A Seattleite’s Checklist of Things to Do Before Moving

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Whether this is your first Seattle relocation or 12th, you should always make a checklist of things to do before moving. However, if you’re not sure what to put on it the next time you move, this blog will take you through all the necessary tasks, ensuring you don’t forget even the smallest detail.

A young woman thinking about hiring some Seattle movers

There are so many things to do before relocation can begin. Don’t forget to write them all down

Be aware that this is a generalized checklist meant for Seattleites relocating both in the city and its many suburbs, meaning your personalized list won’t have to be an exact copy of it. Still, it should give you an idea of what to expect when preparing for relocation and how long it can take to cover everything. Remember, if you can’t handle something, Seattle Professional Movers will take care of it.

What Do I Need to Do Before I Move? Make a Checklist With All the Necessary Tasks

No matter what your reasons to move might be, you should always create a checklist when preparing for relocation. The to-do list should have all the necessary tasks that you have to complete before relocating, including setting up some of the most important details such as:

  • Planning a budget – Unless you already have a place in mind you want to move to, creating a relocation expenses checklist will allow you to disregard properties that are outside your budget immediately. That being said, it also serves to calculate how much you can spare to spend on Seattle movers and supplies.
  • Finding a new home – If you’re currently in one of the more affordable suburbs, and you want to live in Downtown Seattle, hiring one of the local real estate agents could help you find a place that suits both your lifestyle and budget.
  • Setting the relocation dateRelocating in a hurry is something we would never recommend to anyone, so we highly suggest you pick a date that is at least two or more months away. This will allow you to prepare the necessary resources and paperwork, all while organizing the entire process.

A woman calculating how much money she would need for cheap movers in Seattle

Calculate your budget to determine which homes you can afford

Hiring Local Movers in Seattle Is One of the Most Important Things to Do Before Moving

Once the basics are set, you should search for a local moving company in Seattle. In fact, hiring a mover to assist you is one of the most important tasks on your checklist. These professionals provide all sorts of services, allowing you to move efficiently and without unnecessary relocation stress.

Start Looking for Professional Seattle Moving Companies Right Away

Although it might seem like there are many moving companies in Seattle, WA, we highly recommend you start looking for a mover as soon as you know the relocation date. If it’s in the middle of the season between April and September, be happy if you find anyone available, let alone cheap movers in Seattle. The pool of potential companies shrinks even more if you’re relocating to a lesser-known Seattle suburb, so try not to wait for the last minute to begin your search.

A man is stressed because he couldn't find available moving companies in Seattle, WA

Failing to find a professional mover will cause your stress levels to skyrocket

Get Rid of Anything You Don’t Want to Move to Your New Home

Before you start boxing up everything left and right, try to downsize and get rid of all unnecessary belongings. While you might not enjoy it at first, not having to pack a massive pile of objects will quickly turn you to the other side. Decluttering gives you more than enough time to deal with all hazardous materials, and any other items movers won’t move. It will also reduce the overall cost of your move, so there’s no excuse to avoid it. If you’re not sure what to do with the stuff you don’t need, you can:

  • Sell it – Some of the belongings can be sold off through a yard sale or online on Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon, possibly earning you some cash on the side.
  • Give it away – If you have some stuff that one of your friends or family members could use, it’s better to give it to them than let it go to waste.
  • Donate it – While everyone is aware of food and clothing donations, did you know that you can donate furniture as well? Many charities, including the local Goodwill, enable you to donate all sorts of goods, but they have to be in good shape.
  • Throw it out – Anything that’s clearly past its expiration date or is in any other way unusable should be either recycled or dealt with accordingly.
  • Place it in storage – Storing your belongings is only a temporary solution, so try to deal with them in some other way before resorting to this.

A standard decluttering scheme

Decluttering right away means you’ll have fewer belongings to pack later

Collect and Organize All the Necessary Documents

Once all the basics are set, you should start collecting all the paperwork you can find in the house. Don’t leave anything behind even if you live in one of the safest neighborhoods, as any file containing sensitive information could leave you exposed to all sorts of fraudulent activities. This includes everything from personal documents such as your ID, birth certificate, passport, financial and medical records, and more.
Although paper might be one of the most commonly forgotten items to pack, not knowing where your documents are makes dealing with bureaucracy incredibly difficult. If you accidentally came across a bunch of old files when doing inventory, try learning how to organize important documents. Everything you’ve collected can either be kept in a box, a drawer, or a customized file folder. It all depends on how thorough you want to be.

Don’t Forget to Change Your Address Before Relocating

As we already said, it’s crucial never to leave any documents at the old place. To stop the mail from coming in, you’ll have to update your address before relocating. While you can go down to the nearest post office to do this, it’s much easier to file a change of address request online. Considering how many people forget about it, you might also want to learn how to stop getting mail from previous residents, as this will prevent their deliveries from clogging up your mailbox. To learn more about changing your address, take a look at the video below.

Notify All Important People and Institutions About the Relocation

After you’ve officially changed your address, it’s time to notify everyone about the relocation. Depending on how far you’re relocating, you’ll either have to transfer your utilities or look for new Seattle utility companies that operate in the area. Other important institutions to update include your insurance company, the bank, the doctor’s office, IRS, and DMV. Many subscription-based services like gym membership will also have to be canceled.
Once most of the bureaucracy is out of the way, you’ll still have to update your family and friends about the move. Unless you plan on calling everyone, it’s much easier to make a post on your social media or send a group message to your inner circle. Throwing a kickass going-away party would also be a good way to inform them about the move, allowing you to celebrate the occasion while also giving a proper goodbye.

When Should I Notify My Employer About the Move?

Even with all the relocation tips and hack out there, you’ll still need at least a day to move your entire home. If the relocation falls on a workday, notifying your employer in advance could get a day off. Never hide the fact that you’re relocating, as they are always eager to know what goes on with their employees, particularly if it could affect your efficiency in any way.
On that note, having a time-consuming job in the city when relocating to the suburbs will very likely cause a dip in your work performance. If that happens, try to make an arrangement that will suit both parties. If you can’t come to an agreement with your superiors about changing the working conditions, it might be better to look for a job somewhere closer to your new location.

What Should I Do 30 Days Before Moving Out of My Apartment? Give Notice to the Landlord

One of the most important people to notify about the move is your landlord. Although Seattle renters’ rights give you several benefits, the lease agreement still binds you to provide a 30 or 60-day notice before vacating the premises. Before sending in the notice, be sure that your next lease is already set up. Otherwise, you might end up becoming the next homeless person in Seattle.

Transfer the Children to a New School Before the Move Is Finalized

Unless you’re relocating just a few blocks away, transferring your children to a new school should be one of your top priorities. However, considering Seattle Public Schools is one of the best school districts in the region, you likely won’t have to look for too long to find an excellent school near you. With 113 institutions in the district, you can find a good one even outside the best neighborhoods for families. On that note, anyone relocating to Bellevue will also have to change districts. The same goes for Mercer Island and many other neighboring cities and suburbs.

A couple is on the phone with a moving company in Seattle

Don’t get off the phone until you’ve notified everyone about the move

Keep a List of All the Necessary Supplies Before Going Out

While you’ll undoubtedly have to go out for supplies at least a couple of times, going through the entire inventory while decluttering will give you a much better idea about which materials to get right away. Packing plates and other dishes like pots and pans only requires some paper and boxes, while most furniture and electronics need additional materials. If you’re not sure which supplies and equipment to put on your shopping list, at least try to get some:

  • Boxes,
  • Packing paper,
  • Bubble wrap,
  • Plastic covers,
  • Duct tape,
  • Scissors,
  • Markers and stickers.

Where Can I Find Some Free Supplies in Seattle?

There are plenty of ways to find some free paper and moving boxes in Seattle, which is particularly helpful for those who don’t have a lot of money to spend on supplies. If you don’t know where to look, most supermarkets and liquor stores should have at least some leftover packaging you could use. You could also try checking out the IKEA store in Renton or any other large retail center in the city.
On the other hand, there are plenty of relocation hacks out there that focus on using everyday items you have at home as alternatives. For example, you can easily pack books in suitcases or wrap fragile items with towels. Additionally, not packing clothes and leaving them in the drawers will reduce the number of boxes you need.

A man wondering if he still has time to look for Seattle moving companies

What should I do 3 weeks before moving? Secure all the required supplies and materials

Plan to Pack Most of Your Belongings About Two Weeks Before the Move

Although you can start packing some seasonal clothes and rarely used belongings immediately after decluttering, plan to pack most of your belongings about two weeks before the actual move. Start with the minor stuff, like glasses you rarely use, then move on to pack furniture and other large items. Considering the massive number of boxes, you’ll have once everything is done, label each container as soon as it’s packed. Otherwise, you might have to unpack everything right away only to look for a particular item.

Prepare the Essentials Checklist for the Day You Move Out

Considering how much stress you’ve endured so far, forgetting to bring a charger and some toiletries with you on the relocation day might be the thing that puts you over the edge. That’s why preparing your essentials separately is one of the most important things to do before you move out.
The list should include all your personal belongings, including crucial documents and money. It will also help if you pack dishes and other kitchen essentials, bedding, a pillow, and some blankets. If you’re having a household relocation, each family member should have a separate duffle bag, ensuring everyone has what they need for the first few days.

A couple is happy they booked moving services in Seattle

What should I do 2 weeks before moving? Finish most of the packing

Make a Plan for Your Pets and Children

Considering the last few weeks before the actual relocation can be pretty intense, you likely won’t have much time to deal with anything else, let alone take care of the children. If your kids aren’t old enough to help with the preparations, it’s much better to find someone to look after them for a few days. This could be a family member, close friend, or professional sitter. Just remember to provide them with everything your child might require during this period.
It would be best if you also did this when relocating with pets, as they can easily get stressed out from all the commotion. While most cats are okay with staying indoors, it’s better to leave your canine with someone who lives near one of the dog parks, as they’ll have to spend some time outside the house. Lastly, since you’ll be the one to move them, the pet must get used to being in the carrier during the car ride. Make sure they have everything needed for the trip, including some food, water, and their favorite toy.

A dog sitting in one of the smaller moving boxes in Seattle

Focus on making the process as easy as possible for your furry friends

With So Many Tasks Waiting to Be Completed, You Should Hire the Best Mover in Seattle to Assist You

While these were some of the most important tasks to complete when relocating in Seattle, you shouldn’t take this list for granted. It should primarily serve as a reminder, keeping you from forgetting about the work that has to be done. If you want to get back to exploring cool neighborhoods and the best rooftop bars as quickly as possible, you’ll have to get some professional moving services in Seattle.
The good news is that hiring Seattle Professional Movers will allow you to move your entire home in no time. Our residential move provides a truck and a well-trained team capable of handling everything, even relocating a piano. Anyone who needs packing services can count on us to protect their belongings, both big and small. Last but not least, we also offer commercial relocation, allowing you to move a business quickly and without unnecessary delays. To learn more about everything our Seattle moving company offers, contact our customer service and request a free quote.