think of how much space you’ll have available to you and how accommodating that will be of what you’ll be moving. If you’re planning on moving things like furniture you may consider renting a moving truck to make sure everything fits. From there you should consider hiring a team of movers (like UniMovers!) to do all that heavy lifting for you. After all, no one likes throwing their back out.

Measure, Measure, Measure!

Something that will save you time and headaches in the future is measuring different things you will be moving like your couch, chairs, appliances, and even mirrors. The last thing you want is to have the perfect location picked out for that gorgeous armoire only to find out on moving day that it’s three inches too wide. Keep a list of items and their measurements and make sure to double-check you read that tape measure correctly.


Now that you’ve got the practical responsibilities out of the way you can focus on more of the labor tasks. Many people use moving as their perfect excuse for a purge! So let’s be honest with ourselves and do something about the junk drawer that evolved into the junk closet. It is a lot easier to make informed and rational decisions about what to let go of if you don’t have to do it in the heat of your last-minute packing. 

Some easy to get rid of items are:

  • Clothes you no longer wear
  • Mismatched sets of things (pots/pans, towels, decorations, etc.)
  • Broken items
  • Things you no longer have a use for
  • Items you have duplicates of

Even if you know what you want to get rid of you may not know the proper place for it. It’s always advisable to go with the most eco-friendly option to keep as much out of landfills as possible. We’ve devised a key to help you know what your item’s new home will be.

  • If you’ve used it in the last year = keep
  • The item is of value = sell
  • If it’s in good condition = donate
  • The material is damaged/tarnished = upcycle
  • If it’s broken = trash

Some places (but not all!) you can send your items to be recycled, upcycled, and donated are:

  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • thredUP
  • ForDays

This is also the time to refrain from shopping for your new home. That’s just more stuff you’ll have to find a way to pack and transport so save yourself the trouble. It can also be a fun activity to search for new things that tie your space together after moving is all said and done. Make sure to take a look back at your moving checklist before you jump into your next task.


Now that you’ve decluttered your home or business you have a better idea of the number of supplies that you will need to pack all your things. 

There are plenty of supplies you may need but here’s a list of things to consider adding to your moving checklist to purchase or rent:

Looking to move soon?

Check out UniMovers and save 30-50% on your move as compared with traditional moving!

Pack everything on your checklist

Now that everything has been decluttered you can go ahead and start packing. The key to this step is doing it efficiently. There are several things to remember while packing that will ease your stress. If you think you might forget any of these tips, be sure to refer to our moving checklist again.

Devise a moving system

You should try to structure your move in a system that makes things easily identifiable so they can go right where they’re supposed to as fast as possible. One way to help with this is to color-code your boxes. Then when you move into your new location you can put a sticky note of the same color on the corresponding room. That way you or whoever is helping you move will know exactly where the boxes go. It is way easier to unload boxes and furniture into the room they will be going in immediately, so you don’t have to worry about it later. And if you haven’t figured this one out on your own already, keep things that go in the same room together. Otherwise, my previous tip will be of no help to you.

There are still other things that will make your move easy breezy! Odds are you and your movers will end up stacking boxes in the moving truck and in your new home. As a result of this, any of the labels written on the top side of boxes will not be visible and you may have no clue as to which of your treasures the box holds. To avoid confusion and frustration make sure you put those labels on the sides of the containers.

What do I do with my cleaning supplies?

Another thing that will help you move in and out with ease is knowing where to pack your cleaning supplies. You will likely have to deep clean the space you are moving out of and will want to do the same to your new space before you start unloading all your things inside. If all your cleaning supplies are scattered across multiple boxes it will make this step a lot harder. Save yourself the wrinkles and pack them all in the same box towards the end.

First-Night Box

The final and crucial packing step is to make sure you have a first-night box. This box will be the first thing you unpack and will make turning in at the end of a long moving day that much easier. Your first-night box contains all the essential things you use nightly or in the morning. 

This includes the following and is of course open to changes per your routine:

  • Pajamas
  • Change of clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Bedding 
  • Shower curtain
  • Towels
  • Chargers
  • Makeup 
  • Coffee maker

I cannot emphasize this one enough. If you use nothing else on our moving checklist, use this. This box is a guaranteed lifesaver amid a long and possibly hectic moving day.

Pack Hacks

There are some other tips and tricks to keep in mind during your packing experience that should make things a lot easier.

  • Put paper plates between your dishes to avoid breaking
  • Tape an “X” with painters tape across any mirrors/picture frames
  • Use socks to pack glassware
  • Place fragile items between soft items like clothes and towels
  • Put hanging clothes in a garbage bag and wrap the ties around the hangers to keep them together
  • Utilize empty spaces of different items like suitcases or pots
  • Pack heavy objects at the bottom of boxes

Moving into a new house

We’ve already established there are multiple steps to the moving out process but we’re going to break down the actual “moving” step into two different parts (which we separated for your convenience on the checklist too). The first being before you leave your old space and the second being moving into your new space.

Remember it’s going to be a long day so you should get started as early as possible and take care of yourself along the way. This can look different for every person, but a good baseline is to stretch before you start, eat, and stay hydrated (that means water)! Make sure everyone helping you is following this protocol as well. Things may not go as planned and that’s okay! Try to stay adaptable and roll with the punches. After all, it is an exciting time with new beginnings. Make moving a fun experience! My recommendation and sanity keeper for getting the day going is having a great playlist. I’ve taken the liberty of curating the perfect moving playlist. It’s guaranteed to get everyone grooving and moving!

Old Space

Before you leave your old space there are a few steps to take. It’s a good idea to start packing your vehicles or however you will be transporting your things the night or even a couple of nights before. This way you can be assured everything fits and you won’t have to load the same day you unload.

After the vehicles are packed, it’s time to begin saying goodbye to your old home. Do a final walkthrough of your space to be sure you didn’t leave anything behind. After this is done you should utilize the separate box full of cleaning supplies to do a deep clean of the space. Be sure to wipe down surfaces, clean windows, dust, sweep, and mop floors.

Now that everything is shiny and clean for the next owner, you have only a couple more tasks. Turn your thermostat off, lock all your doors and windows, and turn in your keys. Mark everything off on your moving checklist and just like that it’s time to wave goodbye to your old home and head out toward new adventures.

New Home

When you arrive at your new home there are a few things to take care of before you go crazy unloading boxes. Take pictures of any existing damages so you can be sure that they weren’t your doing. Make sure everything is still working properly. That includes your faucets, appliances, Wi-Fi, toilets, etc. Also, make sure that any fire or carbon monoxide detectors work and have brand new batteries in them if required. 

Now unload that first box of your lovely cleaning supplies and go to town. You’ll want to do everything you just did to your old home in your new home. This is likely the only time your space will have that few obstacles to clean around so take advantage of it!

Finally, the fun of unloading and unpacking can really begin! It’s time to put up the color-coded sticky notes so you know what box goes where.

Be sure to take breaks as necessary. Moving will only be a chore if you let it. Remember it’s a process, not a race! When everything is said and done look around and appreciate everyone’s hard work. Be sure to tip your movers too! We both know it wasn’t easy to get that couch through the door and they did it with a smile.

When everyone is gone, unpack your first-night box and get all the essential stuff open for business. I guarantee, your bed has never felt so good.

The Long-Awaited Moving Checklist

Printable moving checklist

Remember to take pictures of all the fun and hard work along the way. We love seeing the magic happen so search for us on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or LinkedIn and use our hashtag #unimoved so we can see it!

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Ashlyn grew up in a small town in southwest Iowa. Currently, she is a senior at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She will graduate with a degree in Business Administration, Marketing, Public Relations, and Communications. She works at the Coe College Writing Center as well. In her free time, she loves to try new restaurants, travel, and spend time with her dog!

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