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Moving Checklist

The Renter's Guide to Moving Cross-Country

Moving to a different city is like planning a wedding. You're full of excitement and anticipation, but it can feel totally overwhelming unless you take the process one little step at a time. For my recent move from San Francisco to New York, this meant making lots of to-do lists. And furiously scribbling notes on the go about more things to add to the lists.

To save you the trouble, I've put together a handy cross-country moving checklist for renters. For your next big move, consider this part of your homework done.

  • Set your moving date and notify your landlord that you're moving.
  • Set up a "moving" folder in your email and/or a dedicated notebook to keep things organized.
  • Obtain as many boxes and as much bubble wrap as humanly possible.
  • Set up a time to do a walk-through of your apartment with your landlord.
  • Find an apartment or temporary housing at your new location.
  • Call your credit card company to let them know you are moving, so they aren't surprised by big charges.
  • Provide your landlord with your new address.
  • Research and hire movers or reserve a truck rental.
  • Make travel plans or purchase tickets for your cross-country flight or drive.
  • Do a major apartment cleanout and donate or sell books, CDs, clothes, and other items.
  • Back up your computer data.
  • Sell large furniture items you don't want to move, on Craigslist.
  • Arrange a Salvation Army or Goodwill pickup after the movers leave.
  • Set up mail forwarding with the US Postal Service.
  • Change your mailing address for magazines, Netflix, and other subscriptions.
  • Change the billing address for your credit cards, savings accounts, and other financial accounts.
  • Transfer your insurance (renter's, medical, etc.) to your new address.
  • Close your local checking account and open one in your new city.
  • Discontinue cable, electric, gas, and other utilities.
  • Set up cable, electricity, gas, and other utilities in your new location.
  • Change your address with your cell phone provider.
  • Discontinue any automatic bill pay.
  • Find new doctors and a dentist in your new location.
  • Find a new hair stylist and other beauty services.
  • Register to vote in your new city.
  • Obtain a driver's license or other photo ID in your new city.
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