Your Ultimate New House Checklist: Preparing for the Moving and Settling Process

Preparing to Move

Moving into a new house sometimes feels like a never-ending process. And it can be! Getting that last box unpacked takes almost 6 months for the average American.

And as much time as it takes to move, it takes even more energy. There are so many things to do and to remember to do. It's exhausting.

We'll help you keep track of it all with this new house checklist.

Evaluate Your Stuff

You don't want to end up moving a bunch of stuff you ultimately get rid of. Take this opportunity to pare down your belongings.

If you have duplicate items, ask yourself if you'll ever need them all at the same time. If you have one-use items, see if you have something that can take the place of several. Here's looking at you, egg cookers.

Dump the junk. Recycle what you can. Donate the rest.

Find a Mover

Research at least a couple moving companies, ideally certified by the American Mover and Storage Association, and ask for written estimates. Ask for a binding quote, which does require an assessment of your belongings but cannot be adjusted later, to your peril.

Find out their policy for lost items. Ask how they intend to protect electronics, furniture, floors, and walls.

Keep Track of Paperwork

Get a folder, a binder, a Trapper Keeper or a plastic bag, and keep all of your moving documents in the same place. This includes estimates, receipts, your moving inventory, any appropriate documents from your realtor or builder.

Acquire Moving Supplies

Either order boxes or start collecting them. Places like Lowe's and Chick-fil-A will give you boxes for free if you ask. Make sure you've got packing tape and that your permanent markers work.

Or Consider Going Plastic

Some companies, like U-Haul, are beginning to offer box renting services. The plastic bins are roomy, stackable, and water-resistant. They're also a nod to the sustainable future.

Check for Fit

Take measurements of your new home to make sure your furniture will fit through doorways. Measurements will also give you a good idea of how your furniture fills the space. It's good to know before you move if you need to replace some things.

Take Care of Maintenance

Make sure your new home is move-in ready. Organize an HVAC check and have anything that came up on your home inspection taken care of. Hire painters while the house is empty.

When the dust has settled, schedule a whole house cleaning.

Start Packing

Start with the things you don't use every day. Keep your valuables separate and move them yourself.

Label as you go. Numbering boxes and keeping an itemized list is a great way to streamline unpacking.

Keep your clothes on your hangers! Simply move them from one closet rod to the next.

Change Your Address

File a change of address with USPS, which you can mercifully do online these days. Don't forget to change your address for all your major accounts, like credit cards and insurance. Get your utilities switched over to the new house.

Get a Tune-Up

If you are moving out of town, you'll want to have your car ready for the road trip.

Pack Your Bags

This time, you'll be packing suitcases not boxes. Pack like you're going on vacation, and get everything you'll need for a couple days while your house is in disarray. Your wife will be relieved you know where your deodorant is.


Check your mover's truck against your paperwork. Confirm that the name and USDOT number matches what you have.

On the back end, don't let the movers leave without first checking things over. Keep your copy of the bill of lading.

Throw a Party

Don't wait until your house is perfect to celebrate. The sooner you start making memories in your new house, the sooner it will feel like home.

Do You Have Anything to Add to Your New House Checklist?

We do! We've got a whole moving toolbox to go with your new house checklist. We want to make it as easy as possible to get into the new home of your dreams.


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