The Ultimate House Moving Checklist, Packing Guide & Tips


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It’s no secret that the process of house moving from one place to another can be very stressful. A new study shows that it can be more stressful than divorce or breakup. It is has been listed as one of the top five most stressful events in a person’s life along with divorce, breakup, death, and loss of a job.

Needless to mention that the assignment of packing up all of your household effects including furniture and appliances and transporting them to your new home is very challenging and daunting. Into the bargain, choosing whether to hire a company of movers and packers to move your possessions or to do it yourself is a critical decision.

I have written this Ultimate House Moving and Packing Guide intending to make you ready for your upcoming move. Using this packing and moving guide will make your move a whole lot easier and hassle-free.

This relocation guide is a compilation of information from trusted sources like Wikipedia, Wikihow, eHow, Lifehacker and others.

I hope you find this moving and packing guide useful in your endeavour of house moving from one place to another. Whether this is a small move within a city or a major changeover in your life, I wish you peace, success, and happiness.

This Guide comprises of two sections:-

  • Preparing and Packing for House Moving
  • “How to” – Moving Tips

Preparing and Packing for House Moving

The process of house moving calls for a lot of preparation and packing before the actual moving day. In this part, you will learn some great tips on how to prepare and pack for a move. Additionally, you will also get what important information you should know before moving.

What you need to do and know

In this section, I am going to share important information (Moving Checklist) to help you in the process of preparing and packing for house moving. A moving checklist can be vital for getting ready to move. I hope you will find this information useful and will be well-prepared and organized for your upcoming move.

Getting ready to move (Moving Checklist)

Everyone wants to make the house moving a good experience. By getting ready to move in an organized way, you can accomplish transform your move into the best ever experience of your life. To make an upcoming house moving less stressful or completely hassle-free, you need to pack your household possessions including personal and sentimental items carefully. You need to know what items you should take and what items you should leave behind. You need to know what items you must get rid of.

Figuring out what things you need to do before your moving day can be an overwhelming experience. To make it easier, I have created this checklist. I am sure that my moving checklist will help you confirm nothing gets left behind. Whether you want to pack your belongings, hire a moving truck and do it yourself, or hire a company of packers and movers to do all tasks on behalf of you, here is how you can get everything organized and keep track of every important detail. Don’t try to do all tasks in a day or a few days as it may make you tired or can be a risk for your health. Divide tasks for an easy day and do the task accordingly. I hope you will be able to simplify your move.

6 weeks before the move

  • Gather information and research on packers and movers
  • Take time to verify the credentials of shortlisted packers and movers.
  • Ask the right questions to movers to validate them. Read Here: 15 Trickiest Questions That You Should Ask Your Movers.
  • Collect moving estimates from multiple companies to compare and save money on choosing the best aid.

5 weeks before the move

  • Explore your house thoroughly to have an overall idea about what items you have to shift
  • Decide what items you want to keep and what items you want to discard or donate to charity.
  • Hold a garage sale to sell your surplus items, old belongings or other items you don’t want to shift.
  • Learn how to declutter the house, how to get rid of junks and unwanted items.
  • Make a fresh list of items that need to be packed and transported.

4 weeks before the move

  • Make a decision on what items you want to pack and what items you want movers will pack if you are using one. If you are packing up belongings, then your movers can also provide you packing materials at cheaper rates.
  • Gather plenty of packing supplies and moving boxes well in advance.
  • Overestimate the quantity of packing supplies you will need – you always need more than you think you do.
  • Contact your doctors and dentists to collect medical records and prescriptions.
  • Ask your doctors or dentists for recommendations. They may recommend a colleague in your new city.
  • Visit the school of your children and arrange the transfer of school records. (Top 20 Best Schools in East Delhi)
  • Transfer or updated personal insurance records earlier, as it may need time to be updated.
  • If you have to move houseplants, then read this article: How to Relocate Plants Safely.

3 weeks before the move

  • Start consuming most food and perishable items by the day of moving.
  • Make major home appliances like washing machines and refrigerator serviced before the move.
  • Use or give away hazardous and inflammable things before moving. Movers won’t move them.
  • Empty any propane tank you want to transport.
  • Make address changes and update new address in the important organization.
  • Give notice for termination of newspaper or magazine subscription.
  • If you packing up your belongings yourself then ask your friends or relatives for help early.
  • Determine how much help you may need to handle bulky items like furniture and appliances.
  • Make proper arrangements for pet animals, if you have any. You may also read – Important Pet Moving Tips.

2 weeks before the move

  • Make travel arrangements for you and your family members. Book the bus/train tickets early to avoid last-minute hassles.
  • Terminate or transfer all accounts from important organizations.
  • Return anything you have borrowed from others, and collect anything you have given to others.
  • Arrange to discontinue utilities such as gas supply, cable connection, internet connection, and electricity.
  • Make sure to dispose of flammable items and hazardous things such as chemicals, cleaning supplies, fireworks, matches, caustic soda, acids, etc.
  • Arrange connection of utilities such as gas, electricity, internet, telephone, and cable at your new home.
  • Create a floor plan of your new house to know the best placement of furniture.

One week before the move

  • Transfer bank accounts to your new city.
  • Update addresses in credit card issuers.
  • Updated address in post-paid mobile service.
  • Reconfirm travel reservations.
  • Get prepared with the right amount as your moving budget.
  • Start packing suitcases. Ask your family members to pack their suitcases.
  • Get the name, address and phone number of moving company’s driver and crew head.
  • Being packing bulky items and preparing appliances for moving.
  • Defrost refrigerator, clean it and make it ready for the move.
  • Dismantle furniture, if possible. Read Here: Furniture Moving Guide.
  • Leave items in place that will be packed by your packers and movers.
  • Prepare an essential moving box with items that you will be needing on a few days after the move.
  • Prepare an “Open Me First Box” with items that you will need immediately after your move.
  • Label every box with the appropriate tag. This will be a great aid for you and your movers too.
  • Keep small valuables, jewelry, and important documents in a bag safely and carry with you only on moving day. Learn how to Pack Jewelry.
  • Notify your friends and relatives about your move; and new address.

On moving day

  • Make a final inspection of your home and make sure nothing is left behind.
  • Confirm everything is packed and labelled properly.
  • If you are using a company of packers and movers then be on hand on moving day. You need to sign the inventory and confirm the new address and delivery date.
  • Arrange a representative that will direct moving crew at your new home, if possible.
  • Check with the list and make sure everything is fine.

Prohibited items – Items that will not be moved by packers and movers

A house comprises a lot of belongings. There can be different types of items and specific items for every member of the house. There can be certain items movers and packers will refuse to pack and transport them. Some items need to be completely disposed of or used up before the moving day. Some items need to be packed and moved by you only. For example, movers and packers may refuse to pack your valuables like jewelry, cash, and other personal items. In this case, you will need to pack these items yourself. You too will never like to allow unknown persons to pack your jewelry, valuables, or important documents. Here I am going to provide you with a list of non-allowable items that you need to consider seriously before moving.

Hazardous materials

Items that are inflammable, explosive, or inflammable must not be transported with household belongings. Most moving companies will never allow to pack and transport such items. It’s better to dispose of such hazardous things before moving. Here is the list of hazardous materials that are prohibited from moving.

  • Acids
  • Ammonia
  • Ammunition
  • Aerosols
  • Cleaning solvents
  • Chemistry sets
  • Chemicals
  • Charcoal
  • Car batteries
  • Household batteries
  • Lighter fluid
  • Matches
  • Candles
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fireworks
  • Cigarette lighters
  • Paint & primer
  • Pesticides
  • Poisons
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Motor Oil
  • Petrol
  • Kerosene
  • Gasoline
  • Propane tank
  • Loaded guns
  • Gun bullets
  • Liquid bleach
  • Fertilizers
  • Fuels/oils
  • Weedkiller
  • Pool chemicals
  • Petroleum products
  • Liquor

Foods & Other Perishables

  • Dairy products such as milk, curd, and paneer
  • Open or half-used food
  • Refrigerated food
  • Plants, fruits, and vegetables (ReadHow to Move Plants Safely”)
  • Living things that may die or spoil in transit
  • Produce and raw food items

Note: Some professional packers and movers may agree to transport perishables that are properly packed and can be transported within 24 hours.

Items of personal importance and sentimental value

Generally, professional packers and movers will not agree to handle your personal and sentimental items. It is because there is a high risk of damages to such items. Chances are they may get lost in the pile of general household items or may get damaged in transit. Thus, it is recommended that you should take care of your personal and sentimental items yourself instead of packing and putting them on the moving truck. Important documents, cash, jewelry, and personal records must be handled by you only. Have a look at what items have been categorized as personal or sentimental items.

  • Address book
  • Travel tickets
  • Hobby collections
  • Jewelry
  • Wedding albums
  • Photographs & albums
  • Smartphones & Tablets
  • Charges for electronic gadgets
  • Laptops
  • CDs & DVDs
  • Cash & Checkbooks
  • Lease and rental agreement
  • Property paper
  • PAN, Aadhaar Card & Passport
  • Driving license
  • Car keys
  • Financial documents
  • Bank statements
  • Important receipts & bills
  • Tax records
  • Important keys
  • Medical & dental records
  • Medicines & prescriptions
  • Personal videotapes
  • School records & certificates
  • New home documents
  • Professional & business files
  • Insurance policies
  • Moving estimate
  • Inventory of items

“How to” – Moving Tips

A gentle reminder: Moving is not a fun chore at all. But you can make your move less stressful and more enjoyable by knowing some – “How to” Packing and Moving Tips. How to pack electronics, kitchen items, and how to move aquarium, I have got covered everything in this section. Take advantage of these “how-to” moving tips and have a hassle-free moving experience.

10 Ways to Save Money on Packing for Move

Moving from one place to another can be also an expensive affair. If you are one of those people looking for minimizing the cost of a move then here are some great tips for you. By using these tips you can save a considerable amount of money on your move, and make your move within your budget.

  • Make endeavour to collect free moving boxes. Contact local grocery stores, chemists or liquor shops for free cardboard boxes. They may give you free of cost or a very nominal fee if you ask for them.
  • Use old newspapers as wrapping sheets and padding materials instead of excessive use of expensive bubble wraps and packing peanuts.
  • Use your belongings as packing materials such as stuffed toys, socks, old t-shirt, linens, curtains soft clothing and blankets. Make use of old blankets to wrap furniture pieces.
  • You might have some surplus and old belongings that you don’t want to move to. Hold a garage sale to sell them. You will have manifold benefits such as decreased packing time, decreased moving service charge and a few extra cash in your pocket.
  • Donate old belongings or unused extra items to a charity. You will like to have less weight to move and decreased moving charges. Don’t forget to take a receipt from your charity, as you may get tax benefits.
  • Ask your friends and relatives to provide you help on your move. They may provide significant help in packing up your belongings saving you time, effort and money.
  • Create a proper packing plan to avoid the purchase of unnecessary extra packing supplies and moving boxes.
  • Keep receipts of packing supplies. Don’t open the wrapper of packing supplies if you aren’t going to use it. In this way, you can return the unused moving boxes and get a refund for the same.
  • Buy the goods transit insurance to get the risk of damages to goods in transit.
  • Label every box clearly. If you need to reopen any box for a reason then you will not have to waste and reapply plenty of packaging tapes in the process. Proper labeling will also make unpacking a whole lot easier.

11 Best Ways to Protect items Against Damages on a DIY Move

A DIY move involves a high risk of damages to goods. It is because you need to pack items and you are not an expert. If you are going to do own-packing for a move then here are 10 packing tips you can use to pack your items correctly and protect them against damages in transit.

  • Start packing up your belongings as early as possible. If you pack items gradually every day in an organized way by taking protective measures then you can provide secure packing to your belongings. Make sure to have enough space to keep your items during a move. Many people make damages to their belongings by just cramming and shoving them into the truck.
  • Reinforce the boxes correctly by taping the bottom and sides with premium quality industrial packaging tapes.
  • Every box must be properly labeled. Specially label any boxes that contain fragile or breakable items. Clearly write on the box: FRAGILE – HANDLE WITH CARE. Always place the boxes of fragile items on the top of the other boxes.
  • Wrap each item individually before you place it inside the box. Don’t make a big mistake of placing the unwrapped item in the box. Items that are unwrapped may get damages due to jolts in transit.
  • Use plenty of cushioning materials such as wadded papers, old newspapers, and bubble wrap to protect items. Fill the spaces and gaps with wadded papers and packing peanuts. You can use soft toys, socks, and old t-shirts as cushioning supplies inside the boxes.
  • Use your own belongings such as linens, old t-shirts, socks, and blankets. This way will help you kill the two birds with one stone. For example, if you are wrapping a fragile object in soft clothing then you are packing both clothing and fragile items. This can save both space and money.
  • Use crumpled old newspapers as padding to fragile or other items inside the boxes. This will protect your belongings against damages.
  • Use two layers of the wrapping when packing valuable items such as fragile figurines, glasses, silverware, and stemware.
  • Don’t overweight the box. Keep the weight of a box not more than 20kg. Place heavier items first and lighter ones later. Heavy boxes can be difficult to lift and may cause to breakage of boxes and items inside as well.
  • Don’t try to lift multiple boxes at a time. Carry one box at a time, especially the box contain fragile items.
  • When loading the truck make sure to place larger & heavier boxes first. Place smaller boxes later or on the top. A box that contains fragile items must be placed on the top of the stacks.

10 Tips on How to Dismantle Large Home Furniture

When preparing your home furniture ready for move make sure to dismantle large pieces of furniture into small sectors so that you can wrap and pack the pieces conveniently. Properly disassembled furniture will also make it easier to load them onto the truck. Here are a few tips for disassembling large furniture and making them ready for moving.

  • Get the right tools for furniture disassembly. You may need a screwdriver, wrenches, and hammer.
  • Have plenty of zippered plastic bags. You need them to keep hardware items such as nuts-bolts and screws.
  • Find instruction manual if you have any, and read the same thoroughly.
  • Remove all the small items from drawers and shelves before going to disassemble the furniture.
  • Dismantle furniture with the help of two or more people to prevent parts of certain furniture falling on the floor.
  • Keep all hardware pieces such as nut-bolts and screws in a zippered plastic bag and attach them to the respective furniture pieces.
  • Remove glass doors and shelves from the furniture before dismantling them for moving. If your table has a glass top then remove it first. Wrap each glass item individually correctly using plenty of wrapping sheets and padding supplies.
  • Wrap each furniture piece into old blankets to prevent scratches and dents. Moving blankets and protective furniture wrapping films are also available in the market.
  • Some furniture pieces cannot be dismantled by you. But professionals can easily do it. You can hire a carpenter for the job. Your movers may also dismantle furniture that you cannot.
  • Most moving companies also provide their services for furniture moving including disassembly and assembly of furniture. You can count on professional furniture moving service to avoid the hassles and save your time and effort.

15 Tips on How to Pack a Room for Moving

Early planning is key to packing a room efficiently for a move. You must have a proper packing plan and use a good packing checklist to pack everything efficiently and correctly. Here are some tips you can use when packing a room for the move.

  • Set up an area in the center of the room and keep required packing supplies and moving boxes nearby.
  • Prepare a list of items that you have in your room.
  • Start with items that you rarely use. Leave the items of daily use for the last-minute packing.
  • If you are packing garments then start with off-season garment. For example, if you are moving in summer then you need to pack winter essentials first.
  • Pack garments into suitcases to save money on buying expensive wardrobe boxes.
  • Use the right-sized box in order to put too much weight in a single large box.
  • Wrap each item individually in wrapping sheet or bubble wrap before putting them in the box.
  • Place heavier items first and lighter ones later.
  • Fill the space with wadded up papers or soft toys.
  • Don’t mix items of different rooms in a single box.
  • Pack items of similar sizes together.
  • Don’t mix fragile items and metal items together to prevent damages.
  • Don’t overweight a box. The weight of a box should not be more than 20kg.
  • Use heavy-duty packaging tape to seal and close the box.
  • Label every box clearly with an adequate tag.

15 Tips for Packing Household Electronics

Packing up household electronics can be a tricky and challenging task for you. You may find trouble in packing up electronics and making them ready for moving. There are several components in electronics that require special handling. You may find electronic gadgets and devices unusable if you have lost their cables, cords, and other components while packing. And finding new cords and cables can be an expensive affair. You will never like to take your electronics to mechanics to get them repaired the damages you have made. So, it is imperative to handle household electronics carefully and pack them appropriately. Here are some important tips I have compiled for you. I hope these tips will help you a lot.

  • Read user manuals of each electronic item that you want to pack for a move. If you don’t have them then you can download from the manufacturer’s website.
  • Take the battery out of all electronic devices and remove them. If you remove the battery then your device will not overheat and leak. Keep batteries safely in one place.
  • If your device’s battery is rechargeable then make sure to charge up a couple of days before your move.
  • Take back up of computer/laptop files in a pen drive. Keep the pen drive safely. You can also store data online.
  • Eject CDs or DVDs from your various devices such as music player, laptop and computer. Tape the drives shut properly.
  • If you are packing a computer printer then remove the toner cartridges and keep them in a clear plastic bag.
  • Use original boxes, if possible, and packing supplies for repacking. If you haven’t asked your movers for recommendations about suitable packing supplies.
  • If you are packing LED TV then you can purchase specially built LED TV boxes from the market or your movers.
  • Arrange essential packing supplies such as sturdy boxes, wrapping sheets, bubble wrap, and packaging tape.
  • Gather some small colored stickers labeling electronic components, cables, and cords.
  • Before you pulled out any component, cable or cord from an electronic device, take a photo of them. Put a colored sticker on each end of the cable.
  • Wrap electronic devices individually attaching their respective components, cords, and cables. Use neat and clean paper or bubble wrap to wrap the things.
  • Place the individually wrapped electronic device in the right sized box and seal the same completely using heavy-duty packing tape to keep out of the dust.
  • Wrap each box in transparent waterproof plastic films. This will make protect electronics from dust and water.
  • Don’t use newspapers to wrap TV or Computer monitor as a newspaper can leave an ugly mark and scratches on the screen. Always wrap and pack screens in bubble wraps.

How to Pack Dishes, Glasses and Stemware -7 Great Ideas

Newspapers and bubble wraps are great essentials that are great for wrapping dishes, glasses, and stemware. So, it is recommended that you should have plenty of material in hand to avoid the last-minute hassles

Dishes, glassware, and cups are fragile items that may get damaged in transit if they are not packed correctly, especially if you are moving a long distance. To ensure the safety of your fragile items and transport them safely to your new home, here are the 5 simple tips which you should follow.

Use packing materials you already have

I agree that bubble wrap is the best material to ensure the safety of fragile items in transit. Wrapping fragile items in bubble wrap will cost you a lot. If you cannot afford the expensive bubble then you can use materials that you already have around your home. Old newspapers, towels, linens, and t-shirt are good for wrapping fragile items such as dishes, cups, glassware, and stemware. You can also use socks, t-shirts, and wadded papers as cushioning and padding between items. You can also use socks to place glasses and stemware and ensure adequate cushioning.

Use small moving boxes

Packing dishes and other fragile items in a large box is not a good idea at all. Dishes, plates, cups, and glassware are generally heavy items. If you will pack such heavier items in a large box then it is more likely that items may damage and the box may become harder to lift. To avoid such an unpleasant circumstance, you must use small boxes to pack dishes and heavier delicate items. Make sure to pack 10-12 dishes in each box. Place wadded paper, socks, and other padding supplies at the bottom of the carton and between each plate.

Pack china cups and glassware in a box of the same size

Packing china cups and glassware may make you troubled. But using the right technique, right padding supplies, and right boxes you can easily pack the same. When packing up your china cups and glassware, make sure to use a box that is of the same size as the cups and glassware you wish to pack. You should never stack china cups or glassware too high in a tall box or you are going to take a risk of breaking the glasses and cups on the bottom.

Use the layered packing technique to pack short glasses in a very tall box

What if you have short glasses and a very tall box? In this circumstance, pack your glasses in layers if they are sturdy and of the same height. Provide padding on the bottom of the box and then place a single layer of wrapped glasses. Afterward, use a piece of cardboard to create a new base. Provide padding to the base and pack another layer of glassware on the top. Fill the empty spaces using socks or wadded up old newspapers.

Stack dishes vertically if you use a large box for the same

In the event, if you don’t have smaller boxes then you will have to pack your dishes in a larger box. Still, you can make secure packing of dishes in a large box. First, thoroughly secure the box with heavy-duty packaging tape. Wrap each dish or plate correctly and then place them inside the box vertically. Don’t place plates horizontally in the box otherwise, you will have the risk due to pressure on each dish. If you are packing dishes and plates vertically then make sure to use plenty of wrapping papers and padding supplies. Make sure, your box is not overloaded.

Wrap glasses and cups individually

If you are going to pack your glasses and cups then make sure you wrap them individually before placing them inside a box. Also, make sure to fill each glass or cup with the appropriate cushioning materials such as socks or wadded-up papers.

Use boxes that have pre-built dividers to pack stemware and glassware

If you can afford the dish pack boxes or boxes that have pre-built dividers then use the same to pack delicate stemware and glasses. These types of boxes can protect your glasses from cracking or scratching.

Final Words

I hope the ideas mentioned above in this article may help you pack your fragile items like dishes, cups, plates, stemware, and glasses correctly. You may save a considerable amount of money and reduce the moving cost by packing your items on your own. If you don’t think you can pack items on your own and have an adequate moving budget, then hiring a company of reputable and experienced company of packers and movers will be the best decision.

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