14 Things You Forget to Do When You Move That Should Be on Every Checklist

Relocating your home can often appear as a whirlwind of tasks coming at you. Having so much on your mind certainly justifies all the things you forget to do when you move. There’s even a famous Murphy’s law, reminding us that all future problems are not just possible but inevitable. In its simplest form, it states: “If anything can go wrong, it will.” Even though Captain Murphy didn’t speak of the moving industry, we can easily imagine how these timeless words of wisdom relate to it.

You know the feeling: how many times have you walked out the door and realized you forgot your wallet? Or your shades? Imagine what happens when you are trying to prepare for something bigger, then. Making sure you’re getting all your ducks in a row when relocating across the country will ease your mind, and we’re here to help you stay on track.

It Takes Weeks to Prepare

Although there’s a lot in store for you, planning every aspect of your move is essential. Whether you’re relocating to another state alone or leaving with your family, take time to understand the process of planning a move to another city. It’s a common thing to do to avoid stress on your way, but also a common thing that slips your mind. By starting early enough, you’ll know the plan like the back of your hand, and no task will surprise you.

Young man and a girl with cardboard boxes
Thorough preparation is a life-saver

With a Moving Checklist There’s No Chance You’ll Forget Any Important Task

One of the greatest long-distance relocation tips out there is organizing correctly by creating a moving checklist. By skipping it, you might risk leaving everything to chance and losing your precious time asking yourself what to do first and how to do it, which is not the most thoughtful way of handling the relocation process. When everything on your list feels equally important, you’ll have to find a way to distinguish the importance of the tasks by. For example, preparing your house for sale is not the same as thinking about how to store Christmas ornaments. Also, creating a household inventory list and organizing move-out cleaning can’t be on the same page. So, if you’re wondering how to organize your move best, remembering making a neatly arranged timeline will help you out a great deal.

Checklist on a table
With a clear relocation checklist, you'll have to really try to get stuck

Our Tips on Updating Your Address

If you want your mail and bills at your new house, as well, updating the address will do. Although it might seem strange, most people fail to remember it when having long-distance moving on their mind. So, keep it as an important note on your new apartment checklist.

Here’s where you will have to change your address:

  • Credit card accounts,
  • Bank accounts,
  • Place of employment,
  • Schools,
  • Utilities, cable, phone, and internet providers,
  • Medical professionals whom you see regularly,
  • Life and car insurance,
  • Pet’s veterinarian,
  • Subscriptions (magazines, newspapers, etc.),
  • Other professional services.
A mailbox in front of a house
Sometimes a simple update is all you need

Collecting Important Documents

Whatever your reasons to move, obtaining your records and all other necessary documentation is also something you should remember doing. Keep in mind these are the usual things people forget to pack amidst the crazy busy pre-move period, but having your employment, legal, financial, medical, housing, school, car, and travel documents with you will save you from a lot of trouble and frustration.

A bunch of documents
Some of them you'll need immediately, some later on, but having documents with you is what matters

Be Sure to Call Professional Movers Early Enough

When overwhelmed, people tend to forget the most simple things. That’s why it’s important to plan your relocation in a timely manner. It’s the only way to comprehend the proportions of such an endeavor and the assistance it might require. Knowing what professional packing of your entire household implies, as well as how demanding it is to move without moving services will save you from wasting your time on something you are not competent for on your own. Cross-country moving services can be quite pricey, but having accurate info on how much movers cost will benefit your relocation budget. Still, beware of the relocation scams because it is well known that The Better Business Bureau receives an average of 13,000 complaints and negative reviews each year.

Mover with boxes
Hiring professional movers should take out most of the stress out of the process, don't hesitate to call them

Take Your Furry Friend for a Check-up

Another thing people usually fail to remember is to take their furry friends to the vet for a check-up. When relocating with pets, it’s crucial to know they are healthy because relocating long-distance is not only challenging for you but your pet companion, too. Don’t forget to bring their immunization records with you. That’s how you’ll make sure not to miss anything when it comes to your pet’s medical needs.

Cat in a cardboard box
For a smooth transition, taking good care of your pet is a necessary step

To Pack or Not to Pack – That Is the Question

Here we’ll remind you of the priorities because not all the belongings are equally important. It will be crucial to know what to keep when relocating and what to leave behind. While trying to figure out how to pack your shoes or maybe how to pack fragile items, you’ll easily overlook getting rid of the unwanted items. Selling them or giving away pieces you don’t need in your new home might be an excellent way to cut down on your relocation expenses. With less of your belongings, relocation services will also cost less. So, do not just focus on how to pack dishes but remember to do some decluttering.

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Take the Stress Out With a Good Storage Plan

Using storage service is a great chance to consider thoroughly what to do with the stuff you are not sure about or when you find yourself “between homes.” When relocating, things don’t always go to plan, and not everyone remembers to have a plan B in such situations. Furthermore, whether you’re looking for temporary storage or some more permanent solution, you should know how to prep your belongings for storage because having it as an option can be such a huge relief.

Remember to Leave All of These Behind

There are certain items movers will not move for safety reasons, but  when you find yourself in the middle of relocation chaos, don’t be surprised if you lose the list with restricted items you were given by your movers. If in doubt, here are the ones you should definitely have to get rid off:

  • Flammables and explosives,
  • Hazardous materials and chemicals,
  • Perishable food,
  • Pets and plants.
Red prohibitory sign
Don't let your new house fall victim to the same old clutter

Free Moving Supplies for Your Items

No relocation process will be successful without proper moving supplies. Everyone needs them and, yet again, everyone forgets how simple it is to protect belongings for free or a minimal fee. This one is probably the best of all relocation hacks you can find out there, to save on your relocation expenses with free supplies. Of course, you can purchase brand new packing materials, but it’s always a good idea to ask your friends or neighbors if they have any cardboard boxes they don’t plan to use. You will surely get a bunch of helpful packing tips along the way. Supermarkets and bookstores are also excellent sources, so don’t give up without trying. There’s probably a suitable alternative to packing paper in your home; towels, sheets, pillows. Just take a good look around.

A couple with boxes
There are many ways to cut down on your relocation expenses, and starting with packing supplies is always a good idea

Prepare Your Survival Kit Box

When the big day comes, with the last-minute checks awaiting and the whole family scattered around, it might be difficult to think about the essentials. They might even be completely neglected then, given the circumstances. However, consider this box packed with your everyday stuff your survival kit once you step into your new house – from extra clothes for all the family, medication, personal documentation, toiletries, snacks, and drinks, to a flashlight and essential hand tools. So, try not to overlook it, because it can be quite complicated without them the first few days. Labeling it and moving it aside before a pick-up can be helpful because you will not risk your movers loading it with the rest of the boxes.

Things You Forget to Do When You Move – Labeling Other Boxes, As Well

No matter if you’re relocating for the first time or you’ve done it dozens of times before, the last thing you want once you reach your new place is to have a bunch of identical boxes in front of you. And that’s the only possible scenario if you leave your items unlabeled, especially when it comes to marking all of your breakables. Trust our word. Some extra attention will not hurt them, on the contrary. If you want to keep your head calm, do the job.

For more details on how to label your boxes properly, check the video below.

Get Your Car Serviced on Time

If you’ve decided to have your car with you, make sure it is serviced. Even though it might seem irrelevant, the last thing you want is to have a problem with it when knee-deep in the relocation process. Preparing it for a car shipping service is also important. Most people fail to remember to empty the entire vehicle in that case, which leaves them in an unenviable position of handling more of their items when least needed.

Routine car check-up
Make sure you have covered even the tasks you don't see as a priority, such as servicing your car

Just as Important Things to Remember to Do When Moving

Rushing to get all your stuff in order, it’s no wonder when some of your belongings get misplaced or forgotten altogether. To remain organized, you have to rely on being well-coordinated throughout the whole move, which many miss doing. Things you forget to pack are not necessarily permanently lost. Despite all the chaos, it’s possible to remember it all:

  • Keys – The habit of carrying keys around with you may easily make you forget to leave them once a moving date comes. Make sure you’ve collected all the keys from every household member for the new homeowners, as well as to leave the garage door opener.
  • Dry cleaning – As odd as it might sound, people fail to remember their clean clothes. However, this comes as no surprise when relocating. When packing clothes for relocation, they suddenly remember their laundry tickets or dry cleaning tickets, and then it’s probably already too late.
  • Library books – People usually remember to pack their books, but they most definitely forget to take lent books back to the library. Keep this in mind and try to return borrowed books on time.
  • Subscriptions and memberships – These are also good examples of typically forgotten things to do when moving cross country. Canceling your gym membership easily slips your mind when preoccupied with all the planning.
Home keys
Sorting out even the tiniest details is the right way to approach the big day

Ready to Head Off

When packed to the brim with tasks, it’s a bit of wonder taking care of the move from start to finish without forgetting anything. Obsessing equally about the minor tasks and the really significant ones comes naturally since all the tasks seem essential during the relocation process. But, with our checklist rounded up, you don’t have to worry anymore. Keep packing and use it to save yourself a lot of headaches. Sometimes that’s all you need – a little help from outside to help you start an exciting journey.

Eleanor Stewart