Sherpa Moving & Storage

Ultimate Moving Checklist and FAQs

09 / 06 / 2023

When moving, people often have various concerns and questions related to logistics, finances, and adjustments related to the process. Here are some common questions people have when moving to a new home:

Before the Move:

How much will the move cost?

The cost of your move will vary based on several factors: the distance of the move, the volume of items, whether you’re hiring professional movers or moving yourself, and any additional services such as packing or special handling for fragile items. For a precise estimate, you can contact our team at Sherpa Moving and Storage to assess your needs. Generally, costs range from $75 to $88 per person per hour.

moving checklist

Should I hire a moving company or move myself?

Both options have their pros and cons. Moving yourself might save on costs, but can be time-consuming and physically demanding. Hiring a professional mover, ensures that your belongings are handled with care, and the move often occurs more quickly and efficiently. Plus, a professional team can help alleviate the stress of the moving process.

How do I find a reliable moving company?

Research is key. Look for companies with good online reviews, check their credentials, and ask friends or family for recommendations. It’s also crucial to get multiple quotes and ask the company about their insurance and policies.

How much time in advance should I start planning for my upcoming move?

Ideally, begin planning your move 6-8 weeks in advance of your moving date. This gives you ample time to sort, declutter, get quotes from moving companies, start packing, and handle other logistics prior to your move.

What’s the best time of year to move?

Most people move during the summer months because of favorable weather and school breaks. However, moving companies often have more availability and might offer lower rates during off-peak times, like fall or winter.

How do I estimate the number of boxes and packing supplies I’ll need?

A general rule of thumb is to gather boxes of various sizes based on the number of rooms in your home. For instance, a two-bedroom apartment might require 40-60 boxes. It’s always better to have a few extra on hand. Don’t forget other packing supplies like bubble wrap for fragile items, packing paper, and tape. Many moving companies offer quality moving supplies and will assist you with determining the number of boxes and moving resources required for your particular move.

Should I get moving insurance?

Yes, it’s advisable. While professional movers take every precaution, accidents can happen. Basic coverage is typically included by movers, but it’s often minimal. Consider purchasing Full Value Protection if you have items of high value.

How do I change my address with the post office?

You can easily change your address online through the postal service website or visit your local post office to fill out a change of address form. It’s recommended to do this at least a week before your move to ensure your mail is forwarded to your new address.

What utilities and services do I need to set up at the new place?

You’ll want to contact utility companies to set up essentials like water, gas, electricity, and possibly trash removal. Additionally, consider other services such as internet, cable, and phone. Contact your service providers about a month before the move to schedule service transitions.

How do I organize my items for packing?

Start by decluttering and getting rid of unwanted items you don’t need. Categorize your belongings by room or by type (e.g., books, clothes, kitchenware). Use quality boxes, and clearly label each box with its contents and destination room. Consider using color-coded stickers or labels for an added layer of organization. For donations, local thrift stores, shelters, or community centers might accept gently used items. Websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or apps like OfferUp can be used for selling items. If you have a lot to sell, consider hosting a garage sale. Our moving company also has partnerships with some local charities; feel free to ask us for recommendations!

During the Move: Ensuring a Seamless Transition on Moving Day

What’s the best way to pack fragile items?

Begin by wrapping each fragile item individually with bubble wrap or packing paper. Use small to medium-sized boxes to prevent overpacking and ensure items aren’t too heavy. Place heavier items at the bottom and lighter ones on top. Fill any gaps with crumpled packing paper or foam peanuts to prevent movement. Clearly label boxes as “FRAGILE” on multiple sides.

How can I ensure the safety of my belongings during transit?

First, make sure items are well-packed in sturdy boxes with no free space for items to move around. Secure furniture with moving blankets and use straps to hold them in place inside the moving vehicle. When loading, distribute weight evenly in the truck. If you’re using a professional moving service like ours, rest assured our team is trained to handle your belongings with utmost care.

How do I keep track of all my items?

Create an inventory list as you pack. Number each box and note its contents on your list. Some people find it helpful to take photos of the contents before sealing the box.

What should I pack in my essentials box for the first night?

Pack an essentials box that includes items you’ll need immediately upon arriving at your new home. This can include toiletries, a change of clothes, medications, chargers, basic kitchen supplies (like a kettle, mug, plate, and utensils), snacks, and important documents. If you have pets, don’t forget their essentials like food and a toy.

How do I transport my pets safely?

For smaller pets, use an appropriate-sized carrier with ventilation and a secure latch. For larger dogs, consider a sturdy harness and set them in a place where they won’t be affected by shifting items. Ensure all animals have identification tags. Take breaks during the move to let pets relieve themselves, drink water, and stretch. Avoid feeding them heavily right before the move to prevent motion sickness. It’s essential to make the moving experience as stress-free as possible for your furry friends.

After the Move: Settling into Your New House

How long will it take to unpack and settle in?

The time it takes to unpack and settle varies based on the size of your household and how organized your move was. Generally, after a full home move, it might take a few days to a couple of weeks to get everything out of boxes. Setting up and decorating rooms might take additional time. Prioritize essential rooms like the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen first. Remember, settling in is not just about unpacking; it’s about making the space feel like home, so take your time and enjoy the process.

How do I introduce myself to new neighbors?

A simple knock on the door with a friendly introduction can go a long way. If you’re feeling ambitious, hosting a small housewarming gathering (even if it’s just for coffee or tea) can be a great way to meet multiple neighbors.

What’s the best way to explore the new neighborhood or city?

Start with a walk or drive around your immediate neighborhood to get a feel for the area. Look for local parks, shops, cafes, or other points of interest. Check out community bulletin boards, local newspapers, or apps/websites that highlight events and attractions in your new city. Joining local clubs or organizations related to your interests can also be a great way to explore and meet new people.

How can I update my driver’s license, voter registration, and other official documents to my new address?

Most states require you to update your driver’s license within a certain period after moving. Visit your local DMV or their website for instructions. For voter registration, you can often update it when you change your driver’s license, or you can visit the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s website to download a National Mail Voter Registration Form. For other official documents, contact the respective agencies or organizations (like your bank or insurance company) to notify them of your address change.

Financial & Legal Concerns: Safeguarding Your Interests

How does moving impact my taxes?

If you moved because of a job change, you might be able to deduct some of your moving expenses from your taxes. The exact qualifications and amounts can vary, so it’s essential to keep all receipts related to your move and consult a tax professional or the IRS website for specific guidelines and any recent changes to tax laws.

Do I need to inform my bank and credit card companies about the move?

Yes, it’s crucial to inform your bank, credit card companies, and other financial institutions about your new address. This ensures that all communications, including statements or new cards, reach you promptly. Most banks and credit card providers allow you to update your address online, by phone, or in-person.

How do I transfer or set up new health and auto insurance in a new state?

If you’ve moved to a new state, your current health insurance plan might not be valid, or the coverage might change. Contact your insurance provider to discuss the transfer or setting up of a new plan. For auto insurance, rates and coverage requirements can vary by state, so you’ll also need to get in touch with your insurance company to adjust or set up a new policy. Always do this promptly to ensure continuous coverage.

What are the tenant rights in my new location if I’m renting?

Tenant rights can vary widely depending on the state or even the city you’re moving to. Familiarize yourself with these rights to ensure that you’re treated fairly by your landlord or property management company. Most states have a Department of Housing website or tenant resource centers where you can find information on your rights, or you can consult local tenant unions or associations.

How do I break my current lease if I need to move out early?

First, review your lease agreement carefully. There might be clauses about early termination, including any penalties or notice periods. Always communicate openly with your landlord or property management about your intentions. In some cases, you might be able to negotiate a lesser penalty, especially if you can assist in finding a new tenant to take over the lease. Remember, it’s always best to leave on good terms to secure a positive reference for future rentals.

Emotional & Social Concerns: Navigating the Heart of the Move

How can I cope with feelings of homesickness or adjusting to a new environment?

Homesickness is natural, especially if you’ve moved away from close friends, family, or familiar surroundings. Here are some strategies:

  • Stay Connected: Regularly call or video chat with loved ones.
  • Create Familiar Spaces: Set up your new home with familiar items or pictures that comfort you.
  • Get Involved: Engage in local activities or clubs to immerse yourself in the new environment.
  • Give Yourself Time: Understand that adjustment takes time. It’s okay to have mixed emotions; they will evolve as you settle in.

What are some tips for making new friends or building a social circle in a new place?

Building a new social circle can be both exciting and intimidating. Consider the following:

  • Attend Local Events or Workshops: Many communities offer events or classes where you can meet people with similar interests.
  • Join Social Clubs or Groups: Websites like can connect you with local groups based on hobbies or interests.
  • Volunteer: Volunteering is a great way to meet people while also giving back to your new community.
  • Network Through Work or School: Attend company or school events, or consider joining relevant organizations.

How can I help my children adjust to a new school and environment?

Children might face challenges adjusting, but these steps can ease the transition:

  • Visit the School Beforehand: Familiarize your child with their new school by taking a tour before classes start.
  • Maintain Routines: Keeping a consistent routine helps children feel secure amidst change.
  • Encourage Participation: Encourage them to join school clubs, sports, or other activities.
  • Open Communication: Regularly talk with your child about their feelings and experiences in the new setting. Address any concerns they might have.

Making Moves Seamless with Sherpa Moving and Storage

Moving is more than just a change in location; it’s a significant life event filled with emotional, financial, and logistical considerations. We understand that these transitions can be both exhilarating and challenging. That’s why at Sherpa Moving and Storage, our mission goes beyond moving boxes. We’re committed to being your moving consultant, your support, and your trusted partner every step of the way, ensuring that every part of your journey feels as smooth as possible.

From packing your cherished memories to helping you settle into your new space, we’re dedicated to providing moving services that are tailored to your unique needs, ensuring peace of mind from start to finish. Contact Sherpa Moving and Storage for a free quote today.