12 Weeks: Prepare and Plan
Start by choosing the best travel method for your move. Are you renting a vehicle, driving your own, or flying? Purchase any tickets or hotel reservations early and map out your route. If you need to ship things, stop by your local post office to ask about rates, restrictions, and procedures. Use measurements from your new home to ensure appliances and large furniture will fit.
Gather and organize important documents, including birth certificates, insurance cards, passports, medical records, car titles, or any other documents you may need. A lockbox, portable safe, or small file folder can keep your documents protected during the move. Consider keeping some of these valuable documents with you rather than packing them on the truck.
Start looking for professional services in your new area and forward any existing medical, dental, and veterinary records.
8 Weeks: Get Ready To Pack
Its time to plan the packing. Purchase moving supplies such as boxes, packing peanuts, tape, bubble wrap, box cutters, and labels. As you’re packing, continue pulling out items you might want to sell or donate before the move.
4 Weeks: Take Care of Details
Garage sales are a great way to help your local community and reduce moving expenses. Place ads in the newspaper, make announcements on social media and consider posting flyers around town. Sell valuable items individually. Whatever doesn’t sell you can donate — you might find that some old possessions are worth more than you thought!
During your last month, contact Internet and credit card companies, banks, utilities, and the post office to set up services in your new location. Schedule a disconnect or transfer date, and be sure to change your address and forward your mail. Check with the utility company wherever you’re headed to make sure your new home will be ready when you arrive.
2 Weeks: Finish Packing and Cleaning
In the last month before your move, double check everything! Check to make sure you have securely packed and labeled your boxes. If your movers are unloading trucks into specific rooms, ensure you have put the name of the room on the label alongside the contents. Also, include special handling instructions.
Clean out your pantry. Host a party or invite friends over for dinner to help get rid of extra food. Finally, give your house a thorough cleaning — or hire a cleaning company — to leave it in good shape for new tenants.
1 Week: Get Ready for Moving Day
In the week before, fill any prescriptions for your family or pets and be sure to create a first-in-last-out box. These will be the items you will need the night before moving day and the first night in your new home. Items worth including are the coffee maker, batteries, toiletries, clothing, snacks, and entertainment.
On moving day, welcome your movers and provide them direction for loading your belongings. Make sure you sign your bill of lading and ask any last-minute questions. Keep an eye out for unlocked doors and windows, and perform a walk-through after the house is clear of boxes. And enjoy your new adventure!