10 Steps to Eleventh-Hour Organization

Use this last-minute moving checklist to make sure you don't forget anything on the big day.

Congratulations -- you've made it to the final stretch! By now, your prized possessions are shrouded in bubble wrap and cardboard, and you've enlisted a team of professionals (or a strapping group of friends) to help you whisk them to your new home. You're almost done, but there are a few final steps you can take to ensure that tomorrow is a breeze.

  1. Call your moving company or rent-a-truck to confirm your reservation.
    Keep your contract handy, along with that inventory list you prepared. If you're hiring a moving company, you'll want to compare your inventory list with theirs before you sign off.

  2. Print out directions to your new abode.
    Keep a copy for yourself and a copy for your movers. If you're renting a truck, print out directions from your new address to the drop-off point, and locate the closest gas station to avoid fuel surcharges.

  3. Clean.
    It may seem more intuitive to tidy up after all your stuff is out of the way, but do it now anyway. If you manage to find a few minutes of downtime tomorrow, you probably won't want to spend it scrubbing the toilet. Besides, your cleaning products could end up on the moving truck before you've had a chance to use them.

  4. Clean some more.
    Get the dirt, cobwebs, and grease off your outdoor gear, since it'll probably be mingling with your indoor goods on the truck.

  5. If you're leaving your freezer behind, be sure to unplug it the day before.
    It needs time to defrost before the power is shut off. Otherwise the next inhabitants could find a soggy surprise.

  6. Make sure you have access to the elevator.
    If you live in a high-rise apartment or condo, call your property manager.

  7. If you're taking appliances or lighting fixtures, unplug them.
    Most movers won't disconnect anything that's hard-wired into your house.

  8. If you're going to settlement on a new house, print out directions to the settlement office.
    If you'll need a cashier's check for closing costs, make sure you have that ready and within reach.

  9. Pack a "last-to-go" box.
    This should have all the essentials you'll need for the first night in your new place. Refer to this last-to-go box checklist.

  10. Take care of yourself.
    Drink plenty of water, because dehydration can impair your decision-making skills. And go to bed early. Moving is much easier after a good night's sleep.

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