If the idea of moving has you feeling like the walls are closing in and you can’t breathe, you aren’t alone. It doesn’t really matter if you live in a one-bedroom apartment or a large single family home, moving requires a great deal of planning and organization. But, at Move 4 Less, we want to make it easier by providing you with our ultimate moving checklist.

Making a huge list can help you stay focused and ensure that you won’t forget any crucial tasks. First things first, you’ll want to grab a file folder or perhaps an expanding file folder. Inside this folder, you will want to store all of the documents relating to your move as well as your moving checklist. Keep it in the kitchen or somewhere else convenient so that it’s always close at hand.

So, what should go on your moving checklist? Well, we recommend the following . . .

1- The Packing Section

In this section, you will list all of the tasks related to packing. This will include acquiring all of the necessary packing materials, including specialty boxes such as wardrobe boxes. You will need boxes, packing tape, markers, and materials such as packing paper and bubble wrap for delicate items.

It’s always a good idea to begin packing as soon as possible. On your moving checklist, make a section for what needs to be packed and by what date. For instance, if you are moving on June 1, you might put on your list that all knickknacks need to be packed four weeks in advance, as well as other items that you do not use on a daily basis. You also might want to have your guest bedroom packed up during this week.

Perhaps two weeks in advance, you will want to have all unnecessary clothing and bedding packed up, as well as any non-essential cooking equipment and your books and DVDs. Write everything that needs to be packed on your list (including garage items and attic items) and try to check off a few items each and every day.

You also will want to include some tasks in this section that ensure that you have clothing and toiletries for the days surrounding your move. You don’t want the movers to pack every item of clothing and every toothbrush, hair brush and medicines. Pack some items in suitcases, just as you would for any trip and stow these items in your car trunk on moving day.

This ensures that you have clothes and other essentials for a few days and ensures that these items don’t end up on the moving truck. Even if you are just moving a mile away, it’s best to pack two or three day’s-worth of clothes and toiletries.

2- Utilities

In most cases, you will need to contact all of your local utility companies and schedule your service shut-off dates, as well as turn-on dates at your new place. This includes the gas company, the electric company, your water provider and the trash company. Don’t forget to turn off your cable or satellite, as well as whoever provides your internet service.

Make a line on your list for each of these items and check it off as soon as it is complete. You should start calling utilities as soon as you have very firm move out and move in dates.

3- Other Service Providers

Of course, you might have other services that you use weekly or monthly. For instance, if you have an exterminator come out for a monthly or bi-monthly visit, be sure to contact this provider and cancel services or switch them to the new place if needed.

Tell your pool cleaner, your house cleaners, and your gardener that you are relocating and either need to move services to a new address or cancel services altogether. Again, add a separate line for each of these service providers and check them off after you contact each service.

4- Records

As soon as you have a firm moving date, you will want to start gathering records. This includes all of your medical records, from dentists to optometrists to veterinarians and beyond. You also will need to acquire your children’s school records.

For all of these records, you will need to provide a week or two of lead time, as it can take time for some of these businesses or schools to gather and copy your records. Of course, if you are just moving a few miles away, some of this record gathering might not be necessary.

Don’t forget about adding banking tasks to this section of your moving checklist. If you are moving far away, you may need to move your accounts to an entirely new bank. If you can use the same bank, you will need to order new checks listing your new address.

5- Change Your Address

On your checklist, create a section for addresses and add a list of companies that need to be informed of the change as well as adding that you need to set up a change of address and mail forwarding with the post office.

A forwarding order will only last so long, so it’s imperative that you contact credit card companies, magazines, mail order clubs and any other business that sends you bills and products. Be sure to change your address with companies such as Amazon and eBay and PayPal, too. Basically, change the address for anyone who sends you anything through the mail or through services such as FedEx and UPS.

Don’t forget to change your address with your insurance companies, including car and health insurance. You also will need to set up homeowners insurance at your new place so it can make sense to simple create a section on your moving checklist entitled “Insurance,” and place all insurance-related tasks here.

Once you move in, you also will need to change your address with the DMV, the Registrar of Voters, the Social Security Administration and the IRS. In addition, you will need to inform someone at your company, provided you will be working for the same form.

6- Take Photos

Take photos of your stereo system and your television set up before you take everything apart. This can make it easier for you to remember which cable goes where when you get to your new place.

You also might take photos of the way you arranged items on shelves or perhaps arranged furniture. While a new home might have a completely different layout, you might want to organize some things just the way you did in your old home and these photos can make it easier for you to remember how things looked in the old home.

7- Moving Day Help

If you have small children or pets, it can be great to hire or ask someone to watch them. While older children can either occupy themselves or help, young children, dogs and cats can be difficult to handle on moving day, so it’s always best to find an alternative option for them.

If you do keep the kiddies and pets at home that day, consider setting up a space just for them. Pets can be limited to a laundry room or perhaps an empty guest room. Young children can be set up in a guest room as well with a few fun items or perhaps a tablet or laptop so they can play games or watch their favorite movies.

Another helpful item to add to the “Moving Day” section would be in regards to food. If you have a friend or family member who wants to help, why not ask them to pick up some sandwiches and drinks on moving day, so that you don’t have to dash out? You’ll need to eat, and having someone else bring food can make the day much easier.

8- The Moving Company

While we’ve tacked this at the end of our list, it’s actually one of your first priorities. At the top of your moving checklist, put a section related to your moving company. Tasks in this section will include contacting several moving companies and asking them to come out and provide you with an estimate of how much the move will cost.

You also might want to add important dates to your moving checklist, such as when your deposit is due and to call the moving company a week before the move just to reconfirm that everything is order and ready to go. Be sure to keep the contract and estimate from your moving company in your moving file. This is a crucial document, and you definitely want to keep it close by at all times.

Of course, we can provide you with much more than a handy moving checklist. We provide complete moving and packing services for all types of moves, both residential and commercial. We can move you from Summerlin to Henderson or all the way to L.A., or even across the country. If you are getting ready to move, contact us today and we will provide you with a free, no-obligation quote for our services.