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Countdown to Moving Day

Use This Weekly Checklist to Guide You to Your Moving Day

Last Updated : February 28, 2024 2:07 PM by Hannah Lucas


5 weeks in advance of moving day

  • Contact our office to make arrangements for packing and for moving day.
  • Remove items from your attic, basement, and all storage areas.
  • Start using things you can’t move such as frozen foods and cleaning supplies.
  • If moving at an employer’s request, verify which expenses and responsibilities are covered and which are yours.
  • Contact the IRS and/or your accountant for information on tax-deductible moving expenses.
  • Begin to inventory and evaluate your possessions. What can be sold? Donated? Tossed?
  • Get organizational tips from TLC’s TV show Clean Sweep.
  • Make a list of everyone you need to notify about your move: friends, professionals, creditors, and subscriptions.
  • Locate all auto licensing and registration documents.
  • If some belongings are to be stored, make the necessary arrangements now (your move coordinator can assist you with this).
  • Contact schools, doctors, dentists, lawyers, and accountants. Obtain copies of your records. Ask for referrals where possible.

4 weeks in advance of moving day

  • Obtain a change of address kit from the post office; fill out the cards and return.
  • Arrange for special transportation of pets and plants.
  • Contact service companies (gas, electric, oil, water, telephone, cable TV, and trash collection) to disconnect/connect services at your new and old residences. Be sure to keep your phone and utilities connected through move day.
  • Contact insurance companies (auto, homeowners or renters, medical, and life) to arrange for coverage changes to your new location.
  • Collect important papers (insurance, will, deeds, stock, etc.). These should go with you, not the mover.
  • If you are packing yourself, stop by Santa Rosa Moving & Storage to purchase materials. Pack items that won’t be needed in the next month.
  • If you have wine, we have styrofoam containers to keep it cooler in the moving truck. You may want to consider shipping extensive wine collections in special climate-controlled trucks.
  • Plan a garage sale to help lighten the load.
  • Make travel arrangements and hotel reservations for your moving trip. However, don’t make plane reservations for the same day that you are moving. House closings are often delayed, and other situations can arise.
  • Arrange to close your accounts in your local bank and open accounts in your new city.

3 weeks in advance of moving day

  • Have your car serviced for the trip. Also, make sure that your automobile is prepared (filled with the necessary antifreeze/coolant, for example) for the type of weather conditions you’ll be traveling through.
  • If you are moving out of or into a building with elevators, schedule now for use of the elevators on moving in day.
  • Contact your move coordinator to review and confirm all arrangements for your move.

2 weeks in advance of moving day

  • Withdraw contents of any safety deposit boxes, pick up dry cleaning and return library books and rented movies.
  • Take pets to the veterinarian for required immunizations. Get copies of pet records. If flying with your pet, be sure to obtain the required travel health certificate from your vet. (Hawaii bound? Check the requirements, often pets are quarantined upon arrival)
  • Dispose of all flammables such as cleaning fluids, aerosol cans, fireworks, and matches. Drain the fuel from your power mower and other machinery.
  • Discard partly used containers of any substance that may leak. Empty the water from your steam iron.

1 week in advance of moving day

  • Schedule to have your major appliances disconnected and prepared for the move (your move coordinator can make arrangements for a third party to provide these services at an additional cost for the service providers).
  • Organize and set aside things that you are taking with you. Pack a box of personal items you will need immediately upon arrival so that they don’t get loaded on the truck by mistake.
  • Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric, water).
  • Make arrangements for pets and small children to keep them safe on moving day.
  • Hint: Fresh linens for beds can be placed in dresser drawers to make that first night in your new home pleasant and eliminate the need to dig through boxes.

3 days in advance of moving day

  • Defrost refrigerator and freezer.
  • Wash, dry, and pack any laundry.


  • Read your bill of lading and inventory record carefully before you sign them.
  • Keep these and all related papers in a safe location until all charges have been paid.
  • When the movers arrive, make sure that they are from the right company. For local shipments done by Santa Rosa/ Sausalito Moving, make sure that the CAL P.U.C. number matches T-103151 which should be printed on the left side of the truck and on the top of your Bill of Lading. For long distance shipments done by Allied Van Lines, make sure the USDOT number matches 076235 which should be printed on the left side of the truck and at the bottom of your Bill of Lading.
  • When the van foreman arrives, give him and his crew a tour of your home.
  • Remind movers of items that are not going in the truck.
  • When finished loading, make a final walk-through with the foreman, checking closets, drawers, cupboards, storage spaces, anywhere items could be hiding.
  • Exchange contact information with the van foreman.  He will need any phone numbers for you in transit.
  • Give the driver any contact information, cross streets, or other information you feel is necessary.

En route… and delivery day

  • The van foreman will contact you at least 24 hours in advance of delivery.
  • Unless previous arrangements have been made, the driver must collect payment (cash, certified check, or money order).  If paying by credit card, you must provide the information to our main office by phone. Personal checks are not accepted.
  • Have a floor plan drawn out or in mind to help during the unloading process.
  • It is helpful to have someone stationed at the truck to check off the inventory while you inspect items and direct movers where you would like them placed.
  • Sign the inventory and keep a copy for yourself.
  • Tip the movers 10-15%, depending on how they performed.