While you don’t have to be a professional to organize a relocation by yourself, knowing how to make a good moving to-do list will allow you to move from one Chicago neighborhood to another without a single problem. Although each move has its challenges, this blog will help you plan everything from beginning to end pretty quickly.
According to Updater, almost half of all relocations in the Chicago area occur within the city borders, with about 40,000 people changing homes from March to September. Seeing how popular local moves have become, we made this checklist to ensure you know exactly what to do the next time you move. Considering this is just an outline of all the critical tasks, it’s still recommended you get a professional to help you with the preparations themselves.
How Do You Prepare to Move to a New House in Chicago? By Making an Ultimate Moving to-Do List
If you were to ask someone, “What is the first thing to do when moving?” chances are they’d say create a to-do list for moving. This should be one of the first things you should do before relocating, as it will allow you to move efficiently without having to worry about skipping even a single task. Setting a deadline is a great way to start, as this will enable you to calculate how much time you have to prepare everything. You’ll often have to prioritize critical tasks, as going into details right away might detract from your overall progress.
There Is More Than One Way to Make a Great Checklist
Is there a checklist for moving that fits everyone? The answer to this question is a bit more complex than it might seem at first glance. Although every relocation is different, most of the preparations usually boil down to the same things. From having to pack electronics and other fragile items to dealing with paperwork and changing your address, you’ll often go through the same tasks, making all the lists very similar no matter how many times you move.
However, creating a checklist should help you avoid relocation stress, not cause it, so you shouldn’t have to be an expert at organizing important documents to make one. It can be as simple or complex as you like, as long as it contains all the necessary information and reminders about the move. Some prefer to keep it simple and write down everything by hand, while others like to go all out and make a home relocation binder. You also have the option of keeping all the information online on Google, Dropbox, or one of many organizing apps.
#1 Start the Preparations About Two Months Before the Relocation
Although starting earlier is never a bad thing, most professional moving companies in Chicago, IL, would agree that it’s best to begin your preparations at least two months before the relocation. Finishing the most important tasks right away will allow you to go into much greater detail with everything that comes later, meaning you might even have time to organize a proper going-away party. Unless you’re planning on relocating in a hurry, focus on checking off the following things about a month or two before the move:
- Set a budget – Calculating your relocation expenses is not an easy task, but it’s something you must do right away. Remember to set aside more than enough funds necessary for supplies, hiring local movers in Chicago, insurance, or anything else you might need to buy during the move.
- Book a local moving company in Chicago – Once you know how much money you can spare to spend on the relocation, start looking for movers in Chicago. Booking professionals right away is much better than doing it later, as most companies won’t be available at the last minute. If you’re going through some financial difficulties, don’t worry, as even those with limited relocation budgets can afford to hire our company.
- Make a moving inventory list – To organize the entire packing process appropriately, you’ll have to go over your entire inventory. Doing this will help you determine how many supplies to get and how long the whole thing will take to finish, making sure all your items are taken care of by the end of the relocation.
- Organize important documents – Despite being incredibly important, this is one of the more common things people forget to do when they move. Not knowing where your crucial documents are could cause you a ton of problems later on, so it’s better to organize them before relocating to the new place. If you’re not sure how to do it, the video below will tell you everything you need to know.
Get Rid of Anything You Don’t Need Before Relocating to Your New Home
Relocation is just the right time to declutter your home. Going through the entire inventory and getting rid of anything you won’t need at the new place has several benefits, including significantly shortening your moving packing list. It gives you an opportunity to deal with all the items movers won’t move, such as plants, food supplies, and other perishables. However, instead of throwing these things out with the trash, try selling them online or through a yard sale. If they are still in good shape, you could also give them away to friends and family or simply donate them to one of many local charities. Besides not having to spend as much on supplies, relocating with a smaller inventory will also reduce the cost of your relocation when hiring professional Chicago movers.
Take Some Time Off Work or Have the Next Job Lined Up
If the move is scheduled on a weekday, you will have to notify your employer about the relocation in advance. More often than not, it’s better to take a day or two off than to risk your position at the company by being late or finishing early. Relocating from one of the best Chicago neighborhoods to a suburb will likely disrupt your daily routines, including your job. Once ideal working conditions might become unbearable, forcing you to quit. Since losing your primary source of income without a backup plan is never a good idea, it’s crucial to have the next job lined up right away. You should at least search for openings at similar companies before quitting the one you’re currently working at.
Transfer Your Children to a New School Before Relocating
Unless you’re relocating just a few blocks away, you will likely have to transfer your children to a new school. However, while finding a great school in one of the best neighborhoods for families is a piece of cake, that’s not always the case with the rest of the Windy City. Getting in is even more complicated, so you should get on the phone and start making the appropriate arrangements right away.
#2 Deal With All the Bureaucracy About a Month Before the Move
The last four weeks before relocating will have you deal with so much bureaucracy you won’t want to look at the paperwork for the rest of the year. Start by filing a Change of Address form at the local post office or on the USPS website, as this will allow you to forward all your mail to the new home. The next step is to update the utility companies, as failing to do so within the appropriate time window could leave you without internet or electricity for several days. Make sure all the remaining bills are paid before doing this, as utility providers will often require you to do so before transferring their services. If you’re a renter, you’ll also have to give a 30-day notice to your landlord.
Consider getting some relocation insurance, particularly if you have valuable belongings that you’re not sure how to pack. In case any damage occurs during your relocation, the policy will cover all the damages. Get one even if you’re hiring the best movers in Chicago, as the free basic coverage that comes with the service itself is nowhere near enough to recuperate potential losses. Finally, remember to transfer all active homeowners or renter’s insurance policies before relocating.
Try to Get All the Necessary Supplies Two to Three Weeks Before Relocating
Besides dealing with all the bureaucracy, you should also go supply shopping at least two to three weeks before the actual move. You’ll need to get all sorts of packing materials, from boxes and a labeling kit to paper, bubble wrap, and plastic covers. If you don’t know where to buy these, there are plenty of supply stores both in and outside of the Loop, meaning you’ll rarely have to commute to find the right kind of boxes. Buying brand new supplies is not cheap, though. If you don’t have enough funds to get everything, try to pack with alternatives you have at home or look for some free materials at Freecycle.
#3 Do Most Of the Packing Over the Last Couple of Weeks
“How early should you start packing to move?” is one of the most commonly asked questions about relocation. While the duration of the process can vary depending on the number of things you own, most experts agree that you should start packing at least two weeks before the relocation. This will give you more than enough time to pack books, clothing, shoes, or other smaller belongings appropriately. Last but not least, ensure nothing gets damaged while being loaded onto the truck by labeling all the boxes and items correctly. Considering you’ll have the work cut out for you, it’s better to leave small children with a family member for the time being. The same goes for those relocating with pets, as all the commotion will stress them out pretty quickly.
#4 Finish the Few Remaining Tasks on Your Checklist a Week Before the Move
If you’ve managed to pack most of the smaller belongings before the last week starts, you’ll only have to disassemble and secure larger furniture pieces. Besides dealing with large items, you should also contact your mover in Chicago, IL, to confirm all the details of the relocation. Remember to defrost the fridge a day or two before the move, as any leftovers can easily spill over other belonging in the truck. If you’re a renter, try to clean each room as you empty it, as leaving the place spotless is the only thing that will get you the entire security deposit back.
Prepare Some Essential Items Separately
Unless you’re relocating right across the street, it’s best to pack all the essentials in separate boxes. Many of these items are some of the most commonly forgotten things to pack, which is why having a checklist just for them is particularly helpful. If you’re not sure what to prepare separately, remember to bring:
- A phone charger,
- Some food and water,
- Kitchen utensils,
- Basic toiletries,
- Crucial documents,
- Bedding, pillows, and blankets,
- Some entertainment.
Preparing all the things we mentioned here will save you from unpacking everything at once, allowing you to do it at your own pace, a little bit each day.
#5 Don’t Leave Too Many Things for the Last Day
Those who followed our instructions carefully should have very little to do on the day of their move. Most of the tasks will involve overseeing the loading process, ensuring nothing gets mishandled and accidentally broken when placed onto the truck. Once everything has been loaded, do one final sweep of the entire place to check if anything was skipped. Last but not least, to ensure you’re dealing with a genuine company and not a relocation scam, check if any item is missing from the final bill before signing it.
Creating a List of Things to Do When Moving Into a New House Will Allow You to Settle in Quickly
Even though the last boxes were unloaded from the truck, the relocation is not over until you’ve set up your new home. Fortunately, you can make a checklist of things to do after relocating as well, and it should include:
- Clean everything from top to bottom,
- Change the locks,
- Check if the utilities work,
- Set up the bathroom and the bedroom,
- Unpack the kitchen,
- Buy groceries.
Once you’ve done all the tasks we listed, you’ll be free to relax, explore the neighborhood, and enjoy your new home. That’s about it, so pat yourself on the back. You made it through.
Now That You Know How to Organize Your Entire Relocation, Hire One of the Top Chicago Moving Companies to Assist You
We hope that everything we mentioned in this blog will help you create your own moving list of things to do without much trouble. However, understand that we only outlined the most important things you need to know, barely scratching the surface on how to pack furniture or any other item for that matter. Considering there’s still a lot to learn before you can move quickly and efficiently, hiring Legit Movers is the best choice you can make when relocating in Chicago.
If you’re looking for excellent residential moving services in Chicago, our team will provide you with everything necessary to have a successful, stress-free move. We also recommend you book our movers and packers in Chicago, as that’s the only way you can ensure even your most delicate possessions are appropriately packed and transported. Business owners who book a commercial relocation won’t have to worry about any unnecessary delays, as our company will provide a large workforce that can handle any task. To learn more about our services, contact us and don’t hesitate to ask for a free quote.