Moving Preparation July 4, 2022

Things You Forget to Do When You Move (And Some are Unbelievable)

Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

Pulling off a successful and complex move is physically and mentally draining. Not only will you have to think about numerous tasks at the same time, but you will also have to accomplish each one of them correctly. There are so many things you forget to do when you move. That is why we have compiled a list of the most commonly overlooked relocation tasks. Follow our tips, and surely the process will be as smooth as possible.

People usually begin their preparation for relocation by searching for the best countries to live in and figuring out how to pack furniture. Even though these are crucial steps when planning the move to a new city, some important tasks get neglected. But, these small, thought by some as insignificant details can ensure that you don’t make any relocation mistakes. Let’s see what these tasks are.

As Soon as You Decide to Move, Gather All Essential Documents

One thing is for sure, an overwhelming amount of paperwork is required for relocating across the world. No doubt that some documents will get misplaced or lost. Running around the house and searching for your lost documentation in a panic mode should be avoided at all costs. What one can do is gather all documents needed to travel abroad immediately upon deciding to relocate. Here is all of the paperwork one requires:

  • Passport,
  • Work permit,
  • Visa,
  • Medical records,
  • School records,
  • Birth certificates,
  • Marriage or divorce certificates,
  • Social security cards,
  • Driver’s license.

After obtaining all the essential documentation needed for moving overseas, choose a place in your house where everything will be stored until the day of the move. We recommend placing paperwork on a shelf, in an accordion folder, or in a drawer. In this way, documentation will be neatly organized, and nothing will be accidentally misplaced.

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Don’t Forget the Documentation for Your Pet

In case you’ve decided to move with your dog or cat, you should know that pets also require documentation in order to cross the border. Many people forget about their furry friends, but we are here to remind you of all the paperwork pets need.

First, you should get more information about a specific set of requirements each country has for pets. Many foreign countries differ when it comes to vaccinations, quarantines, and import permits. What is more, each airline has its own set of rules. Here is the paperwork that is usually required:

  • Rabies certificates,
  • General vaccination certificates,
  • Proof of microchip,
  • Health certificates,
  • Costumes forms,
  • Import permits,
  • Flight reservations for your pets,
  • USDA endorsement of relevant documents, if required,
  • Other travel documents,
  • Stickers for the travel kennel.

It would be ideal to start researching pet paperwork requirements as soon as you decide where you’ll be living abroad. Give yourself enough time to learn what pets require and get everything done. Up until the day of the move, you might have to deal with specific timing requirements for new vaccinations. This can make it complicated to get everything done, so it’s best to start as early as possible.

A picture of a family with a dog next to boxes
Remember that your furry friend also needs documents for traveling abroad

Stop the Utility Services on Your Account

The task the majority of people don’t pay attention to is the cancellation of utility services. The core reason why individuals neglect this task is the fact that everyone requires gas, electricity, cable, and the Internet up until the move, so no one seems to remember that if you do not cancel the services, bills will keep arriving.

Therefore, make sure that you write down in your moving abroad checklist that you need to contact the utility companies and have them stop services on your account. The information they will require for the cancellation is your full name, address for the final bill, social security number, account number, and the date of your relocation.

Cancel Gym Membership and Newspaper Subscriptions Before You Leave

You’ll be relocating abroad, so there is no point in keeping your current gym membership. Make sure to cancel your monthly subscriptions before leaving. The magazines and newspapers you’ve been subscribed to for years should be canceled since you’ll be changing your address.

Leaving this task for the days right before the move is not recommended since it will easily slip your mind. We recommend that when you call your utility provider to stop services in your name, cancel your gym membership as well as magazine and newspaper subscriptions at the same time.

Hire a Reputable International Moving Company Before Asking For a Free Quote

People often ask – what should you not forget when moving house? The most crucial step one has to accomplish in due time is finding a trustworthy relocation company. Devoting more time to researching the friendliest countries in the world and leaving the task of hiring the best relocation team for later is a terrible mistake that can cost you more than you think.

Our advice is to ask friends, colleagues, and family members who have recently relocated for recommendations. They will be able to share their personal experience with particular companies and what to watch out for. Additionally, those who want to search on the Internet have to be aware of rogue movers.

Falling victim to a relocation scam can be easily avoided. Read all websites, comments, testimonials, and reviews of companies you’re interested in. Among the essential tips is to research whether the company is legitimate. Visit the FMCSA website, where you can find more details such as the company’s complaint history and US DOT number.

Upon Reaching Out to the Relocation Company, Schedule an In-Home Estimation

A great way to find out how much you will have to spend on your move is by inviting international movers to your home and asking for a free estimate. That will help you compare different companies and the estimates they provide you with.

Prepare questions you want to ask, such as will they move your piano, can they provide you with partial or full packing services, and will they bring their own packing materials? What is more, they will be able to provide you with additional relocation tips on how and what to pack and what items they won’t move, so you do not waste any space in cardboard boxes.

In the event they refuse to provide you with an in-home estimate, it’s possible that you are dealing with rogue movers, so investing in international moving services of their making should be avoided.

Two movers carrying a couch with a man lying on it
A great question for international movers is - what should you move first when moving?

Here Are Most Common Things People Forget to Pack

Yes, it might be surprising to find out that people don’t remember to pack belongings that they use on a daily basis. They don’t even include them on the to-do list sometimes. But, these everyday belongings will be useful later on, so you shouldn’t be among the individuals who will also neglect to pack them. Here is what to remember to do when you move and certain things you should pay special attention to when packing.

Dry Cleaning

It is common that some individuals do not remember to pick up their dry cleaning before the move. So, if there are any dry cleaning tickets in your home, make sure that you don’t leave behind any clothes at the dry cleaners.


Whether it’s car keys, safe keys, or new or old house keys, many seem to lose or misplace them during the relocation process. A great tip is to have one key chain with all the keys attached to it, so at all times, you’d have all of them in one place.


Without charges, you won’t be able to charge your laptop or your smartphone. So, ensure that you unplug all of your devices and pack charges in wrap pouches.


You should know where your prescribed medication is at all times. It would be best to place everything in your overnight bag. In this way, you won’t have to search for the medicine you need; it will always be within your reach.


Household tools such as nails, pliers, hammers, and screwdrivers might be among the things you forget to pack. But they are necessary items during every move. Sometimes a light bulb or a blown fuse has to be checked and fixed; in order to do that, you require your tools. Therefore, place all of your tools in a toolbox and ensure it gets transported to the new address.

Prepare an Essentials Box Where You Can Put Items That Easily Go Missing

A useful relocation hack is to pack a box where you will place all the moving essentials. This should be the last box that you pack. You can opt for packing one box of essentials for each family member or having just one box of all the family essentials. Place in it everything you’ll need during the move and all the belongings that can easily go missing.

Some of these items are snacks, beverages, pet food, dishes, a box cutter, keys, chargers, a toolbox, a small emergency kit, a change of clothing, towel, toiletries, medicines, electronics, and an all-purpose cleaner. A general rule of thumb is to fill the essentials box with stuff the family will require for at least 24 hours.

Having an essentials box will make it impossible to leave important items behind

What Are Some Things You Shouldn’t Pack When Moving to a New Home?

It’s of utmost importance to remember that not all of your belongings should be on the packing list. Do you have toys your children no longer play with or books that are collecting dust on your shelf? Then, reevaluate what you should keep and what can be left behind. Our advice is to get rid of old magazines, toys, worn-out clothes, old shoes, and expired products.

Also, bear in mind that movers will not transport some items, such as nail polish, fertilizer, cleaning solvents, aerosol, car batteries, motor oil, matches, paint, and fluorescent light bulbs. Do not pack any of these objects into your cardboard boxes since some are poisonous, explosive, or corrosive.

The best thing one can do is declutter the entire home and categorize stuff before writing down the full packing list. Watch this video where you can find out all about decluttering quickly.

Check Every Room From Top to Bottom, So You Don’t Leave Some Items Behind

In case you’re wondering what should you not do when moving, we recommend that you shouldn’t leave without checking if you’ve packed everything. This is one of the key steps you should remember on relocation day. Some belongings can get left behind if you opt to skip this task. It would be ideal to go into every room one last time and check every drawer, surface, cabinet, basement, and attic. At the same time, one will have the opportunity to see whether all the doors and windows are locked and shut. A good tip is to carry your packing list and see whether you’ve placed all of the items in your boxes.

An empty closet
Go room by room on relocation day and check if you've packed everything

Among the Things You Forget to Do When You Move Is Tipping Movers on Relocation Day

Sometimes we get overwhelmed with the number of tasks we have to accomplish. But, it is essential to remember who will help us through this stressful process. If you want to show gratitude and appreciation to the movers, we recommend not skipping giving them tips. It’s up to you to decide how much money you will pay them. The general rule of thumb is to give them 4 or 5 dollars per hour. Assess how long the loading and unloading of the truck will take and prepare tips in advance. This will prove to them that you are satisfied with the service.

Now You Know Everything – It’s Time to Start Packing!

Moving to a new home is stressful and hard, but luckily, you’re now prepared to write down the ultimate checklist, which will help you remember what needs to be done. Make sure to pack an essentials box, collect travel documents and hire the most reputable relocation company you can find. With a good plan and a strategy, you’ll be enjoying your life overseas soon. So, take a piece of paper and write all of these tasks down, so you don’t make any unnecessary mistakes.

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