Moving Made Easy: How to Prepare Months Ahead of Time

Moving Made Easy: How to Prepare Months Ahead of Time

Wait! Don’t stop reading this blog because you’re not planning on moving any time soon. It’s a no-brainer that this information is useful if you have an upcoming move, but it’s just as useful if:

~ Your parents are downsizing and moving within the next 6-24 months

~ Your kids are moving out of your home and into their own homes

~ You want to delutter now so when a move eventually comes, you don’t have so much to do

Skip parts that don’t apply right now, but use the other nuggets here to help pave the way for a future move . . . whenever that happens.

Initial Planning

(ideally done 3+ months ahead of a move)

~ Create a timeline: Start by establishing a timeline that outlines all the tasks you need to complete before moving day. Having a visual roadmap will help you stay organized throughout the process.

~ Research moving companies: If you plan to hire professional movers, begin researching and getting quotes from reputable moving companies. Be sure to check their reviews and credentials.

~ Budget for the move: Estimate your moving expenses, including packing supplies, movers’ fees (it’s customary to tip 15-20% of the total bill to be distributed among the movers), and any travel costs associated with the move.

Smiling young woman marking dates on a calendar white board.

Sorting and Decluttering

(at least 2 months before a move but ANY time is the right time)

~ Declutter your home: Begin going through your belongings room by room. Completing one room before moving on to the next will give you a sense of accomplishment and help maintain your motivation.

* Use the “Three-Box Method” (keep, donate/sell, and trash) to help you decide what to keep and what to part with.

* Dispose of hazardous materials: Properly dispose of items like old paint, chemicals, and electronics according to local regulations. (Pro tip: do this well before a move so you can take advantage of community hazmat discard events)

* Set Limits: For items that are difficult to part with, set limits on the number you can keep. For example, if you have a large collection of books, decide to keep only the number that will fit on your new bookshelves.

* Sentimental Items: Consider taking photos of sentimental items or keeping a small, representative sample. You can create a digital or physical scrapbook to preserve the memories without keeping all the physical clutter.

* Use What You Have: Try to use up perishable items in your pantry, toiletries, or cleaning supplies to prevent waste and reduce what you need to move.

4 moving boxes labeled with various rooms.

* Start packing non-essential items: Begin packing items you won’t need in the next couple of months. Label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to for easier unpacking. Don’t worry about writing every item in the box–just key items. (Pro tip: label all 4 sides of the box as well as the top of the box so you know what’s in it regardless of how the boxes are stacked)

* Notify important parties: Inform your current and future utility providers, postal service, and any necessary institutions of your upcoming address change.

Detailed Planning

(begin 4 weeks before your move date)

~ Finalize your moving date: Confirm the date of your move and coordinate it with your moving company if applicable.

~ Pack strategically: Continue packing room by room, prioritizing items you use less frequently. Label boxes clearly, and create an inventory list to keep track of your belongings.

~ Change your address: Update your address with important institutions such as banks, credit card companies, and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

~ Pack ‘first days’ boxes/bags:

* Pack suitcases with clothes, toiletries, snacks, medicines, electronics, and other items you need as you travel to your new home.

* Pack a “just arrived” box with essential items like toiletries, a change of clothes, important documents, laundry supplies, and basic kitchen supplies for immediate use in your new home.

Weeks Before the Move

~ Confirm moving details: Reconfirm the moving date and details with your moving company.

~ Pack valuables separately: Keep valuable items such as jewelry and important documents in a secure and separate container that you’ll personally transport to your new home.

~ Inform friends and family: Let your close ones know your new address and contact information

Necklaces, rings, and other jewelry pouring out of a small jewelry box

Moving Day

~ Be ready: Ensure all your belongings are packed and ready for the movers. Double-check each room to make sure nothing is left behind.

~ Communicate with the movers: Provide clear instructions to the moving team and be available for any questions they may have.

~ Perform a final walk-through: Before leaving your old home, do a final walk-through to ensure you haven’t missed anything important.

Preparing for a move months ahead of time significantly reduces the stress and chaos that often accompanies such a significant change. Creating a smoother transition means you can focus on creating new memories and settling in comfortably.

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