After all of the time spent looking at home listings, touring homes (virtually or in-person), making offers, winning a bidding war, and getting through the closing process, all you have to do is move into your new home. However, moving isn’t ever a walk in the park. There are tons of moving parts to coordinate.
For the most part, you have some time to get your affairs in order and plan out your move. For a large project like moving, have a checklist to refer to will help reduce the stress of moving. We created one based on a two-month moving schedule. If your personal timeline is different, it can be easily adapted.
Two months before moving day
Transfer medical records and prescriptions
Whether you are moving across town or from another state, make sure all of your medical needs are transferred to the necessary medical offices near your new home. Ask your current medical providers which services are nearby. More importantly, make sure these new places will accept your current insurance plan.
Fill out change of address forms
Change your address with the postal service, health insurance, credit cards, loyalty programs, internet provider, and anything else you get physical mail to start getting delivered to your new house on your moving day. This way nothing important gets missed. Something will probably get overlooked initially. But thanks to the internet, it can be changed in minutes. Be sure to give relatives and friends your new address as well. You don’t want to miss out on holiday cards or graduation announcements.
Request time off
Coming home from work to pack, move, and unpack is exhausting and will make it less enjoyable to move into your new home. It could also impact your performance at work. Request some vacation time or personal time off of work for the move. Doing it early will ensure that everything will be covered while you are gone. This way, you can devote all of your psychical and mental energy to the move and enjoy the experience.
Schedule any repairs to your new home
If your new home is unoccupied (hopefully it is two months before you move in), schedule any repairs or updates you are making. it is much easier to get everything done before you move in so you don’t have to worry about moving furniture or getting it dirty. New flooring, paint, countertops, bathrooms, etc. shouldn’t take a long time to complete. Having it done will give you peace of mind on moving day, and ensure that you are moving into a home that’s exactly how you want it.
Budget for moving costs
Moving costs money, so be prepared to have the cash ready to pay for it. If you are moving yourself, you have to factor in the costs moving truck rentals, boxes, gas, and pizza (the official food of moving). Moving yourself is the cheaper route, but it is more physically taxing. Ask for help from family and friends to make the work easier.
If you are hiring a moving company, do your research. Get referrals from friends and read reviews about the company. Be sure to get quotes about the costs and ensure they have a moving crew available for the day you want to move.
One month before moving day
Take inventory and downsize
Moving always has an element of decluttering and downsizing. It’s amazing how much stuff you can put in cabinets, attic, and garage. Take some time to find what you don’t need and get rid of it—either by having a yard sale, selling online, or donating. Perishable foods should be eaten, frozen, or given to family or friends. Non-perishable foods you don’t want to take should be given to the local food bank. It makes for less food to move, and it will help feed others—win-win!
Start with out-of-season and infrequently used items that won’t be missed for a month or so. Starting now will reduce the packing stress later
If you decided to use a moving company, make sure the date and time is set for them to arrive. In addition, make sure they have the correct addresses.
Gather all of the warranty and insurance information, as well as user manuals. Leave everything that is staying in your current home for the new owners. They will appreciate having them in one place. Put everything you are taking in a secure place to ensure they come with you to your new home.
Two weeks before moving day
Packing ramps up
At this point, packing is in full swing. shelves, closets, and walls should be getting pretty bare. Be sure that everything is getting labeled with its destination in the new house. If you are using a moving company, proper labeling will make their job much easier and make is less likely something will get misplaced.
Moving creates tons of trash. Trash cans can get filled quickly with ordinary garbage. If you are throwing away non-donatable/sellable appliances or furniture, consider renting a dumpster or using a pickup truck/trailer to haul trash to the dump. The more you can get rid of before the move, the easier moving day will be.
One week before moving day
At this point, most thigs are packed away. Keep out only the essentials in terms of everyday use items like clothes, toiletries, and food. When moving day arrives, it should be easy to put your remaining clothes in a suitcase and everything else in a bin. This way, they are easy to access when you start unpacking in your new home.
Moving with pets can add stress for you and your furry companions. Leave them with family or close friends, or board them for a few days while you move. When everything is in the new house and the unpacking has started, bring them to their new home.
Final confirmation with movers
Make sure the moving company has the correct day and time for moving day. An extra confirmation has never hurt when it comes to something as big as moving.
A couple days before moving day, unplug freezers and refrigerators to make sure they are defrosted by moving day. Do this regardless if you are taking them or not. If they are defrosted, it makes them easier to move. if they are staying, they will be clean and ready for the new owners.
Moving day—it’s finally here!
Movers (if you are using a moving company)
When the movers arrive, make sure everything is in order with the truck and crew. From there, make sure everything is labeled and packed well. When it comes to valuables and important documents, have them already loaded into your personal cars to prevent anything happening to them. This is not to say that all moving companies steal, but moving your valuables yourself will give you peace of mind.
Perform a final walkthrough to make sure the whole house is empty and that all utilities are shut off. Finally, sweep and mop the floors, and vacuum the carpets. Load the cleaning supplies in your car when everything is clean and empty. On to your new home!
When everything is unloaded form the moving truck, make sure everything is accounted for and inspect for damage. If something was damaged in the move, make a claim with the movers and insurance company. This doesn’t happen very often, but it ever hurts to perform your due diligence.
Move in and enjoy your new home
Finally! You are out of your old home and into your new one. All you have left to do is unpack and make the new house your house. It’s been a long road, but it is worth it!