Whether you are moving just a few blocks away or to another city altogether, the process can be stressful.

In fact, some people consider moving to be even more stressful than divorce!

One invaluable item can help make your move go smoothly, however. That's a moving checklist. Here's what you need to do.

Creating A Moving Checklist

Get Organized

First, you'll need a file folder to organize all of your moving-related paperwork. This will include:

  • you moving checklist
  • a calendar
  • the contract from your moving company
  • receipts for moving-related expenses
  • change-of-address forms
  • any other forms or paperwork

Make A Schedule

Using your calendar, make a moving checklist for each stage of the process. This will help you remember when you need to do certain things, so that nothing gets lost in the shuffle!

Eight Weeks Out

  • Choose a moving company and lock down this important service.
  • Gather boxes, bubble wrap, newspaper, packing tape, and markers.
  • Start organizing your belongings. Donate what you no longer need or set it aside to hold a yard sale. 
  • Begin packing out-of-season items or those you don't use frequently.
  • If you rent, contact the landlord to let he/she know you'll be moving, and to arrange a time for a walk-through.

If you are moving to a different city, you'll need to research things like schools, healthcare facilities, banks, and utility companies.

Six Weeks Out

  • Take an inventory of what's in your freezer and pantry. Begin to use up those items, since it will be inconvenient to move it. Non-perishable foods that you don't eat in time can be donated to a food bank.
  • Make a list of companies that will need your change of address: insurance agents, online retailers, magazine subscriptions, etc.
  • Call your doctors to request copies of your medical records. Fill any prescriptions in order to have an adequate supply.
  • Don't forget to request your pets' records from the vet's office.

Four Weeks Out

  • Change your address with the USPS, either online or using a paper form.
  • Hold your moving sale, or arrange for a pickup of items you're donating.
  • Organize valuable items, like jewelry, sentimental keepsakes, and important documentation. Keep these separate; you will want to move them yourself.
  • Request your children's school records.
  • If you are not changing jobs, request a day or two off to make moving less hurried.

Three Weeks Out

  • Now is the time to really ramp up your packing efforts.
  • As you pack, remember to label boxes clearly, so that the moving company can deliver them to the right room. Grouping them together by destination in your current home is a good idea, too.
  • Learn how to pack fragile or awkwardly shaped items. 
  • Clean each room as you empty it.
  • Call your moving company to confirm the details.

The Week of the Move

  • Pack a suitcase for each family member with essentials they'll need in the days immediately following the move. Take these with you, in case there's a problem with the moving company.
  • Pack your coffee maker and coffee supplies, a roll of paper towels, some disposable plates and silverware, a few rolls of toilet paper, trash bags, and other handy items. This way you won't have to dig through a bunch of boxes right away to find what you need.
  • Defrost your freezer; get rid of any remaining food.
  • Clean your home thoroughly.

The Day of the Move

  • Turn over your keys to the real estate agent or landlord.
  • Make one final trip through the house to make sure nothing's been left behind.
  • Relax knowing that you've checked all the boxes thanks to your moving checklist!