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Packing and Moving Checklist

Get organized for your next move

Moving is never easy, but a little planning can help everything go a lot more smoothly. Here’s a checklist we hope you’ll find useful.

As soon as you know your new location:

  • Inform your housing office and landlord of your move and your expected date of departure. If you placed any deposits, be sure to get your money back.
  • Fill out a postal change of address form and an IRS Change of Address Form 8822. You should also notify your utility companies of your change of address.
  • Make an inventory of your possessions and contact your insurance provider about moving and storage coverage.
  • Verify new school schedules and enrollment requirements for your children. If you need child care, explore the options near your new home.
  • Close out any local charge accounts and inform any other credit card companies about your new address.
  • Be sure to fix any problems your car may have before moving day arrives.

During the week or so leading up to moving day:

  • Pack boxes securely to avoid damage to contents, and label each with its contents and the room where they belong.
  • Assemble and organize all your important papers: birth certificate, warranties, insurance papers, medical and dental records and so on.
  • Keep prescription medications in the original bottles; get refill prescription slips before you move and pack non-prescription medications and all liquids in spill-proof, leak-proof containers.
  • Drain all fluids from power and yard tools and properly dispose of flammable products such as cleaning fluids, paint, oil and fireworks.
  • Have refillable propane tanks purged and sealed by a local propane gas dealer and discard nonrefillable tanks. (Note: Some carriers and the military do not permit shipment of any propane tanks.)

On moving day:

  • Inspect every room to make sure you didn't forget anything.
  • Collect your important documents as well as any cash and valuable jewelry and personally carry them with you during travel.
  • If you're using a moving company, supervise the loading process.
  • If you're getting reimbursed for any part of the move, keep all your receipts in one place.
  • If the military is taking care of your move, be sure to obtain a copy of the GBL, the DD- 619 (if CONUS), and the Household Goods Inventory from the packers before they leave the residence. Make sure the inventory reflects the true condition of the property, and be certain everything is listed on the inventory.

When you reach your new home:

  • Unpack basics and necessities such as food, clothes, toiletries and medications first.
  • Arrange for phone and utilities to be connected.
  • Make unpacking the children's room(s) a priority; this will help them adjust to their new home.
  • If you used a moving company, observe the unloading process and inspect all items before you sign a receipt.
  • Place boxes and furniture in the appropriate rooms right away so you don't have to move things around later.
  • Think about where you want your furniture located before you start arranging it.
  • Take your time unpacking your belongings; you don't have to do it all on the first day.
  • If the military is taking care of your move and you discover that you are missing some items or items have been damaged in transit, you must list these items on your DD Form 1840. You should ensure that 3 legible copies of this form are received. This is not a claim, only a record of loss or damage. Any additional loss or damage discovered after the carrier has completed delivery should be noted on the reverse side of DD Form 1840, which is DD Form 1840R.

A comprehensive series of detailed checklists can be found on the website.

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