A Week-By-Week List to Make Your Big Move Happen
Moving can be chaotic or we can help you with essential tasks, both large and small, that need to be addressed. As you prepare, don’t overlook the simplest burden–consider what is necessary to keep. A lighter load means an easier move and less to unpack.
6 Weeks Before:
- Hire a mover, get quotes, on-site estimates (price by weight and distance of the move or a flat/hourly rate. Decide if the movers or you will pack fragile or costly items. Is the quote binding or non-binding and is insurance included?
- Stay organized, dedicate a 3-Ring Binder for “move-related paperwork,” such as “to-do lists,” contracts, receipts, checklists and phone numbers.
5 Weeks Before:
- Organize belongings, conduct a room-by-room survey to determine what to keep, sell or donate. Document valuables–Have artwork, antiques appraised in case they get damaged. Photograph or videotape them, save to Zip drive or computer.
4 Weeks Before:
- Gather materials, stock up on moving supplies, moving boxes, box cutters, tape, wrapping material (bubble wrap, paper), labels. If in doubt, buy extra. Buy wardrobe boxes with built-in bars to transport clothing as well as light fixtures. Used boxed from bookstore are great to carry heavy items.
3 Weeks Before:
- Start packing items that you infrequently use including items in garage, attic and other storage areas, as well as out-of-season clothing, holiday decorations, books and special occasion dish ware. Number the boxes, keep track of contents on a master inventory list. Try to limit each box’s weight to enable easy lifting. Fill large boxes with pillows and other light things and reserve smaller boxes for heavier items. Try to put electronics and small appliances in original packaging or boxes.
- Color Code rooms–assign a color to each room, mark boxes and furniture with coordinating stickers so movers know which room to put boxes in.
- Notify Utility Services–requests that utilities, phone, internet service be disconnected the day after you leave and install your services at your new home the day before you arrive.
- Call a Locksmith–arrange to have the locks in your new home changed on moving day or earlier if convenient.
- Hire a Cleaning Company–consider having a cleaning company scrub both houses, preparing the new house the day before you arrive and the old home after you have left.
2 Weeks Before:
- Continue packing and before you pack the bulk of your belongings, think about whether you would like to do so room by room or by category such as sports equipment, formal dinnerware, etc.
- Change your address–To have your mail forwarded, complete the online form at usps.com or go to the post office. Update newspaper and magazine subscriptions and notify bank and credit card companies.
1 Week Before:
- Prepare your moving papers, print an info sheet for the movers with the old and new addresses, directions and your cell phone number. Have a cashiers check or credit card on hand, plus cash for a tip.
- Finish Packing–box your remaining items, setting aside sufficient clothing for the week ahead, as well as a suitcase or two for transport.
- Create a Last-Out, First-In Box--pack your day-to-day necessities so that they are together in one place, including bedding, towels, toiletries, basic tools, cleaning supplies, medications, snacks, few dishes and utensils, coffee pot and mugs. Take this box in your car.
- Stash Small Valuables–Keep jewelry and important paperwork together. Have a friend hold on to them until your get settles, or lock them in your trunk of your car on moving day.
- Take one last look, do a walk thru before movers arrive to verify everything is packed and afterwards to make sure nothing was left. Give your keys to your Real Estate Agent.
- Direct Traffic–Arrange for someone to be at your new home when movers arrive to oversee them and give directions. Check items off inventory list as they are unloaded.
- Inspect for Damages— Photograph relevant objects before signing release, also know as the “bill of lading.”
- Start to Settle In–Test faucets, toilets, utilities, phone, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, security systems, etc. Turn on the water heater, begin to unpack, discarding anything that no longer serves you.