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Moving out of one home and into another one can come with a lot of emotions — and stress. Maybe you’re excited for a new beginning, or a little sad to be leaving a place where you’ve made so many memories. And whether it’s your first major move or your tenth, the process of packing your entire life up in boxes and vans only to unpack them in a new place is never without its challenges — especially if kids are involved. But never fear: we’re here to make that complicated, frustrating process just a little bit easier. As you know, you can’t just pick up and move — there is a lot of planning that goes into the main event. Here’s a moving checklist of what you’re going to need to do, starting eight weeks before the big move. Moving may feel like an overwhelming situation but you’re not alone in that one. In fact, according to the latest search data available, nearly 22,000 search for a moving checklist each month. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
8 Weeks Before the Move
Your move is coming soon! But try not to stress too much. Instead, start getting everything in order — it’ll cut down on what you have to do later, and will help you feel more in control. Here are some specifics, courtesy of Updater and Bed, Bath & Beyond:
- Sort and purge: Channel your inner Marie Kondo and get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy or that you don’t need in your new place. Figure out what you want to keep and what you’re going to sell or donate. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll toss that old comforter you don’t use but have stashed in the back of your linen closed when all of a sudden you have to find space for it in a new home.Beyond just sparking joy, be mindful of how much storage space you’ll have in your new place. If it’s less, obviously some things won’t make the cut. However, even if you’re moving to a bigger place that doesn’t mean you should pack up useless items that haven’t seen the light of day in years.
That means purging kid’s stuff too, which might be easier said than done if your little one catches you putting their favorite toy from five years ago into the donation box. If your child has a hard time letting go you can either do this alone in the interest of time use this as a teaching moment and explain why donating and giving unused toys, books, and clothes to someone else will bring them just as much. It’s the old giving to others is better than receiving ethos.
- Hire movers: Do your homework and ask for estimates, as well as the company’s U.S. Department of Transportation license number; whether the company is bonded; and whether the company is licensed for interstate moves (if that applies to you).
- Create a moving budget: Then stick to it as closely as possible.
- Make arrangements: Take the day of your move off, and maybe the ones before and after, if you can off of work. Call your kids’ school and let them know that they’ll be transferring (if that’s the case). Request their records. Find and contact their new school. Join a mom group online in your new area and ask for recommendations for a new pediatrician, OB-GYN, general contractor, literally any professional that you rely on for health and to run your home.
6 Weeks Before the Move
You’re getting closer, but you still have time to get everything in order. Here’s what to do next:
- Book your travel: If you need flights or a hotel for the move, book that now.
- Get packing supplies: Whether you’re buying them or collecting used cardboard boxes from friends, now’s the time to get them — along with tape. Plenty of packing tape.
- Spend time with friends and family: If you’re moving far away, now is the time to squeeze in some last-minute get-togethers with friends and family before things get so busy that you can’t take the time to do it.
- Contact the professionals in your life: Will you need to change doctors, dentists and/or insurance providers? If so, get those balls rolling now.
4 Weeks Before the Move
One more month, and so much to do! You’ve got this.
- Pack, label and take inventory: Start packing up your stuff beginning with the things you don’t use very often. Don’t forget to label everything and make a list of what you have to make sure that it’s still there when you unpack.
- Measure everything: You don’t want to be stuck with a massive dresser that won’t fit into your moving truck or new home. Measure all your big items now so you can plan ahead.
- Make arrangements for your pets: Don’t forget about your furry friends! You probably can’t have them with you during the move, so figure out how you’re going to care for them now.
- Contact your utility companies: Either cancel your accounts or switch them over to your new address.
- Change your address: Contact the post office and officially change your address.
- Let others know about your move: Inform your credit card companies, subscriptions, employer, friends and family about the move.
2 Weeks Before the Move
It’s really starting to hit you: you’re moving! Time to get down to business.
- Confirm with the movers: Make sure everything is in line and properly scheduled.
- Clear out storage: If you have safe deposit boxes or self-storage units, now’s the time to clean them out (if you’re moving outside of your current area).
- Clean your area rugs: That way they’ll be clean when you unroll them in the new place.
1 Week Before the Move
So close you can taste it! Or maybe that’s just the dust from all the packing.
- Finish packing: Whatever hasn’t been packed already needs to go into boxes now.
- Pack your overnight bag: Because all your clothes are packed up, you’re going to need a little overnight bag with at least a few changes of clothing and the essentials. This is an important one that a lot of people forget. Don’t be like them — pack your toothbrush and clean underwear.
The Week of the Move
- Confirm the movers: Yes, again.
- Get the keys to your new place. Yay!
- Take apart any furniture you need to disassemble in order to move it: And don’t forget to take pictures before you take it apart so you know where everything goes, because you probably don’t have the original instructions.
The Day of the Move
- Do one last walk-through of the house and say goodbye. Ta-ta!
- Make sure you keep any valuable items with you: This includes things like your laptop with you at all time and not just packed away somewhere.