Map out everything you need to do, week by week, until the big day.
Editor’s note: For many people, spring kicks off prime moving season. Wherever you’re headed, being well prepared to relocate will help minimize the upheaval and ensure that you can get settled into your new place as painlessly as possible. Every day this week, we’ll be giving you the resources you need to get ready to move.
When it comes to moving, proper organization is the defining difference between ultimate success and complete failure.
Even if you’re already an excellent organizer, you might still feel overwhelmed by the number of relocation-related tasks you have to complete before moving day — unless you find a way to bring order to the chaos.
Here’s a moving timeline that will do the trick. It will help you organize your time, prioritize your tasks, track your progress, and reduce moving stress. What’s more, you’ll never forget anything important, because your week-by-week moving checklist will remind you of what to do every single day until moving day.
Eight weeks before moving day
Organizing a safe, efficient, and trouble-free relocation requires about two months of careful planning and hard work. So, start your moving preparations about eight weeks before the big day:
- Start looking for an appropriate new home in your future area (you may have to start sooner if you’re moving to a particularly hot real estate market).
- Inventory your possessions and decide what you’re going to take to your new home.
- Research your moving options and decide if you’re going to move on your own or use professional moving services.
Six weeks before moving day
- Contact a few trustworthy movers and request an in-house estimation of your relocation costs. If you’ve decided on a DIY move, contact several truck rental companies and compare their rates and conditions.
- Review your finances and designate your moving budget.
- Notify all the relevant people and institutions of your move: your landlord (if you’re a renter), employer, family physician, children’s school (if applicable), and bank, for starters.
- Start looking for a trustworthy health provider and a good school for your kids in your new city.
- Schedule your move and book your chosen moving company (or book a rental truck of appropriate size for the day of your move).
Four weeks before moving day
- Obtain your and your family’s medical records and your children’s school records.
- Take your pet to the vet for a complete checkup and get all the necessary papers: vaccination records, health certificates, etc.
- Get rid of unwanted items. Organize a moving sale, sell items online, donate them to charity, or give them away to relatives and friends.
- Obtain packing supplies and start packing the items you won’t need before moving day. Make sure you don’t pack any nonallowable items.
- Cancel subscriptions to delivery services and memberships to clubs and organizations.
Two weeks before moving day
- If you’re driving to your new home, have your car serviced to make sure your road trip will go as smoothly as possible. If you’re flying to your new city, book your ticket and find a trustworthy auto transporter to ship your car.
- Change your address with the United States Postal Service.
- Transfer utilities — arrange for services in your old home to be disconnected the day after your move. Contact service providers in your new city to have utilities running in your new home on move-in day.
- Reserve a parking place for the moving truck (directly in front of the entrance to your home) and an elevator for the time of your move (if applicable).
One week before moving day
- Contact your moving company and confirm that everything is going according to plan.
- Say your goodbyes — organize a farewell party, spend some quality time with your closest friends, visit your favorite places in town, etc.
- Check on your packing progress. Most of your belongings should be packed up and labeled by this point.
- Prepare an “open first” box that contains all the essentials you’re going to need as soon as you arrive in your new home.
- Hire a sitter to look after your children and/or pets on moving day (if necessary).
- Check if you’ve paid all the bills, picked up your clothes from the dry cleaners, returned library books and borrowed items, etc.
Two days before moving day
- Finish packing — leave out only a few items you can’t do without during the last couple of days in your old home, and the cleaning supplies you’re going to need to clean the place before leaving it for the last time.
- Defrost and clean your fridge and get all your household appliances ready to move — empty them, clean them, and make sure they’re fully dry and safely wrapped for transportation.
- Disassemble large furniture pieces and pack them for shipment.
- Make sure you have all valuables and important documents with you.
- Have a good night’s rest and get up early in the morning to have enough time for last-minute moving tasks.
- Double-check your home for forgotten items.
- Meet your hired movers and provide them with all the information they need to perform a quick and efficient move.
- Keep kids and pets away from the hectic moving procedures.
- Carefully read all the paperwork you need to sign.
- Prepare some refreshments for your movers and have some cash ready to tip them if you’re satisfied with their work.
- Give the truck driver your exact new address and your phone number.
- Clean your old home, lock it safely, and bid it farewell. The time has come to set foot on the road to your new life!
Even though most moving tasks are common for all residential moves, you can modify them to meet your personal needs and requirements. Certain aspects of your move will be unique and will require a different approach, so personalize this moving timeline checklist and make it work perfectly for you.