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The Ultimate Moving Checklist in California

Moving can be quite stressful. There are so many things to remember both big and small. It can be made easier however if you have our list of tips and tricks to make your next move a breeze. As one of California’s top real estate agencies out of San Diego we have helped our fair share of people move to their new home and our experience has allowed us to come up with some very good packing strategies. 

Where to start with the whole moving process? Whether you are moving to San Diego, Coronado, or somewhere else in California it’s important to know where to begin when it comes to packing. There are a number of things to consider before jumping in headfirst. Below we’ve given you the ultimate checklist of things to remember when you are planning a move broken down into easy to manage sections


It’s the first thing you think of when considering moving, packing up all of your stuff into boxes. This sounds like an easy enough task but it can be far more time-consuming and stressful than you think. Having a packing checklist makes it easier to make sure you don’t forget any of the important steps when it comes to packing. 

Create A Packing Plan – Make sure that you have a strategized plan when it comes to moving, it will make things so much easier in the long run.

Creating An Inventory Sheet of Your Valuables – If you are planning on using a moving company or even a group of friends to help with your move an inventory list can help you know what to look out for at your new home and make sure nothing goes missing. 

Order All Moving Supplies/Gather Boxes – Packing requires boxes, a lot of them. Grocery stores, liquor stores, retail stores like a bookstore or even appliance stores, recycling centers, and friends and family are all great places to get free boxes. You’ll also want to order other moving supplies to make sure that all your belongings are protected and safe. Bubble wrap, wrapping paper, packing tape, sticky notes, and sharpies to mark boxes are all a must.

Label Your Moving Boxes – Labeling the items in your box is a great way to make sure they end up in the right room at your new house. Pro Tip: Use different colored stickers/tape for each room. Once you arrive at your new Californian home, this will make unpacking so much easier. And also, make sure to mark any moving boxes that are fragile. There is nothing worse than opening a box and finding your glasses and dishes or electronics are damaged because they weren’t labeled properly.

Take Photos of Electronics – Take the time to snap a few pics of how your electronics are connected before unplugging them. It will help jog your memory about which cord goes where when you’re reconnecting things and get you set up that much faster. 

Pack an Essentials Box – Even though you are packing up your life there are things you’ll want easy access to the first few days of your move. Toiletries, an extra pair of clothes, and phone and tablet chargers, are just a few things that could qualify for this box. Add your essentials but also the personal items that will help you breathe easier during your overwhelming task of unpacking. 

Reserve a Storage Unit – Depending on the type of move you’re making, perhaps downsizing from a Fairbanks Ranch area piece of acreage to a suburban neighborhood in Hillcrest or Lemon Grove, your belongings might not fit in your new home and you’ll need some time to sort out what will eventually be making to trip to your new home. A storage unit gives you lots of options and comes in a multitude of sizes and prices.

Other Things To Keep In Mind – Make sure that what you are packing is something that you want to take to the new house. During the process of packing and sifting through some of your belongings is the perfect time to make sure you really need them. Donate, sell, give away, or throw away anything you don’t truly need. This can help you make a start fresh in your new home as well as put less into the moving truck.

When packing makes sure that your packing makes sense, you wouldn’t stack your fine China with your book collection. Make sure to look over the whole house before leaving to make sure you haven’t missed anything. If you can help it, don’t rush through the process just to get it done! Give yourself time and pack a little bit every day. 


When you are planning a move, whether you are just moving a city over from Coronado into San Diego let’s say, or you are moving from California across the country to Virginia, there are a number of documents you’ll need to have easy access to.

Create a Budget Doc of Moving Expenses – How much is your move going to cost you? Are you doing it yourself with a few friends and some trucks or are you getting an experienced company to do it all for you? The choice really does come down to how much you want/have to spend. When you have your friend’s help there can be more room for mishaps and damages to your possessions. As much fun as it is to have friends help if you can swing the extra money to make sure everything ends up where it needs to be you’re better off using the professionals. Creating a moving budget allows you an opportunity to see how much you are going to spend and safe accordingly.

Gather Birth Certificates and Passports – Having your hands on important identification documents for everyone in your household when you are moving from one place to another ensures that you don’t lose them along the way. Carry those important documents on your person during your move.

Gather All Financial, Legal, and Medical Records – You never know what you’re going to need access to while moving from one place to another. Setting important records aside and having a safe place will help in the long run when you need to access them.

Forward Your Mail – It’s important to set it up that your new mail goes to your new address, as well as change your address with loan providers, credit cards, banks, and the payroll department at work.

Create a Moving File of Printed Receipts and Bills – Some moving expenses can be tax-deductible and knowing where these documents are can be very helpful. If you purchase moving insurance it’s good to have a copy of that agreement as well. Gather your physical documents related to your move together and put them in a file folder. 


Whether you are moving a short distance like from North Clairemont to Pacific Beach in San Diego, or a long way like Coronado to Sacramento, moving is a major time-consuming event. No matter how smoothly it goes it is going to take a great deal of your time. There are a number of things you’ll want to remember to schedule when planning your move. 

Book Time Off From Work – You will be so happy with yourself if you take a few days off when you are moving, trying to move while continuing to work can add undue stress to the situation. 

Schedule the Movers – When booking your moving company make sure to also book your in-home estimates.

Book a Truck Rental – If you are planning on renting a moving truck rather than using a moving company make sure to book it as soon as you have your moving dates. You don’t want to be left having to move everything with your minivan. 

Schedule Painters/Renovators for Your New Home – Before you move your stuff in is the perfect time to freshen up your new home since it will be a blank canvas. Having obstacles like furniture in the way can really slow down the process. If you have the option to, schedule painters or other renovators for before you move in.

Fill Your Prescriptions – When you are leaving one area of California it might be a good idea to fill your prescriptions so you aren’t left without the medicine you need until you can get things transferred to your new neighborhood. 

Book Your Cable and Internet Service Installation – It’s always annoying to be in a new place and not connected. Booking these appointments well in advance can get you connected and feeling more at home in your new place quicker. 

Organize Your Children’s Transition From One School To Another – If your move requires you to change school districts there are a number of things you’ll want to do. Determine the new school they will be attending, register them at that school, and gather their transcripts from their old school. You want your move to go as smoothly as possible for your children.

Other Items To Remember For Your Move

There are many other little details to remember when you are moving from one home to another. Some of these include:

  • Arrange childcare for moving day
  • Arrange doggy/pet daycare or ask a friend to watch them for a day
  • Measure the doorways, stairwells, and rooms of your new home to make sure everything will fit
  • Tackle minor repairs to your old home if necessary
  • Use up refrigerated food and pantry items 
  • Drain the water hoses from your washing machine and icemaker
  • Unplug your refrigerator and freezer and defrost them properly
  • Clean your old home for the new owners
  • Clean your new home if necessary before moving things in
  • Thank your real estate agent or broker – They’re the reason why you’ve moved into your beautiful new home. A simple thank you note goes a long way.

Planning A Move In Southern California? Contact Our San Diego Real Estate Agency Today 

Moving is a big deal, but finding the perfect home can make the headache worth it. The Gluch Group, San Diego’s premier real estate agency, is focused on knowing our community so we can better serve you in finding the right place to live. If you are looking to buy in the San Diego area don’t hesitate to contact our office today. We have access to the most up-to-date listings for San Diego and throughout Southern California, call to set up a showing today. 

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