Moving Checklist (or a great guide for a car road trip!) + all the feels about moving!

April 19, 2017

We are moving across the country in three weeks, and I have all the feels. All of them. I am so proud of my husband, so excited for our new adventures, and I enjoy moving. On the other hand, our roots are deep in this little city. Our friendships are strong, we know this place.. inside and out. It has really hit a surreal point for us! Since I know that many of my followers are planning moves over the summer, I thought we would share our moving checklist. I didn’t even think that this moment would ever come! It took a long time to find the right house and I was really discouraged that we wouldn’t find the right one.

(PS-Also, my husband was in the military for almost ten years, so we are kind of really good at moving across the country.)

  • Find a place to live. (This was surprisingly very difficult. Site unseen is stressful, but I have a really great feeling about our new home!)
  • Begin to visualize your things in your new home so you can decide if you’ll take everything with you.
  • Keep a running list of where you think things will go. This makes unpacking so much easier!
  • Sign your kids up for school! Or get them on appropriate wait lists.
  • If you can afford it, get the movers! This was our first time getting our own movers, and it was stressful. HA! Compare prices, schedule them right away. Especially if you’re moving the summer, prices go up!
  • Begin to purge, it is so liberating. Donate things, sell things, give them to thrift stores or whatever. Use this time to evaluate how much you really need something!
  • Swap your home services. It is very helpful to switch your utilities 20- 30 days before you move. Some people prefer to wait on this, I do not advise it. Summer moves are busy, so you could find yourself with hot water if you don’t plan ahead!
  • Get your cars serviced.
  • Pack your in car entertainment- We have car DVD players that our children have only got to use three times, so we install those + DVDs. I have been following the movie deals since August to get them some new material. We also throw in some Leap Frog DVDs and other educational DVDs, but those are my favorite for fun/educational balance. For mama entertainment: I will download my favorite podcasts, I’ll use Audible and Hoopla to get some books ready for the trip. Make sure you download them, so you don’t stream them on your data package! Paula Hawkins has a new book coming out, and I’m excited for that. Last year, I read several books that were spin offs of Jane Austen novels and that was incredibly fun.
  • Prepare your feast! I start saving my fast food coupons, because let’s be honest. If you’re driving across the country you will like eat fast food. We always stay at a hotel with free breakfast, and then usually eat somewhere nice for dinner. Pack water bottles, nutritious snacks, and also fun snacks. I snagged a lot of snacks for 30-50% off after Easter for the boys car ride. Also, got them some snack containers (read: uniquely shaped plastic eggs) to put treats in to give them periodically.
  • Plan your stops. Book your hotels, and plan fun places to let your kids/dog move around. We stopped at several parks and children’s museums along the way last year.
  • Get your dog to the vet’s office. Get him or her a clean bill of health, print their doggie records, and let them have a spa day.
  • Arrange childcare/pet care for the days the movers are at your house/the day after while you deep clean said empty house.
  • Fill out a change of address card at the Post Office 3 weeks before you move (insider tip: set the date as early as you can, because it take a long time to get mail at your new address
  • Set travel notifications on all your bank cards. Notify them of your new address as well.
  • Defrost your freezer 1-2 days before the move.
  • Donate perishable food items you can’t take with you.
  • Plan your menu for the last weeks around what you have in your freezer/fridge/pantry.
  • Figure out how many outfits you’ll need to sustain yourself on the trip out + a week after move in.
  • Pack a necessities kit for your new house. Think anything that you would need if you’re stuff didn’t arrive immediately! We always pack our coffee pot, ha.
  • Order “we’ve moved” cards to send to friends with your new address when you move.
  • Order new checks with new address
  • Choose a gym (research promotions!) so you can sign up as soon as you arrive!
  • Figure out where the closest library is and what you will need to get a library card
  • Make a meal plan/grocery list for your first week in your new house so you can quickly grocery shop and stop eating out.
  • Join some local social media groups in your new area, so you can start meeting people!
  • Save toiletry samples so you have some for hotels, new house, etc.
  • Research doctors, dentists, whatever in your new area. Call ahead to make appointments, because it could be a while before you can even get in.
  • Return your library books!
  • Plan to have pizza delivered to your movers for lunch on packing day! Make it fun, don’t be jerks!
  • Transfer your insurance to new city!
  • Make an inventory of everything you’re moving
  • See if friends can take your kids for a few hours here and there so you can get things done at your old house!
  • Don’t forget to pack lightbulbs, curtain rods, special toilet seats. (I’m looking at you, child size potty chair attachment)
  • Use this time to get organized to maximize efficiency in your new place.

This will be the first of several moving tips! Share your advice in the comments.

More about This Messy Season

This Messy Season is a blog serving families through practical tips for nurturing their families, emphasizing quality time and adventure. Helping young families bloom where they're planted, embrace their mess, and thrive through a series of honest, blog posts highlighting realistic travel tips, favorite products that simplify the work load of families, and family entertainment.

    1. I love all of these ideas! So many things we forget about. I especially love the pizza for the movers!

    1. Great list! I’m moving next month (just across town) and this gives me a great starting point!!

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