Moving is hard work. Relocating across town or the country can feel like a full-time job. In the days and weeks ahead of your big move, there are certain things you should do to ensure that your move goes off without a hitch. This provides a rough countdown timeline to follow so that you have all your ducks in a row on moving day.

Two-Months Out

This is when the fun begins. Don’t wait until the last minute to decide whether you want to hire full-service movers to do all the packing and relocating for you, movers to do the loading and unloading only, or tackle a do-it-yourself move. Now is the time to make that decision and line-up your crew.

It’s also the time to begin going through closets, pantries, cupboards, and drawers to purge unnecessary things. Then double-check again to see if there are things you could live without.

Take this opportunity to request time off (if you’re not moving to take a new job). If you are moving for new employment, you may want to take advantage of unused vacation days during this time (before you give your two weeks’ notice) to help you prepare for the move.

One Month Out

Now is when things start to get real. If you’re leaving your employment, you’ll want to give notice within the next two weeks. If you’re packing your own belongings, or at least some of your own belongings, you need to purchase packing supplies and do all the following:

  • Notify schools
  • Obtain copies of medical records for each member of the family, including all prescriptions.
  • Get veterinary records for pets, including vaccination records.
  • Notify utility companies in your current location and at your new address.
  • Clean out refrigerators, freezers, and pantries. Decide what you can use within the next four weeks, what you want to take with you, and what you’d like to donate to local food pantries.
  • Fill out a change of address form with the post office.
  • Arrange transport for your car if needed (especially useful for long-distance moves where you will fly out ahead of time).
  • Assess your insurance situation. Notify the insurance company of your move and determine if you need different insurance coverage as a result.
  • Open new bank accounts in your new location if your current bank doesn’t have a local branch.

There are many steps involved. But taking care of these things will allow you to focus on the specifics of your move in the weeks ahead.

Two Weeks Out

If you have opted to pack your own things, now is the time to start that process.  Pack with a purpose. Label each box with the contents and the name of the room each box is to end up in at your new home.

Properly dispose of all restricted items that are not allowed on the moving truck. These items include propane tanks, charcoal, lighter fluid, fertilizer, bleach, pool chemicals, and others.

Separate out and pack your valuables and vital documents in a designated box. Some things to include are insurance documents, checkbooks, and will. Keep these items with you during the move.

One Week Out

Pack a suitcase or essentials box you can live out of for at least one week for each family member. This will travel with you and not be loaded onto the moving truck.

Take care of any last-minute appointments, say your goodbyes, order take-out from your favorite restaurants, and try to get your children excited about the move.

Confirm all the moving details with your moving company. Make arrangements for children and pets to be cared for on moving day, so they are safely out of the way as the movers get to work.

The Day of Your Move

Relax! You’ve got this. Your preparation and organization have you ready for moving day.

If you’ve hired professional movers, you’re golden. Make sure you are completely packed before they arrive. You simply need to coordinate with them about loading the truck and verify that everything is on the truck. Let the movers know where you have placed the boxes with fragile items.

Pack your own vehicle with your essentials box as well as your vital documents.

Make one final walk-through of your current home to verify nothing remains before heading off to your new home and a great new adventure!