Moving Timeline: A Plan for Your Upcoming Move
It's official. You've signed your new lease, picked up the key and are ready to start boxing up your belongings. You can't wait to get settled into your new place! But what should you pack first? Moving is an exciting and busy time — some even call it stressful. It's important to have a plan for working through the various tasks involved.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce moving stress and transform the process into something enjoyable. By getting organized and planning your move, you'll save yourself any potential exhaustion of running around last minute, and you'll have greater flexibility in case something unexpected pops up. In this post, we'll show you how to prepare for moving day so you can enjoy a successful move.
How Far in Advance Should You Plan a Move?
You'll want to start planning your move as soon as you decide you're going to move. However, we understand that things don't always work that way. We recommend planning your move at least eight weeks before the big day. That should give you enough time to complete all of the most important tasks at a comfortable pace.
How Long Does the Moving Process Take?
Moving time depends on various factors such as the number of boxes, the distance between your old home and your new one and the number of people helping you move. Typically, the smaller the size of your current home or apartment, the less time it'll take to move your belongings. For example, a studio apartment might take a couple of hours to move, while a three-bedroom house could take an entire workday. It's always best to plan for extra time, so you don't have to rush.
What Should I Pack First When Moving?
Even if you aren't moving for months, you can start packing certain items early. Here's what you'll want to pack first:
- Stored items: You can start packing items that you're highly unlikely to use during the moving process, such as belongings kept in the basement, attic or garage.
- Non-essential items: You can also pack items you can easily live without for a few weeks such as decorations, books and extra supplies.
Your Moving Timeline
Ready to learn how to plan your upcoming move? Let the following relocation timeline guide you through the process.
Eight Weeks Before Moving Day
Although you won't need to start packing up the kitchen just yet, there are some important tasks you'll want to complete during this time, such as:
- Create a plan: Create a calendar or a to-do list that includes everything you need to get done before, during and after your move. Even if you're staying in town, you'll still want to make a local moving checklist. You'll feel a lot more in control if you stay organized.
- Declutter: Moving is a great opportunity to get rid of clutter. Sort through your belongings and decide what you plan to keep, donate, sell or toss. Let go of anything you haven't used in a year, and only keep items that have some sort of value to you.
- Decide how you're going to move: Are you going to ask friends to help you move or hire a professional moving company? If you're hiring movers, make sure they're reliable, licensed and insured. Contact them as soon as possible because movers can be booked months in advance.
- Take inventory: Make a detailed list of the belongings you plan to take with you to help you determine moving-related expenses. Taking inventory is also useful for insurance purposes.
- Rent storage: If you need to rent storage during your move, research your options, compare prices and book the unit in advance.
- Create a budget: Create a moving budget to help you plan moving costs. Your budget should include moving company fees, packing supplies, security deposits and any other expenses you can think of. Make sure to leave room in your budget for surprises.
- Finish repairs: Now's a good time to complete any home repairs you need to do before moving.
Seven Weeks Before Moving Day
During week seven, you'll likely still be going through items, preparing your current place for the new residents and getting in touch with moving companies. Here are a few more tasks to add to the list:
- Buy packing supplies: Now's the time to stock up on packing supplies such as boxes, tape, permanent markers and bubble wrap. To save money, you can gather free boxes from local restaurants and grocery stores, and use clothing, blankets and towels as packing materials.
- Plan a garage sale: As you continue to go through your belongings, you'll likely find items you no longer want to keep. Consider planning a garage sale to sell unwanted items and make a little extra cash for your move.
- Request time off from work: You may need to take time off to move and settle into your new home. Let your employer know as soon as possible.
Six Weeks Before Moving Day
At six weeks you're getting closer, but still have time to get things done. Here's what you can tackle six weeks before the big day:
- Contact schools: If you have kids and are moving far enough away that they'll need to switch schools, alert their current school. Ask for copies of school records, and find out the enrollment process for schools near your new home.
- Research movers: If you haven't looked into movers yet, don't wait any longer. If friends are going to help you move, start making arrangements with them.
- Rent a truck: If you are moving on your own or with the help of friends, consider if you need to rent a truck. If you plan to move on the weekend, which is when most people move, make sure to book a truck rental early.
- Start packing: You can start packing items you don't use regularly. For example, if you're moving during the summer, you might start packing winter clothes. Aim to pack just a box or two a night, label the box and store it in a corner.
- Photograph electronics: Take pictures of electronics and how they're set up so you can refer to the photos when you're in your new home.
Five Weeks Before Moving Day
Along with completing tasks from the previous weeks, use week five to:
- Book movers: If you've done your research and want to hire a moving company, it's time to give them a call. When you contact a moving company, make sure to confirm the details such as moving date, insurance coverage and any extra services you may need.
Four Weeks Before Moving Day
What should you do a month before moving? First, take a deep breath. By this point, you might start to feel a little tense. Moving day is approaching fast, but if you follow the timeline, you'll be able to stay focused and in control. Here are tasks to add to your one-month moving timeline:
- Contact utilities: Contact your utility companies and schedule to transfer services to your new address. If you aren't transferring utilities, contact service providers near your new home to set up connection dates.
- Notify your landlord: If you're required to give a 30-day notice, don't forget to notify your landlord about your move. Find out when you can expect to receive your security deposit, and if they plan to send it by mail, give them your new address.
- Change your address: As long as you have a set move-in date and have confirmed your new address, you can change your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS) weeks ahead of time. This way you'll make sure all of your mail gets forwarded to your new home.
- Make travel arrangements: If you'll be traveling far to your new home, now's the time to book flights and hotel rooms and determine all the specifics for moving day.
- Contact your home or renter's insurance: Contact your insurance company to transfer your insurance to your new home. If you have renter's insurance, consider if you want to keep it. If you're required to have renter's insurance under your current lease, don't cancel it until your lease is over.
Three Weeks Before Moving Day
During week three, you'll want to start thinking about the details and focus on the following tasks:
- Consider food: Try to use up food items you don't want to move and plan to have an empty freezer and refrigerator on moving day. Consider donating pantry items to a food bank or see if your moving company is a partner of the Move for Hunger program.
- Make pet and plant plans: Figure out how you'll transport pets and plants to your new home. Also, consider how you'll keep pets safe and contained during the moving process.
- Get a car checkup: If you plan on traveling far, take your car to the shop to make sure it's ready for the journey.
Two Weeks Before Moving Day
You're going to be pretty busy from now until you've settled into your new home, but you can still keep stress under control. Here's what you should do two weeks before moving:
- Return borrowed items: Make sure to return anything you borrowed from friends, family or the library, so they don't accidentally get lost or packed away.
- Get rid of chemicals: Safely dispose of hazardous chemicals such as oil-based paints and solvents. Contact your local environmental or waste agency to learn about hazardous waste disposal.
- Contact your current landlord: If you currently live in an apartment, you may need to reserve the elevator for moving day. You may also need a parking permit for the moving vehicle. Depending on your location, you may need to contact your landlord or the parking authority for a temporary permit.
- Pack almost everything: Two weeks before moving day you'll want to pack almost everything in your home. Make sure to label all the boxes to make unpacking a lot easier.
- Separate valuables: Carefully pack valuables like jewelry separate from other boxes. Transport valuables with you and don't store them in the moving truck.
- Back up your phone and computer: Back up your phone and computer just in case something happens during the move – you'll be glad you did.
One Week Before Moving Day
What should you do one week before moving? Besides taking a moment to catch your breath and reminisce with friends, you'll want to tackle the following tasks:
- Disassemble furniture: You can start disassembling pieces of furniture such as beds, dressers and other large pieces.
- Clean: Make a cleaning checklist, and get your current home ready for the new residents. If you're in an apartment, make sure to clean well so you can get your security deposit back. You'll want to vacuum, dust and thoroughly clean the bathroom and kitchen.
- Contact movers: Contact your moving company and confirm the details for moving day.
- Pack a suitcase: Pack essential items you'll need immediately in your new home, and keep this suitcase with you — don't put it on the moving truck.
One Day Before Moving Day
You might find it hard to relax the day before moving, even if you follow a timeline. You're going to make it through, and you'll be enjoying your new home in no time. Here's what to do the day before the move:
- Defrost and clean the refrigerator: Make sure your refrigerator is empty, defrosted and clean.
- Have important documents ready to go: Keep moving-related documents in an organized folder, and keep the folder within reach.
- Sleep: Try to get plenty of sleep to rest up for the big day.
You'll likely be busy from morning to night on moving day. Wake up early if you can and get ready for the day you've been waiting for. Here's what you'll need to do on moving day:
- Complete last-minute tasks: Look at your to-do list and make sure you've completed all of the tasks. If you started crossing items off the list weeks ago, you shouldn't have much left to do.
- Get moving: Work with friends or family to load the moving truck. If you hire professionals, make sure to stick around to answer questions and verify everything's been loaded.
- Take a final walk-through: Walk through your house or apartment and make sure nothing's left behind and everything's spotless.
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One Week After Moving Day
Although you have every right to celebrate after moving day, there's still plenty to do within the next week, such as:
- Unpack: Now you have to unpack all of those boxes, but if you labeled everything well, it shouldn't be so bad. Aim to unpack the bathroom, bedrooms and kitchen first.
- Childproof your new home: If you have a toddler or baby, make sure to childproof your new home immediately.
- Update your driver's information: You'll need to update your driver's license and car registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as possible. Don't forget to update your address with your car insurance company too as the rate might change.
- Update your address: Change your address with banks, credit cards, loan providers and other services so that you get your mail once the USPS forwarding expires.
- Review your movers: If you hired movers, leave a review to help potential customers make decisions.
Two Weeks After Moving Day
By now, you should feel more comfortable in your new home, and you definitely deserve time to relax. Here are just a few more things to take care of after the move:
- Finish unpacking: You might still have some unpacking to do. Try to finish unpacking during the second week after the move so you can focus on enjoying your home and exploring the neighborhood.
- Make copies of your keys: Make copies of your keys for the babysitter and others you don't want to get locked out.
- Decorate: Now for the best part — decorate your new home and make it your own.
Contact BNT Movers Today
We hope our timeline helps you move, but if you're still feeling overwhelmed and wondering how to plan when you're moving between houses, we're here to help. We're your go-to movers in Scranton, PA.
With BNT Movers, you'll be working with a reliable, fully licensed and insured moving company. Our goal is to take the stress out of moving, from packing to unpacking, and everything in between. Whether you're moving across town or across the globe, we'll safely get all of your belongings to your new home. To learn more or to schedule your moving service, contact us today!
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