Moving must-dos

Take the stress out of moving with this timeline of helpful hints

Moving can be stressful, but planning and a little know-how can go a long way. Here is a checklist designed to help make the experience easier.


About two months before you move

  • Take inventory of your possessions

A list of all your belongings can be useful when deciding how many boxes you need, how big a truck you should rent and how to estimate your moving costs. It may also come in handy for insurance purposes if items are lost or broken during the move.

  • Find the right movers for the job

Not into heavy lifting? Now’s the time to hire a company that fits your needs and budget. Get at least three estimates before you choose your mover, and make sure companies are licensed, insured and bonded in case something breaks. For extra peace of mind, you may want to consider moving insurance.

Terms to know: Licensed refers to a moving company’s business license. Bonded means the movers are obligated to carry out their contract. Insured refers to the company’s insurance policy, though levels of coverage can vary.

  • Order moving supplies

For cross-country moves, it may be worth it to invest in durable boxes that
can survive the trip. If you have a local move, used boxes can do just fine.
Get them for free at many grocery stores, pharmacies and online sites such
as Craigslist.

  • Save your receipts

Moving costs can add up quickly, so it’s important to keep track of what you spend. Also, certain moving expenses can be tax-deductible, so make sure you save your receipts. Check out the IRS website for details about tax-deductible moving expenses.


A month before the big day

  • Prepare to forward your mail

Pick a date to start forwarding your mail. But be sure to pay any bills in advance so you won’t be caught short if they happen to arrive after you leave. It may also be a good idea to sign up for paperless billing or to set up automatic payments for recurring bills. Learn more from Bank of America about how to pay bills online with Online Bill Pay.

  • Schedule a time to power down

Make sure to disconnect or transfer your utilities and connect the new ones. Otherwise, residents who move in after you may live on your dime. Keep a record of all your cancellation notices, just in case.


A couple weeks until you move

  • Update your mailing address

Change your address with the United States Postal Service as well as with your credit card and insurance companies and bank. And don’t forget to order new checks that include your new address. If you move out of state, it’s a good idea to transfer your bank accounts to your new location. If you’re a Bank of America customer, you can update your contact information via Online Banking, or if you move to a new state, you can transfer your account(s) by calling 800.432.1000.

  • Eat yourself out of house and home

Wasting food means wasting money, so plan creative meals around what you have in your fridge and freezer.

  • Pack early and smart

Got a space you barely use? Designate it the packing room and store all your boxes there. Use your inventory to note how and where you’ve packed your belongings. Label each box with a marker or color-coded sticker to distinguish which box belongs where.

  • Confirm, confirm, confirm

Sometimes things fall through the cracks. Reconfirm your mover’s contact info, pickup and destination times, as well as estimates for potential additional costs in case more labor is required.


Moving day

  • Prep your new home

Before the moving truck arrives at your new home, mark doors or areas with stickers that correspond to your packing boxes. Try to unpack by room and avoid putting any boxes in your basement or attic. If you can’t see them, they may never be unpacked.

  • Do a walk-through of both homes

At the new house, use your inventory list to double-check that you have all your boxes and other belongings before the movers leave. At the old house, make sure the water and lights are off, the doors are locked, and all your closets and drawers are empty. Then enjoy a deep sigh of relief. You’ve done it.

Close Disclaimer

The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial, tax or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional and tax advisor when making decisions regarding your financial situation.

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