Moving Checklist

By Lisa BowlinJanuary 5, 2022

What Is a Moving Checklist?

If you’re moving from one residence to another, you’ll need a list to stay on top of the items you want to pack, the things you need to fix around the house and the people you may need to call to ensure that the residence is transferred to its new owner or tenant. A moving checklist ensures that you do not forget even the smallest details of finalizing your stay at your residence and leaving for the next house, condo or apartment in your life.

Moving checklists are not always legal documents. Check with your landlord, if you have one, to determine whether you need to complete and sign a moving checklist or inspection with the landlord before you move out. Similarly, if you are selling your home, a signed checklist may need to be included with your closing documents to indicate which items you plan to leave behind — such as major appliances — and which ones you want to take with you. Most of the time, though, a moving checklist is simply drafted as a personal way for you and your family to remain organized throughout the moving process.

Why and Who Should Use a Moving Checklist?

It’s a good idea for anyone who is moving to a new residence — even if you’ve moved a dozen times before — to use a moving checklist. Moving is considered by mental health professionals to be a stressful event that can cause major brain chemistry changes. Even if the move is a beneficial one, you might experience confusion, foggy-headedness and a moderate amount of anxiety as you compile your belongings and stuff them into boxes. Whether you are a young person who is moving to his or her first apartment, a middle-aged adult traveling cross-country with a family of four or a retiree who is downsizing from a large home to a condo, a moving checklist can help you account for your belongings and complete everything in order.

Advantages of Using a Moving Checklist?

A moving checklist can help you remember everything on your to-do list as you prepare to vacate your residence. It may also assist you in getting your deposit back after your landlord's final inspection. Below are three additional advantages of using this template:

  • It can help you and your family stay on the same page: Creating a moving checklist enables you to assign a job to a specific family member so that there is no confusion or overlap.
  • It can help you plan specific aspects of your move: Schedule transportation for your larger items or anything that is extremely fragile in advance.
  • It can assist your landlord know what needs to be fixed: You may intend to make repairs around the house or apartment but lack the time to do so. If you elect not to make minor fixes, be forewarned that the cost may come out of your security deposit.

When To Use a Moving Checklist?

It’s best to use this checklist as soon as you know you will be moving. You may want to create your checklist as soon as possible to feel more prepared for your transition. Perhaps you already know that you are moving in six months and wish to get a head start on your packing — or you may have as little as six weeks before you need to relocate to the other side of the country. In certain situations, such as starting a new job and military deployment, you may have little time in which to take stock of your belongings and plan for your next steps. Work with your landlord in these situations to ensure that you have completed the necessary paperwork to end your lease and get your security deposit back. If you are selling your home, ask your realtor to contribute to your moving checklist by recommending the addition of necessary home inspections and services you must schedule before the move-in.

Related Resources

If you have to move suddenly, you may be forced into a situation in which you must break your lease. It’s not illegal to break a lease, but doing so may come with a steep financial penalty. Check with your landlord if you have questions and be sure to reference the document itself before making your decision. If you’re moving because of military service, you may be able to use a military clause to break the lease without penalty. Read more from Military One Source.

If you’re renting, complete the moving checklist with your landlord during the final walkthrough and write down whatever you need to fix or change before leaving the residence. Learn about security deposits and the importance of the final walkthrough in this article from Apartments.com.

Sign, Create and Send

A secure and simple way to add legally binding electronic signatures for all your personal and business needs.

Let's Start Signing