Moving checklist

The prospect of moving can be overwhelming.  The best advice is to be prepared and to stay organized.  Use the following checklist to help you prepare for your move.

Start preparing for your move just as soon as you can.  Collecting records, arranging your finances, and notifying your loved ones takes time.  Also, changing your address on your subscriptions often takes several weeks.

Before You Leave Your Current Address-Address Change

  • Give Post Office forwarding address.
  • Charge Accounts.
  • Subscriptions (notice requires several weeks).
  • Contact OneSwitch at (866)262-2816-all magazine subscriptions can be changed to your new address at no cost.
  • Friends and relatives.
  • Owners Manuals for items left in the house
  • Warranties for any items relating to the property
  • A list of area service providers, gardener, housekeeper, dry-cleaner
  • Garage door openers and keys
  • Code to alarm system and contact number of alarm company


  • Arrange credit references.
  • Cancel any automatic payment or direct deposit arrangements as appropriate
  • Transfer funds, arrange check-cashing in new city.


  • Notify company of new location for coverage: Life, Health, Fire & Auto.

Utility Companies

  • Gas, electric, water, telephone, cable TV, garbage.
  • Get refunds on any deposits made.
  • Laundry, newspapers, changeover of services

Medical, Dental, Prescription Histories

  • Ask doctor and dentist for referrals; transfer needed prescriptions, eyeglasses, x-rays.
  • Obtain birth records, medical records, etc.


  • Ask about regulations for licenses, vaccinations, tags, etc.
  • Plan for transporting pets: they are poor traveling companions if unhappy.
  • Consult your veterinarian about moving your pet
  • Obtain your pets medical records

Packing Tips

  • Sort and get rid of things you no longer need-have a garage sale, donate to charity, or recycle.
  • Pack like items together
  • Decide what you will move yourself, and what you will have moved.
  • Don’t’ over-pack boxes
  • Put heavy items in smaller boxes so they are easier to lift.
  • Wrap fragile items separately and pad bottoms and sides of box.
  • Label boxes on multiple sides so they are easy to identify even if stacked.
  • Label where boxes are going so that they can be put right in the area they are intended.
  • Keep all moving documents and important papers together for easy and quick reference.
  • Back up your computer before packing.
  • Inspect furniture and boxes for damage as soon as they arrive.

Don’t Forget To:

  • Empty freezer; plan use of foods.
  • Defrost freezer and clean refrigerator. Place baking soda inside to dispel odors.
  • Have appliances serviced for moving.
  • Clean rugs & clothing before moving; have them moving wrapped.
  • Check with your Moving Counselor; insurance coverage, packing and unpacking labor, arrival day, various shipping papers, method and time of expected payment.
  • Obtain all personal records from lawyers, accountants, doctors
  • Check on deductible moving expenses if any
  • Arrange for storage if necessary
  • Have car checked and serviced for the trip
  • Plan for special care needs of infants and/or pets.
  • Carry enough cash or traveler’s checks to cover cost of moving services and expenses until you make banking connections in your new city.
  • Carry jewelry and documents yourself—or use registered mail.
  • Carry traveler’s checks for quick, available funds.
  • Let a close friend or relative know the route and schedule you will travel, including overnight stops; use him/her as message headquarters.
  • Let movers know how to stay in touch with you
  • Double check closets, drawers, shelves, etc., to be sure they are empty.
  • Assemble first-day items-soap, toilet paper, pencils, pager, toiletries, bath towels, utility knife, scissors, trash bags, etc..
  • Pack a day or two worth of extra clothing in case of delay
  • Leave all old keys needed by new tenant or owner with Realtor or your local contact.
  • Obtain certified check or cashier’s check necessary for closing real estate transaction.

At Your New Address:

  • Check on service of telephone, gas, electricity, water and garbage.
  • Check pilot light on stove, hot water heater and furnace.
  • Have appliances checked.
  • Have locks changed
  • Ask mail carrier for mail he/she may be holding for your arrival.
  • Have new address recorded on driver’s license.
  • Visit city offices and register for voting.
  • Register car within five days after arrival in state or a penalty may have to be paid when getting new license plates.
  • Obtain inspection sticker and transfer motor club membership.
  • Apply for state driver’s license.
  • Register children in school.
  • Arrange for medical services: doctor, dentist, veterinarian, etc.
  • Relax for a moment, you deserve it!

Packing tips and before you leave your current address-property you are leaving  inspired by Realtor online Magazine by permission of the NAR copyright 2003 all rights reserved

Starting/Stopping Utilities

Pacific Gas & Electric

AT&T (phone)



Comcast Cable



Sunset Scavenger


Bulky Item Pick-up


Hazardous Waste Pick-up



San Francisco Water Dept.



Dept. of Motor Vehicles



Stop Junk Mail



Daily Newspapers
San Francisco Chronicle

(415) 777-1111

San Francisco Examiner

(415) 826-1100