The essential guide to moving
With this comprehensive guide to moving, you won't have to worry about tying up loose ends as you settle into your new home.
While it can be exciting, moving is also a fairly complex process. There are lots of tasks that need to be accomplished between when you decide to move and the day that you get the keys to your new home. To make the process a bit easier, follow this guide to moving, which lays out the important tasks that should be completed at every step of your move.
8 weeks before your move
- Contact moving companies: If you're planning to hire a moving company, you'll want to start getting quotes well in advance of your moving date. This can give you the time to compare offers and book your preferred date. It's especially important to do this early if you're moving at a busy time of year (like over the summer).
- Start collecting supplies: You're going to need lots of boxes to pack up all of your belongings, so put out a call to family and friends several weeks before your move. You can also stop by local grocery or package stores and ask them if they have boxes or packing supplies that they're throwing away.
- Sell or dispose of unwanted belongings: Now's the time to start taking inventory of your belongings and decide what you don't need to take to your new home. Unwanted items can be sold or donated, and if you have enough belongings to offload, you may even want to organize a yard sale.
- Gather important records: Start collecting copies of important documents, such as medical and vet records. It can take some time for businesses to release these to you, so it's best to start the process several weeks in advance of your move.
- Book flights (if needed): If you're flying to your new home, book your flights several weeks before your moving date to ensure you get your preferred flight time at a good price.
4 weeks before
- Start packing non-essentials: When your move is a month away, you can start packing up items you don't use regularly. This might include seasonal items and clothing as well as decor. You'll also want to start clearing out areas like your garage, basement, attic or storage unit, if you have them.
- Get your car serviced (if needed): If you're making a long drive to your new home, schedule car maintenance a few weeks before your trip. Having your oil changed, brakes checked and filters changed can help your drive go off without a hitch.
2 weeks before
- Contact your utility companies: Contact your new utility companies a month before your moving date to start setting up new accounts. You'll likely need to set up electricity and heating (if it's not electric). At the same time, contact your existing providers to find out what you need to do to cancel your old service.
- Set up or transfer your internet: To ensure you have internet access on day one in your new home, you'll want to set up your new account in advance. You may be able to transfer your existing service. By calling a few weeks before your move, you can give the provider time to wire fiber optic internet into your home, if needed, and set up any necessary equipment.
- Start packing everyday belongings: With two weeks left before you move, you can scale up your packing efforts. Box up clothing that you don't wear on a regular basis (such as formal attire), as well as extra tableware, books, toys and decorative items.
- Have your mail forwarded: Contact your local post office to set up mail forwarding to your new address. This can help you ensure that you won't miss any important mail, but the change often takes several days to process.
1 week before
- Confirm with your moving company: If you're using a moving company or renting a moving truck, confirm your services a week before. You'll want to ask what time they'll be arriving and make sure they'll have all the equipment needed to pack up your home.
- Update billing addresses: Make a list of all the accounts with your current home listed as the billing address—bank accounts, loans, streaming services, etc.—and update your contact information to include your new address.
- Finish leftover food: Instead of buying new food, start using up whatever is in your fridge and freezer about a week before moving day. The more you can use up, the less you'll have to transport or throw away.
- Keep packing: It's time to double down on your packing efforts. Pick out a week's worth of clothing to hold you over until moving day, and box up the rest. Start packaging up electronics, small kitchen appliances and excess household supplies.
- Start cleaning: As you clear out rooms like your home office or guest bedroom, starting cleaning them as well. Pull nails from walls, dust down windowsills, and give each space a thorough vacuum.
1 day before
- Create a moving-day survival kit: Put together a box or bag that you'll keep with you on moving day. It should include items you'll need for the first night in your new home, including a change of clothes, toiletries, clean towels and important medications. This way, you won't have to go searching through boxes after a long day of moving.
- Get a good night's sleep: Moving is tiring and often stressful, so head to bed early to ensure you have plenty of energy for the big day.
- Show the movers around: When moving day finally arrives, greet your movers and show them around your current home. Be sure to mention any concerns you have about the moving process. Alternatively, pick up your moving truck if you're doing a DIY move and start loading it.
- Do a final sweep: Walk through your home one last time, checking in closets and cabinets to ensure all belongings are removed.
- Pick up the keys to your new home: Head to your new home, pick up the keys, and start moving in!
If you follow this guide to moving, the process should go smoothly, and you won't have to worry about tying up loose ends as you settle into your new home. Download this moving guide checklist to ensure you don't miss any of the important tasks on your to-do list. And, for fast, reliable Wi-Fi in your new home, check your address.