The Ultimate ‘Moving to DC’ Checklist

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

You’ve done your research and found your apartment through DC apartment search, but moving day is quickly approaching. From finding an apartment to packing your belongings to the actual moving to Washington, DC, there can be a lot that gets missed during the whole process. 

Moving can be very stressful, with your life in boxes, and a list a mile long, you want to keep yourself organized to help alleviate moving day stress. The ultimate ‘moving to DC’ checklist can help take a lot of the moving to a new city pressure of your back.

Moving to DC

Two Months Before Move

This is the time to start going through your items and see what can be sold or donated. The more you can get rid of and declutter before your move helps you keep organized and save on time and money.

As you organize to make a list of your belongings, which helps you get an estimate of costs for moving which will be handy when moving. 

Keep all papers about your move in a particular folder, such as receipts, estimates, forms, etc.  

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Six Weeks Before Move

Begin collecting cardboard boxes from supermarkets and stores, or purchase moving boxes and bubble wrap, etc. Go through cupboards and look at expiry dates on perishable food. 

Try to take a visit to your new home and take measurements of rooms and doorways. You want to make sure that your furniture is going to fit into your new place. 

Hire a moving company to help you with the move.  

One Month Before Move

It’s that dreaded time…packing. Start with items that are not used every day, such as Christmas ornaments, or attic stuff. Make sure as you pack your boxes, you label what’s in each box, and where it is going. If it has breakables, clearly label fragile on the boxes. 

Your relevant documents like jewelry, cash, passports, and other essential materials are items you want to handle yourself and should be packed separately and moved by you. 

One month before, you want to inform the mail service about your address change. You might need to contact your bank or insurance company to notify them of your moving and your new address.

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Schedule to use the apartment buildings elevator or a loading dock that is designated for moving furniture for both your old apartment and a new apartment.

Two Weeks Before Move

Schedule a day off work for your moving day. Get recommendations for health professionals in your new neighborhood. Schedule to get your Internet set-up. 

A Few Days Before the Move

Finish your packing, use suitcases for clothes and personal items for your family for a few days before and after moving. Start to disassemble furniture such as desks and shelves. Defrost your freezer 24 hours or more before your move. 

Moving Day

You can breathe easy during moving day because you’ve been properly preparing for your move over the last eight weeks. Your main job on this day is to be present to inform that moving company what furniture or boxes are going where in your new apartment. 

What Do I Need to Have with Me on Moving Day?

List of Contacts

Even with all the preparation, you can’t always account for traffic, delays. Keep a list of contact information for anyone that you might need to reach during the moving day to keep it as smooth as possible, like the moving company, your old landlord, your new landlord, pet sitters, or babysitters and anyone else who is helping you. 

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Box of First Night Essentials

After a busy day of moving, the last thing you want to do is unpack your boxes to find items that you need for the night. Pack either a box or bag of essentials for the first night and keep it in your vehicle, include things like toiletries, paper plates, medication, pajamas, garbage bags, toothbrushes, sheets, etc. 


Following this checklist and planning ahead can help you tremendously in your move to DC and allow you to enjoy the lively city you are moving to that is full of opportunity, culture, and history. The atmosphere of Washington, DC, attracts people from all over the world. The countries capital appeals to more than politicians and government staff. DC is a stimulating city to live in with a diversity of choices for work, recreation, and entertainment. 

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