Moving is the last leg of anyone’s journey when buying and/or selling a home, but that does not mean it will be the easiest part. However far you are moving, and however much ‘stuff’ you have to transport, it’s an element of the process that some find especially challenging and frustrating.
The real key however to a smooth(er) move is planning. With that in mind, we’ve come up with this moving timeline to help you better organize your time, prioritize your pre-move tasks and reduce moving stress.
Eight Weeks Prior to Moving Day
Organizing an efficient move calls for about eight weeks of planning, so our timeline starts from there.
- Begin inventorying the current contents of your home and start making decisions about what will be making the trip with you and what is headed for eBay/the thrift store/the garbage.
- If you intend to make use of a professional moving company, start researching movers and making a few calls for quotes. If you are going to try a DIY move, ensure now that there will be the right vehicles/supplies available on the days you’ll need them and that your planned helpers will actually be available to pitch in.
Six Weeks Prior to Moving Day
- Start finalizing moving plans. If you are going to go with the pros its time to make a decision which ones, and if you are going it alone it’s time to start calling truck rental companies to reserve the vehicle you’ll need.
- Make a list of all of the people and companies who will need to be notified of your move. These may include employers, banks, utility companies, the kids’ school, the family doctor, the family vet and so on. Begin making those notifications now so that you don’t miss anyone important.
Four Weeks Prior to Moving Day
- Start looking for a good family health provider in your new area and find out what you’ll need to do to enroll in the practice of your choice.
- Start gathering family medical records and, if applicable, the children’s school records as these can take a few weeks to actually get into your hands. Don’t forget vet records if you have a pet and if you do this is probably a good time to get them in for the last checkup before moving day.
- Change your address with the post office, making sure that the effective date is the day you move.
- Notify all of the utility companies of the date you wish to stop services and make sure that the utilities for your new home will be ready to go and in your name in time as well.
- Actually get rid of everything you will not be taking to your new home with you, trying to be tough with yourself and resolving not to take things you are not going to have uses for.
Two Weeks Prior to Moving Day
- Get your family car/vehicle serviced, especially if you will be driving to your new home.
- If you are working with professional movers check in with them to ensure that everything is still going to plan.
- Review your packing process. Most of it really should be done by now, save for the things you are still using on a daily basis.
- Start saying your goodbyes, both to the neighbours and to the area in general. Take a walk around your neighbourhood, and your home, and snap some pictures for posterity.
- Make a solid plan for who will look after your small kids/pets on moving day as they really should be kept safely ‘out of the way’ as far as possible.
- Check that you’ve paid all outstanding bills, that all of the books have been returned to the library and that you haven’t forgotten to pick up anything from the dry cleaners.
One Week Prior to Moving Day
- As you pack those last boxes don’t forget to pack an open first box containing the stuff you will need that very first night in your new home. It may be more efficient to pack one for each member of the family, including your pet, instead of a single giant one.
- Finish packing — leave out only a few items you can’t do without during the last couple of days in your old home, and the cleaning supplies you’re going to need to clean the place before leaving it for the last time.
Two Days Prior to Moving Day
- Defrost and clean the fridge.
- Disassemble large furniture pieces and pack them for shipment.
- Make sure you have all valuables and important documents with you.
On Moving Day
- Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the big day.
- Get up early so that you have time to complete those last pre-move checks without too much panic.
- Get the kids and pets out of the way and to their designated sitter.
- If you are working with movers ensure that they have your contact numbers – as in the cell phones you’ll have with you.
- After you think everything is out, do a last careful sweep to look for smaller items that may be ‘hiding’ but need to make the move with you.
- Make sure that you have easy to access funds – preferably in cash – to tip the movers and order dinner later.
- Do a final clean, say goodbye to the old house, lock the door and then head on out to the new one.
Even though most of these moving tasks are common for all residential moves, you will need to modify them to meet your personal needs and requirements. However, if you use all of this as a basic guide your big move should be as smooth as it can get. And, if something does seem to be going wrong, don’t panic, there is very little that can’t be put right if you stay calm and act rationally.