5 Things to Organize Before the Movers Come

Are you moving soon and wondering what you need to organize before the movers come? As a military spouse, I’ve gotten used to the fact that every few years I’m going to have to pack up my life and move. Each time, I get a little more comfortable with knowing what to expect and can mentally prepare myself for the change.

My first PCS move as a military spouse was from an Air Force base in New Mexico to Germany. Yes, my first move was an overseas move. Talk about crazy! I had no idea what I was doing, and my husband wasn’t much help because it was his first move, too! 

The days the movers are there can be very stressful. You’re focused on having eyes on all of the movers, all the time, while the kids and pets still need attention, too! On top of that, you’re mentally running a checklist in your mind hoping you haven’t forgotten to set aside anything you need. If you do, the movers pack it and you won’t be seeing it for quite some time. To help you avoid this, I made a checklist of items you will want to keep with you after the movers leave! Click here to download it! 

If you take the time beforehand to organize these five things before the movers come, you can ensure a smooth (and less stressful) packing session and move.


What to Organize Before the Movers Come 


Important paperwork

 I like to use a file like this to contain and organize the important paperwork that should be kept with you at all times. Important paperwork includes documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and medical documents.



Along with pulling out and packing the clothes you’re keeping with you, separate the toiletries you will need in transition. After that, “package” your other toiletries for safe transit. In the past, I’ve used plastic wrap to seal anything liquid, and I’ve also used small plastic bags to contain them. This is beneficial in case a lid comes loose or breaks, hopefully, you won’t end up with lotion all over your favorite dress.



Packers will pack everything. Seriously. Every. Single. Thing. So it’s best to have a plan for handling all of your food items beforehand. Technically, canned and boxed goods are allowed to be packed. However, it’s important to be aware of how long your items may be in transit and storage so that you can make the best decision for your family. One option is to have a “pantry party” where friends can come over and take any perishables that are up for grabs. This is a win for everyone. You don’t have to throw away a bunch of stuff, and your friends get stuff they need.



This one probably speaks for itself. It is typically recommended not to send any jewelry with the movers for liability reasons. But, if you’re like me and most of your jewelry is from a cheap store like Claire’s, you probably wouldn’t be too devastated if something were to happen to it. Since it needs to get packed anyway, I put some in small Ziploc baggies, and packed others in little pill containers. I did keep the real stuff with me though!



This will vary for yourself, your pets, and your kids. Necessary items might include medications, paperwork (such as school records), and – yes – your child’s favorite stuffed animal. You know… the one that they can sense is missing even though they have 80 other animals that could get the job done? 

Don’t forget the treats for your pets! They will deal with a lot of changes in the weeks to come, so be sure to spoil them some!

For the week leading up to the move, set aside time each day to focus on one of these five important categories. Words of caution: Doing more than one at a time may cause confusion and an incomplete review to make sure you have everything.

Also, be sure to designate one room in the house for the items you’re keeping with you. Stick everything in that room, and shut the door, lock it if you can, during packing. This will help to ensure that all of your hard work to separate your items won’t go to waste when the movers arrive.

Lastly, always remember that you’re a rockstar! Almost any of the items mentioned above can be replaced in a worst-case scenario. You got this! If you are looking for more moving tips check out my other posts on moving here! I also have a post about what to unpack FIRST in your new home!

Click below to download a free checklist of items to keep with you after the movers leave! I promise this will save you the hassle and stress of creating a list yourself during your season of moving. 


Grab Your Free Checklist Here! 

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  1. Seana Turner

    That is so true that movers will pack it all. And as soon as they show up, things start disappearing into boxes, so it is very important to have it all in order before they arrive. I imagine most of us have had a bottle leak. Once is enough to make you wrap in plastic bags for the rest of your life:)

    • Melissa Rogers

      Things do move SO quickly! There’s no way to keep up if you haven’t started before they arrive. And yes, plastic bags, saran wrap, and Ziploc baggies are essential! Haha

  2. Liana George

    Great list! As someone who’s moved a lot both in-state, out-of-state, and globally, I think you’ve done a great job of outlining the pre-move preparations. Preparation is the key to success, so the more we can do before the packers arrive, the better our chances of having a smooth move.

    • Melissa Rogers

      Thank you so much, Liana! Yes, there is much to prepare, but like me, I’m sure you’ve learned your own tricks to helping make a smooth move!

  3. Offir Gutelzon

    Great list,
    Moving is also a great time to sort all kids’ mementos and a great time to organize them.
    The Keepy app is one of many great options out there.

  4. Echoesofhervoice

    You provide helpful tips. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Abhinav

    So true, leaving everything to the Packers is not a good idea and this list is a reminder that certain things should be taken care well in advance

  6. The Globe Runners

    don’t leave the jewelry to them. pack it yourself lol


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