What Should Be on Every Moving Out List

May 18, 2022Moving Tips
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Most of us associate relocations with stress and a lot of hard work. However, creating a moving-out list before you even begin with preparations can prove you wrong. Being on par with every task regarding your move can make the whole process run like clockwork.

Woman writing a to-do list
Creating a list doesn't complicate the process - it simplifies it

There are several key tricks that will help you have a stress-free move, but making a list for moving out is the ultimate hack to staying on top of organizing. It’s just like American author Tom Peters said – “Lists simplify, clarify, edify.” Just like considering which car shipping service you should choose and making the right decision will allow you to transport your vehicle safely, a list will keep all your relocation tasks in check. So, let’s elaborate on the important things it should contain.

The Secret Ingredient to a Successful Relocation Is a Moving Out List

If you are new to the relocation game, you probably haven’t got a clue what exactly you should be doing. And there’s that one thing nagging at the back of your head – What do I need when I first move out? Whether you are about to leave your parents’ nest and move out for the first time ever or you’ve got some relocation experience, it should all start the same – with a good and well-thought-out plan. And if you’re wondering, Is there a checklist for moving? – you can find a printable version on Canva.

Be Wise and Start as Early as Three Months Ahead

Simply making a plan to help you move to a new home just won’t cut it – you should also start your preparations on time. And believe it or not, some errands and tasks can be taken care of as early as two or three months ahead of the move-out date. Keep in mind what Richard Whately, an English academic said – “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.”


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So, what are the first tasks that can be taken care of so they can be scratched from the to-do list for moving out of state? While you can start figuring out how you’ll transport all the fragile objects, decorations, and artwork, and perhaps even pack them up at this point, it’s vital to contact professionals. Once you choose a relocation company that will alleviate some of the hard work that awaits you, contacting them and requesting an in-home estimate will also be a good start to determining the relocation budget.

Deciding what moving services you will need is an integral part of the budget-making process. Also, make sure you choose between open car shipping and the pricier enclosed auto transport on time, and whether you will need door to door auto transport or terminal to terminal car shipping.

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The Next Step on the Checklist Is to Declutter Your Home Like a Boss

If you want to discover ways to save on relocation costs and add to the budget, purging your belongings is the way to go. Since the USA auto transport and relocation company of your choice has based the price on the inventory list of items they are transporting, removing some of them will make the move more affordable. So, here’s what to get rid of, divided into categories:

  • The first category of items is the easiest to sort, and it will contain all of the objects that are way overdue to end up in the trash. Prepare a pile of garbage bags and delve into the most unused spaces, such as the attic and the garage. Be ruthless, and leave any sentimentality out of it. All those broken, old, and damaged objects that lingered in corners for ages will never be used again, and this is the perfect opportunity to throw them away.
  • The second category is made out of the belongings still kind of useful and in good condition, which you don’t want to keep anymore. That could be simple stuff, such as books and blankets, or larger items, such as appliances and mattresses. These are all things you could donate to the nearest charity.
  • The third category is made up of the items you won’t keep (not even in storage) but is still in great condition, so you could earn a dime by selling them. If you have enough time while organizing the move to a big city, throw a yard sale. If you’re not up for it, sell these possessions online through Facebook groups or other social media platforms.

Decluttering will not only allow you to cut down on expenses a bit, but it will also save you from having to deal with unwanted and unnecessary items. Additionally, you can contact your relocation specialists and ask what items movers won’t move so you can get rid of them.

Consider Using Storage for Some of Your Possessions

Storage facilities are a great option if you are relocating from house to apartment, and you must downsize accordingly. It can be a great place to leave stuff such as Christmas decorations or bulky furniture that just won’t fit into your future place. Before you send your possessions to storage, ensure each piece is clean, dry, and properly packed to avoid mold or any other harm that could destroy the item.

Before Leaving the City, Make Sure Everyone Is Notified

Your to-do list should also contain a reminder to take care of the important paperwork. This includes changing the address, as well as a checklist of who to notify when relocating. You can start by contacting your service providers so you can transfer utilities. You can agree on the disconnection and reconnection dates (if you are not changing your providers), and it will be essential to avoid coming into a home with no electricity or running water.

The next step is to inform all the institutions of your soon-to-be-changed whereabouts. You can start with the USPS, as they have an online form to handle this. If you don’t forget this step, it will save the future tenants from figuring out how to stop getting mail for previous residents, aka you. And you’ll continue to receive all the bills and magazines that used to arrive at your doorstep.

Don’t skip notifying financial organizations, such as banks, the IRS, lenders, and investment companies. But also add all the social security administration to the list. If you do all of these steps on time, you will avoid making a huge relocation mistake and additional, yet unnecessary, stress.

Gather Everything You Need Before You Enter the Final Phase

No matter whether you’ve decided to pack by yourself or call professionals to do it, you will need at least some packing materials. Start with obtaining enough sturdy cardboard boxes, mostly medium-sized ones, high-quality packing tape, a tape dispenser, cushioning materials (bubble wrap and foam peanuts), furniture blankets, and some straps. Additionally, get a pair of scissors, a marker or some stickers to label each box, a utility knife, and a dolly if you can. If you want some additional tips, you can use your suitcases and plastic containers to pack your belongings, too.

However, if you’ve decided to pay for a full packing service (and that is by far one of the best packing tips you can get), scratch everything from the list, as the professional packers will bring everything they require. They will also ensure your furniture is dismantled before loading it on the truck.

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What Are Things You Should Do Before You Move In? New Apartment Essentials

While you’re in the shopping mode, grab some stuff from the moving-out list of things to buy for your future apartment, as well. You should shop for the priorities first (and no, new furniture from IKEA is NOT a priority) so you can settle in fast. Check out whether your future place will require some repainting and repairs as one of the things to do after you move or a simple and thorough scrubbing and some minor sprucing up.

Buy all the essential cleaning chemicals and tools, but also don’t forget to prepare a toolbox. That’s usually something most of us completely forget to bring inside a new place, and one of the first things we will need, for sure.

The Best and Complete Moving Out List of Essentials

This is an item on the checklist that will literally save you after you move, and it’s a checklist of all the relocation essentials you will require through the initial days. You can start off by packing the essentials from your bathroom. This includes basic toiletries for hygiene, as well as towels.

Continue to the kitchen and pack up some utensils, plates, and everything else that you’ll require to prepare at least a quick meal. You can also pack some dry foods to ensure nothing gets spoiled during the trip. You can also use disposable cups, utensils, and plates for at least the first few days.

In the end, enter the rooms and prepare a change of clothes for each member of the family. Don’t forget to bring chargers and some books for entertainment. Pack a few toys if you have kids and everything your dog might need if you are relocating with pets.

If you’re still not certain what you’ll be needing as soon as you arrive, the following video shows well-organized boxes with essentials.

YouTube video

Check the House Once More to Ensure Everything Is in Pristine Condition

Whether you are leaving a rental or selling your own property, the home should be left spotless. In the case of a rental, cleaning and repairing everything will mean you’ll get your deposit back, and when selling that, you will achieve a better price. Ensure all the loose ends are taken care of, including minor and major repairs, and that the place is sparkling from top to bottom.

While you should prepare for movers by providing some refreshments and enough cash to tip them, keep in mind that the residence will require a once-over after they leave. It won’t be necessary to scrub everything all over again, but some bathroom cleaning and floor mopping are required.

A man in a pink shirt cleaning
It's best to do a once-over in the end before you lock up your previous place

You Are Now Ready to Fly to Your Future Apartment

If you’ve managed to check all the items from the checklist (and handle even more,) you are good to go and move without any stress whatsoever. All you have to consider in the near future is how to make an apartment feel like home, get to know the new surroundings, and grab the fresh chapter of your life by the horns.

In the end, making friends in a new city will be as easy as pie if you’ve managed this transition effortlessly. Who knew that creating lists doesn’t mean you are a control freak but a well-organized individual that wants to enjoy life and not spend a day overthinking potential problems? With great and thorough planning, you will leave no room for issues, and your relocation will be as exciting as it should be.

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