Moving your home can be a stressful undertaking. Having a plan and getting everything organized well ahead of time will go a long way to alleviating much of the anxiety associated with your move. If you need help planning your move, the Compass Move Planner’s step-by-step checklist will assist you in managing the entire moving process while assuring it runs as smoothly as possible. Your personal Compass move coordinator is always available via phone or email to assist you and answer any questions you might have concerning your plan. You may download a printable version of the entire checklist by CLICKING HERE. Questions? CONTACT US.

Check Your Credit Report

  • Before planning your move, be sure to check your credit report. Moving is a good time to find out where you stand financially.

Determine How You Are Moving

  • It’s time to think about how you’re going to move. Are you doing it yourself or hiring a professional? Start familiarizing yourself with the available options and set your budget. Leaving the move to a professional may just save you time, money, and angst in the long run.

Research Your New Community

  • The Internet is a great tool for gathering information. Start learning about your new community by surfing the web. Chances are you’ll find everything you need to familiarize yourself with your new hometown.

Out With The Old

  • Now is the time to sort and get rid of old or broken items that have outlasted their usefulness. Don’t waste money and time by packing and shipping these things.

Pet Records

  • Take your pet to the veterinarian for one last check-up if you are within two months of its annual exam. Be sure to ask for a referral to a vet in your new town. Make sure to get a copy of your pet’s medical records and check on local/state requirements regarding pet ownership – this is especially important if you have an exotic or non-traditional pet.

Travel Arrangements

  • Long distance move? Now’s the time to make your airline, car and hotel reservations. Flight schedules require particular attention, as you want to arrive at least six hours before your movers do.

Storage Facilities

  • Not enough room in your new home for all your belongings? Consider renting a storage space. Two things to consider when renting a storage space are price and security. If you require regular access to your belongings, be sure the facility has 24-hour access.

Food and Cleaning Supplies

  • Begin finishing up the remaining food in your pantry and freezer. Buy only enough new groceries to hold you over until moving day. Use up any cleaning supplies you have on hand and avoid shopping for additional household items.

Get FREE estimates from Professional Movers

  • It’s time to research professional movers and get price quotes. Be sure to provide the movers with specifics details concerning your move, so as to avoid any last-minute surprises or additional costs.

Health Insurance

  • Call your health insurance provider to confirm you will have medical coverage during your move, especially if you are moving out of state. If you are starting a new job, do you have continuing coverage through COBRA from your old employer until your new insurance takes effect? If you already have coverage, be sure to transfer the policy to your new address.

Notify Your Doctor and Dentist

  • Contact your doctors and dentist and let them know you are moving. If you haven’t selected a new doctor in your new town, request referrals from your current one. Once you have selected new providers, arrange to have your medical and dental records transferred. Be aware that most physicians and dentists require a signed letter of intent before taking receipt of your medical records.

Arrange for the Transport of Your Car

  • If you are shipping your car, boat or motorcycle to your new home, begin contacting vehicle shipping companies and getting price estimates. Reservations for transporting vehicles need to be made well in advance, so make sure to plan and book early. You can get a free quote from Compass by CLICKING HERE.

Tax-Deductible Moving Expenses

  • Job-related moving expenses are frequently tax deductible. Typical deductions include transportation, travel, and lodging expenses. Be sure to keep copies of all your move-related documents and receipts.

Appraisal of Valuables

  • If you plan on insuring your valuables for your move, you will need to get them appraised by a professional appraiser. You may need a separate insurance policy for antiques and other high-value items. Consult your insurance agent or a Compass Move Specialist for advice.

Overseas Travel

  • If you are traveling overseas, check local quarantine laws. Quarantine laws differ from location to location and can wreak havoc with your move schedule unless you prepare in advance.


  • You may need to resign from or transfer any club and organizational memberships. If you are an officer or board member, you might want to nominate a candidate to replace you.

Accessibility To Your Home

  • When requesting a price quote for your move, be sure to discuss any accessibility issues with the move agent. If your current or future home is in a secluded location, on a hill, or has a steep driveway that cannot accommodate a large moving truck, it could negatively affect the price and scheduling of your move. Additional charges may apply if a smaller truck is required to transport or deliver your goods.

Pest Inspection

  • Inspect your new home for pests, inside and out. Search the Internet for reviews of pest control services in your area.

Contact Your Car and/or Home Insurance Agent

  • Contact your insurance agent about transferring automobile and property insurance to your new residence.
Notify Service Providers

  • Notify any regular service providers (housekeeping, landscaping, pool, security services, etc.) of your impending move. While you are at it, look into contracting these services for your new home.

Homeowners Insurance

  • When you purchased your new home, you most likely bought homeowners insurance as well. Remember, you’re not stuck with the same insurance provider forever. Be price conscious and shop around for the best rates.

Renters Insurance

  • Renting? Moving is a good time to consider getting renters insurance, so contact your insurance provider and request a price quote for your new home. To find a good rate, it’s a wise idea to solicit quotes from several providers.

Decorating Your New Home

  • Will you be decorating your new home? Measure all the rooms in your new residence and decide where you will place furniture. Contact any contractors such as painters and carpenters to get bids and schedule work. Delivery of new furniture can take several weeks, so place your order accordingly.

Packing Supplies

  • A Compass full-service move includes all packing supplies. However, if you decide to pack your belongings yourself, you will need to purchase sturdy boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts. These materials are available from moving companies and truck-rental firms. Remember, most movers will not insure any shipments they have not packed themselves.


  • If you’re driving cross-country to your new home and have some extra time, make a mini-vacation out of your trip. Take the time to visit historical sites, places of interest, and national parks along the way.

Combustible and Hazardous Materials

  • Most moving companies will not move hazardous materials such as propane tanks, gasoline, paint, thinners, aerosol cans, etc. If your mover refuses, you will need to make arrangements to transport it yourself or dispose of the materials properly. Your move agent can advise you regarding transportation or disposal of these materials.

Garage Sale

  • Garage Sales are a great way to get rid of old and unwanted possessions! Hold a sale in your neighborhood or go digital and sell them online.

Donate Unwanted or Old Possessions

  • Clean out your closets and bookcases. Donate or sell any clothing you have not worn in over two years. Sort through books and either give unwanted ones to your local library or school or sell them to a used-book store. Donate anything you were unable to sell during your garage sale.

Automobile Insurance

  • Own an automobile? Contact your current auto insurance provider and request a policy quote for your new town. Your agent can assist you in transferring your existing insurance to your new address or in finding a new agent if you are moving a long distance.

Clean/Renovate Your Unoccupied Future Home

  • Is your future residence unoccupied? Now is the time to paint and make small renovations to it without the hassle of having to move belongings or cover up furniture. It is much easier to clean walls, floors, windows, cabinets and closets while the residence is empty.

Get a New Bank Account

  • Unless your current bank has a branch in your new town, you will need to open checking and savings accounts in your new community. Shop for banks via the Internet to find the best interest rates and fee schedules. Some online checking accounts even offer ‘cash-back’ on purchases. Be sure not to close your existing bank account until all outstanding checks have cleared.

Organize Possessions

  • It’s time to begin organizing your belongings and create an inventory. Determine what items you will take to your new residence and what you can let go. Once you finish your inventory, it can be used to estimate your homeowner’s insurance requirements and the value of your shipment for moving insurance.

Moving Your Appliances

  • Are you are taking your appliances with you? If you are, schedule an appointment with a service company either on or just before your moving day to prepare them for transit. Appliance manuals missing? Ask the service company if they can provide copies of them. Many appliance manuals are available online from the manufacturer in either printed (usually a cost involved) form or as a free downloadable PDF file.
Service Your Car

  • Will you be driving a considerable distance to your new home? Make an appointment to have your automobile serviced. It is always good to check your vehicle’s tires, fluid levels, and brakes before embarking on a lengthy trip. If you’ve been putting off a new tire purchase, now is the time to do it!

Vehicle Registration

  • Are you moving out of state? Now is the time to request licensing and title registration information from your new state. This information can usually be obtained online from the Department of Motor Vehicles’ official state website.

Pack Seasonal and Unnecessary Items

  • Pack all items that you will not need during the month prior to your move. This includes winter/summer clothing, sports equipment, books and linens.

Pest-Proof Your New Residence

  • Before you move in, make sure your new home is pest-free. Ask the current residents and neighbors if they’ve experienced any pest problems such as termites, ants, rodents, etc. Arrange for a local exterminator to inspect and treat your residence or find pest-control products at a local hardware store.

Temporary Housing

  • Temporary housing can bridge the gap between arrival in a new community and delivery of your belongings to your permanent residence. Now is the time to arrange for it if you need it!
Automobile Warranty

  • Is your vehicle still under warranty? Call your current dealership and request an address change. While you’re on the phone, ask them to recommend a reputable dealership in your new town.

House Plants

  • The majority of professional movers will not transport plants and other vegetation. If you wish to take them with you, you will need to make additional plans to move them. If you are moving overseas, most U.S. territories and foreign countries do not allow you to bring in plants. You will most likely need to find new homes for them.

Document Existing Damage

  • Begin documenting (photos and a written record) any existing damage on your belongings and furniture. This information will come in handy if you need to make an insurance claim with your movers.

Internet Service

  • Decide whom your new Internet service provider will be and arrange for installation/activation before you move into your new residence.

Transfer Your Prescriptions

  • Get a recommendation from your current pharmacist for a pharmacy in your new town and transfer your prescriptions to it. Make sure to fill as many of them as you can just before your moving day. You do not want to run out of a critical medication before settling into your new home.

Pay Unpaid Tickets, Fines and Taxes

  • Call your local/state government to pay any unpaid taxes, fines or parking tickets. Unpaid fees will eventually catch up with you. Not paying them now could cost you additional money and prevent you from transferring or renewing your driver’s license.

Pet Grooming

  • Take your pet to the groomer before moving. Be sure to get a referral for a groomer in your new town.

Pet Safety

  • Purchase a travel kennel or seat belt for your pet’s journey to your new home. Talk to your vet or research on the web for information on how to safely move your pet.


  • Contact your new utility companies and arrange for services to be turned on. Be sure to have utility services turned on no later than the day BEFORE you move.

Social Security

  • Currently receiving Social Security Benefits? Change your address with the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213. Be sure to have your Social Security Number available when you call.

Retrieve Lent Items

  • Retrieve any items you may have lent to family, friends or neighbors.

Home Cleaning

  • Hire a professional cleaning service to prepare your new residence for move-in day. You may want to make arrangements to have your current house professionally cleaned after you move out.

Important Documents

  • Organize and make copies of any important documents. Examples of these are passports, wills, titles of ownership, etc. DO NOT SHIP THESE ITEMS. Take them with you to your new home in your luggage or vehicle.
Secure a Parking Spot for the Moving Truck

  • Ensure that they have a convenient place for the movers to park their truck. Mark off a parking area with cones or chairs to reserve the space the morning of your move. In metropolitan areas, you may need to obtain a parking permit to make sure space remains available for the moving truck.

Drain Gas, Oil, Etc.

  • Drain gasoline and oil from lawnmowers and other machinery.

Inspect New Home

  • Visit your new home with your real estate agent or new landlord before moving in. Check for and document any damage left by the previous owners or tenants. Arrange a time to pick up house keys and have the home professionally cleaned.

Taking light fixtures and other items with you

  • Light fixtures are expected to remain with the home when you sell it. However, certain precious possessions such as an antique chandelier shouldn’t stay unless the new owners requested the item as part of the sale. Document and agree upon any items not included in the sale of the home prior to closing.


  • Professional packing is part of a Compass full-service move. We provide all packing and labeling materials and will make an inventory checklist for you. If you pack your belongings yourself, be sure to clearly label each box with the room to which they belong. Doing so will save you time on move-in day and make unpacking easier. Remember, movers will usually not insure shipments they have not packed themselves.

Pet Ownership

  • Before moving to your new hometown, you should familiarize yourself with pet licensing, leash laws, and other city ordinances regarding pet ownership.

Return Borrowed Items

  • Return all library books, DVDs and any other borrowed or rented items.

Dispose of Hazardous Waste

  • Movers will not transport hazardous materials. Dispose of your household hazardous waste (cleaning fluids, lighter fluid, aerosols) before you move. Search the web or contact your current city’s public works department for nearby locations that accept hazardous waste. You can also obtain disposal information by calling 1-800-CLEANUP.

Warranties and Other Documents

  • Gather and prepare a packet containing any warranties, instruction manuals, and receipts for appliances and other items remaining with the home for the new owners.

Confirm Move Date

  • Confirm your move date with the mover.
Dry Cleaners/Tailor Shop

  • Be sure to pick up any clothing or other items you may have at the dry cleaners or tailor shop. Don’t leave a favorite suit or dress behind!

Inspect Your New Home

  • Before closing on your new home, do a walk-through inspection with your real estate agent. Check for any damage left behind by the previous owners or for missing items that were supposed to remain with the residence. Be sure to confirm that the home is clean and empty.

Landlord Information

  • If you have been renting, write down the name, address, and phone number of your current landlord/building manager for future reference.

Make Sure to ask for Appliance Manuals

  • Be sure to get copies of any warranties and instruction manuals from the previous owners for appliances and other items remaining with your new home.


  • Don’t forget to transfer or cancel existing subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. Also, now is a good time to subscribe to newspapers in your new community. Schedule delivery to begin the day after you move in.

Notify Friends and Family

  • If you haven’t done so already, notify your family and friends regarding your impending move. Allow ample time for saying your goodbyes.

Pack Non-Essential Items

  • Professional packing is part of a Compass full-service move. We provide all packing and labeling materials and will make an inventory checklist for you. If you’re packing yourself, now is the time to pack items (clothing, books, kitchenware, etc.) you won’t need during the week of the move.

Pet Preparation and Travel

  • Moving can be especially stressful for pets. Be sure to pay close attention to them in the weeks before and just after the relocation. Surround your pet with familiar objects and toys to help ease the stress of moving. If you and your companion animal are traveling to your new home by commercial air, you will need to obtain a certificate of health from your vet dated within ten days of the flight. Plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before takeoff. Your pet will need to ride in a proper travel crate. If your pet is small, consider having it travel with you. Please note that, many exotic animals aren’t allowed to travel by commercial air. Be sure to check with the airline regarding their pet travel policies and procedures.

Trash Removal

  • With a Compass full-service move, clean up and removal of debris and waste materials following the packing and loading of your household goods is included. If you are packing yourself, you will need to schedule a final trash pickup. If you’re leaving before the next pick-up date, you can drop off trash at a local landfill or ask neighbors if you could leave it with them to set out.

Map and Directions for Movers

  • You want your move-in day to go as smoothly as possible. Make sure your movers know where they are going. Provide them with printed directions and a highlighted map. Exchange cell phone numbers so you can stay in touch in case one of you is delayed or gets lost.

Small High-Value Items

  • High-value items such as jewelry, watches, and small heirlooms, should travel with you and not be shipped with the rest of your belongings. Unfortunately, accidents and thefts do happen. Make sure to have your valuables appraised and insured before the move.

Computers and Other Electronic Devices

  • Electronics should be transported in their original packaging whenever possible. If you no longer have these boxes, Compass has alternative packing materials to make sure your tech items make it to your new home unscathed. As a precaution, ALWAYS backup your data to an external device you can take with you to your new home.
Final Inspection of Apartment/Rental

  • Accompany your landlord on a final inspection of your rental before moving out. Record and discuss any damage discovered as it may affect the return of your security deposit. If there is a dispute regarding damages, it’s better to negotiate in person rather than over the phone.

Inspect Your New Home’s Carpeting

  • Assess your new home’s carpet cleaning needs before delivery of your furniture. In the long run, hiring a professional carpet cleaning service may save you time, money, and frustration.

Clean Your Old Home

  • The Golden Rule of Moving: Leave your old home as clean as you would like to find your new one.

Moving Day Etiquette

  • On moving day, be considerate of your neighbors. Don’t block driveways or sidewalks and don’t leave trash or unwanted furniture behind.

Snacks and Refreshments

  • Provide snacks and refreshments for everyone involved in your move. Even if you’re paying for hired help, treat them as you would a helpful friend.

Moving Day Items

  • Set aside a box marked “Move Day” for helpful items you may need during the course of the move. Some things to consider including in your box are a flashlight, basic tool kit, scissors, trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, and a first aid kit.

Packing Materials

  • Professional packing is part of a Compass full-service move. We provide all packing and labeling materials and will make an inventory checklist for you. If you are packing your own belongings, be sure to have tape, twine, padding and spare boxes available on moving day.

Pet Concerns

  • To avoid accidental run-aways, confine your pets to a separate room on both moving and delivery days. This also limits the cleanup of “accidents” to a single room. Be sure to place a sign on the door to the room warning people not to open it.
  • Be sure to pack plenty of extra food and water to sustain your pet over the course of a long trip to your new home.
  • If you have a cat, choose a permanent place for her litter box and put it there the day you move in to your new residence.

Paying for Your Move

  • Be ready to pay your movers. Compass requires payment by credit card of 75% of the quoted relocation cost on the day of the move. The remaining 25% is due at the time of delivery (prior to unloading) to your new home. Compass accepts all major credit cards. Other moving companies may accept cash and bank checks as well. Typically, movers do not accept personal checks.

Tipping the Move Crew

  • It is customary to tip the move crew $20 each at the completion of both loading and delivery. The amount can vary depending on the size and difficulty of your move.

Bill of Lading and Inventory Sheet

  • As part of a Compass full-service move, we make a driver’s inventory sheet at the time of packing and loading your shipment. Don’t let your movers leave until you’ve compared your goods to this sheet. Any missing or damaged items must be noted on both the driver’s inventory sheet and the bill of lading BEFORE you sign them.
Renting? Call Landord about Fireplace Usage

  • Before using your fireplace, speak with your landlord to ensure that fires are allowed in your building. A working fireplace doesn’t always mean that you’re allowed to use it. Also, you should have it cleaned before using it.

Check on the Return of Your Security Deposit

  • Have you received your security deposit back from your landlord yet? If not, it might be smart to make a call to your landlord to ensure its arrival at your new address.

Home Safety

  • Be safety conscious! Once you’ve settled into your new home, locate the nearest police and fire stations as well as the closest hospital. Depending on the age of the house, you may want to install new smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Map out escape routes in your new home in case of fire. Purchase new fire extinguishers for each level of the residence. Consider installing an alarm system if you don’t already have one.

Window Treatments

  • One of the quickest ways to spruce up a new home is with window treatments. Swing by your favorite decorating store and pick up some blinds and/or curtains.

Explore Your New Hometown

  • It’s never too early to start exploring your new home town. Invite the family for a tour of local landmarks and points of interest. As you drive around town, jot down the location of parks, schools, museums, libraries, and places to shop.
Check on New Fireplace Cleaning

  • Before using your fireplace, call a professional to do a thorough inspection and cleaning of the chimney.

House Keys and Home Security

  • You should have received all existing sets of keys to your new home at closing. If you have any doubts, change the locks on the outside doors. You can also install a second lock, such as a deadbolt, to improve security. If you don’t already have one, look into installing a home security system. Many of these options can save you money on your homeowners insurance.

Pet License

  • If you haven’t already done so, get your pets licensed in your new town. Consult your new vet or go to the city’s website to get information on requirements and fees.


  • Call the Internal Revenue Service to change your address (800)829-3676. Ask for form 8822. You can also download the form from the IRS online.

Update Driver’s License

  • Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and update or transfer your driver’s license. Many cities require a proof of residence, so be sure you have the required documents with you when you go to the DMV.

Voter Registration

  • Voter registration does not follow you when you move. You must make the effort to notify your new city’s local election authority of your change of address. The city’s official website should have a list of authorized locations where you can register or update your address.

——— DID YOU KNOW? ———

Compass isn’t just your average moving company. We’ve been moving families to and from domestic offshore locales for three-plus decades. We want your business and for you to have the utmost confidence in giving it to us. CLICK TO LEARN MORE!