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Add These Must-Do’s to Your Moving Checklist

Scott® Brand


Last updated 6/13/2022


5 mins



Survey says … It’s time to move.

A consumer study1 at the beginning of 2022 revealed that as many as 40% of Americans are pondering a move this year, especially those in the Gen Z and millennial age groups. And just under half (46%) of those who are thinking about moving are hoping to forego renting and become homeowners.

If you are heading to greener pastures, create a moving checklist of must-do items to ensure your move-out and move-in go smoothly. And given the moving checklist is a long one, it’s easy to forget or overlook some key elements – so we’re sharing a few here.

Moving Out Checklist

You can’t move in someplace new without first moving out of your old place! Make both endeavors easier by remembering to follow a few rules, such as:

  • De-clutter. Anyone who is moving, especially if it’s been a while, is often shocked to discover how much “stuff” they have. And by stuff, we mean … junk. Take a good hard look at everything in your garage, drawers and closets, and gather together those items you no longer want or need. Many charities – such as Goodwill and Salvation Army -- would love to take unwanted toys, clothes or furniture off of your hands.
  • Check your nooks and crannies. You may only go to the attic once a year, to fetch your holiday ornaments. So, it can be easy to forget you’ve stored some supplies and family heirlooms in that out-of-the-way place; and you probably don’t want to leave them behind!
  • Examine your outlets, too. Among the most forgotten items are smartphone or laptop chargers, which may have been permanently plugged into your office or bedroom outlets. Take a final look around -- once everything else is packed -- to make sure you didn’t forget these necessities.
  • Read the fine print. When you moved in, your landlord likely had you complete a “condition of rental property” form. Review it before you move out, and point out to the landlord any areas that you both had noted were already damaged; you won’t be responsible if they were never repaired during your occupancy. If there are some minor bumps or smudges, do your best to repair them; a good faith cleaning/repair effort may save you money in the end.
  • Clean thoroughly. Related to the previous tip, cleaning the apartment before you move out isn’t just the right thing to do … it could ensure you get more of your security deposit back, too. Give the old place a top-to-bottom dusting and vacuuming. And give your toilets, bathtub, sinks, refrigerator, and oven a thorough scrubbing. Nobody wants to deal with your residue.

1st banner from Moving Out Checklist

Moving to Another State

You’ll need to create a separate “moving-to-another-state checklist” if you’re going across state lines. For this move, add some additional items that may not be relevant for a trek across town. For instance …

  • If you have school-age kids, let their old school know of your plans, and give them the heads-up that their new school will need to get the students’ records as soon as possible. Medical records and proof of immunization are critical, too, to ensure your child is officially enrolled at the new school without any hitches.

  • Review all of your memberships, to clubs or gyms. Cancel if the business isn’t in your new town; if it is, you should be able to transfer the membership to a close-by facility. For those you’re canceling, make sure you give plenty of notice, or run the risk of paying an early cancellation fee.

  • Look into shipping your car or having someone drive it for you – such as Montway. This is an especially important task to arrange if your journey is several thousand miles away, and/or if you’re driving a rental van. If the latter, you may be able to tow it; your rental company will have all the details. Popular options include U-Haul, Budget and Ryder.

  • Coordinate cleaning supplies. With a full moving van ready to unload, you don’t want to waste time shopping for mops, brooms, multi-surface cleaners, paper towels and other cleaning supplies. Click here to order your favorite Scott brand products online, for delivery to your new home; or, if you’d prefer in-store pickup, choose from top retailers through Scott’s website. With all your supplies in hand, ready for when you need them, you’ll be sure to finish cleaning faster, so you can have more time to set up your new place.

Moving to another state from checklist for moving

First-Time Homeowner

Create a separate “new-homeowner checklist” that will include all those things you didn’t need to worry about as a renter, such as:

  • Make meaningful measurements. Measure the size of each room in your new residence and check the length/height/width of the large pieces of furniture you’re bringing with you to make sure there’s a match. There’s nothing worse than lugging a heavy armoire or sofa up a few flights of stairs, only to learn it’s too large for the space you had planned for it. Once you’ve made your measurements, sketch out a room-by-room map of where everything will go, and adjust accordingly if a room appears to be too crowded. Here are some online services that can help: Havenly or Design Crew from Pottery Barn.

  • HOA. Is there is a homeowners’ association (HOA) in your neighborhood? If so, you’ll likely need to pay a mandatory annual fee and – more importantly – you’ll need to abide by its bylaws, which often included getting approvals before doing home repairs or choosing exterior paint colors.

  • Utilities. Make sure you identify the location of all access points for utilities (water, gas, electricity, cable TV, etc.) on the property. They’re your responsibility now, not a landlord’s.

  • Extra insurance. Do you need additional coverage based on the property’s location, such as flood insurance? That is often a requirement from your mortgage lender, but do some research to see if other coverage may be prudent to have (your new neighbors may have some advice on this topic).

If you’ve been working with a real estate agent in purchasing your home, they should be able to offer additional suggestions and guidelines.

What’s on your checklist for moving? Share your top tips and use #KeepLifeRolling to help others with what you’ve found works best.

1 Lending Tree/Qualtrics survey, fielded December 2021.

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