long distance moving checklist

The Ultimate Checklist When Moving to a New Home 

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When you are moving house, there is so much to do in such a short time. If you are moving to another state, there is even more to consider, and relocation is a significant life stress event, up there with death and divorce. To plan a successful move, you will need at least eight weeks’ lead-up time as this enables everything to be appropriately organized. While you are doing your moving plan, you should consider your budget to make sure enough funds are available to cover everything. The first thing to do when you know the move date and destination is to book a reputable long-distance moving company.


Moving Checklist

Choosing the correct Moving Company

  • Moving is usually not always tax-deductible.
  • Choose a moving company to do this by getting three reputable long-distance companies and checking their references before deciding.
  • Ask the long-distance moving company how long they take to deliver your household goods. Set up the proper sleeping accommodations until your furniture is delivered.
  • Make sure to read all documents provided by your long-distance moving company to avoid hidden charges.
  • If you are moving your vehicle to a different state, you will be required to get new license plates.
  • Valuable and personal items, passports, and personal documents should be in your possession at all times.
  • Valuable artworks and antiques should be flagged with the moving company and insured before the move.
  • Ensure all the long-distance moving company insurances are in place, as you want to be covered if anything goes wrong.

budgeting for move

Other Considerations

  • If you are in a profession, get a license to practice in the new area.
  • Check your cost of living calculations for the new area. Are you be better off making a move?
  • Start sorting out what you are going to move and what you are leaving behind. An excellent chance to donate stuff you don’t need and throw out things you have meant to get rid of.

1. Moving Company

Ask the moving company to drop around the boxes and packing tape early, as you can gradually pack one room at a time. If a corporate move, you may have some packers coming to assist you, as your company will often pay for relocation when they have asked you to relocate.

2. USPS Change of Address

Contact the post office to ensure that your mail reaches your new address. You can do it online or at the local post office.

3. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Before you drive or transport your car across the country, register it to your new address. Laws vary, and there are different requirements in different states. If you are transporting your vehicle with a company, take the license plates off it first, as if you don’t, the license plates continue to register an amount of money on every tollway across the country, which could add up to an extra $500.

social security

4 . Social Security

Anyone receiving any benefit, change your address with social security.

5. Taxation Department

Notify both Federal and State tax departments of your change of address.

6. De-Clutter Before Packing

Go through your home room by room throw anything broken away. Make a pile of redundant furniture and household goods donated to a charity, as it is impossible to take everything with you. Then you are ready to start packing. Carefully wrap glassware and china in bubble wrap and packing paper before putting a fragile sticker on the box.

declutter groupings

7. Utility Bills

Your gas and electricity companies should be notified that you are moving, give them two weeks’ notice. You may have a cable connection. The company also needs to be told of the move and given your new address.

8. Home Insurance

Your insurance company requires notification if you have renters insurance. Keep a copy handy to show your new landlord, as this can be transferable.

9. Key Documents

Keep all your documents in a folder that you can carry with you. Some may be scanned and in your phone ( like your driver’s license), and the rest should be handy.

credit card

10. Your Bank and Credit Cards

Ensure to notify the bank, mortgage lender, and credit card companies of your new billing address.

11. Your Employer

If you have resigned from your job, let them know where you are going so that your employer can forward payslips and tax advice.

12. Children’s School

Let your child’s school know where you are going so that student records can be forwarded.

13. Cable/ Internet Company

If you still have a cable internet company, make changes of address to have a phone line, internet, and cables when you move. ( do you need a home phone?).

14. Doctor and Dentist

So your records can be forwarded to the new provider, as medical records are now for life and transfer with you.

15. Electoral Role 

If you vote, you need to enroll in your new electorate.

cats and dogs pets

16. Your Cat and Dog

When moving across the country, your pets also need to be relocated. If you are flying, ask about taking your dog or cat on the same flight with you or in a different compartment.

17. Family and Friends

Don’t forget to send a message to family and friends notifying them of the move, the new address, and the date it is happening.

18. Club Memberships

Not all of these will be relevant in a new place, so cancel what you no longer need.

real estate

Choosing Your New House

Considerations for Home Buyer

Depending on where you are moving to, your new city or suburb will probably vary in price, costing less or more than where you have lived.

If you plan to move to an area with a mixture of houses and apartments, it will be cheaper to start with an apartment in a good location. The suitable apartment will be a property that you can always hold when moving to a house later on. Start attending open for inspections to get used to prices.

Visit Several Real Estate Agents

  • Get an idea of the best suburb or suburbs for you, near transport, entertainment, and shopping.
  • Once you decide, visit two top-performing agents and get an idea of prices and what they have available.
  • Start looking at houses or apartments. You may want to start your new life in an apartment as it is a cheaper option than a house.
  • Narrowing down the choice to no more than three properties will make things less confusing.
  • When you pick a house you would like to buy, get a home inspection ( more in the checklist).
  • Ask the vendor to fix any problem with the condition that you will purchase the property when the problem is rectified.
  • If he can’t fix it, you may require a price reduction.
  • If the property will be auctioned out, be ready to bid, but never bid more than the amount, you have agreed on with the bank.

Before Purchasing a House More Questions

  • Where do you want to live? It may be in the city, suburban rural, or in between.
  • Do you want to be near shops and entertainment?
  • Do you want to walk to work?
  • Can your children walk to school?
  • Is there any green space near parks, bike tracks, dog parks?

Preparing Your Checklist for Inspection Tips

  • You may want to have the roof inspected for hail damages or leaks since a new roof can cost between 15-30K.
  • Does the house have a heating and cooling system? If not, this is a considerable expense.
  • Foundations are there any cracks or sinking that would indicate that the building has moved?
  • Do the gutters and downpipes have holes in them? It probably means that water isn’t draining away properly.
  • Check the exterior paint on the house. Is it cracking or peeling?
  • Plumbing and hot water, how old is the hot water system?
  • Is there any mold or dampness in the home? If there is mold, don’t look any further.
  • Is there an attic? Check it for insulation since some old homes may not have it, so you will need to insulate the roof space.
  • Indoor walls and ceilings check for cracks.
  • Check wooden floors for rot or termite infestation.
  • Is there a basement, any evidence of rising dampness?
  • Fixed appliances, dishwashers, and stoves do they work?
  • Is the water pressure okay?
  • Is there a garage in the yard? Always handy for storage and the car, especially in winter.
  • Electrical Board

The Week of the Move

  • Mark every box and what room it came out of for the benefit of the movers, so you can know where everything goes in your new home.
  • Number the rooms on the floor plan to make it easier, number the boxes to correspond.
  • Book a cleaning company to clean your old house once you are out of it so that the new owner can go into a cleaned house.
  • Pack an overnight bag to take with you across the country.

new home

When you get to the New House

If you have purchased a house, you cannot go in before settlement, but you can pick up the keys on the agreed day and go straight into the property if you are renting.

If you get to the new house before the moving truck and movers, you may need to book a local motel for the night. Go to the new home, and the first thing you should do is arrange to have the locks changed.

  • If time allows, get the carpets cleaned so that everything will go into a clean area.
  • Check for pests. You may need to call an exterminator.
  • Check to see if window coverings are adequate.
  • Make sure that power and water are turned on.
  • Check the fuse box.
  • Check that all light bulbs work.
  • Check smoke detectors for batteries.
  • Check the garden to make sure that toddlers and dogs can’t escape. If there are any significant gaps in the fence, call a fence company to repair it.
  • Go for a walk to locate the nearest shops to buy milk and bread and other urgent supplies.
  • Try to work out where the nearest public transport is located.
  • Find out from the school when the PTA meets, an excellent way to make friends.
  • Make sure that the kids are school-ready, check uniform status. They won’t be able to wait to get started.
  • Check relevant junior sporting clubs. You may need a football team for the kids to join.
  • If you are a Church regular, check for your place of worship.
  • When you are new to a place, it is good to walk around it to check where everything is located.

unpacking boxes moving


  • Unpack your new house systematically start with bedrooms and bed making.
  • Fold all the boxes down as soon as they are unpacked for the moving company to remove
  • Having familiar things around you can help you feel settled.
  • Don’t try to cook for a few days—order takeaway.
  • It can take a week to get everything back in order.
  • Get someone in to hang paintings and mirrors.
  • Make sure the windows are covered to retain heat in winter, cool in summer.
  • Touch up any damaged paintwork
  • Find a lawn mowing contractor. You may be able to pay a teenager.
  • Once everything is in order, you will feel at home.
  • You may need a handyperson or a plumber to reconnect the dishwasher and refrigerator.
  • Start making a list of good local tradesmen
  • Talk to the neighbors about good local contacts
  • Try to remain on good terms with the neighbors


When you move, whether it is to a neighboring state or across the country, it will most likely exhaust you. It takes about a year to get used to living in a new place, and if you know someone there already, it will make it easier to meet people. Becoming involved with the school will enable you to meet people more quickly and make friends.

Once you move, allow a bit of ‘down time’ to settle in before you start work. Get to know the new location by visiting a few outings and get to know your local parks and cafes a bit. Unpacking and visiting the city attractions will help you to settle in and feel as though you belong.

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