I get a lot of requests to talk about moving so I want to address it since many people are moving now! If you aren’t moving, don’t worry – I think there are still a lot of takeaways from this article.
It’s all about planning – ask yourself, how can I apply this to my situation right now?
Moving is a great time to take stock of what you have and use this time to declutter. Of course, you should also consider decluttering during unpacking – use it as a sort of second pass.
I’m going to break down your suggested moving plans by weeks before the move. These are all suggestions – read over everything and do what works best for you!
12-8 Week Before
Focus on decluttering!
- After you have decluttered, donated, and thrown away, start to look through what you have decided to keep. Now’s the time to make a list of what you have with approximate value – this is especially important for an international move!
- Secure your moving date. The earlier the better, especially if you are moving in high season. It is best to get an actual in home estimate. I have found that movers always underestimate the size of the crew, timing, and supplies. Doing this may save you hidden fees later on!
6 Weeks Before
Get packing supplies.
- Start to pack things you will no longer need, like items that are out of season. This way not everything has to wait till the last minute
Resist the urge to mix non-like items together. This is so you can clearly mark the contents of the boxes and there are no surprises or missing items. If you write winter clothing and then have your crock pot shoved in there – it is not gonna be fun!
The only exception is to use extra linens to wrap items. If you have extra sheets, blankets, towels, table cloths, etc. you can use those to help with delicate items. (It also saves on packing material!) Make a code for yourself when packing with linens. For example write glasses + T for towels on the outside of the box so you know where to find stuff.
Start preparing for moving day!
- Eat! It is amazing to me how much food goes to waste before and during a move – especially from the freezer! Check what you have and start to allot it to certain weeks or days.
- Travel arrangement for non-local moves, like hotels, flights, car rentals etc…
- Think about taking time off. If you are moving locally, it should take you 2-3 days to do the major stuff. If you can budget a week that is best, and for non local moves, a week is ok – but two weeks – may be necessary.
It seems like a lot of time but moving is stressful and it is best to pace yourself.
4 Weeks Before
Now is a great time to get all the books packed, lesser used kitchen items and holiday stuff. Remember you want to be letting go of as much as you can, you don’t want to pay to move things you don’t want.
Mark and plan.
- Clearly mark each box with the contents. I personally like to assign each room or category a color and mark the boxes with that color tape. When you arrive at your new home, put a piece of colored tape on each door. Then the movers can match the colored taped boxes to room – saves a lot of schleping!
- Make a list of what you have. I use a spreadsheet of course! I like to number each box on the spreadsheet. I give a column for box numbers, a column for the description of the items and a column for value – then I can just pass it along to the movers, which streamlines the process. I also take pictures of stuff before I pack them so I can remember what things are and to prove if they were damaged.
Check your new home and make sure that what you currently own will actually fit into your new home, if it doesn’t start selling or donating those larger items.
Take care of your car. Get an oil change, tire fixes and any necessary tune-ups to ensure that your car survives the move.
2 Weeks Before
Go over the little details.
- Confirm the movers. Contact the moving company and double-check your plans. Make sure the insurance in place is enough to cover your valuables.
- Make arrangements for pets. Book a pet sitter or care facility for moving day. If you’re moving out of town, make travel plans for your furry friends and ensure your veterinarian has authorized your pets for the journey.
- Contact utility companies. Instruct existing utilities to disconnect services the day after your move. Direct new utilities to install services at least a day before you arrive.
- Change your address. Visit USPS.gov or your local post office to officially change your address. Leave your forwarding address with a neighbor, just in case.
- Alert important parties. Notify your employer, banks, credit card companies, subscription services, friends and family of your move.
- Do some planning now – make sure you have all the prescription meds you need, take some time to plan your menus so you don’t make bad choices because you are hangry! Plan for a cleaner to come to the current house after the movers, and possibly a painter or handyman for small repairs.
- Continue to use up as much food as you can.
- Remove any hazardous waste items – like paint, aerosol cans, harsh chemicals, that you will not be taking with you in the move.
1 Week Before
Finish packing and prepare to move!
- You will need to finish packing but it is a good idea to start to put things in zones. If you have a bunch of things you want to donate – put all that stuff together in one area so the movers won’t pack it. If you are moving far or close you are going to want to have things that you have access to right away. It is important to move those into special areas as well so it doesn’t get packed.
- Make sure to buy a box cutter with that stuff so you can easily open boxes.
- What goes where will depend on where you are moving to. It is a good idea to make a list of all the things you need so that you don’t forget anything. Remember, clean sheets and towels should be in this section enough for each person!
- If you are taking appliances with you then now is a good time to have them cleaned so that they are functioning at their best.
The Day Before
Is everything in order?
- Make sure you have cash on hand to tip the movers, and cash for anything else you may need to pay for on that day (technicians or things like that).
- Deal with as much of the contents in your fridge freezer and pantry as possible, aka use it up!
- Move your valuables someplace containers – especially important documents so that you don’t lose them.
- If you can have your new house cleaned today – great! It is best to have it cleaned and ready to go!
Did you learn anything new? Maybe you have a tried and true moving organizational hack I should know about? Let me know in the comments below.
And when you’re ready for it – make sure to read my follow up article “Tips + Tricks For Moving Day”
Still feeling overwhelmed with all that needs to be done? Let me help! Book a FREE 30-minute consultation with me to discuss plans, make lists, and get you started on the most organized move of your life!