Moving to a new house or apartment can be fun and exciting, but there is also a lot to remember throughout the process. Here is a moving checklist to keep you on track.

As Soon As Possible

Book the Movers Early
As soon as you know that you are moving, it’s time to book the movers. It is worth hiring a moving company—as opposed to trying it all by yourself—as it will save you stress, potential injury, and could even save you money on moving materials, insurance, and any furniture that you may have damaged while attempting to move.

Open Up a “Moving File”
Whether it is an actual physical file of documents, a file saved to the cloud, or both, it is important to have on hand all of your important moving details. Open one up as soon as you know that you are moving, and add to it as things arise. Keep this file accessible—with you at all times—as you move, so that you can view any necessary documents when you need them.

Compile Research on Your New Area
You will need to know, and get in touch with, new doctors, school for your kids, dentists, vets if you have pets, grocery stores, and other essential amenities. Make sure that you transfer all important records to your new location.

In the Month Before Moving

Start Consolidating Your Possessions
It’s time for that clear out that you’ve been planning for months. Go through your house from room to room and get rid of things that you no longer use, wear, or that are not working anymore. If you need to ease your guilt over getting rid of things, try donating them instead of throwing them out, and you will feel like you are doing some good at the same time.

Collect and Buy Packing Materials
There are a lot of places that will provide you with cheap or free packing materials. For example, you can often get free boxes from grocery stores. Start collecting early, and then you can spread out the burden of packing over a few weeks—rather than doing it all the night before you move!

Measure Your New Place
Measure and record the size of your new place so that you know exactly how much space you have, and what will fit where. It will also help when you are directing the movers as to where they should put things.

Fill Out a Change of Address Form
This can take time, so make sure that you are on top of it, and you won’t lose any important mail.

Arrange Time Off From Work
You will probably need at least a day or two to get settled, so if you are planning on keeping your current job, make sure that you arrange some time off in advance.

Draft in Some Help
Real friends help friends move. It’s not always the most coveted job, but it’s moving is something that most people will help out with—the least you can do is give them some time to prepare.

Moving Day

Take an Overnight Bag
Once everything is moved, you are not going to want to try to rummage through all of your boxes in search of a set of clothes for the next day, or even pajamas to sleep in, so it helps if you have an overnight bag packed and with you.

Don’t forget to eat! You will only become more stressed and irritable if you are hungry while moving. Pick somewhere to eat out near your new house and take a well earned break to rest and replenish.

Check Your New Place
Especially if you are renting, you will need to take inventory of the new place and make sure that there are no damages for which you will be blamed upon moving out. Take note of everything and take pictures if necessary. If you are not renting, this might be a good time to run through and clean anything that will be more difficult to get to once it is filled with furniture.

Do a Final Run Through
Before you leave your old residence for good, make sure you do a final, thorough run through to make sure that you haven’t left anything behind. Especially if you are renting, clean up after yourself and the movers.