By Realty Times Staff

Before you move checklist: It’s said that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Many strokes topple mighty oaks. You can eat an elephant a bite at time. If you are facing a move, old axioms like these can offer some encouragement, but how about some practical advice? What you really need are step-by-step tips that will help you chip away at the daunting task of packing, moving and settling in.

Courtesy of North American Van Lines, here is a checklist of things to do to prepare to move:

Two-Three Weeks

  • Fill and transfer prescriptions for family and pets. Pack them to travel with you.
  • Arrange for shipment of plants and pets. Get immunization records for pets.
  • Dispose of or give away all flammables.

One Week

  • Defrost refrigerator and freezer, plus allow thorough air-drying to prevent mildew. Dispose of perishables.
    Transfer checking and savings accounts.
  • Drain fuel and oil from lawnmowers and other power equipment. Drain water hoses.
  • Pack items to be carried in the car, and label “Do Not Move.”
  • Gather valuables from safe deposit box, drawers, jewelry cases as well as personal records. Pack them safely to take with you.
  • Send clothing, draperies, curtains, rugs out for cleaning and leave in wrapping. Take down curtain rods, shelves, and TV antenna.
  • Have the car serviced for the trip and have proof of insurance in car.

Moving Day

  • Remember to pack a box of basics you’ll need on move-in day (tools, paper products, all-purpose household cleaners, etc.) Be sure to have it loaded last so that it will be first off at your new home.
  • Pack suitcases for trip. Remove all bed linens.
  • Be available to check items on inventory sheet.
  • Conduct a last minute walk through with your van operator. Make sure windows are closed, closets empty, lights out and doors locked.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do keep your copy of inventory, Bill of Lading, Order for Service, Estimate, household booklet, numbers to call, etc. with you at all times when moving begins.
  • Don’t pack these items with the shipment.
  • Do carefully wrap liquids, cleansers, and shampoos in plastic wrap or liners.
  • Don’t pack paint, bottles of bleach, gas cans, or other inflammables. It is against federal law for movers to transport flammables and combustibles.
  • Do back up your PC with copies of all your files. Put in a scratch diskette to park your hard drive. Try to pack the PC in its original carton. Remove CD’s from your player before packing and put the discs back in their cases. Wrap multi-play cartridges separately.
  • Do moisten plants before placing them in cartons. Know that professional movers are prohibited from moving plants unless delivery is scheduled within 24 hours or is less than 150 miles away.
  • Do have your appliance motors bolted to ensure safe arrival.

Stuff You’ll Need List

More than likely, you already have 80% of the following list and you can borrow the rest.
Print it out, cross off what you already have, start a pile and go get the rest:

  • 2-4 big, black permanent markers
  • several rolls of wide masking tape
  • scissors
  • tissues
  • toilet paper
  • paper towels galore and/or cleaning rags
  • old toothbrush
  • hand soap
  • body soap
  • shampoo
  • Soft Drinks
  • food for everyone helping
  • sealable baggies
  • trash bags (get a roll of 50. You’ll need them)
  • cabinet liner
  • scrubbing brush
  • sponges with one side that scrubs
  • rubber gloves
  • broom/dustpan
  • mop
  • vacuum cleaner
  • bleach
  • bathroom cleaner (get an all purpose cleaner. The more it does, the less you have to buy.)
  • dust cleaner (ex. Endust, Pledge, etc.)
  • carpet cleaner
  • glass cleaner
  • dishwashing detergent
  • laundry detergent
  • tile floor cleaner
  • small jam box


There were way too many times during the move where I wiped my sweaty forehead and said: “[insert expletive of your choice here]! I forgot the stupid [pick from the list above]!”