Complete Interstate Mover’s Checklist

24 Steps Checklist for Interstate Movers to Make Your Migration Flawless

After months of brainstorming and planning, it’s finally time to move. You’ve secured a new home, and now all that’s left is the actual trek across the country to your new base of operations. But before you can hit the open road (or interstate highways), there are a few things you need to square away.

A mover’s checklist is essential for ensuring a smooth transition from one home to another. It can help you determine what needs to be done and when, what supplies you’ll need, and how much everything will cost.

Below is a comprehensive checklist of everything you need to do when moving across states, grouped into items you can accomplish at different stages of your move. Be sure to go through it step by step so that you don’t have any nasty surprises to cope with on your big day.

Interstate moving supplies you’ll need:

Moving is a big ordeal, and while you might assume you already have the necessities to pack up and get going, there might be a few tools and supplies you miss, which can slow the entire process down.

To keep things moving on schedule, go ahead and collect the following items before you start moving:

  • Boxes (big, medium, and small)
  • Packing tape
  • Packing peanuts or bubble wrap (or old towels, sheets, or clothes)
  • Labels (and a label maker if preferred)
  • Permanent markers
  • Hangers
  • Trashbags
  • Cleaning products
  • Tie-down straps and lifting straps
  • Dollies or carts

The last thing you need is to interrupt your packing process one million and one times with additional trips to the store for supplies. 

Also read: Ways To Find Affordable Last-Minute Movers

When you decide to move: checklist

Now that you have an idea of when you’ll be moving, it’s time to start getting everything in order. The following items should be done as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition.

1. Tell your employer

First, notify your employer of your move and request paperwork for a transfer or put in your letter of resignation. Give your boss as much notice as possible to avoid burning a bridge.

2. Research new schools/daycare

If you have children, start researching new schools or daycares in your area. You don’t want to leave this task until the last minute.

3. Tell your schools

Notify your children’s schools of your new address. Administrators will need to transfer childrens’ records to the new school.

4. Pre-plan for new home utility vendors

Start looking into the things you’ll need once at your new location: find who your electricity supplier will be, your utility supplier, your Internet provider, etc., so you’re not scrambling to do these things after the move.

Two months before the move: checklist

When you’re eight weeks out, get the ball rolling by accomplishing these tasks:

5. Create a moving binder to stay organized

Start by creating a moving binder with tabs for each stage of the move: “planning,” “contacts,” “changing addresses,” etc. This organization will keep you relaxed and on track.

Put all of your notes and documents related to the move here for easy access.

6. Book final appointments

Have any last-minute appointments you want to make with a doctor, hairstylist, or someone else? Schedule now with eight weeks left, so you have plenty of time to work it all into your busy calendar. 

7. Set a budget

Moving is expensive, but there are ways to keep costs down. Start by setting a budget and sticking to it. 

8. Arrange for your vehicle

If you’re not driving your car to the new location, consider shipping the car to another state. While driving is one option that some people choose, it might make more sense to fly to your destination city and save yourself the hassle and vehicle wear and tear. 

9. Arrange your transportation

Book your flights and reserve a rental car if you’re flying to the new location. If you’re driving, make sure you have enough time to make the trip and map out the route.

10. Find a moving company

Solicit quotes from moving companies and select one. Before deciding, ask for a written estimate and read the fine print. It’s also wise to read reviews to understand the experience other customers have had with the company in the past.

11. Declutter

The less you have to move, the easier it will be. Start decluttering your home and get rid of things you don’t need or want anymore. Have a garage sale, donate to charity, or sell items online.

12. Contact current utility vendors

Inform your current utility vendors of your move and give them your new address. Since you’ll be traveling a long distance, there’s a good chance you will be signing with all-new utility vendors at your new location. If that’s the case, simply let your current vendors know when to shut off your existing service.

One month before the move: checklist

At this point, you should have completed many of the larger tasks on the list. Now it’s time to focus on a few more things with just four weeks to go.

13. Make a packing plan and moving timeline

It’s essential to have a plan in place before you start packing. This plan will help keep you organized and on track. Plus, it’ll be helpful to have a timeline of what needs to be done, so you’re not scrambling last minute.

14. Contact new utility vendors

If you haven’t already, contact new utility vendors in your area and get information on setting up a service. Tell them when you expect to be in your new location and when service should be turned on.

15. Cancel local memberships

Gym, pool, country club? If you’re not going to be using them anymore, it’s time to cancel your memberships.

Two weeks before the move: checklist

At this point, you’re in the home stretch. There’s not much left to do, but it’s crucial to stay on track and make sure everything is ready to go.

16. Forward your mail

This task is easy to forget, but you don’t want your mail coming to your old address after you’ve moved. Contact the post office and have your mail forwarded to your new address.

17. Pack non-essential items

Start packing the items you won’t need until after you’ve moved. These items might include things like holiday decorations, clothes you won’t need right away, or furniture you can live without for a little while. This advance planning makes moving time that much easier.

18. Confirm with movers

Confirm all the details with your mover, like when they will be arriving and when they will be leaving, when their expected ETA is, what services are included, and your total cost.

Moving time: Checklist

Now it’s finally time for the move. Make sure you have everything you need and follow these final steps.

19. Finish packing items

Pack the last of your boxes and make sure everything is ready to go. You may be doing this job alone or helping movers finish the job. Be sure to label all your boxes on all sides to know exactly what’s in them. Packing by room makes it simple to unpack.

20. Pack suitcase of most essential items

Pack a suitcase with the essentials you’ll need for the first few days after moving. This category might include clothes, toiletries, and a few kitchen items. You may also want to carry important documents and IDs, so they don’t get lost.

21. Bring cleaners in

Before you leave, have the cleaners come to your old home and clean it top to bottom. You could do this work yourself, but you can save hours and a lot of stress by hiring professionals including maids.

22. Give keys to landlord or new resident

Make sure you hand off your keys to your landlord or new resident, so they aren’t tracking you down from states away to get it.

After the move: checklist

Now that you’re all settled in, there are just a few more things to take care of.

23. Update address on documents

Make sure to update your address on all essential documents, like your driver’s license, passport, and voter registration.

24. Get settled

Take your time getting settled in. It can take a while to get used to a new place, so relax and enjoy your new home.

Also read: Tips to Choose the Right Moving Company

Wrapping (and packing) up

Moving can be a stressful experience, but with the right planning and checklist to follow, it can be a lot smoother, so you can focus on the exciting new adventure ahead.

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