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Start your countdown to move day.

Use this comprehensive moving checklist from Graebel, the moving and relocation experts, as your key to planning a stress-free move.

While move day might seem far away right now, it'll be here before you know it. Keep your move stress-free by planning ahead ? and the best time to start is right now.

To help you plan your move, the moving and relocation experts at Graebel have compiled a moving checklist of things to do before, during, and after your move to ensure everything goes smoothly.

This "Countdown to Move Day" moving checklist has been compiled from years of experience relocating corporate America; however, it is not all-inclusive for everyone. Please take your special situations and needs into consideration, and add steps if necessary.

Eight weeks before your move

  • Obtain a floorplan of your new residence and decide what you will keep from your old home.
  • Contact your insurance agent to determine if your possessions are covered during the move.
  • Establish a file for paperwork and receipts pertaining to your relocation.

Six weeks before your move

  • Search for healthcare professionals in your new location.
  • File an official change-of-address form with the U.S. Postal Service online.
  • At an offsite location, secure family videos, photos, and other valuable items that cannot be replaced.
  • Send your new address to anyone who might need it ? insurance agents, credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, friends, relatives, etc.
  • Clean house. Dispose of anything you won't be taking with you.
  • Have antiques appraised for valuation purposes.
  • Hold a garage sale, or donate unwanted items to charity (obtain a signed receipt for tax purposes).

Four weeks before your move

Three weeks before your move

  • Arrange for utilities (e.g., gas, electric, phone, water, etc.) to be disconnected at your old home and connected at your new home.
  • Prepare car registrations and insurance records for transfer.
  • Notify the state Department of Motor Vehicles of your new address.
  • Arrange for childcare on move day.
  • If necessary, reserve any apartment elevators that will be needed on move day.

Two weeks before your move

  • Inspect your belongings for the gypsy moth and complete a Gypsy Moth Inspection Report (if it applies to your area).
  • Arrange for the transfer of jewelry and valuable documents (remember that moving companies cannot transport these).
  • Obtain all medical and dental records for your family and pets.
  • Arrange for the transfer of your children's school records to their new school.
  • Make travel plans and reservations.
  • Use up existing food supplies.
  • Dispose of all items too dangerous to move, including flammable liquids.

One week before your move

  • Have your car serviced ? if it is going to be transported by the moving company, reduce the gas level to one-fourth of a tank prior to move day.
  • Confirm your delivery address, en route phone number, and expected time of arrival at destination with your moving company.
  • Close local charge accounts, transfer bank accounts, and release safe deposit boxes.
  • Arrange for shipment of pets, if they are not traveling with you.
  • Set aside items to take with you ? mark them "Do not move."
  • Take down curtains, rods, shelves, etc.
  • Consider packing special travel games.
  • Discontinue home-delivery services (e.g., milk, newspapers, etc.)
  • Confirm travel plans.
  • Make sure you have a two-week supply of medication, and forward prescriptions to a pharmacy at your new destination.

Pack day ? one day before your move

  • Empty, defrost, and clean your refrigerator and freezer.
  • Be present to answer the packing crew's questions.
  • Designate those items you would like included in the exclusive Graebel Welcome Home ?? service.
  • Finish any packing you're personally doing.
  • Remove valuables (e.g., jewelry, important documents, money, etc.) from your home.
  • Note that your driver will contact you to re-confirm moving truck arrival time.

Move day

  • Go over the "Countdown to Move Day" again.
  • Be present to answer the moving crew's questions.
  • Note that your driver is authorized to open, inspect, and re-pack (if necessary) any containers packed by you that don't seem safe for transport. This may result in additional cost.
  • Check the inventory list to be sure everything you want in the moving truck is included and check notations about pre-existing damage or issues related to your goods.
  • Exchange destination phone numbers with your driver.
  • Check the driver's bill of lading for correct information.
    • Transit protection
    • Delivery address and/or notification phone number
    • Probable deliver date or date spread
  • Notify your driver and coordinator as to how you can be reached during the move.

Before you leave

  • Check your entire home ? inside and outside ? before the driver leaves. Don't forget the attic, backyard, basement, closets, cupboards, garage, etc.
  • Pack a snack in case stopping during your trip isn't convenient.
  • Phone ahead for hotel reservations.
  • Drive safely ? and have a good trip.

Before delivery day

  • Your driver will contact you to re-confirm moving truck arrival times at your new city.
  • Make sure utility services have been connected at your new home.
  • Check over your new home and decide on furniture placement. You may want to tape sheets to the wall with furniture locations.

Delivery day

  • Be available to answer questions and give directions to the moving crew.
  • Supervise unloading, furniture placement, and if applicable, unpacking.
  • Check off each item on the inventory list as it is brought in by the crew.
  • Check the condition of each item and note any missing or damaged items directly on the inventory list.
  • Keep a copy of the signed inventory list with your check-offs.
  • If you need to file a claim, contact your coordinator or the claims department as soon as possible. If the number provided is not toll-free, call collect. Repairs and/or replacements will be handled quickly, in accordance with the coverage selected.

First week after moving

  • Locate police and fire stations, as well as hospitals and gas stations near your home.
  • Find shopping areas ? you may need furniture, tools, or housewares unexpectedly.
  • Call the Department of Sanitation in your new town to find out which day the trash is collected and whether your community has recycling programs.
  • Find your new bank, cleaners, veterinarian, etc.
  • Register to vote.
  • Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to exchange your driver's license, if you've moved to a different state.
  • Contact the chamber of commerce for community information.
  • Provide your new doctor and dentist with your medical history.
  • Transfer insurance policies to an agent in your new community.
  • Watch for the effects of moving on family members and pets, so you can give comfort.
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