What To Do
2 Months Before Moving
The moving process includes a big paper trail, so if you want to simplify the process, it’s a good idea to organize your paperwork well ahead of time. Both the sale of your old house and purchase of your new one will generate a lot of new documents, so try to keep these straight in a neat binder, or digitized and saved in a folder in a cloud drive like Google Drive or Dropbox.
Be sure to include the following information so it’s handy at a moment’s notice:
- Contact info for your moving company, real estate agent, and insurance providers
- Identification and important medical documents for each member of your family
It’s good to get acquainted with your new area and get a feel for the general community and layout, surrounding stores, and amenities. You’ll also want to make sure that you can tolerate the local climate and find the local culture welcoming.
Assuming your move wasn’t already prompted by new schools or careers in the area, do some in-depth research and networking at this point to ensure that adequate schooling and jobs await you and your family in your new home. If possible or reasonable, see if your current job will allow you to work remotely after the move.
Moving houses, especially to another state, requires a lot of material to contain, organize, and protect your items through the process. Start early in gathering boxes, bubble wrap, moving blankets, wraps, and other useful moving supplies early.
Moving out of state is often a costly venture, so make sure you are aware of what expenses you will need to cover, and calculate the amount you can safely spend on the move ahead of time. This will make certain that you don’t run into a nasty surprise later on.
The earliest you can move in is largely determined by the purchasing timeline of the house you’re buying. Once your purchase is final and your ownership has been recorded with the local government, you are free to move in. If at all possible, try to schedule your move-in day well in advance, giving you a chance to adjust your other plans and obligations around it and avoid an annoying conflict.
Moving day will be rather difficult to oversee if you’re stuck at work. If you plan to stay in the same position after the move, make sure you’re able to schedule time off on the day you’re moving out. If you can afford it and your employer can work with you, it might even be a good idea to schedule time off for a day or so before and after moving day, allowing you to devote time and energy to the finishing touches of the move-out, and get settled after the move in.
There’s nothing quite like moving to remind you just how much unnecessary clutter you have in your home. In preparation for the big move, you can save effort and money in the move by parting with your excess items, either through a yard sale, giving to friends and family, or donating to a thrift store or charity.
You can obtain this information by looking up their DOT number with the US Department of Transportation’s Company Snapshot system.
What To Do
6 Weeks Before Moving
At this point, pull the trigger on any yard sales or donations that need to happen before the move. Also, be sure to clean any problem messes in your house before the move-out day.
Look into all of your available options for moving companies and determine which one can best meet your needs and has the best customer reviews.
Moving all of your worldly possessions requires a lot of boxes. Six weeks before your move, make a concerted effort to collect boxes and totes to help you transfer your belongings. You can either purchase boxes at a home improvement or moving/storage supply store, or you can save some money by asking local businesses if they have used shipping boxes. Many stores are willing to part with these boxes if you tell them you’re moving.
Not only will creating an overall list of your belongings help you keep track of all your valuables, but it can also assist your moving company in providing you with an estimate of the total cost of moving your items.
By virtue of packing up your things to take with you, you are showing that these are objects you care about and want to have with you in your new home. Make sure that any delicate belongings are clearly marked to ensure that movers or friends or family assisting you handle your items with an extra gentle touch.
You’d be surprised how quickly time can get away from you with your move-away date looming on the horizon. While you still can, make sure you get in touch with family or friends in your current area at least one more time before the big move.
Consider the transportation available in your new community. Are there more affordable or desirable ways to get around consistently? Will you necessarily need a car in that environment? If you won’t need it, it might make sense to sell your car before moving.
If you will need a car in your new home, another scenario to think about is transporting your current car. There’s always the option to drive it personally from point A to point B, but if that option is unavailable, you may need to schedule a car shipper to move it for you.
It will be a big disappointment if you find out on move-in day that your favorite couch isn’t going to make it into your living room. Save yourself the headache and iron out those details early so the move-in goes smoothly.
If you start packing early on and do it gradually over several weeks, it will feel like much less of a hassle than if you did it all at once. By packing a couple of boxes every day, you can build it into your routine without throwing off your whole workflow.
What To Do
1 Month Before Moving
In addition to spreading out the workload, a packing plan ensures that your most essential items, like toiletries and kitchen items, are saved for last. These are the items that you need most often, so it makes sense to have them handy until you move out, and easily accessible as soon as you move in.
Are you moving out of state permanently, or do you plan on coming back within a few years? If your move will be a temporary or indefinite situation, it might make sense to rent a storage unit to leave the items that you want to keep, but would be a pain to transport or keep in your new home. If you decide to use a storage unit, get this done ahead of time. The days leading up to the move will be busy enough without worrying about a storage unit.
Cleaners are often busy, so it pays to book them a few weeks in advance. If you’re planning on using a professional cleaning service, this is the time to look into it.
Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance don’t usually cover damage to the items in transit through your moving company. It might be smart to purchase moving insurance, especially if you are moving high-value items.
The internet will be one of the first utilities you use in your new home. Do some research to figure out which ISPs serve your new area, and which will give you the best service at the best deal. Internet providers will likely not be available for service if you contact them the day you need them, so set up your new account and installation early to avoid gaps in service.
You’ll want to remain politically engaged in your new community, so make sure to update your registration to reflect your new residency, allowing you to properly vote in state, local, and federal elections.
Just like any road trip, you’ll need to have a plan for getting to your destination, including where you’ll stop to rest along your route. Unlike other road trips, you also have all of your worldly possessions to carry with you, making efficiency and secure places to park your truck a more pressing concern.
What To Do
2 Weeks Before Moving
The last couple of weeks before the move are some of the busiest days of the moving process. Unless you’re okay with eating out several times within this time period, do yourself a favor and get some easy meals prepared for you and your family to give you one less thing to worry about.
If something goes wrong with your computer in transit, you could lose a lot of important data. Prepare your computer ahead of time and backup any crucial information in a separate place that is easily recoverable, preferably online.
This will be your last chance to give back any borrowed options before the big move, so take advantage before you forget.
Make your lamps a little less fragile by storing the lightbulbs separately, preferably in a secure and cushioned container — or the container they came in, if you still have it.
Most moving companies don’t transport living things, and it’s not a good idea to coop them up in a moving truck anyway. Research the best ways to keep them safe and secure in your vehicle and be sure to take breaks frequently enough to let them stretch their legs and relieve themselves.
Banks, cell phone providers, subscriptions, and any other service that requires your address will need to be notified that you are moving. Make a list of these services and change your address in their systems to make sure letters and packages end up at your new home.
While you’re in the process of changing your address in dozens of different systems, you can have the post office temporarily forward your mail to the new address. This ensures that you don’t miss any letters in the meantime.
Be sure to cancel any utilities that you won’t be getting from the same providers in the new home and take the necessary steps to transfer anything you keep to the new location.
You’ll usually need to get a new driver’s license within 2 weeks of moving to a new state, so make sure that you set up an appointment at the DMV as soon as you can.
Get in touch with your new city’s waste management system so trash and recycling bins are ready for you to use when you get there.
You don’t want to wake up on moving day to find out that you had a misunderstanding with your moving company. Make sure that you and the movers are on the same page as far as times, dates, and locations go well before the day of the move.
What To Do
1 Week Before Moving
Get your home ready for the next owner and make things look as good as new. Remember to scrub commonly missed areas like behind the toilets, on baseboards, etc. Remember to thoroughly clean out appliances that will stay with the house (refrigerators, freezers, ovens, microwaves, etc.).
Withdraw a few hundred dollars in cash from the bank for each adult to carry during the moving process. This will come in handy for any tipping, tolls, parking, or emergencies along the way.
Double-check if you have any packages coming in the next week, and redirect any existing orders to your new home. If you regularly use e-commerce websites (Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc.), make sure that your address is updated on each of your accounts to prevent future orders from going to the wrong place.
On moving day, your timelines might not line up perfectly. Be sure that you account for important people running late, and develop contingency plans for those scenarios.
Traveling to a new state can be a long trip, and it occurs right between two sessions of strenuous physical work. Plan accordingly and bring some nourishing, filling snacks for the road.
If you own a lawnmower, four-wheeler, or any other equipment that uses gasoline or oil, make sure to drain these before the move to lower the chances of messes or hazards in transit.
Sometime during this week, you’ll want to wrap up the last bit of packing and organize boxes and important items into piles, allowing for a more efficient loading process.
If you rely on any prescription medications, make sure to stop by the pharmacy to fill them up before you leave, so that you have enough to keep you healthy through and after the moving process.
After all the work you’ve put into this move, the last thing you want is for the floors to get damaged or dirty in the move-out or move-in process. There are a variety of different adhesive films and floor covers you can use to protect your flooring from dirt, scratches, and dents during the move.
You’ll want a fully stocked kitchen upon move-in, so take some time on the day to hit the grocery store and stock up on the essentials.
After everything is said and done, the last thing you want is to leave behind one essential item, or leave an obvious piece of trash in what should be a pristinely empty home. Take a final walk through your old home and check every room, inspecting each and every corner, opening closets and drawers, looking in attics and crawl spaces, and combing the yard to make certain that nothing is forgotten.
What To Do
Get to know the neighborhood, town, and surrounding areas you’ll be living in. Learn what stores, entertainment venues, parks, and other amenities you’ll have access to, and take in the local culture.
Moving is a big undertaking, and will likely require help from several people. Consider buying pizza or another simple meal for those who help you move, and be sure to reach out and thank everyone who lent a hand during the process.
Finally, the big moment arrives and you’re ready to get situated. While there’s likely no pressing timetable forcing you to unpack by a certain date, try to do it sooner than later, since decluttering your space allows you to feel comfortable and relaxed in your new home.
Once you have a key to the house, be sure to duplicate it so that each mature member of the household has their own copy. You’ll also want to make some spares in case one goes missing, and give a spare to either a trusted neighbor or a friend or family member in the area.