Planning a move is a lot of work and there will definitely be a lot of stress involved. Like anything else, if you plan ahead and take bite-sized chunks you can make it through in one piece. We have put together the ultimate moving checklist to reduce stress and increase the likelihood you have a great moving experience.
You definitely can’t do it all by yourself; but you can prepare to reduce cost and stress, making moving day a success - here’s how:
5 Weeks Before Moving Day
Organize & Junk
You’ll want to leave plenty of time for organizing because chances are you may not realize how many things you have accumulated over the years. A great resource for organizing is NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers. Their blog has great tips and resources, it may even be worth hiring a professional organizer based on your situation. This is a great time to think about special packing or additional insurance on specific items.
Pretty simple. All that clutter you’ve been keeping around for no reason, science says its stressing you out. Leave it in the past and use a junk removal service to clear it out. This will feel liberating – we promise!
Moving companies get very busy during the spring and summer so you may have to provide them with more than one-month notice. Check online reviews through Google, Yelp, and other review sites as there are many different moving companies. Lastly, check to see if they have a US-DOT number, meaning they’re registered with the state. This is especially important for interstate moving.
Create a Moving Checklist Binder
Putting all relevant information relating to your move in a three-ring binder will help keep you organized and on track. Keep quotes and estimates from your moving company as well important information regarding “to do lists” as well as one off tasks that could slip your mind. For example, you can go to your kids’ school and change their address. A small detail that may get forgotten if you do not have a central place you can go for all things move related.
4 Weeks Before Moving Day
Get Moving Supplies
Order boxes, tape, bubble wrap, moving blankets (pads) about four weeks before moving day. This will allow you to begin the actual packing process. Make sure you check with your moving company sometimes they will provide free or discounted materials and include delivery. If you need professional packing service check with your moving company to schedule a date for packing help.
Any perishable food items you have will be better off if eaten before the move. In theory, it sounds great to bring them all a long but the reality is they may spoil or become a burden. Unpacking is a long a tedious process and its easy to overlook a box with food in it. You’ll probably want to check out the new grocery store anyway.
2 Weeks Before Moving Day
Make sure you measure all larger items to make sure they can fit through the doorways. Otherwise you may need to let your moving company know you require disassembly. This can end up costing you big time because moving companies work hourly and some furniture has a lot of moving parts!
The biggest mistake people make when moving to a new home is not labeling everything properly. Label every box, bag, furniture item, etc. If the movers know where to bring the items when they arrive your time spent unpacking will be extremely efficient. Write directly on boxes, apply tags for different luggage or bags, and mark furniture with sticky notes.
Chances are you have some items that you hold very dear to your heart. Whether it be jewelry, cash, art, etc. we recommend packing it separately and moving it yourself if possible. This is to take extra precaution on something that cannot be replaced. If you have a pool table or piano you may also want to let your moving company know ahead of time as these require special arrangements.
Arrange Personal Time Off
Make sure to schedule the day of your move (maybe even a few more) off from work. It would be near impossible to quarterback a move from work.
If you’re doing an interstate move there’s a good chance you’ll need to get your car tuned up before a long drive or new climate. Next, clear out your safe deposit box from your local bank. Lastly, if you use a local dry-cleaning service you won’t want to leave your best suits or blouses there! Its better to take care of these often-overlooked tasks ahead of time.
Two Days Before Move
If you’re bringing your refrigerator with you be sure to unplug it 48 hours before the move otherwise water can potentially leak onto other stuff being moved.
Confirm Move Details
Give your moving company a call and confirm move details.
Be prepared for the bill you’re going to get after the move. Large interstate moves are easily the $1000s of dollars and if the company does a great job a 10-15% tip is adequate. However, on a $10,000 move that tip can be over $1000. Its best to make sure you’ve budgeted and are prepared ahead of time. Moving companies should be experts at giving you an accurate quote.
Its going to be a long day. However, if you’ve done everything on this moving checklist then it is going to go smoothly and there should not be anything unexpected. Soon enough you’ll be in your new house and unpacking will commence. Good luck!