Moving can be overwhelming. Whether it’s your first big move or your fifth, packing up your life and moving an entire household across the city—or even down the street—is a big endeavor. Not to mention the preparations, from decluttering and donating no-longer-needed items to hooking up new utilities and rerouting your mail, there’s so much to think about and do.
But if you put a method to the madness, moving can go smoothly. So, we’ve prepared a timeline to help you with your next big move. Follow this guide, and move with efficiency, confidence, and a lot less stress.
The day you sign the papers for your new place, you should also be making one of your biggest moving day decisions: will you be hiring professional movers or taking on that task yourself? How far you’re moving, how much you have to move, and whether or not you have small children are all factors that should be considered when making this decision. If you decide to hire professional movers, shop around for quotes and the best company for you, and then call to book them. The sooner you book your movers, the better. For one thing, moving companies sometimes give discounts to early bookers. More importantly, though, the earlier you book your movers, the more likely you’ll get the moving date that you want. With this out of the way, you can then focus on all the other aspects of moving—like packing up your place.
Four Weeks Out
First of all, let the post office know of your forthcoming move so that there is no delay in receiving your mail.
Also, four weeks before you move you should be taking an inventory of your home and purchasing necessary items.
Taking an inventory of your home:
Walking through your home and making a list of everything you own before you move is a great idea for a couple of reasons. First of all, it allows you to sort through everything before you begin packing it up. You’ll have a clear idea of the things you want to bring with you, the things you want to get rid of, and the things you’ll need to buy in order to make your new place complete. Additionally, making an inventory list will help you keep track of all of your belongings as they journey from your old place to your new one, will help you create easy packing lists for each box, and will help you get an accurate estimate from a moving company should you choose to use one.
Purchasing the necessary items:
Conventional wisdom says that it’s best to wait to make new furniture and home decor purchases until you’re settled into your new home and know exactly what you want or need. This is true for many things, like new end tables or artwork for that empty wall. But if you need a new bed or kitchen table, for example, it’s best to buy them before your move. Have them delivered on moving day, and you’ll thank yourself for moving these things only once instead of twice. You’ll also have your new things in your new home, as well as the comfort of having your new bed to sleep in on the night you move in.
Three Weeks Out
Three weeks before moving day you should get rid of all unwanted items. Your inventory list already made, deciding what stays and what goes should be a relatively easy process. Pick a day to round up all the unwanted items and sort them into three piles: sell, donate, and trash. We’ve created a handy guide to help you determine if you should keep something, as well as curated a list of some of the best places in NYC to donate what you don’t want. Moving into your new place without those no-longer-needed-or-wanted things, and you’ll feel cleaner, lighter, and like you’re truly having a fresh start.
Two Weeks Out
Two weeks before moving you should begin the packing process. Having a plan of action before you begin will be instrumental in making this process go smoothly. Create a list of rooms and closets that need to be packed, then make a schedule divvying up the work equally. Organize boxes and bins by room, and label those boxes—by room—on all sides. This way, you can clearly see which box goes where on moving day, even when boxes are stacked, and everyone involved in the move will know where to place the box. Unless you’re hiring professional cleaners, cleaning supplies should be in their own box, and packed last, as you’ll need to clean up your old place once everything is moved out. And don’t be shy about recruiting help. Round up friends and family to help you tackle this project, or hire professionals to do the work for you.
Two weeks prior to moving, you should also contact your utilities and water providers. Let them know where and on what date you’ll be moving so they can make the appropriate arrangements for you on time.
One Week Out
Aside from finishing the packing process, your main focus for the last week in your old home should be packing a suitcase with your essentials. Ideally, your things should arrive in your home the same day you do. But sometimes things happen and your stuff can be delayed. Having a suitcase with your essential personal care items as well as a selection of clothes for work and everyday life can be a lifesaver. Also, being able to locate all of your most used things easily, without having to search through boxes, will make your first week in your new place feel much more relaxed.
You’ve made it! Having followed this timeline, moving day should be fairly stress-free. You’re packed, organized, and you have a plan– all that’s left is the lifting or the supervising. Remember to take a final walk-through of your old place so that nothing is left behind, all the windows and doors are locked, and it’s clean.
Finally, be sure to schedule a little self-care for the first week in your new home. Whether it’s a walk through the park, dinner with a friend, or a much-needed massage, you’ll thank yourself for having something to look forward to after such a busy time. Besides, after all that work, you deserve it.