So you’re getting ready to move. It’s an exciting time, especially if you’ve purchased a new home and can’t wait to start your new life in your new space.
But the whole moving part isn’t very exciting…and it can become quite a stressful chore when you’re not organized.
We’ve all been there. Who hasn’t had a friend who’s asked you to help him/her move, and when you arrive at their house or apartment, they have nothing packed and are frantically searching for boxes, bags, and more helping hands to assist in getting the move accomplished? It’s frustrating for everyone involved!
But you don’t have to be that person – or that family – if you create a good moving-related checklist and stick to it until the big day arrives. So, we’ve provided some tips on what to do and when to help make your moving day a success.
Two months before the move
Now is a great time to start taking stock of what’s in your current home. The experts say that moving time provides a great opportunity to toss the things that simply are no longer a part of your life, like that lava lamp that’s been in the attic for 30 years or the clothes that are three sizes smaller than what you now wear. So, start going through boxes and bags, shelves and drawers, and other places you haven’t touched in a long time to decide whether you’ll be bringing those items along or throwing them away.
This is also a good time to think about whether you need a professional mover or whether you can make this move on your own with a few close friends or family members. Many individuals who don’t have a ton of possessions opt to rent a U-haul™ and ask friends to help. But, remember, for your friends’ sakes, you need to be willing to be organized when they arrive so that they don’t wind up doing a lot of work they didn’t agree to do.
Six weeks before the move
If you have indeed decided to use a professional mover, now is a good time to start looking for one. (If you’re looking for a weekend date, you should probably start a little earlier if you already know the exact date of your move.)
The best way to start is to look online for movers in your area and then to browse the internet for reviews about these companies. There are a lot of bad movers out there! Perhaps you’ve heard some horror stories about movers who hold your items hostage until you pay them more than what was initially quoted to you, tacking on hundreds of dollars in supposed fees that were never disclosed to you.
You don’t want to find yourself in such a position on a day that’s already stressful, so do your homework carefully. Also, ask for personal referrals from friends and family who have recently moved.
If you’ve decided to move on your own without hiring a professional, this is also the right time to start pricing truck rentals and to reserve a truck for your use.
Once you’re satisfied with the price and other terms, book a mover or a truck and make sure you have their commitment and all the terms in writing.
One month before the move
Continue getting rid of any unwanted items that you’ve been sorting through for the past few weeks until you’re sure that everything you have left will be coming with you to your new place.
Then start to gather the moving supplies that you’ll need to pack up the remaining items. These supplies will likely include sturdy boxes, packing tape, markers or labels, bubble wrap or other box filler, and so forth.
It’s okay to then start packing items that you know you won’t be using between now and moving day, like clothes that are out of season, holiday decorations, etc. Be sure to label the boxes with what’s inside and which room it’s going to at your new home.
Two weeks before the move
You can continue packing, of course, but you’ll also want to make sure you take care of some other items and processes involved with the move. For example, now is an excellent time to make sure all of your utilities are transferred to your new address and any regular services canceled, like landscapers or exterminators.
You’ll also want to make sure you’ve changed your address with the U.S. Post Office so that your mail begins to arrive at your new house at the same time you do.
One week before the move
Moving day is getting close! You should be close to completing your packing at this time, with just the necessities left until a day or two before your move. Check what you’ve packed thus far and make sure everything is labeled as to where it’s going.
It’s also a good idea to write “Open this First” on boxes that you will need immediately once you get to your new place. Those are likely the items you’re waiting to pack until the last minute, so don’t forget to make that notation after you seal them.
If you have children and/or pets, this is also a good time to make arrangements to have them out of the way when it’s time to move. Hire a reliable sitter for the children (if your move is nearby) and put the animals in a kennel or leave them with a trusted friend until the move is complete.
One to two days before the move
At this point, you should be able to pack just about everything, leaving out personal care items and a few clothing items for the next few days. Also, remember to leave out some cleaning supplies so that you can clean up any messes you’ve left behind, especially if you’ve sold your house, and there will be a walk-through in the next few days.
Also, make sure all your paperwork for the sale/purchase as well as any other important papers are in a folder or safe that you can take with you in your automobile as you head to settlement or directly to your next home.
If you’re moving yourself, the day or night before might be a good time to pick up your truck so that you can get started first thing in the morning.
It's moving day!
Now you just need to greet your movers, instruct them on what’s going into their truck, inspect related paperwork, and get on your way. Or if you’ve rented a truck, it’s time to flex those muscles and gather your items into the vehicle for the drive to your new home.
Remember, everyone’s move is different, but just about anyone who’s making a move needs to accomplish the same tasks. This checklist should help you stay organized and make moving day run smoothly. And before you know it, you’ll be unpacked and enjoying your lovely new home!