I thought I would give out some moving tips as we have moved 4 times in the past 2 years alone, moving between 2 countries, and are about to move again. This time though within the same state at least.
Planning Ahead -
Research and hire movers. Or if you are going to use Uhaul, book a truck.
Start having yard sales. You can also start selling your items on Craigslist, although that is a longer process and can be a hassle so make sure you give yourself plenty of time if you are using this method. What doesn't sell, donate. There is no need to pack and keep what you don't want anymore.
Fill out the change of address forms at the post office.
Preorder new checks with your new address.
Call utility companies to cancel your current utilities and turn on utitlies at the new address.
Notify everyone of change of address: banks, schools, insurance companies, paypal, amazon, credit cards, investments, Dr's offices, magazine subscriptions, cell phone company, employers, family and friends, etc.
Start looking for boxes. Grocery stores, liquor stores, craigslist, ask frieds on facebook if anyone has boxes. Also on the Uhal website check 'Uhaul Customer Connect' where you can see if anyone is giving away their boxes. Office supply stores sell file boxes that have handle cut outs that I love to use for packing books. You don't want to pack books in big boxes - stay small as books are so heavy. I recomend big boxes only for light weight items like throw pillows, bedding, lamps, etc. If you need to buy boxes you can get those pretty cheap at Home Depot and Lowes. Uhaul is a great source too - they sell the packing paper that you will need lots of.
Boxes, packing paper (Uhaul sells it in boxes), tape and dispenser, large sharpies, bubblewrap (although I just use the packing paper as bubble wrap is so expensive), scissors, Fragile labels for all the boxes that have breakables, notebook. There is a great device called Forearm Forklift that is a huge help for moving items. It saves your back!
Start packing early. If you know well ahead of time that you are moving, there is no need to wait. Start packing what you know you are taking with you. You can start packing all your decor, artwork, clothes out of season, holiday items (hopefully these are already packed), books you don't need. Framed artwork I wrap in flattened boxes. Just tape it all up well. If you are taking your curtain panels with you, wash those before you pack them if needed. Then they will be ready to hang at your new house. Same goes for blankets, bath mats, etc. That way they are all clean when packed.
They way I pack - I label every box with a number. On the box I put what room it is going to go in at the new house. Also put the basics of what is in that box. Stick a Fragile sticker on if it is breakables. Then in my notebook I write down the number of box and more details of what is in the box. That way if you are looking for something right away when you get to your house and have not unpacked all your stuff yet, you can just go down your list to find the items you need. On the box I write the placing of the box on the top and the sides of the box so it is visible from every angle where the box is going to go. Clothes - if you are not moving too far away, I leave clothes on the hanger and wrap them in large garbage bags. Items like necklaces I put individually in little ziploc bags (you can stock up on these at the dollar store). Way easier to keep them from getting tangled up if you pack them this way. Another idea is to wrap them individually in Glad press-n-seal. Something else I have done is tape them to a piece of paper. This takes more time though. Items like shampoo bottles, perfumes, toothpaste, squeezable food items, I wrap tape around the lids so nothing gets squeezed out. Pack your cleaning items in one rubbermaid container so you can have them all in one place as you will need these for cleaning the house when you move out and perhaps cleaning the new house if it didn't get cleaned.
Have ready and pack these in a clear container so you can see them right away:
Shower liners-buy new shower liners so you will be able to have a shower right away at your new place. You probably will need one after all the work of moving and hauling!
Sheets for your beds
Cell phones, chargers, laptop if needed right away
An overnight bag with change of clothes for the next day and your toiletries.
It is also good to have plastic cups, plates, cutlery so you don't have to go digging through your boxes right away and unpack your dishes. Just go the easy route for a couple days.
If you can get to your new house before the movers arrive label the rooms so they know where exactly to put the boxes. Just tape a piece of paper (I just use plain printer paper) with big writing on it what the room is - Master Bedroom, Bedroom 3, Den, etc. Corresponding to your boxes. Tape the paper to an obvious spot so the movers will see right away what the room is. If you have different levels it will take someone initially telling them what level to go too - first floor or second, etc.
Don't forget to take one last photo of your family at the old house! A good keepsake to have!