A household move is an overwhelming process.
From confirming the movers to packing your overnight bag, it can feel like your to-do list is endless. You may have a running list in your head of all you need to accomplish. Getting your tasks down on paper is a great way to stay organized. Break this list down into chronological order, and you’re one step ahead of the game.
Here is a list to get you started on your moving plan.
Four Weeks Ahead
- Go through your belongings and declutter. Determine what items you want to take and what items you can live without. Donate the unwanted items to a local charity or plan a quick garage sale to lighten your load before the move.
- Get boxes, packing paper, tape, labels, and markers.
- Begin packing your belongings. Start with the items that you don’t use often. You probably won’t miss your fondue set, wine glass collection, or waffle maker, so start with those. Then pack your boxes every day for the next couple of weeks. Label every box as you pack it with a list of the contents as well as what room it should be delivered to.
- Pack important documents like deeds, wills, and insurance papers separately and plan to take them with you in a special box.
- Contact your utility companies at both your current and new home. Discuss when your last day of use is at your current home, and when your first day of use is at your new home. Save contact info for your new utility companies in your phone in case you have issues when you arrive.
Three Weeks Ahead
- Clean out your freezer, and write down a meal plan to use up meat and frozen veggies before you leave. A two-week-long plan should be plenty. In the final week before a move, relying on takeout is common, as most of your cooking equipment will be packed.
- Go to the post office’s website to set up mail forwarding to your new home.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good condition for travel. If you do oil changes yourself, do it now, and check out your car for any maintenance issues that need to be addressed. If you use a mechanic, stop in to see them and ask them to do a once-over of your car before you make the journey to your new home.
Two Weeks Ahead
- Make your final bucket list for your neighborhood. Whether there’s a jogging path you love, a donut shop you want to hit up at least one more time, or a favorite boutique, this is the time to make your last stop.
- Coordinate care for your pets and young children on moving day. To avoid animals and little kids getting underfoot while movers are doing their job, arrange for a pet sitter or babysitter to help out the day of the move.
- Confirm your last day with your employers, babysitters, schools, daycare centers. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
One Week Ahead
- Pack your overnight bag. Before everything makes it into a box, be sure you have what you need for at least a week without the rest of your belongings.
- Refill any prescription medications for you, your family members, and your pets.
- Keep out a small tool kit for use during the move. Include the basics like a hammer, screwdriver, wrench, and scissors.
- Check-in with your moving company to make sure you are ready for them. Confirm the time and date that they’ll arrive.
- Back-up your computer electronics. Accidents happen while moving, and you don’t want a clumsy mover to be the reason you lose all the files on your laptop. If you’re not already using a cloud-based server, this is the time to start.
- Clear paths for the movers. This includes outside space like sidewalks and driveways. Movers will need direct access as much as possible.
- Pack everything into your car that the movers aren’t taking on the truck.
- Make sure you are available to answer any questions that they movers may have and sign any paperwork.
- Do multiple walk-throughs of your home, and ask a friend or neighbor to join you. A second set of eyes can be helpful to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Enjoy your New Home
Having a checklist of moving task reminders is essential for a smooth move to a new home. Use the above to get you started on creating your list of preparations.