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Posted in Moving Tips&Tricks on May 22, 2021
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Things You Forget to Do When You Move and Why You Shouldn’t

Relocation is both difficult and exciting, and you really have to be a master organizer to not skip a thing. However proficient you are, there are things you forget to do when you move, and those might be some key items you can’t do without. To make your life a bit less complicated and avoid the shock of arriving at your future home and finding out something important is missing, make notes of everything you need to take care of.

A household move is always entwined with a lot of stress, and it is in fact the 3rd most stressful event in life. Sure, changing your address is exciting, but it takes a lot of work to pull off. No matter how many times you have already relocated, there’s a big chance you will skip something important to do. And although most Americans move on a Friday to have the whole weekend to unpack and adjust, if you have forgotten something important, you will spend the weekend stressing about it. Relocating with a reliable cross-country moving company can get a load of tasks off your back, but things to remember to do when moving are a burden you’ll have to deal with yourself. Arm yourself with some good organizational skills and take notes so you can update your moving to another state checklist.

Start Several Weeks Ahead of Time so You Don’t Miss Anything

Don’t get us wrong, packing plates and other fragile items is all doable at the last minute, but there’s a high chance that, if you don’t start preparing on time, there will be loads of stuff you’ll forget to do. That’s why you should be smart and prepare a binder with every important document, receipt, but above all, a new apartment checklist, and a general timeline of your move.

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Find a Long-Distance Moving Company

Finding reputable professionals to transport your stuff should be done with care so you can avoid any potential moving scams. Read online reviews, but also get referrals, to stay away from scammers. As soon as you know the date of your move, contact the reliable cross country movers you have chosen and agree on all the details of the relocation, whether you’ll need a packing service or additional relocation insurance. It’s important to remember to do this weeks before the actual move-out day or you might end up having to change your relocation date simply because you forgot to contact them on time.

Don’t Postpone Calling the Utility Companies

Most people will probably focus on how to get a job in a new city, and won’t remember to call the utility companies on time. They will start stressing about it when they enter their new home and realize there’s no electricity or water. Make sure you won’t be forgetting to give them a call and set the disconnection, as well as the connection dates. Do the same for internet and cable providers so you have these services the moment you enter your new home.

A worker repairing wires
Agree on the disconnection and connection dates

Change the Address Before You Leave

Updating your address slips the minds of the majority of people who are going through the moving process, and they realize it the moment they stop receiving their mail. Don’t let this step slip your moving to-do list – changing the address prior to your move is one of the best and most crucial relocation hacks for a stressless move.

Moving Without Important Documents Will Raise Your Stress Levels

It may seem that forgetting something as important as personal records and documents never happens, but it does – often. Before setting into motion your plan to move to another city, there’s certain documentation that mustn’t be among things you forget to pack:

  • All of your personal documents, such as passports, birth and marriage certificates, driving licenses, and professional qualifications. People usually remember to pack the stuff they keep in their wallets but keep forgetting other crucial papers that they will need immediately when they relocate.
  • Various employment documents such as contracts and evaluation reports, especially if your reasons to move were career connected.
  • Documentation regarding real estate properties such as deeds, rental agreements, mortgage or lease papers, and insurance policies.
  • All financial documentation, including bank statements and tax receipts.
  • Vehicle registration, lease, and maintenance records.
  • Medical, dental, and veterinary bills and records are really important to obtain before the day you move and are common among the things people forget to pack.
  • Transcripts for your kids from their old school, as the future one will require them.

If you obtain all of these important papers on time and place them in a binder, you’ll be sure you won’t skip packing them and avoiding unnecessary stress. Following these tips will help you have a swift and stress-free move.

Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships

It’s only normal that, whether you’re relocating to another state alone or with a family, the memberships you’ve been paying for slip your mind. But if you don’t want to continue paying for subscriptions and memberships which you cannot use, remember to cancel them before you invest in long-distance moving services and settle in a home across the country.

Man on a treadmill
If you don’t cancel your memberships, you might end up paying months after your move

Free Yourself of Any Excess Items

All the preparatory steps were actually just an introduction to the most dreaded part, and that is packing glasses, figuring out how to pack shoes, and dealing with all the other stuff you plan on taking with you. It can all be a lot easier if you remember to get rid of unwanted and unused stuff before you begin to pack. Decluttering your house is one of the best packing tips for relocation, as it will both save you money (you will have a lot less to transport) and help you get organized faster. Some people even organize a garage sale before they move so they can add some cash to the relocation budget. If you want, you can donate furniture and unwanted clothes to organizations like the Salvation Army and throw away anything that is broken and unusable.

Throw Away the Things Movers Won’t Transport

If you’ve already searched for “long-distance movers near me” and contacted them, they probably let you know what it is that they won’t ship or place in storage. Regardless of that, it’s common sense to remember to throw away certain materials and belongings before you leave your prior home for the last time. Hazardous and flammable items cannot be shipped on a truck, and those include everything from paint and pesticides to deodorants and nail polish. This is a rule that also applies to storage units if you plan on using a storage service during your relocation process. It’s worth mentioning that your lawnmower should be emptied of gas because leaving it in would be a real hazard inside the movers’ truck.

Should We Even Mention Garbage?

There are several items you should remember to leave for the future owners or tenants of your house, and one crucial thing you should remember to take out. You can make a note and leave it in a visible spot, where you’ll give them any necessary instructions about the water heater, or when the garbage day is. Since we’re on the topic of garbage, it would be really helpful if you remember to take it out so it doesn’t get smelly inside. Lastly, leave all the keys behind.

Garbage bins
Remember to take all the garbage out

Begin the Packing With the First-Day Essentials Kit

You’ve probably heard this mentioned many times, but preparing a bag with essentials to live through the first few days in the new house is pretty crucial. It is especially important if you’re going to live on your own for the first time. Grab a box, or a few, and pack it with some basic bathroom items and toiletries, a change of clothes for each family member, chargers, some kitchen utensils, like a few pots and pans, and a coffee maker. Place your medicine inside as well, and the binder with all of your documents. Valuables should probably go into this box, too, so keep it close to you at all times. If you forget to do this, it can make your life a bit harder when you walk into the new home tired and don’t have the basic stuff to survive through the first night. You can look at some ideas for the first-day kit in the following video.

YouTube video

Remember to Label the Boxes for Moving

The thing is that, if you’re relocating for love, you might have a tendency to get forgetful during the preparation process simply because there are too many steps to think about and there’s a lot of excitement. But not skipping the labeling of your boxes will be really helpful, especially when you start to unpack. Labeling can be done in several ways, just be sure to choose the one that suits you. You can write down the name of the room on each box, and most people prefer to do it this way, but the smartest way is to color-code them by room. This will help the professional crew place each package right where it belongs in the new place. Just don’t skip labeling the packed dishes for moving as “fragile”, or you might end up with damaged and broken fragile belongings.

Box labeled Fragile
Not skipping labeling is one of those super important tips

Don’t Skip Taking Care of Your Vehicle

Perhaps you’ve decided to drive across the country to your new address, or you think that using auto transport services is a far better option. Either way, have your vehicle checked before you leave your prior home. First of all, if you intend to drive, you wouldn’t want any nasty surprises with the car breaking in the middle of nowhere. Second, an auto shipping company will want you to hand them an operational vehicle (otherwise, it will cost more!), so remember to have it checked.

A man checking a car engine
Don’t skip checking your vehicle

Some More Things You Forget to Do When You Move

We’ve covered most of the major stuff that people tend to skip when relocating and later stress about. But some minor issues will annoy the heck out of anyone who’s already tired and just trying to get everything done. When you disassemble the furniture, be sure to place all the nuts and bolts into a ziplock bag and tape it on the furniture pieces so it doesn’t get lost. While googling for some small apartment ideas, put your smartphone to use and take photos of electronics and their cables, so you know how to connect them in your new home.

Forgetting to bring potted plants with you will result in them being thrown away because they are among the items professionals won’t move. Don’t let last-minute cleaning slip your mind either, because it’s a common courtesy to the next owners, or it will get you your deposit back if you are a renter. And lastly, remember to check the thermostat in the home you’re leaving, so the next owners don’t get a shockingly high bill.

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