A Moving Timeline Makes Getting Ready Easier

  • A young couple is preparing to move using a timeline and checklist to stay organized.

When preparing to move, everyone wants to avoid that last-minute panic of packing and cleaning that always seems to sneak up on them. With this moving checklist, people know what to expect and can make the process that much smoother.

2-3 Months Out: Preparation and Organization

A few months before the move, people should invest the time to make a list of everything they will need to shift. The task includes changing address and schools, and ensuring that necessary services do not get interrupted for too long. This is also an excellent time to start organizing the home to make packing easier.

6-8 Weeks Out: Decluttering and Transition

No one wants to pack a bunch of items they do not really want to keep. In the second month before the move, people should work on decluttering the space. Starting early allows them enough time to hold a garage sale and properly sort their belongings. Some services and other processes take weeks to transition, so this time period is a practical chance to start the formal transition of moving.

4-6 Weeks Out: Set Moving Timelines

Although people might have a rough estimate of when they plan to move, at this point, they need to set a defined schedule. People who are only moving across town might choose one day to do most of the moving, and follow up with the rest. An interstate move requires more care, since those who are moving might have to do it all at once. 

3-4 Weeks Out: Early Packing

The packing process can happen almost anytime, but most people need at least 3-4 weeks to make it work without too much stress. People should plan to buy about 20 medium-sized boxes for each room, with plenty of:

  • packing tape
  • dispensers
  • cushioning materials

Remember, it's probably smart to buy more than it seems necessary, because people often need more boxes than they expect.

2-3 Weeks Out: Arranging Services at New Home

Buying or selling a home is challenging enough, but waiting for a few days without power or internet services at the new home is a hassle. People should sign up for services a few weeks before they move. It is now time to research options in the new neighborhood and set a plan to have services turned on upon arrival. Packing of non-essential items continues during this period, and increases in volume as the clock ticks downward.

1-2 Weeks Out: Heavy Packing

The last couple weeks before the move involves a great deal of packing. Devising a system that others can follow lets friends and family members help out. Everyone should label the boxes with the proper destination room and the contents of the box, to minimize confusion after the move. The items that are needed on a daily basis should be grouped and organized, so that they do not get packed by accident.

Last Week: Last-Minute Packing and Cleaning

In the remaining days prior to moving day, focus a lot of energy on making up for any delays in previous steps of this process. Sellers should be ready to switch back and forth between packing and cleaning, since some cleaning and repair services may take days to arrange and complete.

Night Before: Checking the To-Do List

If the rest of the moving process has run fairly smoothly, people should have time to consult their to-do list on the night before the move. This is not a good time to miss any important tasks, so the list should be double-checked for completeness. It's also a good idea to run through everything needed before transferring control of your home to another party.

Moving Day: Staying Organized

In order to be successful, moving calls for a high degree of organization. People should carry their checklist and mark items as they are put on the truck. The belongings needed most should be packed at the very end, so that they can be the unpacked first at the new home. Last-minute cleaning and inspection is often easier to do once all possessions have been removed and the home is ready for transfer.

Moving to a new home is complicated, but there are ways to lower the stress. With these tips, people can make progress and arrive at moving day ready to go.

About Greg Geilman

Greg Geilman is a Los Angeles native of over 40 years and owner of South Bay Residential.

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