Moving Checklist for Sellers

  • Provide the post office with your forwarding address two to four weeks ahead of the move.
  • Notify your credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, and bank of your change of address.
  • Create a list of friends, relatives, and business colleagues who need to be notified about your move.
  • Arrange to disconnect utilities and have them connected at your new home.
  • Cancel the newspaper, or change the address so it will arrive at your new home.
  • Check insurance coverage for the items you’re moving. Usually movers only cover what they pack.
  • Clean out appliances and prepare them for moving, if applicable.
  • Note the weight of the goods you’ll have moved, since long-distance moves are usually billed according to
  • weight. Watch for movers that use excessive padding to add weight.
  • Check with your condo or co-op about any restrictions on using the elevator or particular exits for moving.  
  • Have a “first open” box with the things you’ll need most, such as toilet paper, soap, trash bags, scissors,hammer, screwdriver, pencils and paper, cups and plates, water, snacks, and toothpaste.

Plus, if you’re moving out of town, be sure to:

  • Get copies of medical and dental records and prescriptions for your family and your pets.
  • Get copies of children’s school records for transfer.
  • Ask friends for introductions to anyone they know in your new neighborhood.
  • Consider special car needs for pets when traveling.
  • Let a friend or relative know your route.
  • Empty your safety deposit box.
  • Put plants in boxes with holes for air circulation if you’re moving in cold weather.

You can download a printable version of this checklist here:

Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.


15 Tips for Packing Like a Pro

Moving to a new home can be stressful, to say the least. Make it easier on yourself by planning far in advance.   People frequently underestimate the amount of time it takes to pack up a home!

  1. Plan ahead by organizing and budgeting. Develop a master “to do” list as soon as you know you will be moving and create an estimate of moving costs. (A moving calculator is available at REALTOR.com).
  2. Sort and get rid of things you no longer want or need. Have a garage sale, sell on-line, donate to a charity, or recycle.
  3. Pack similar items together. Put toys with toys, kitchen utensils with kitchen utensils. It will make your life easier when it's time to unpack.
  4. Organize. Set aside an area for storing boxes that are already packed and labeled.
  5. Decide what, if anything, you plan to move on your own. Precious items such as family photos, valuable breakables, or must-haves during the move should probably stay with you. Remember to keep a "necessities" bag with tissues, snacks, and other items you'll need that day.
  6. Remember, many movers won’t take plants. If you don't want to leave them behind, you should plan on moving them yourself.
  7. Use the right box for the item. Loose items are prone to breakage. Put heavy items in small boxes so they’re easier to lift. Keep the weight of each box under 50 pounds, if possible. Don’t over-pack boxes.
  8. Wrap every fragile item separately and pad bottom and sides of boxes. If necessary, purchase bubble-wrap or other packing materials from moving stores.
  9. Label every box on all sides. You never know how they’ll be stacked and you don’t want to have to move other boxes aside to find out what’s there.  Every box should be labeled with contents and destination.
  10. Use color-coded labels to indicate which room each item should go in. Color-code a floor plan for your new house to help movers.
  11. Keep your moving documents together in a file. Include important phone numbers, driver’s name, and moving van number.
  12. Print out a map and directions for movers. Make several copies, and highlight the route. Include your cell phone number on the map. Also make copies for friends or family who are lending a hand on moving day.
  13. Back up your computer files before moving your computer. Keep the backup in a safe place, preferably at an off-site location.
  14. Inspect each box and all furniture for damage as soon as it arrives. Photograph any damage for your records
  15. Make arrangements for small children and pets.