The Ultimate Moving Checklist You Need

Cheers to finding the right home for you and your family! Now onto the moving part, which is usually less fun and could potentially be stressful. 

Hiring quality movers is a good way to reduce some of the stress attached to moving. However, there are still some tasks that you need to take care of.  

The list of items on your “to-do” list can be overwhelming. However, with the right planning and preparation, you will get through this with a sane mind and enjoy your new home.  

Our checklist helps breaks down the major tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks in the following timelines:

Eight Weeks Before

Research moving services: Are you hiring movers? If so, do your research and call at least three companies to get their quotation. Keep a keen eye on online reviews, as this can help you spot an excellent one from a good one. 

Work out your budget: Whether you are moving by yourself or hiring movers, figure out how much money you need to set aside. Movers in Nairobi will charge between Kshs 10,000-30,000 depending on your belongings and distance. 

You also need to budget for other moving add-ons like purchasing of liability coverage in case your valuable items are destroyed when moving. 

Otherwise, if moving by yourself, consider the cost of hiring transportation, which will depend on the type of car that fits your needs. This will cost you from Kshs 5,000. 

Remember to include the cost of buying moving supplies like bubble wrap, cardboard boxes and packing paper from your local supermarket.

Note down questions to ask your movers: Have a list of questions to ask your movers about licensing, cancellation policies and liability coverage in case something breaks in transit. You need to have a clear picture before assessing and picking one company from the other. 

Notify your current landlord: Are you moving from a rental place? If so, this is the right time to give your landlord a heads up. Most leases have a thirty-day notice period, but it doesn’t hurt to do this earlier, your landlord will appreciate the extra time to get a new tenant. 

It’s also crucial to counter check with your lease agreement and go over details of what your obligations are before moving out. And seek clarity incase of any obscurity in the contract. 

Seven Weeks Before

Get professional estimates: Further engage the three companies picked out during your research. Preferably ask them to do an in-person visit of your belongings or a video survey of what is in each room to give a correct estimate. You don’t want to be paying extra after the move. 

Confirm with the movers whether the cost is likely to increase if the actual weight of your belongings differs from the estimate. Always have 20% more in your budget to cater to such a situation. 

Ask friends to help with the move: If moving without the help of movers, ask your family members and friends in advance. This will help them plan out /block the day, and you will be more likely to find people as opposed to a last-minute rush. 

Book a rental truck: Decided to take the DIY route? Look for available trucks and book one in advance to help with your moving. 

Six Weeks Before

Confirm movers: When picking a moving date, bear in mind that the day of the week and time will affect the cost of your move. If you are on a tight budget, think about moving during the week instead of on the weekend.

As much as you are trying to cut on costs, you need to consider the matter of convenience. Moving during the week means you have to take a day off. If you have kids, you need to arrange how to drop and pick them kids so that they don’t miss any school work. 

Moving during the week also limits the number of people who might be available to help. 

Buy moving supplies: Time to get boxes, bubble wraps, markers and packing paper from your local supermarket. These will help ensure that all your belongings get to your new home in one piece. Know what to use for the fragile vs non-fragile items. 

Notify your home insurer: Do you have home insurance? You need to notify your home insurer of change of location, as this could change your premium payments, e.g. if you move to a gated community with better security, you are in a position to negotiate for lower premiums. 

If you don’t have cover, here’s a helpful article on why you need to consider insuring your new home.

Five Weeks Before

Use refrigerated and pantry food: Start to use up food in your fridge and storage area to clear out. You can also donate other non-perishables to a children’s home near you or street families. This means that you will have less to pack and carry to your new home.

Plan out your packing: Set out clear timelines for your packing schedule. Arrange to pack up all non-essentials first, things you won’t need in the next month or two, e.g. books, then essentials last. For example, clothing, cutlery and crockery, which are items you are likely to use until the last minute before the move.

Give /sell possessions: The fewer things you move with, the better for you. Consider decluttering by selling some of the possessions you will not need on a site like Pigiame. These could be old but in right state furniture, electronics and clothing items. You will earn some extra shillings to help with the move. 

Remember you don’t have to exchange your stuff for money, a rewarding experience is to give away donations to less fortunate families. You can pick a home to donate to from this directory of children’s services.

Confirm notice with the current landlord: Make a follow up with your landlord to confirm the notice to move has been received on time. 

Four Weeks Before

Begin packing: Start packing as planned out in your week five schedule, i.e. non-essentials to essentials. Ensure that you take extra care of the fragile items like glasses and clearly label the boxes by room and content. e.g. “Bedroom-shoes”. Use different coloured stickers or pens for the boxes for each room. This will give you an easy time when unpacking, as you can easily place what goes where. 

Additionally, keep all valuables and essential documents separately, e.g. have a folder of your school leaving certificates. 

Request time off work: Moving on a weekday? Ask for a day off from your employer to facilitate the move. If unable, try to reschedule the move to a weekend. Otherwise, you can arrange for a friend or family to meet you, movers, at the new home. 

Confirm times and dates with moving company: If using a moving company, this is the right time to call the moving company and ensure all the dates and times are aligned. Give the movers useful information like availability or lack of lifts. 

Notify friends and family: Do people in your inner circle know about your move? If not, this is the right to tell them. You can either do it via email, a phone call or text messages, whichever is more comfortable and depending on your relationship. For those who live close by you, a quick last neighbourhood catch up isn’t such a bad idea. 

Three Weeks Before

Alert utility and service providers: If you use gardeners or a security company, notify them of your impending move. You can also look into replacement services of the same in the new neighbourhood. 

Call your internet service providers and notify them of the move and arrange the possibility of getting a new router fixed in the new home on the moving day. This will ensure that you don’t interrupt your work, especially if you work from home. 

Two Weeks Before

Order new furniture and decor pieces: Does your current furniture perfectly fit into the new home? If not, order these so that they are ready for delivery at least during the first month of your move. Look out for furniture offers to cut on costs. 

Aside from furniture, you can already start ordering any other decor pieces for your new home. Remember to prioritise. You can buy furniture and other items in stages. 

One Week Before

Clean your old home: It’s only right that you do a deep cleaning of your old home for the next tenant/homeowner. This will help you spot areas that need repair and work on them before your landlord comes to inspect the home. 

Inspect the old home: Inspect your home together with the landlord if applicable. Discuss any damages that you were not able to fix up during the cleanup. Agree on how this will impact your deposit. If there is a dispute, try to negotiate in person as opposed to over the phone.

Pack essentials: Time to finish up the packing process with your kitchenware and essentials. Label the boxes clearly to avoid losing track of them during the move. Or worse having to replace items just because you can’t figure out where they are.

Clean the new house: To fully enjoy your new home, give it a thorough cleaning before moving in. Dust all the surfaces, vacuum, mop, and get rid of cobwebs. Additionally, scrub showers, bathtubs, toilets and clean drawers. Do this room by room to ensure you take care of every detail.

You also have the option of hiring professional cleaners to do it for you in a day’s work. 

Take inventory: Take stock of all your belongings to keep track of what the movers will be transporting. If any item is damaged, take a photo so that you don’t end up seeking compensation for something that’s your fault. Also, keep a close eye on fragile items for insurance purposes and liability cover. 

On the Moving Day

Do a final sweep of the house: Check the house room by room one more last time to ensure that you don’t leave anything behind. Look inside kitchen cabinets, bedroom drawers, and all the hidden spaces. 

Hand over the keys: Provided that you don’t have plans to come back and pick anything from the house, give the keys to the landlord. If the home was previously yours and you already have completed the transaction, you can hand them over directly to the new owner. Otherwise, hold on to them till everything is finalised. 

During the First Month after Moving

Baby-proof the new home: Do you have a baby? It’s crucial to ensure they are safe and sound in your new home within the first week of moving. Get rid of any objects that might be dangerous and set up baby gates. Do not forget to place covers over electrical outlets that are accessible to your little one. 

Unpack: This is the other primary stressful task. But don’t be overwhelmed. You don’t have to do it all at once. Use your colour-codes for easier unpacking. Start by unpacking the essentials, e.g. kitchenware that will be needed to make your meals. Go room by room till you finish the rest of the house. You can spread it out over a week or more.

Change the locks: Did you buy an entirely new home? If not, change the locks and key to ensure the security of your new home. You don’t know who has access to the house from the previous tenant/homeowner’s circles. 

Follow up on your deposit: If you moved from a rental home, check with your former landlord on the status of your deposit. Ensure they have all the details needed to facilitate the return of your money, e.g. the right bank account details. Here’s a helpful guide on getting your rent deposit back

Time To Settle in

It’s been a long and hectic process. Sit back with your family, relax and enjoy your new home. You can continue improving the look and feel of your home by upgrading decor and furniture in phases. Here are some decor ideas to get you started.

Jill Abura
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