Relocations are both exciting and complex, and they require great effort and skill to properly organize and execute. Most Americans consider it one of the most stressful events of their lives, but with a checklist of things to do before moving, you’ll be able to reduce stress and anxiety to a minimum.
About 40 million people in the US move every year, and around 40% of all moves are job-related, while somewhat more than 40% of people have personal reasons to move. And let’s face it, relocations are always a great challenge, and require us to be organized, keep our composure, and look for some relocating hacks to help us make our move as swift and effortless as possible. So, what should you do before moving? If you create a “things to do before you move” checklist and stick by it, it will reduce both stress and anxiety and help you see all of it as it is – an adventure and the first step toward a fresh new chapter of your life.
Why Do I Need a Checklist of Things to Do Before Moving?
When you plan to relocate, especially if it’s across the country, you already have too many tasks at your hands. From considering how to move safely to finding and hiring cross-country movers, and many tasks in between, there is a high chance that you may forget something important that you should do, and it can result in a nightmare scenario. That’s why it’s important to make a relocating to-do list and a general timeline of things to do before relocation, to be sure nothing is left undone.
How Early Can I Start?
Most people who are relocating think that it’s too early to start organizing anything two months in advance, right after they’ve decided where to live, but some tasks can be done this long before it’s time to move. With so many preparatory steps that shouldn’t be skipped, it is important to do as much as you can before the date of relocation arrives. We usually tend to put off doing some of these tasks, and when our move approaches, they are easily forgotten amidst all the chaos, especially if we’re trying to pack to move in a hurry.
Create a Binder for Everything Related to Your Move
To tackle the relocation like a pro and avoid relocation stress, the first step is to create a binder where you will keep all of the important documents related to the move, such as your lease or loan papers, receipts, as well as your list of tips on how to make friends in a new state. This will help you keep track of everything and make sure nothing is missed.
Declutter Your Way Through Your Home Weeks Before the Move-Out Day
Purging your home of all unnecessary belongings will be beneficial in many ways. First of all, you’ll have much less stuff to pack up and transport, and removing them from your packing list will save you money. You can also organize a garage sale of all the items you don’t plan on taking with you to your new home but are still in good condition. Throw away all the stuff that’s beyond use and repair, and keep in mind that you’ll be doing some good if you decide to donate some of your belongings to charities like Habitat for Humanity. If you have some large pieces of furniture you don’t want to part with but are still in the way when you start packing, you can always invest in the storage service and keep them in a secured unit until you move into your new home.
Hire Long-Distance Movers
Before you start considering how much money you will actually need to handle your move, you have to decide whether you want a DIY move, or you’d rather take that burden off of your back and hire a long-distance moving company. If you are considering doing everything by yourself, keep in mind that you’ll be doing all the packing, loading even the large items, and unloading all on your own. And above all, you’ll have to drive all the way across the country, which will be all that harder to pull off if you are relocating with kids. Investing in quality long-distance moving services and shipping your car using an auto transport service will help you focus on other tasks ahead of you.
Set Your Budget Weeks Before the Moving Date
So, you’ve decided on East Coast movers (or West Coast movers, depending on where you are relocating to) whose cross-country moving services you’re going to use. Consider whether you’ll invest in packing service, which is not a bad idea if you have too much to do, so you want to avoid packing quickly. After getting their quote, you should sit down and set a realistic budget that will cover all the expenses. A few weeks ahead is the perfect moment to set some money aside for any additional and unexpected expenses.
Your Move-Out Day Is in 6 Weeks, and These Are the Next Steps
If you’ve tackled all of the decluttering and planning your budget, it’s time to move on to some other important tasks. No matter if you’re relocating to a small town or a big city – you need to gather your important documents and notify institutions such as banks and insurance companies about changing your address. Also, don’t skip obtaining papers from your dentist, kids’ school, and veterinary records if you are relocating with pets.
What Should I Do a Month Before Moving? It’s Time to Pack
Packing your household is perhaps the most dreaded part of any relocation, and simply thinking about placing everything you own inside boxes and crates can make the stress levels go high. But, after you’ve thoroughly decluttered, it will be much easier to organize and pack your belongings. But, before you start, you’ll need to gather the best available supplies that are essential to this process.
Stock up on Essential Packing Supplies
No packing can go without using the best tools and materials, so you should arm yourself with both supplies, as well as determination. Visit your local liquor stores or retailers, as they will probably have plenty of boxes to give you for free. Stock up on sturdy boxes of all sizes, packaging tape, paper, scissors, as well as bubble wrap, packaging peanuts, and other suitable materials for cushioning fragile items, and you’re ready to pack.
Call in Friends and Family to Help You
The packaging process will be much more fun and quick if you call your friends and family to help you out. Prepare some drinks and snacks, since this is a perfect opportunity to spend some more time together, while they all give you a much-needed helping hand. Of course, if it’s too much work, like moving a bed, you can always leave it to the professional cross-country movers, especially if you’re worried about how to pack artwork and breakable items into boxes without damaging them. Keep in mind that if you want to pay for third-party relocating insurance just to have ease of mind, it will only be applicable for your belongings packed by the movers.
Don’t Forget to Label Everything
If you’ve started all these preparations on time, you’ll be able to set a few moments aside to label every box properly, so you don’t have to rummage through the piles when everything is unloaded at your new address. You’ll be even better organized if you decide to color code by rooms, and that way, even your movers will know exactly where each box goes.
Pack a First-Day Survival Kit
Surviving several days after the move-in is something many people tend to forget, so preparing a first-day box is the best thing you can do for a stressless move. While you pack everything up, be sure you leave out the items you will require for the first few days and place them in a separate bag or a box. These are some of your belongings you should put inside:
- Pack several changes of clothes for every member of your family, suitable for the weather conditions in the place you’re relocating to.
- Basic toiletries are a must in this bag. When you enter your new home and need to use the bathroom or take a shower after a long trip, you’ll start panicking if you realize you’ve completely forgotten about these items.
- While you’re getting all your kitchen stuff packed, some utensils should also go into this bag. Decide what you’ll require to prepare quick meals, as well as the first morning coffee at your new place, and place them into the survival kit.
- Your documents and valuables should also be placed in this bag because your survival kit goes together with you.
- Keep in mind that you’ll need chargers probably as soon as you enter your home, so pack them here.
- Pack bottles of water, snacks, and if you have kids, it’s best to have something that will keep them busy while you unpack close at hand, like favorite toys and books.
An essentials box is easy to prepare, but it will be life-saving for the first few days. It will save you from stress and running around to find the nearest store just to buy toilet paper or towels.
What Should I Do 2 Weeks Before Moving?
As the move-out day draws near, you should call the utility companies, as well as internet, phone, and cable providers, to set the disconnection and connection dates. It’s important to do this on time, so you have running water and electricity the moment you set foot in your new house. This is probably the perfect time to organize babysitting for your kids and to find someone to take care of your pets so that you can focus on all the required tasks on your move-out date.
What Should I Do a Week Before Moving?
The last week has arrived, and it’s the right moment for some thorough move-out cleaning. Pay special attention to the kitchen and the bathrooms, dust and wipe every corner, and from top to bottom. Don’t go grocery shopping, but instead try to use up all the food from the refrigerator and freezer. Since perishable foods can’t be transported with a relocation company, make sure you throw everything away into the garbage, and if there are any unopened cans left, you can donate them. You can see some more tips in the following video.
The Move-Out Day Can Begin
It’s a fact that the complex process of relocation seems far less complicated when everything is properly organized and each task is handled on time. After you’ve completed all the items on this checklist, you can begin your move-out day free of stress and anxiety. Everything is ready and packed, so you can welcome your relocating professionals and take a leap of faith toward a new chapter in your life.