Below are tips and advice for homebuyers, sellers, and renters planning a move this summer.
4 weeks from move date
Get organized and start notifying the right people and companies that you’ll be moving soon and give them a date to forward or terminate service. Start looking for licensed and professional moving companies, moving guides and relevant coupons.
- If using a professional mover, get quotes from multiple moving companies to get the best deal that is right for you and your needs. Ask plenty of questions like whether or not they give binding quotes and what kind of insurance is included. Be sure to talk with them about the different options available with full-service moves such as packing and unpacking services and providing boxes and packing supplies.
- Important documents such as your child’s school records may need to be accessible during your transition. Make sure to put these items aside and make copies of any records for yourself, in case you forget what box they’re packed in.
- Schedule account closings for trash removal, gardeners, pest control, etc., and transfer utilities or other services that’ll go with you.
3 weeks from move date
Once you’ve selected a mover, begin by taking inventory of your belongings and their worth and decide what will be coming with you to your next home.
- Start cleaning out closets, drawers and storage areas of your home and divide things into categories: “pack”, “recycle” and “give to friend.” You can always have a garage sale or donate old items to charity. This will make packing day a lot easier and you may reduce the total weight you’ll be paying to move.
- If you’re moving yourself or contracting for a self-service move, pack the items you know you won’t need until 30 days after the move. It will feel great to get started early.
- If possible, take pictures of rooms and areas inside the home or apartment you’ll be moving into so you can start thinking about placement of furniture, artwork and other items. This will help save time, headaches…and money…on moving day.
2 weeks from move date
If you choose not to take advantage of full service mover packing services, or are planning to do it yourself and rent a truck, Start packing things into boxes. Figure out the logistics of the move, travel plans and if other specialized plans need to be made.
- If you are using a professional mover find out what items are on their “non-allowables” list and discard those items or find a way to transport them separately.
- Instead of stacking plates, pack them vertically; they will travel safer this way.
- If you are moving long distance, remember travel arrangements for your pets.
- If you have young children, you may want to make childcare arrangements so you can be 100% focused on moving day and your little ones remain safe and busy with fun activities.
- Schedule “move out” cleaning service, carpet cleaners and heavy appliance disposal if necessary for once you’ll be out of the home you’re vacating. Even if you’re selling your current home, it’s a nice welcome for the buyers to move into a clean and tidy home.
1 week from move date
Set aside valuable items and keep those with you. Clean before moving and leave your house or apartment as clean as it was when you moved in.
- Make sure the details for paying the moving company are taken care of. Some will require money orders or cashier’s checks upon delivery; know their policy in advance to avoid stress on moving day.
- Start eating all the frozen foods you have, or give them to a neighbor or friend. This way you won’t have to throw them away on moving day, or worry about packing an ice chest.
- Also think about necessities for managing moving day like confining your pets and anticipating the amount of time you will need.
- Place necessities such as toiletries, toilet paper, rags, “must-have” cooking supplies and organize them in boxes marked “open first” so it’s easy to find the initial items you’ll want handy on those first few days of being in your next home. Don’t forget the flashlight!
- If possible, take one last tour of the new location and identify water and gas shut off locations, as well as the electrical breaker box just in case something happens in the first few days so you’re prepared. Might be smart to drop off a fresh box of light bulbs too!
Moving day and beyond
Take one last walk through and make sure nothing has been forgotten or overlooked. Also, make sure all doors and windows are locked and switches turned off, then you are on your way to your new house or apartment.
- Go back to the photos you took when you began to pack up. Now you can show the movers or those helping you unpack exactly where everything goes with photos.
- Unpack one room at a time according to basic needs starting with the kitchen and at least one bathroom…and don’t forget to make a bed as early in the day as possible if you’ll be sleeping in your home that evening! Remember, you don’t have to unpack everything in one day, or even in one week.
- After you’ve settled in a bit, introduce yourself to some neighbors, ask for advice on the best places to eat, grocery shop, etc. This way you will feel like part of the community and can get some great local tips.