How Do I Start Preparing for a Move?

It’s official: you’ve decided to move. Maybe you got a new job, maybe you sold your current residence or maybe it’s just time for a change. Whatever your circumstances, the moment after you decide to move can be intimidating. It’ll probably dawn on you all at once just how big an undertaking moving can be. How do you even get started planning?

Well… you take it one step at a time! If you’ve just decided to move and have no idea how to start planning, this list is for you. By following these four steps, you’ll go from totally overwhelmed to totally prepared in no time flat. When you’ve got to start planning your move, start by: 

1. Researching your moving options

First things first: are you going to try to do it all yourself or will you use a moving company? If so, which of the company’s services will you use? Will you require help packing? Transporting heavy, sensitive, or specialty items? Will you need to buy moving supplies and boxes, and can you get them from your mover? Should you invest in a mover protection plan? Will you need storage? Do you have any particular questions or concerns you’ll need an expert to answer?

Don’t panic if you don’t know the answers to these questions yet! Take your time researching and ask all of your questions as you think of them. Ask your moving company for a moving estimate. Our instant, free ballpark estimate factors in the size and distance of the move, as well as any additional services you’re considering. Asking questions and researching is a great first step toward preparing yourself for a move. 

2. Making a master moving list

Whether or not you’re using a moving company, creating a master list will be your next step. We recommend you organize your list room-by-room. Make lists of things you’ll need to move in your kitchen, bedroom, bath rooms, etc., including how and where you’ll pack these items, especially if you’ll rely on a moving service to do some of your packing. Consider creating another list of items to sell or donate. Have there been boxes in the basement you haven’t touched since you’ve put them there? Have your children outgrown clothing and toys? No need to move a lot of items you won’t use in the new home! These lists will come in handy whether you’re moving yourself or hiring a company.

Take the time to make your moving list well in advance of your actual move. Focus on one room at a time and account for items as you think of them. Review your lists with your family or housemates. Don’t stress too much about remembering everything; just having a list will help prepare you quite a bit. After listing the items you’ll need to move, label either the items or the boxes you’ll use to transport them. The more organized you can be from the start, the better! 

3. Establishing a planning timeline

Your moving timeline should account for all the time between now and when you move. Establish how much time you have, what to accomplish before moving out and when you can establish it. Give yourself the time to actually sit down and think through everything you need to do before moving out. Include the move itself, but think beyond it. Think about yard sales, address changes, billing notifications and any other miscellaneous moving considerations. 

In all likelihood, you won’t be able to stick to your timeline exactly–that’s ok! The unexpected happens all the time, especially when it comes to moving. Give yourself some wriggle room to move around your timeline as needed. If your timeline no longer feels achievable or adequate, reassess it from scratch. Give yourself more time than you think you need, and start thinking about your move early. This extra time will especially come in handy during the final step:

4. Creating a planning schedule

Your moving schedule should combine your moving list and your timeline. Create a master plan for what you need to prepare for your move and when you’ll do it. Assign tasks to different members of the family, if relevant. Each person should sift through their own belongings to see what needs or doesn’t need to move, and you should split up the common rooms so one person isn’t stuck doing everything. Organize your schedule however you see fit according to your own organization strategy. Obviously, this schedule will look quite different depending on whether you’re using a moving company. You might think your company will take care of everything; however, we recommend creating a schedule anyway.

If you have the time, take a few hours to add your tasks to a calendar and print a physical version of your schedule. You can also use an organizational tool such as Trello to add tasks, assign them to people, and give them deadlines. When you have a final version, print it out and post it in a common area for everyone to refer to. 

Just like with your timeline, start earlier than you think necessary. In fact, instead of committing a lot of time to your move over a few days, spread out your planning. Commit yourself to one or two small activities a day. Even if they’re activities as small as notifying various subscriptions of an address change, every bit helps. By planning everything out like this, you’ll feel prepared even if the unexpected happens.

 

Once you’ve created your moving list, timeline and schedule, you’ll have a complete masterplan for completing your move. All you have to do now is follow through with your plan or re-assess if it goes off the rails. Keep at it, and you’ll find that moving isn’t as intimidating as you feared!

And remember: if you’re still feeling worried about your move, you’re not alone. You always have the option to call Wheaton World Wide Moving for help. We handle moves of all sizes, distances and difficulties. No matter your circumstances, we’re ready to get you settled in your new home! Have a great move!  

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