Moving into a new house is an exciting time. While it would be amazing to be able to just kick back and hope everything gets done in time for move-in day, we all know that’s unrealistic.
When you’re preparing to move, there’s definitely going to be some work involved, but the process doesn’t have to be stressful. You can make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible by having a game plan.
Your plan should start with figuring out what you need to get done and when each thing on the list should be tended to. This also will help to get everyone involved in your move on the same page.
Keep in mind that not all moves are created equal. Depending on factors such as the distance you’re moving, how many belongings you have and how big of a place you’re moving out of, your move may require more (or less!) planning. Plus, your closing date for the new home may also impact your overall timeline.
While we’ve mapped out our moving timeline based on having at least 12 weeks before the move, these obviously may need to be adjusted to suit your individual needs.
Here’s our suggested timeline for planning your move.
12 Weeks Before Move-In Day
- Make a master list of all moving related tasks. There’s a lot to do and things can get confusing so it’s best to have it all laid out in one place so you can check things off as you go. If you’re moving with a partner, this step is even more critical so you can ensure that everyone knows what’s happening (and when) so you don’t end up doing things twice or missing them entirely. You can even create a shared iCalendar or Google calendar that you can use with your partner or family.
- Take inventory. Make a list of what you have andwhat you’ll need, including everything from furniture to dishes. Then, create a detailed list of what needs to be purchased and prioritize it by what’s necessary right away versus what can wait. You should also have a detailed inventory of your valuables for insurance purposes.
- Purge your current home. Now is the time to getrid of things that you don’t want to move and this activity should go hand in hand with your inventory list. Decide on which items to sell, donate and toss and get everything you no longer need out of your space. There’s something cathartic about purging and this exercise will most likely make you feel REALLY good.
- Get your paperwork in order. All important documents should be gathered, organized and stored together somewhere they’re easily accessible and won’t be misplaced. Go to your local office supply store and pick up a storage box where you can place essential papers as you’re packing.
8 Weeks Before Move-In Day
- Plan the physical move. Start looking for movers or making a plan for any rentals and assistance you’ll need. Depending on the time of year you’re moving, movers can book up very quickly. This is NOT something you want to leave until the last minute. If you’re not planning on using movers, then you’ll want to secure as much help from your friends or family and plan for the fact that physical move will likely take longer to complete.
- Start packing. If possible, plan rooms for the new house as you pack. Using colored tape or markers to group boxes for each room is an extra step you can take to make things even simpler when move day arrives. Whoever is helping with the move will have an easy time of figuring out what goes where. If things are currently in three different rooms but will all be in the same place at your new home, doing some organizing while you pack will save time when you have to unpack. Anything you don’t need or can do without before the move can be packed up now to save time later. And of course, label everything!
- Notify service providers. If there are appointments that you need to schedule at the new place the sooner you can set them up the better. Don’t forget cable/satellite, telephone, internet, and your alarm system.
- Change your address. Submit a change of address card with the postal service to re-route mail to the new house. Don’t forget to update things like your driver’s license, car tags and insurance.
One Week Before Move-In Day
- Schedule any required walkthroughs or inspections. If you’re currently renting, you’ll likely have to have the landlord or someone from the property management company come in and do an inspection before you move out.
- Clean anything and everything. If there are rooms that have already been packed up, those can be cleaned ahead of time.
- Make a list of essentials for “the day after”. The first day you wake up in your new place, there are certain things you will want to have available, like your coffeemaker or toaster. These items can either be packed strategically in one box, or you can make a note of which box they’re in so they can quickly be found.
The Night Before Move-In Day
- Make sure you have a bag of basics packed. The first night in a new home is usually a bit hectic, so having things like clothes, toiletries, charger and other “must- have” items will mean you won’t be rooting through boxes trying to find the basics. Don’t forget your sheets, blankets, and pillows and make sure you know where your “basics” are.
- Complete any last minute cleaning. It’s good practice to leave your current place clean and ready for the next person moving in, so make sure you have time for a final pass before you leave.
- Make a plan for tomorrow’s meals. Once you get to the new house, you’re going to need to eat. Takeout or delivery are easy ways to cover your meals, but you may want things like milk, bread, and other staples picked up the night before (or the day of) so you can have the basics on hand.
- Sleep! Moving is exhausting and you’ll need all of your energy when you wake up so you can hit the ground running.
Most importantly, focus on the fact that the time and effort you’re investing now will be so worth it once you’re settled in. Moving into a new house is a big deal, so don’t let the minutiae of planning bog you down when there’s so much to look forward to!