There are so many things to keep track of while planning a move that it can be easy to forget basic details. With all the stress, especially if you’re moving an entire family, you might feel overwhelmed. Here are a few things to help you remember every last little detail.

Make lists

It may seem ironic that the first thing to go on your moving list is to make more lists, but consider this: if the overall list helps you keep track of the entire move, smaller lists will help with individual tasks. One big list that tries to track the many subtasks can be daunting, but small lists about what to clean, what you need to remember for talking to the movers, or what to do each day leading up to the move, will give you ongoing sense of accomplishment.

Change of address

It’s not just the post office who needs to know where you’re moving. Friend and family are easy to remember, but your credit card companies, insurance company, or bank will also need to know your new address. Some moving companies will help you with this, and the United States Post Office also has some resources available to move your address for everyone who needs it, but make sure you’re following through to get it done in time. Nothing can be more stress-inducing than knowing that check you’re waiting on might be going to the wrong address, or that bill you need to pay is being forwarded.

Look at utilities and recurring bills

Make sure you’ve gone through all your utilities and have turn-off dates for the old home and turn-on appointments for the new home. Make sure everyone in your family knows the schedule for utility turn-ons, because it can take several days or even weeks to reschedule missed appointments. While updating addresses for your bills, see which ones you need to keep paying. Do you have a lawn service or gym membership you need to discontinue? How about regular shipments from online retailers?

Take care of plants

It’s easy to remember your family members and pets, but plants are often overlooked during moves. Consider which plants you really want to bring. Try not to water them 2 or 3 days before the move, so that the moisture doesn’t get everywhere. Small plants can be kept in their holders in boxes, and probably transported by car. Larger plants should stay in their pots and be moved in trucks.

Give yourself time to pack

One of the things that increases moving stress is not giving yourself time to do everything. Most people underestimate the time it can take to pack and clean everything. A regular-sized box can take up to 30 minutes to pack. Most single-bedroom apartments can require up to 40 boxes. A house could take 80 or 100 boxes. Even if you choose not to use a moving company, it’s a good idea to get a free in-home estimate from one. While talking to the company representative, ask roughly how many boxes they think it would take and how long it would take to pack. Add at least 25% or more to each estimate and use that to create your timeline and requirement for boxes, packing tape, and so on.

Nothing can slow down a move like needing to drop everything to go find more boxes or hunt down mattress pads, so try to get what you need before you start packing.

Have a box for essentials

As you pack things away, remember that you need a box or three for essentials. Have paper towels and other cleaning supplies, paper plates, plastic silverware, and basic foodstuffs, and cleans sheets, towels, and at least a change of clothes. And don’t forget phone chargers, your kids’ favorite toys, and your checkbook.

As always, remember that Gerber Moving and Storage is ready to help you keep track of the details.