No matter what the circumstances, moving is stressful. The major changes, uncertainties, and expenditures of time and money that come with changing locations can make it very difficult to feel relaxed about the process.
Take moving stress and add in the seemingly endless logistics that come with a relocation, and you have the perfect recipe for forgetfulness.
To help, we have put together a checklist of the top 10 things you forget to do when you move. Use this list to ensure that you complete your most important tasks before your move.
❌ Not planning ahead
Moving requires organization. Otherwise, you may find yourself lost in a big city without a map, trying to set up a new living room set without tools, or wondering where the nearest restaurant is that first evening in your new place.
Planning ahead is key to moving success. Take the time to get organized and consider the following steps to make your move go more smoothly:
- ☑ Make checklists of important tasks
- ☑ Create a travel plan
- ☑ Have a backup plan for moving problems
- ☑ Create a checklist of commonly forgotten tasks
- ☑ Create a moving meal plan
❌ Not leaving your forwarding address
A new location means a new address. You need to make sure that all the important people and organizations in your life know your new address. Try to complete this task a few weeks before you move so organizations have time to update their contact lists, and your friends and family have time to bid you goodbye.
Here is a list of some of the most important people and organizations who should receive your new address before moving day:
- ☑ Family
- ☑ Friends
- ☑ Post Office (Fill out an address forwarding form)
- ☑ Online businesses
- ☑ Credit cards
- ☑ Employer
- ☑ Bank
- ☑ Schools
- ☑ Utilities
- ☑ Doctors and vets
- ☑ Subscriptions
- ☑ Schools
❌ Not collecting important documents
You may already have a safe at home filled with your essential documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and more. However, it is very easy to leave important records behind, especially if you need to collect them before your move.
Make sure you gather all of these documents and put them together in a binder that stays with you during your move:
- ☑ Birth certificates
- ☑ Passports
- ☑ Financial documents
- ☑ Tax documents
- ☑ Social security cards
- ☑ Medical records
- ☑ Vet records
- ☑ Dental records
- ☑ Car title
- ☑ Vehicle registration
❌ Not packing an essentials box
Unpacking your belongings in your new place will take some time. Ensure that everything you need for the first few days is easily accessible by packing an essentials box (or boxes) that you unload first when you arrive at your new home. Consider adding these items to your essentials boxes:
- ☑ Toilet paper
- ☑ Paper plates, utensils, and cups
- ☑ Clothing
- ☑ Bedding
- ☑ Special toys and blankets for children
- ☑ Medication, including those you need for your animals
- ☑ Food for your pets
- ☑ Snacks
- ☑ Kitchen towels
- ☑ Paper towels
- ☑ Bathroom towels and washcloths
- ☑ Basic cleaning supplies
- ☑ Napkins
- ☑ Keys and chargers
- ☑ Night lights
- ☑ Laundry bag
- ☑ Laundry detergent
- ☑ Dish soap
- ☑ Hand soap
- ☑ Toiletries
With everything you need in hand, you can more easily navigate moving delays and settle comfortably into your home before everything is out of the boxes.
❌ Not collecting important medications
It may take you time to find new doctors and a pharmacy at your new location. Ensure that you do not run out of important medications in the meantime by refilling and collecting all of your prescriptions beforehand. Don’t forget to refill any medications your pets take as well.
❌ Not returning library books
Emptying your bookshelves is a normal part of preparing for a move. It can be very easy, however, to throw library books into your boxes and forget that they need to be returned. Set aside any library books you have and take them back before your move. Doing so will help you avoid late fees and inconvenience once you reach your new home, plus you will have that much less to pack!
❌ Not packing “invisible” belongings
Many belongings blend into your surroundings or become so much a part of your daily life that you don’t even think about them. These “invisible” belongings can be easy to leave behind. Make sure to look for the following items while you are preparing for your move:
- ☑ Mirrors or decorative items behind doors
- ☑ Chargers and cords plugged into the walls
- ☑ Seasonal decorations
- ☑ Outdoor furniture
- ☑ Spare keys
- ☑ Valuables and jewelry
- ☑ Kitchen appliances like microwaves
- ☑ Outdoor plants
- ☑ Hidden cash
❌ Not checking every part of your house
Sometimes, these invisible belongings are hiding in plain sight, like a mirror behind a door or a clock on the wall. Other times, however, you may secrete belongings in hidden corners of your home for safekeeping. Seasonal items, for example, may be tucked into an attic corner out of the way, since you only use them a few weeks out of the year.
Make sure you check every corner of your current home while you are packing to ensure that you include everything you own. Check some of the following locations for forgotten items:
- ☑ Basements
- ☑ Attics
- ☑ Sheds
- ☑ Stairwells
- ☑ Cabinets
- ☑ Closet shelves
❌ Not collecting items not at home
Even if you successfully pack up all the items in your home, you could still leave some things behind. Dry cleaning, for example, is often forgotten. Make sure you pick up any items that are not in your home by moving day. Dry cleaning, borrowed items, and other belongings that are getting serviced or repaired need to be collected by the time you relocate.
❌ Not arranging for moving support
Moving may be stressful, but you don’t have to do it on your own. Reach out for support throughout the process of your relocation.
Friends and family members are often eager to help. From assisting with packing to watching kids or pets, to loading boxes or unpacking at the new location, they help can help you get more done, stay more organized, and feel more confident in the process.
In addition, a skilled, full service moving company can make your move seamless and stress-free. Here at Ward North American, we can handle every aspect of your move, from packing to unloading, and we treat every move as if it were our own.
That kind of comprehensive, professional-strength support can make all the difference between a stressful experience and a smooth relocation. Use this checklist and reach out to Ward North American for a move that is as seamless as possible.
Download or print your ‘Top 10 things you forget to do when you move’ checklist (PDF).