Moving Timeline

(This is the first installment of our Moving and Storage 101 series.  The other articles in this series are also located in the Tools menu and are named How to Pack, How to Load and Liability and Move-In Day, Finally!).

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail” - Winston Churchill

Moving is just a project that needs to be managed, nothing more.  Adjust the guide below to your circumstances and there will be no “fail” in your upcoming move.  In fact, you will probably notice a degree of calm that has eluded previous moves.  Let’s get started.

8-10 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Inventory your belongings, including items in your garage, attic, basement, storage shed, etc. and evaluate them as follows:
    • things to sell or give away,
    • things that will be moved, and
    • things that are to be discarded.  
  • Calculate the volume of your move by:
    • completing our Calculator and/or
    • soliciting estimates from moving companies
  • Contract moving services, or
  • Reserve a moving truck
  • Make arrangements for storage

5-7 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Begin using those items in your house which you won't be able to move such as cleaning products and frozen food.
  • Make a list of people and businesses to notify of your move, including friends, family, subscriptions, creditors, etc.
  • Notify utilities (cable, phone, electricity, etc.) of your service shutoff date.
  • Begin packing.  Start with items that you will not need immediately.  Identify an area or areas where your cartons can be stacked, preferably on the ground floor and easily accessible to an entrance. 

3-4 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Arrange for insurance in your new location.
  • Make arrangements for your travel on the day of your move, unless you are flying.  If you are flying, give yourself 1-2 days cushion to allow for any unexpected events.
  • Purchase moving supplies including cartons, tape and unprinted newsprint.
  • Have a garage sale for your unneeded items, give them away or donate them to charity.

1-2 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Make sure your car is in good working order if you plan to drive to your new location.
  • Settle any outstanding bills with local merchants.
  • Empty safety deposit boxes. Pick up dry cleaning. Return library books and video rentals.
  • Acquire medical records for all who are moving, including pets.

2-3 Days Before Your Move

  • Complete all but the very last of your packing.
  • Defrost your freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open.
  • Pack a box of personal items that you will need immediately upon arrival at your new home. Place this in your car before the movers arrive.
  • Contact your mover to confirm their arrival time. Notify them of any last-minute details.

Moving Day

  • Do not leave while the movers are at your home.  Always have someone there to answer their questions.
  • Pack special items for your family including snacks, toys and any favorite items.
  • Point out special items to your movers immediately.
  • Before the driver leaves your house:
    • Take one last sweep through your house, checking all closets, garage, attic, basement, yard, etc. making certain that everything was loaded into the truck.
    • Make sure the driver has clear directions to your new residence.
  • Read your Bill of Lading and Inventory carefully before you sign them. Realize that these documents are legally binding.  If there is something that you do not understand ask the driver to explain them.  If he cannot do so, call the Moving Company and ask them to explain them to you.  Make sure you understand all the paperwork and keep your copies safe until the entire move is complete.

Move Part 1 is complete.  Good job.