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The ultimate moving checklist to take the stress out of your move

The ultimate moving checklist to take the stress out of your move
Image source: Getty Images

A moving checklist is a great way to get your upcoming move organised. Knowing what to pack and how can not only save you lots of time, it can also save you money.    

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Here are a few simple but effective strategies for a simple and organised move.

1. Create a detailed moving checklist

Even if you have a small property, chances are moving will turn out to be more complex than you originally expected. Having a written list of everything you need to do will simplify the tasks and ensure you don’t forget anything.

Make sure your list includes everything from the actual packing to steps to take to prepare kids and pets for the move.

2. Start planning as early as possible

Don’t wait until the week of the move to start boxing things. Rarely used items can be packed 3 to 4 weeks before moving day. This includes things such as artwork and decorative items, books, electronics you don’t use regularly and off-season clothing. If you have a garden, outdoor items can be packed away too.

3. Keep donate/discard boxes in the room

Next on your moving checklist should be getting rid of anything you don’t need or use as you’re packing. The fewer things you move, the easier the unpacking will be.

Moving companies might not take certain chemicals or hazardous products (such as fertilizers, paint or propane tanks), so you’ll have to either plan to move these yourself or discard them.   

4. Don’t forget to arrange things for the move

Moving is about more than just packing. About two weeks before you move, start arranging the transfer of utilities and cleaning your current home. Clean as you go, while packing things away, to save money and time.

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5. Make sure you have enough packing supplies

You’ll need to add boxes, tape, bubble wrap and paper to wrap fragile items to your moving checklist. You can use a packing calculator to help you estimate how many boxes you’ll need based on the size of your home, how many people live there and your lifestyle (minimalist or hoarder?)

6. Give yourself enough time for the actual packing

No matter how long you think the packing is going to take – it will always take longer than that.

According to, it takes the average person one to two days to pack an entire small, one-bedroom apartment and up to six days to pack a large four-bedroom house. Of course, this assumes you’ll be working on the packing long hours and you have an “average” amount of things to pack away.

7. Keep items in the original furniture

Clothes can be left in the drawers they’re usually kept in when you’re moving. Same with desk drawers or filing cabinets. No need to unpack things to just have to return them to their original place soon after the move.

8. Label all boxes clearly

A great thing to add to your moving checklist is clear labelling. Anything you do put in boxes should be clearly labelled, preferably on two sides plus the top.

Make the writing clear, such as “kitchen” or “master bedroom.” Movers might not know where to put the boxes if you use wording such as “second bedroom” or “extra things.” Even if you’re moving yourself, using clear descriptions such as “office paperwork” is better than a vague “office.”

9. Try to empty your fridge and freezer 

Moving perishables is tricky and inconvenient, so try to use up whatever food you have in the fridge and freezer by the time you move. Get creative with your meals and consider donating anything you don’t eat.  

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