Moving to Hawaiʻi comes with an extra layer of logistics.

It’s not just the distance. It’s also the fact that you’ll have to pack up your belongings and turn them over to a moving company who will send them to Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, or the Big Island. (And then, of course, you’ll also have to get yourself there, along with any other family members who are moving with you!)

To help you keep track of all of the details, we’ve put together a timeline to help you organize your Hawaiʻi move from start to finish. Once you go through the below checklist, you’ll know exactly what to do when—and why.

It’s the best way to set the stage for a smooth, successful Hawaiʻi relocation, no matter which island you plan to call home.

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We’ll get started with your first to-do, which you should tackle as soon as you make the decision to move to Hawaiʻi.

Your First To-Do (As Soon as Possible!)

Once you make your decision to move to or from Hawaiʻi, reach out to our experts for a quote. The earlier you call, the more likely you are to get your preferred dates.

(That’s especially true during the summer months, which are the busiest time for Hawaiʻi moves!)

We’ll arrange for a survey of your belongings, which gives us all the information we need to put together an accurate quote, one you can count on. We offer both in-person and virtual survey options for maximum convenience.

Tip from the Pros

During your survey, make sure to clearly identify all the items you want to move. If there are any items you do not wish to have moved, we suggest putting those items away in a separate area. If there are any items you forget to include in the survey—or that you add after the survey—the cost for your move will change.

So, in the interest of getting the most accurate quote for Moving Day, make sure you think through what you want to move before your survey.

6-8 Weeks Ahead of Time

calculating bills and cost of living hawaii

When you’re six to eight weeks out from your move, this is your time to get organized—and get clear on your vision for your Hawaii move. That includes:

Finalizing Your Budget

  • If your company is paying for your move, refer to their moving policy. Understand how they will reimburse you for your move, what kind of limitations/budget will apply to your move, and whether there’s a specific list of services our professional movers will be authorized to perform.
  • If you’re paying for your move on your own, set a budget you’re comfortable with.

Reviewing Your Quote & Deciding on Services

  • Take the estimate/order for service you received after your survey and make sure you have a clear understanding of each section. If you have any questions, ask your certified moving consultant to explain.
  • Decide on what kind of coverage you’ll choose for your move: released value protection or full-value protection.
  • Consider having our pros pack all of your belongings. If you have questions, your Royal Hawaiian Movers certified moving consultant is available to discuss our packing services with you.

For the Future

  • Save the name and number of your Royal Hawaiian Move coordinator in your phone so you have it when you need it.

4-6 Weeks Ahead of Time

When you’re four to six weeks out, your Hawaiʻi move is going to start to feel real! Now is the time to start letting businesses and utilities know you’re moving so you can wrap up your bills at your old home.

Notifying Businesses and Utilities

  • Change your address with the United States Postal Service. An online Change of Address form is available on the USPS website.
  • Prepare a list of friends, relatives, businesses, utilities, and anyone else who should be notified of your move. The following checklist will get you started:
  1. Electric, gas, and water
  2. Sewer and trash
  3. Cable TV/satellite/Internet providers
  4. Cell phone providers
  5. Your bank
  6. Your credit card companies
  7. Items related to your car, including your auto insurance company. This is also a great time to check driver’s license requirements in your new home, as well as decide what you’re going to do with your car.
  8. Newspapers and magazines
  9. Doctors/dentists – You may also want to ask them about their procedures for transferring files to the new providers you’ll be working with.
  10. Accountant – Discuss how your move will affect your taxes next year, including what states you’ll need to file in and whether your moving expenses will be deductible. (Recent changes make this less likely, but it can’t hurt to check.)

Downsizing to Save Money on Your Move

  • Go through your possessions and downsize any unwanted items for your upcoming move.
  • That might mean selling or donating unwanted clothing or household goods to charitable organizations.

2-3 Weeks Out

It’s coming down to the wire! Your move is just a few short weeks away, so it’s time to confirm the final details and start prepping your household belongings.

Working with Royal Hawaiian Movers

  • Notify your certified moving consultant if anything has changed in your move, including an additional items you want to ship or items you no longer want to move.
  • Confirm your contact information for the move, including:

– The finalized destination address

– Your email address and phone numbers where you can be reached before, during, and after your move

Preparing Your Household Items

  • Keep hazardous materials out of your Hawaiʻi household goods shipment:

– Federal law requires that you dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, and poisons such as weed killer.

– Drain fuel from your power mower and other machinery.

– Discard partly used cans of oil, paint, thinner, bleach, or any other substances that may be flammable or combustible.

– Discard propane tanks for barbecue grills.

  • Set an appointment with a service technician to prepare your major appliances for shipment.
  • Set a date to have your utilities disconnected. If possible, plan to keep utilities in service through moving day.
  • Collect and pack all of your valuables. Once these are packed, be sure to put them in a safe place so you can move them yourself.
  • Do not clean your upholstered furniture before moving. The moisture from the cleaning could potentially introduce mold into your shipment.

Tip from the Pros

If you have any antique items, get a written appraisal to verify their value. If you’ve chosen full-value protection and you need to make a claim after your move, having a written appraisal will make the process significantly easier.

One more tip: Avoid waxing or oiling wooden antiques and fine wood furniture before moving. Some products might soften the wood, making it more vulnerable to imprinting.

Day 1 Before

Your Hawaiʻi move is almost here! With your relocation just a day away, there are a few last-minute items you’ll want to take care of.

Working with Royal Hawaiian Movers’ Professional Packers

Set your professional packing crew up for success:

  • Identify any extra-fragile items needing special attention.
  • Properly mark any 1) items you do not want packed or moved, as well as 2) cartons you will want first when the shipment arrives at destination.
  • Remove all wall décor, mirrors, and pictures and have them ready to be packed.
  • Collect items you definitely want packed together, such as children’s toys, and place them in separate groups.
  • Unplug all electronic appliances prior to the crew’s arrival. This includes home computers, stereos, televisions, and audio/video equipment.

Pets & Kids

  • If you have kids, make arrangements for them to be out of the house on moving day so you can focus completely on the move.
  • If you have pets, make sure you have a plan for securing them in a safe place for moving day. In our experience, some pets don’t react well to strangers in their space, rearranging their environment. If that’s a scenario you anticipate, consider sending them to a pet-sitter for the day.

Last-Minute Details

  • Check closets, cabinets, attics, storage spaces, and storage lockers for any articles you may have overlooked.
  • Be on hand when the service representative arrives to prepare your appliances for shipment.

Moving Day

Woman Sealing Boxes Ready For House Move

The big day is here! Here’s how to make it as stress-free as possible:

Working with Royal Hawaiian Movers Professional Packers

  • Make sure any valuables you plan to move are stored in a safe area so your packers don’t accidentally pack them.
  • Remain on the premises until loading is complete. (It’s ultimately your responsibility to see that all of your goods are loaded and nothing gets accidentally left behind.)
  • After making a final tour of the house, check and sign the inventory. Get your copy from the crew chief and keep it.
  • Make sure the crew chief has the exact destination address for your move.
  • Verify your contact information with the crew chief, so everyone is 100% clear on how you can be reached, both by phone and email.

Take a Last Look Around

  • Did the crew pack everything? Check attics, storage spaces, cabinets, and any other hidey-holes.
  • Is the water shut off?
  • Is the furnace shut off?
  • Are the light switches turned off?
  • Are all utilities arranged for disconnection?
  • Are all the windows shut and locked?
  • Do you have a plan for returning the keys, or are you supposed to leave them behind?

Delivery Day

family unpacking moving boxes

Once your household items have made the long journey to or from Hawaiʻi, a Royal Hawaiian Movers move coordinator will contact you to arrange a specific date for all of your household items to be delivered to your new home.

Here’s what you need to know to ensure a smooth move-in day.

Working with Royal Hawaiian Movers Professional Movers

  • Ideally, it’s best for you be on hand to accept delivery. If you cannot be there personally, be sure you authorize an adult to be your representative to accept delivery and pay the charges for you.
  • Check your household goods as they are unloaded against the inventory sheet.

– If there is a change in the condition of the property from that noted on the inventory at the time of loading or if any items are missing, note discrepancies on the crew chief’s copy of the inventory sheet—before signing.

– By signing the inventory sheet, you are acknowledging receipt of all items listed.

  • Personally report any loss or damage to your move coordinator.

– To learn more about filing a claim, please visit our FAQs.

  • When unloading, each piece of furniture will be placed as you direct, including the laying of rugs and setting up any beds disassembled at your old house.

Once Move-In Is Complete

  • Keep all documents pertaining to your move in a safe place.
  • If you’re eligible to deduct your moving expenses on your taxes, you’ll need this documentation.

One Week After Your Move

Settling In

  • If you haven’t received mail at your new address, check with your new post office.
  • If you shipped your car, check the state and local requirements for auto registration.
  • Review state and local driver’s license regulations.
  • Let us know how we did! Yelp about us or send us an email. We’re dedicated to making your move as seamless as possible, and we appreciate all feedback during and after your move.

Additional Moving Resources to Make Your Hawaiʻi Transition Amazing

For many people, moving to Hawaiʻi is the relocation of a lifetime. Here in Hawaiʻi, you’ll find gorgeous landscapes, plenty of aloha, and a unique culture you won’t encounter anywhere else.

Below, you’ll find a few additional resources to help you plan a smooth, simple move to Hawaiʻi—and settle in once you arrive!

RHM truck oahu

How to Move to Hawaii: A Basic Four-Step Process
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How to Move Your Family to Hawaii—Simply and Easily

The Fascinating History and Meaning of Hula in Hawaiian Culture
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What’s the Best Hawaiian Island to Live On, and Why?
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Is It Hawaii or Hawaiʻi? Understanding the ʻOkina
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Things to Know When Moving to Hawaii
>> Read More

And, of course, if you have any questions, our team would be happy to help! Just reach out, and we’ll get you the answers you need.

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