Two Months Out
Relax, it’s not time to roll up your sleeves…yet. But there’s plenty you can do with 60 days and counting that will pave the way to an easier move. For starters:
1) Inventory. Take a weekend (or however long it takes) and go room to room in your current home, taking stock of what is going and what is going to Goodwill. Or getting labeled for a yard sale. Keep track of all these items in a binder.
2) Investigate. If you’re planning on using a moving company, now is a good time to start shopping around. Get estimates from every company you talk to – ideally, you can have them come do an in-home estimate. It’s really the only way to get an accurate estimate. Keep track of all moving-related expenses in a separate binder. Some of them may be tax-deductible.
3) Transfer. If you have children, start the process of transferring school records from the old to the new. The same goes for doctors, dentists, insurance and any special memberships that are applicable in the new location.
One Month Out
By this point you should have decided upon a moving company. Here are a couple more actions to take:
1) Supplies. Start stocking up on moving/packing supplies. This includes boxes, tape, tape dispensers, wrapping material and labels.
2) Yard Sale. A yard sale is not only a great opportunity to lessen your moving load, it will also give you a chance to inform neighbors and fellow community members of your imminent move.
3) Packing Plan. It may sound pedantic, but it’s really helpful if everyone in the family knows their part when it comes time to pack and unpack. Put together an assignment list. Get a layout of the new house and determine what will be going where. This is particularly important information to share with your moving company. Once they’re gone, they’re gone, so make sure they are putting that grand piano in the right room.
Three Weeks Out
Only three weekends left! It’s time to dig into some dirty work:
1) Packing. You’ve put it off long enough. It’s time to starting packing up your stuff. Specifically, begin with those items that you don’t use on the regular, like the fondue set and the slip n slide. Be sure to label every box for contents and the room it’s going to.
2) Change of Address. If you haven’t done this already, do it now. There’s nothing worse than losing important mail, unless it’s not knowing you’ve lost it in the first place. USPS has made it dead simple to change your address online.
3) Utilities. Now would be a good time to call all your utility companies and notify them of your last day of service. While you’re at it, have the utilities at your new home set up in advance so you won’t be pulling into a dark, cold home. Schedule to have them turned on the day before you arrive.
Two Weeks Out
Take a few deep breaths. You still have good time on your hands to deal with the smaller details, like:
1) Cleaning. Start dusting, vacuuming and mopping those rooms that have already been packed up. This should include the basement and attic as well as closets. If you’re arranging to have a cleaning crew come to the old house (or new house, for that matter), get that set up now.
2) Prepare the Pets. If you have pets, it’s time to get them ready for the move. This means ensuring that you have transportation arranged and/or designated someone to watch them during the actual move. Making sure they are up to date on shots is a good idea at this point, too.
3) Tie up Loose Ends. Start saying those goodbyes to friends, neighbors and acquaintances. Find anything that you’ve ever borrowed from these same people and return them. Collect anything of yours that was lent out.
One Week Out
Whoa! Did that sneak up on you or what? Go time is right around the corner. You should be in top gear at this point:
1) Final Packing. No doubt there are some odds and ends laying around, as well as those essentials that you can’t do without. Nows the time to do without. Break down the computer, pack away the rest of the clothes (except for those you’ll need for the next few days), and separately pack your valuables like jewelry and anything else that will be coming in your car during the move.
2) Work + School. See to it that all the kids’ belongings are removed from their school. You should do the same with work.
3) Confirmation. Call the movers and confirm the date and time. Make a contingency plan in case they don’t arrive on time for some reason.
This is it! The big day. Get up early, brew a pot of coffee, wake the kids and crack your knuckles. It’s go time and the wide road awaits. Here are your final tasks:
1) Moving Day Kit. If everything goes as planned, you won’t need this. But it’s good to have one just in case. This kit should include toilet paper, toiletries, towels, clothes, some food and water. You want to make sure you’ll survive if the movers get delayed by a day or more.
2) Prepare the Movers. Give the moving company a copy of your contact information so they can get a hold of you. Sign a copy of your inventory list and save a copy in your folder. Make sure there is someone on location to see to it that things get loaded onto the van/truck properly. You’ll also want to double-check that the movers have the correct destination address and delivery date.
3) Last Look. Take a final look around the property and make sure your utilities, lights, etc. are all shut off. If it needs a final clean, do so. Now’s the time to surrender those house keys to the real estate agent and say goodbye to your old home one last time.