Moving is an exciting time. You and your family are transitioning to a new home that’s full of possibility—maybe even a new town. It’s a great time to re-evaluate your priorities and set yourself up for success in the months to come. However, if you’re like most people, you despise the actual process of moving. It’s a big task. You need to make sure that you pack everything up, stay organized, and prepare for any worst-case scenarios. It doesn’t matter how far you’re moving you’re still going to have to put in the same amount of effort. The best way to make sure that you’re prepared and you don’t miss a beat is to use a countdown. Knowing what you have to do and when you have to do it will help reduce the overwhelming feeling that most people experience during a move. To help, we’ve created the ultimate moving checklist for you to use as a countdown to your moving day.
Before Moving Day
Once you’ve finalized your move and you know that you’re going to be leaving your old home behind, it’s time to start preparing. If your move is still far away, you have some time to relax or you can jump right in and start getting organized.
✔ 2-3 Months Before You Move
At least 2-3 months before you move, take the time to get everything organized. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a moving binder. This is where you can keep your running to-do list, store any important phone numbers and contact names, organize your moving-related receipts, create schedules, and take notes. Trust us, you’re going to use this a lot.
Next, go through your anticipated costs to put together a moving budget. Consider the cost of professional movers, any personal moving expenses that you’ll incur, packing materials, transportation, and self storage fees. Once you know your budget, you can look up professional movers and see if there are any companies within your range. If there aren’t, look at options to rent a moving truck and recruit friends and family members to help. Don’t forget to factor in distance when looking at your options.
If you’re moving far and you plan to drive a moving truck, look at options for getting your car to your new home. You might find that it’s cheaper to ship a car filled with things or recruit a friend to drive it and pay for a flight back.
Until you’ve secured your move-in date, you can continue to prepare by learning about your new neighborhood, city, and community. Talk to your children about your move so that they can ease into the idea and try to get them excited about your new location.
✔ 8 Weeks Before You Move
Once you have your move-in date, you can start to finalize all of your plans. Make sure you sign a contract with professional movers or confirm moving dates with your friends and family. Consider looking at options for moving insurance and look at the self storage options near your new home. Renting a temperature controlled self storage space will allow you to move in and get acclimated with less anxiety and more space.
If you’re moving locally, make sure your move in date is on a weekend or during a period where you can take time off. If you need to get child care or pet sitting to make things easier, now is the time to secure that.
You’ll also want to sit down and walk through all of the logistics of your move. Learn how to register for new schools, update community memberships, transfer subscriptions or gyms, find a new doctor, forward any medical records, transfer prescriptions, school records, and medical records, complete a change of address form with the USPS, and change your mailing address associated with your social security number.
Now is also a great time to start the process of decluttering. As an added bonus, there are a number of ways to make money off your clutter!
✔ One Month Before You Move
As you’re going through and decluttering your home, start to get out documents that have sensitive personal information—birth certificates, passports, etc.— and put them aside. Create an area for these documents and add any valuable items to the box or bag. You’ll want to carry this with you at all times and avoid putting them in a moving truck. To make sure you’re staying safe, consider creating an inventory of these items and reporting them to your insurance provider.
Go to the store and grab some moving boxes. Try to anticipate how many you’ll need, but don’t worry if you don’t get enough. You can always run back to the store later. While you’re there, get any necessary moving supplies so that you can slowly start getting things together. When you get home, label different boxes for different rooms. By planning your boxes ahead of time, you’ll save time and stress when the packing begins.
Now comes the fun part. You can slowly start to pack up any items that you and your family aren’t actively using. This way, you’ll avoid the stress of needing to pack everything in a few days or all at once. Starting the packing process early will spread out the work and make you feel more organized. While you’re packing, consider creating an inventory of what goes into each box so you can use it for fast, easy access when you get to your new home. This way, you’ll avoid having to open every single box to find the one item you were looking for.
You’ll also need to create a game plan as to how you’re going to move your larger pieces of furniture and appliances. Be careful of which door you take them out of and make sure that you get the necessary amount of coverings or protective wrap. If you think you might need to buy anything for your new house, wait. Buying things now will only create more work for you. Instead, wait until you’ve unpacked and created a more complete list.
About a month before you move, make a list of things that you know your family is going to need for the week of the move. Don’t pack these until the day you’re going to move.
✔ Three Weeks Before You Move
Now is the time to start preparing your large furniture for moving day with the coverings and protective wraps you purchased. If you can take anything apart to make the move easier, do so now. Continue your packing progress try to only leave out things that you’re going to need in the next three weeks. Use this week to really make some significant progress
✔ Two Weeks Before You Move
Keep moving at your relaxed pace and try not to panic. If you’ve taken the steps on this ultimate moving checklist, you’re much better off than most people who wait until the last minute. While you should already have most of your things safely tucked away, now is the time to finalize packing everything you won’t be using during the next few weeks.
To keep your family organized without having to rely on takeout, plan out your meals for the next few weeks up until your move in day. This way, you’ll be able to strategically use up the food you have in your house and make sure you have the necessary appliances accessible.
✔ One Week Before You Move
About a week before you move, you’ll want to make sure that your moving plans are solidified. Reconfirm with the professional movers or check-in with your friends and family. Do anything you need to around your old house and make sure that you communicate with your landlord or the buyer. Call your utility companies to schedule a time for shut off or transfer.
On Moving Day
When your moving day has finally arrived, don’t worry. This ultimate moving checklist has prepared you for a stress-free day. If you’re using professional movers, make sure that everyone is on the same page for your transition and try to keep them on schedule to avoid being over-charged. Start packing up the moving truck using the most efficient layout so you don’t need to pay for the largest truck, or more than one. Once everything is out, make a walk through with your family to double check that you’re not leaving anything behind and say your final goodbyes!
After Moving Day
After moving day, or simply after everything has been moved in, go slow. Make a plan for how you want to set up and organize your home before you start to unpack all of your boxes. Move the big furniture in first and figure out how you’ll want to arrange each room. Once you’ve decided on the big furniture, work your way down. Unpack any mid-size furniture or accessories and leave the small things for the final steps. To make your move easier, we recommend renting a temperature control storage unit so you can avoid feeling over crowded with boxes. Short term self storage is a great way to compliment a move and will allow you to focus on living your life as soon as you get to your new home. Just make sure you have your essential boxes and keep the rest in storage while you slowly unpack. You might find that your new home has less space and keeping some things in storage will allow you to create the home you want. Luckily, since you’ve created inventory lists for each box, this transition will be easier than ever! If you’re looking for a short term self storage unit, or a long term temperature controlled storage unit, The Lock Up Self Storage has you covered. Give us a call today at (866) 327-LOCK to find a location near you, learn about our flexible leasing options, or how to get a free truck for moving day!