30-Day Moving Checklist: How to Prepare for Moving Day

30-Day Moving Checklist: How to Prepare for Moving Day

Now you are 30 days away from the big move. It sounds like a lot of time, but the moving day will be here before you know it. The good news? Now you can finalize the details– woo! The bad news? The following 30 days will be the busiest days of this move. Now you need to smooth over the details. Keep reading to find what you should get done from the 30-day moving checklist. I feel more comfortable with the moving process at this point. Typically, I have touched base with our moving company several times. We have finalized our living arrangements in our new town at this point.

man looking at a clipboard in front of a moving truck

Review details of the move with the moving company

Reach out via email to confirm the pack date, load date, addresses, unloading time, and all other moving details. Even if you only rent a moving truck, confirm the details with the rental company. If anyone is helping you with this move, whether you hire them or they are volunteering, contact them to confirm details. Because if something falls through, you want to know about it now so you can remedy it in time for moving day.

At this point, the moving company knows me and says, “Oh, it’s that Lisa girl again.” But I would rather be obnoxious and on top of things than silent and missing details. I also want them to know that I am on top of everything. Therefore, they know I have high expectations for superb service.

blank schedule with day and hours labeled

Create a moving schedule

After verifying details with the moving company, plan for the timeline for actual moving days. When do you need to be moved out of your current home? What time do you need to be at the airport to catch your flight in time? What day are you picking up the rental car? Break down moving day into blocks, scheduling everything you need to do. Write it all down! Even if they seem trivial. 

Now, one thing to remember: the plan will always go off the rails. Something will happen to delay the process–expect it. Having your detailed plan in front of you, written down, will help you navigate the bumps in the road more smoothly. Use the calendar and Moving Day schedule sheet in the Move Mama Move Relocation Planner to keep track of specific dates and times for moving day.

two woman exchanging books at a library

Return borrowed items

Take things back to their original owner, i.e., library books if you borrowed a toy, clothing, or something else from a friend. Make sure to give it back soon. Keep items from getting packed up before you return them.

Get things back that you have loaned out

Sometimes it takes effort to remember what you’ve loaned out to others. But start thinking about things you may have let a friend borrow. A dress and an air pump are a few things I’ve had to remember to get back from a friend.

boxes with packaging tape on top

Gather packing supplies and start packing

Start getting boxes, packaging tape, packing paper, and bubble wrap. Purchase packing materials, if needed. Home Depot and Amazon are great places to get bulk orders of boxes if you want to purchase them. I’ve put together a shopping list for you on Amazon with products I’ve used and love.

Check neighborhood groups like Nextdoor and Buy Nothing to find free moving supplies your neighbors give away. Grocery stores, liquor stores, and big box stores may also have boxes they can give you for free.

utility pole with work at top of pole

Arrange to disconnect cable, phone & internet

Some companies require 30 days’ notice. Do it now, before you forget. Confirm the termination date at least two times. If you’re moving locally, you can transfer your utilities, but check with each company to see their policy.

woman sitting on a bench reading to a small child

Coordinate childcare for moving days

Trying to direct movers while caring for a little one is near impossible. Hire a sitter, or ask a friend or family member for assistance in watching your kiddo(s). If you don’t have a reliable caregiver, check out care.com to find a local sitter. Getting the kids out of the house can save you much time. Have a caregiver take them to the park, a local museum, or their house to keep them out of your home. 

We had our sitter care for Chulengo in our apartment complex’s guest suite. We loved this option because Chulengo could safely nap but was so close we could pop over quickly. I could nurse him or check up on him at any time.

screenshot of change of address form from usps

Complete the change of address form with the post office  

To forward your mail, you must change your address with the post office. There is an official form on their site. One important recommendation is not to change your address as a family unit. Do it by individual names. Because only our last name was confirmed, not my first name, I could not use my change of address confirmation for a new driver’s license. The DMV required documentation with my first and last name. 

I also recommend contacting healthcare practitioners, financial institutions, and other companies who need your new address on file. The Move Mama Move Relocation Planner has a complete list of people and companies you can contact to change your address.

drivers license application form

Check requirements for new driver’s license and auto registration

What documents are needed to be efficient at the DMV? Do you need proof of address? Can you register the car in your name, or must it be in your spouse’s name? Even though we researched everything beforehand, we had to go to the DMV three separate times to get things finalized because we were always missing something. And don’t forget, if you’re shipping your car to your new destination, you want to find a reliable company. Get an auto shipping quote from at least three different companies.

box labeled "do not move" box

Create a “Do Not Move Box”  

What is a “Do Not Move Box?” It’s a box you pack with things you will keep during the move. It will not get loaded on a moving truck; it will not get shipped. It stays with you. This box should be filled with valuable, irreplaceable items and documents with important identifying information, like your social security number. Keep this box in a safe place and add those valuable items as you pack up your home. You can add to this box as you plan and pack. You can find a list of items to put in your “Do Not Move Box” in the Move Mama Move Relocation Planners.

box with fragile written on side

Begin packing items not needed over the next month  

Start with things you know you won’t need. Sporting equipment, craft supplies, seasonal shoes, home decor, and party supplies are usually safe to pack away a month before moving day. Get these things out of your way now so you don’t have to worry about them later.

Luckily, if you have planned for a full-service move, you don’t have to worry about this part.

Label boxes with complete details

When you label a box, include your name, the room of the new home each box belongs in, a summary of the box’s contents, and the box’s assigned number. Now, when the boxes are unloaded into your new home, they will go to the room they belong to. And you won’t be playing box Tetris trying to find specific items. Being this thorough is crucial to unpacking efficiently in your new home.

blank inventory list

Create an inventory record as you pack boxes

Have a master list of all moving boxes and their assigned numbers in your binder for reference. What is in box 24? What room does box number three go to? These questions can be quickly answered with an inventory record. You can also use this record to check off each box as it is unloaded into your new home. This is an easy way to know if a box is missing.

car with its hood up

Arrange a vehicle tune-up if traveling a great distance  

If driving to your new home, get your car serviced beforehand. Schedule a tune-up to ensure the vehicle is in good, safe driving condition.

pharmacist holding medications

Fill prescriptions for current medications

Running out of meds while you are in the middle of a move can be tragic. Be sure to stock up on any medications you need to take regularly. Put in refill requests 30 days before the move if there are any shortages or supply issues with your pharmacy.

boxes stacked up against a wall as recommended from 30-day moving checklist

Designate a space for packed boxes

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to pack up your home with boxes everywhere. Find a space in your home to put packed boxes so they are out of the way. Maintaining an organized area for packed boxes will allow you to access them easily but keep them out of your way during daily tasks. And when moving day comes, whoever is loading the truck will save time by going to the same place instead of gathering boxes from all over the house.

This 30-day mark is when things can start feeling overwhelming. Stay on top of your tasks each day, so you will be prepared when moving day arrives. 

The above list is an abbreviated version of the Move Mama Move Moving Checklists. If you want full access to Move Mama Move’s 90-day, 60-day, 30-day, 14-day, and 7-day checklists, check out the Relocation Planners. With inventory trackers, tasks to prepare your new home, moving day planning sheets, budget trackers, and more, Move Mama Move Relocation Planners were created to help make your move more simple.

⇒ Next Step: 14-Day Checklist

30 Days Before the Big Move

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