There are times for spontaneity and there are times for meticulous planning when it comes to big life adventures. But moving to a new home? We think that’s an adventure that warrants some attention to detail! To ensure that everything goes smoothly during the process, and to reduce your stress accordingly, we’ve compiled a moving timeline to help you get organized.
Our biggest piece of advice? Give yourself plenty of time. Then use this list to get yourself organized for your upcoming move!
Schedule for 2 months before the move
- Create a moving binder. This will help keep all of the details of your move organized in one place: contact information for your new landlord or real estate agent, receipts, travel plans, all of it. If you prefer to go paperless, you could keep a spreadsheet or use an app like Evernote or Microsoft OneNote. A virtual or cloud option would allow you to share your documents and notes with your partner or family, too.
- Start getting quotes from professional movers. Ask your friends and family for reviews. Shop around to see who is willing to give you the best prices, but also make sure you are clear on what’s included. A low-ball price that seems too good to be true probably is!
- Decide how you will travel. If you are moving long-distance and would prefer not to drive, two months ahead is a perfect time to buy plane tickets and arrange to ship your car.
- Begin sorting your belongings. The cleansing and purging stage of packing can take a while. If you leave yourself plenty of time, you won’t feel rushed and you’ll make better choices about what to take and what to leave. Pick one room at a time and start purging anything you don’t want to move with you.
- Ask for updated records from your doctor, dentist, and/or veterinarian. These can take some time to be organized and sent, so they should come early on your moving timeline checklist. If you don’t have a new practitioner identified near your new home, make sure you store your medical records somewhere safe for the move!
A moving timeline for one month before the move
- Begin selling or donating your unwanted items. You probably aren’t going to bring every piece of furniture with you, so start deciding what you will do with it. There are plenty of ways to sell your things if they are in good condition. Or, set up a donation pick up to give your items to a charity or family in need.
- Reserve your date with the moving company. Depending on what day of the week you are trying to move, sometimes moving companies book up fairly far in advance. So you may even choose to book your date earlier!
- Organize and file all legal documents and records. If your filing cabinet has been a bit of a mess, now is the time to organize. Make sure you know where important banking documents, social security cards, birth certificates, and other important documents are for moving day. File them together somewhere safe so you can transport them to your new home yourself.
- Start packing. It might seem crazy to pack this early, but put this item near the top of your moving schedule. Begin by packing the things that you don’t use often just to begin the process of clearing things out. Even if you are having the movers pack most of your belongings, you will do well to start digging out the closets and drawers now.
- Make a moving inventory. You can use plain old pen and paper, or you could use an app. By creating a full inventory of what you will be moving, you not only help the movers but you ensure you can easily know that everything made it safely to your new home.
3 weeks before the move
- Start using up the food in the pantry and freezer. Cut down on food that you have to throw away by getting creative. Use up the perishable items in your pantry and clear out the foods in the freezer. Non-perishables can be donated, of course.
- Start preparing your Moving Essentials bag. This is where you keep all of the items you want to take with you, rather than send them on the truck. Have a look at our Moving Essentials Checklist to see what you should pack.
- House plants need a plan. How will you transport your house plants? Or will you need to re-home them? Now is the time to decide.
2 weeks before moving
- Have a going-away gathering. One last hurrah to say goodbye to friends, family, and your old neighborhood! You might consider having it outside if your home is already halfway packed or invite your friends out to eat.
- Simple meal plans are the best kind. Avoid needing to buy much for groceries and focus on simple foods. That way you don’t have to eat out all the time, but you don’t accumulate more food that you can’t bring with you.
- Confirm with your moving company. Check-in to be sure you know what time they will arrive. If you need packing services or supplies, make sure they know what to be prepared for.
- Arrange for cleaners. If you want to have someone else do the deep clean after you depart, now is the time to make sure they are available.
One week before moving day
- Submit a change of address form. You can use the USPS website to change your address online or fill out a form at your local post office. Let your cellular phone provider, insurance provider, bank, and credit cards know that you will be moving. This will prevent any mail from being sent to the wrong address after you move.
- Notify utilities and service providers. Make sure your utility bills are current and paid, and that the proper transfer will occur once you have moved. Contact your new utility provider to make sure you have power and water when you move in!
- Cancel or transfer memberships. If you have a gym, fitness studio, bike-share, or other local memberships, now is the time to cancel or transfer them to avoid unnecessary charges.
The day before the move
- Deep clean the house or apartment. This is not only your chance to check every last nook and cranny for forgotten stuff but your opportunity to find any repairs that will need to be completed. If you have been renting, check your lease to be clear on what you need to complete.
- Prepare your furniture and belongings for the movers. If you are working with a full-service moving team, get everything ready for the movers to swoop in and pack. The more you can clear away clutter, the more efficient it can be.
- Finish packing your essentials bag. Any last-minute clothes, electronics, or personal items should go in to avoid being accidentally packed on the truck.
What to Do on Moving Day
- Grab the last of your belongings. Your toothbrush and toiletries and those last snacks from the kitchen need to get tucked away. Most of it can go in your moving essentials bag.
- Place floor protectors throughout your home. Some moving companies might bring their materials, but don’t expect your movers to be taking off their shoes!
- Dispose of trash and recycling. Hopefully, you don’t have much left, but anything remaining should go into your building’s receptacles or to the transfer station.
- Check your closets, drawers, and every room one more time. Make sure nothing has been left behind in some sneaky corner. Don’t forget the basement or attic storage area if you have one.
- One final clean. If you are doing the cleaning, plan to spend some time after the movers leave making sure everything is ready. If you have hired a cleaning service, hopefully, the timing works out perfectly and they can swoop in for a cleaning after the movers leave!
And finally, it’s time to say goodbye to your old place, and hello to a fresh start! Whether you’re moving just across town or the country, you’re well organized with our moving timeline checklist.
When it comes time to hire your professional movers, let FlatRate Moving give you a quick and easy quote. No hourly rates, no hidden fees, just one flat rate.