Both experienced movers and first-timers can find packing up to go to a new place stressful, tiring, and chaotic. Even if you've moved a million times, each move represents a different transition, bringing along with it different types of needs. It is so easy to forget something throughout the process or to procrastinate and feel overwhelmed the week of the move. We've created a few lists to organize the process and keep you on track long before the big day.
You have two months before you officially pack your bags, but that doesn't mean it's too soon to start getting organized. Eight weeks out is the perfect time to start gathering moving supplies like boxes and tape. You should also start to pack the items in your home that you rarely use, and certainly won't use in the next month. Our Moving Supplies Guide will give you direction on how many boxes and which types you'll need for the number of rooms you're packing up.
This far ahead of time you should probably start contacting your utilities about when they should shut off and switching your plan to your new home. Take this time to make any home repairs necessary to sell the house. Start consuming stored food that has been sitting in cabinets so you don't have to move it to the next place.
At six weeks out, it's important to continue to pack boxes with the items you use less frequently, but it's also a good time to start a Home Inventory List noting the item name, quantity, storage location, and the number of the box in which it will be packed. While it may sound tedious, it will save you a huge headache when you have relatives and movers helping you move in. You can't be everywhere at the same time and this will help others know where to load these boxes on a truck, as well as where to place them when unloading the truck. An additional bonus is that it will help you quickly identify if there is a box missing at any point in the move.
The move is a little over a month away, so start to gather an essentials box with the items you cannot pack until the last minute. These items should be those you will use in the days leading up to the move, as well as valuable or precious items you want to keep a close eye on.
You're finally less than a month away! Before panicking, contact a moving service or friends and family to get your extra help lined up, including someone to watch your kids and pets on the day of the move. This is also the time to be real about what you need to function in the next two weeks; if you don't need it, pack it.
With two weeks left, go to town on your perishable foods because you don't want to have to pack a cooler on the day of your move. Depending on your situation, you may not even have a refrigerator at the new place quite yet.
You're almost there! Power through this week by disassembling furniture, making sure to fill your essentials box with the tools and hardware required to reassemble the furniture in the new house. Clean up the dust left behind in the wake of furniture, vacuum the floors, and defrost your freezer and refrigerator.
Old Home—The day is finally here and with all these lists you've managed to stay organized! A Moving Day checklist will help keep it organized. Make sure everyone helping with your move is on the same page: coordinate directions to get to the new place, who takes which boxes, and who is staying behind in the old place to lock the windows and doors and turn off the lights and air conditioning.
New Home—Before you can get the new place feeling like home, test that the utilities are working and check for any damages to the home. Also, make sure that all maintenance projects promised to you by the previous owners have been completed. Start unpacking without feeling overwhelmed by beginning with the essentials and building out from there—first the bedrooms, then the kitchen and bathrooms, and then everything else.
As you settle in, make sure to get new locks for the home and complete any remaining change of address paperwork. And, of course, enjoy your new home and neighborhood.