Moving Day Checklist: What to Do & Keep With You

Moving with Cats & Coffee, Part 4

Moving is not the most intuitive process in the world. It seems easy enough: pack up your things from point A and transport them to point B. But, whether you’re moving across the city or across the country, there are a number of pitfalls and inefficiencies that can occur along the way. Having recently moved myself, I designed this series to offer advice on things that went right and — perhaps more importantly — what didn’t go right. You can expect four posts in the Moving with Cats & Coffee Series, published every other week, on topics such as packing tips for movingmoving with pets, and things to do ahead of a move.

This post covers moving day itself, with a checklist of everything you need to do and remember to keep with you on the day of your move.

Everything You Need for Moving Day

I’m a big fan of making lists (hence the freebie list offered at the end of this article), and found a moving day checklist to be particularly useful. It is easy to get wrapped up in small tasks, and to ultimately forget important things as a result.

Moving Day Checklist Part 1 | Things to Do:

  • Wear closed-toe shoes (sneakers, preferably).
  • Wear comfortable clothes with pockets. I highly recommend leggings or bike shorts (these are my favorite) and a workout top or comfy tee. Braid or put your hair up if you have long hair.
  • Call your movers to confirm their ETA. Be sure they know where they can park and how to get to your apartment, if applicable.
  • Fully charge all batteries before movers arrive — phone, iPads, laptops, etc.
  • Download podcasts and playlists on your phone. If you have any drives or flights ahead of you, you don’t want to rely on spotty internet or reception!
  • Pack a backpack or oversized bag with all your important belongings, including things you’ll need throughout the day. Examples include:
    • Snack bars and water bottles,
    • Glasses and extra contacts, if applicable,
    • Travel toiletries (pro tip: this Indie Lee set is great for this),
    • Important paperwork,
    • Electronics and chargers,
    • Pet supplies and necessities,
    • Jewelry and watches,
    • Any cash you keep at home, and
    • A change of clothes for later on.
  • Double check closets, cabinets, and other often-forgotten spaces for anything you may have forgotten to pack.
    • Perhaps keep an extra small or medium size moving box with you for such last-minute packing.
    • Once you’ve checked, put painter’s tape or sticky notes on the cabinet doors to indicate that they’re done and you don’t need to check again. I say this as someone who checked things over and over again.

Moving Day Checklist Part 2 | Things to Keep With You :

  • Sufficient cash on hand to tip movers (side note: I’ve mentioned this a few times in this series, can you tell I had an issue with this one?).
  • Snacks and reusable water bottles, in case you don’t have the opportunity to grab lunch or food once the movers arrive. Pro tip: don’t get protein bars with lots of chocolate or peanut butter that will melt and get all over the place.
  • Keep a folder or folio of important paperwork. Keep passports, titles, legal documents, social security cards, spare car keys, blank checks, and so on in a single spot. I use a clutch like this, which fits easily in any backpack or travel bag I carry.
  • A small stash of cleaning products, both to wipe down your new cabinets before you start unpacking and to clean up any unforeseen messes during the day. I recommend the following products:
  • Prescription medications — and Advil, because your back will probably hurt by the end of the day.
  • Electronics (iPads, computers, smart watches, etc.) with their chargers. Consider getting a little tech kit organizer like this one, so you can have everything in one spot.

Read More of the Moving from Cats & Coffee

*This post was originally published on July 25, 2021. It was most recently updated on April 8, 2022.