It’s important to create a timeline for moving and to stick to it as closely as possible. When you leave everything until the last minute, everyone gets stressed out and important things are overlooked.
Here is a timeline broken down into a six-week period, but feel free to stretch it out longer if you have the ability to do so.
Six Weeks (Or More) Before the Move
- Organize your records: This includes kids’ school records, family medical records, and veterinary records to take to your new school and doctor’s office. A lot of this may be electronic, but make sure you have the hard copies if that’s the only format available.Start sorting through items and determine what can be tossed or donated before the move
- Measure all furniture and make sure it can fit through the doorways: Since people starting buying furniture from places like Ikea, it often gets brought in the house in pieces and then assembled, so it’s not always a guarantee that it will fit back out the door!
- Start using food items in your freezer and pantry: You don’t want to waste food because you can’t move it, so use up that pancake mix in the cabinet and those frozen pizzas at the back of the freezer.
Four to Six Weeks Before the Move
- Order boxes and moving supplies: This includes markers, tape, bubble wrap, mattress protectors, etc. A quick trip to a local U-Haul or some time spent perusing Amazon should get you everything you need.
- Start packing items that you don’t use on a regular basis: This may include seasonal items, sports equipment, or those specialty kitchen appliances.
- Start small: Start by labeling boxes and pack what you can room by room leaving what you need for daily life for the next few weeks. If you have kids, enlist them to help organize and pack their things. It will serve them well when they become adults!
- Tackle non-lived-in spaces first: Pack up the basement and attic (if your home has one), as well as the garage and any outdoor spaces. You’d be surprised how many people move and forget all about the garden tools in their shed.
Two to Four Weeks Before Your Move
- Notify the post office: Let them know you are moving and set up mail forwarding beginning a few days before your official move.
- Notify other companies of your new address: This includes all utilities, subscriptions, or other delivery services that may be affected
- Pack up the bulk of the items that remain: Make sure to keep a master list so you know what is packed where. Stay organized and label boxes well.
- Time to purge: Hold a garage sale or donate any items that you have decided you don’t want.
- Don’t forget Fluffy! Moving can be stressful for pets. Be sure to create a travel plan for your pets, even if it includes a few days staying with a family member while the real move takes place.
- Don't leave a mess: Hire cleaners to come to your home after your belongings have been moved out.
The Week of the Move
- Pack for the move: Pull together a suitcase with entertainment, extra clothes, and food for the day of the move. Pretend you are going on an overnight vacation and include what you would normally need.
- Pack an essentials box: This should include items you, your family, and your pets will need immediately upon arrival to your new home. This can include: bedding/linens, utensils, towels, toilet paper and other paper goods, medications, cleaning Supplies, etc.
- Get your car serviced: This is particularly important if you’re moving long distance and driving yourself there.
- Empty and defrost the refrigerator and freezer: Do this at least 24 hours before the move.
- Drain gas from grills and other outdoor cooking equipment.
- Double check the logistical details: Call and verify the moving date with the moving company.
- Cancel your utilities: Just make sure to keep them active through moving day.
- Say goodbye: Plan some outings and get togethers so everyone can say goodbye to places and people that hold happy memories.
- Final walkthrough: Go through the house and check closets and cabinets one last time.
Most importantly, be sure to take time to breathe and enjoy moving day as much as possible.