From thoughts of moving to the day of the relocation, this timeline can help you keep on track, stay organized, and remain as stress-free as possible.
Let’s face it: moving day is always chaotic. Whether it’s your first move out of the dorms, your first apartment, or your very first home as a couple or new family, moving day represents life changes, and we bet it gives you that first day of school butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling. Keeping a good grasp on your moving timeline can help you streamline the events (read: the madness that might ensue). It’ll also help keep you emotionally grounded (and honestly more sane), so the only feelings you feel are the bittersweet notes of leaving your old home and the excitement of creating a new one.
From the day you decide you’ll move through your actual moving day, we’ve got the timeline and checklist you need to make sure everything runs smoothly. We’ll help you get from point A to point B and give you some tips on how to make point B feel like home, fast. Get ready; your ultimate moving day checklist is here.
Even if your move is positive (i.e., you bought a new home or you’re moving in with your partner), it will likely be stressful. Moving is ranked one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, right up there with having and raising a child. They don’t make it easy! The silver lining is that with hardship comes reward.
Understanding that no matter how much you plan, your move will be stressful can help you more easily manage stressful situations as they come, keeping your stress levels low and helping you navigate your move successfully. Remember these tips to keep a level head and channel your inner zen.
Once you’ve got your head in the game, it’s time to hammer out your Moving Day Manifesto.
If you have more than two months before your move date, you’ve got plenty of time to cull through your belongings, clear them out, donate to charity, and even have a garage sale. If you’re a bit pushed for time, skip this part and begin at the section with the time frame that best matches your moving time frame.
Maybe you’ve just signed a contract on a new home, recently sold yours, or are relocating to a completely different apartment in a new city or state. You now have a deadline around which you can frame your schedule.
With this amount of time on the horizon, you can get a lot done. The two-month stage is full of research and purging, but be careful: it’s easy to feel like you have more time than you actually do. Start with this simple list of actions you can do one to two months in advance.
The short answer: Anyone willing to lend a helping hand. This isn’t the time to burden yourself with every small task (although we know it will feel tempting!). Consider what you can delegate during this time. Form a list of your favorite reliable friends and family members you know you can count on for quick childcare or for helping you with research or phone calls.
If you have kids, try giving them their moving tasks. Older kids can sort and purge their rooms, pack, and help with other areas of the home. Younger kids will need assistance, but allowing them to pack boxes (of stuffed animals or clothing, in particular) helps them feel like they are an important part of the process.
Time is ticking, and you’re already making decisions and putting a plan in place. Now, it’s time to start carrying out some actions.
You may receive updates from builders and/or lenders concerning your new home or the results of a background check for a new apartment. Remember that snafus that could delay the moving process or even speed it up are always possible.
Consider the six-week mark the final countdown. If you’ve just learned you’ll move in six weeks, you may not have time to completely purge every room in your home. Save that for when you unpack at your new place. Instead, focus on these key strategies.
If you haven’t started planning your new designs yet, that’s okay too. Spoak can help. Our interior design tool allows you to create and design your space from start to finish, regardless of whether or not you have any design experience. It’s easy to use and lets you keep your ideas and inspiration in one easy-to-access place.
If you have an excess amount of food when clearing out the fridge and freezer, it’s the perfect excuse to host a quick gathering with friends and family. Your loved ones are the biggest help in terms of consuming food before it spoils, so make use of them and make some extra memories in your favorite space before you move into your new one.
If you have perishable food that you can’t consume but still need to take with you (for short-distance relocations), you can pack it in a cooler to prevent it from spoiling.
Buckle up! You’re headed toward the finish line. One month before your move, you’ll begin to close the chapter on your current space and look to your new space for the next chapter. Enter panic and excitement mode.
Although the movers won’t be here for another three and a half weeks, you can get a jump start on packing sentimental and fragile items. More importantly, this is the perfect time to set aside items you’ll need during the move and place them in a special “essentials” container to easily access them later. This will prevent you from fumbling through dozens of boxes looking for your must-haves (and yes, we’ve been there before).
It’s time to start packing and hitting up the postal service for that change of address form. It’s getting real, and you’re right on track. Here’s what you should aim to accomplish a month before moving day.
If you have a significant other, have them help make phone calls to the offices that need your updated information or simply fill out the information online (like your address change). If you prefer to handle that business and acts of service is your love language, perhaps your partner can make you dinner or take care of house chores instead. There's no wrong answer here!
Here, things get a little dicey. The true urge to panic may loom, especially when you realize you need additional packing supplies or forgot to cancel a membership here or there. Take a deep breath, and trust this final countdown checklist.
You’re likely sitting in a house full of boxes and beginning to feel a little out of sorts in your own home. Feelings like these are completely normal and part of the moving process. Put your nervous energy to good use.
Now’s the time to get serious about the deadline. Even though it might change by a day or two, you should be pretty close to having an actual move date on the books. Here’s how to guide yourself closer to the goal.
Do you have friends who love to hang out over pizza and beer? (That’s a trick question — of course you do!) They sound like the perfect group to help you pack your house. You provide the pizza and beer; they provide many hands to make light work. It’s a win-win and a great way to bond with friends you may be leaving behind.
It’s time. You’ve got practically everything finalized. Maybe you’ve even scheduled the walk-through at your new home or apartment. You’re down to the wire, but you don't need to panic if you’ve kept your moving schedule. (Even if you didn't, you'll be okay too.)
The moving company or movers should be reaching out to pack your belongings and take them to your new space. You’ve packed yourself and your family for a few days of travel with clothes and essentials you can easily access in suitcases. You're looking around and feeling proud at how overly prepared you are. (It's called manifesting...)
There are a few items to attend to the week before you move.
You’ll likely have a few personal items to add to this final checklist, and that’s completely normal. Try not to overwhelm yourself with items you can handle after your move, like updating your driver’s license and voter registration card.
It may feel like you’re shouldering the majority of the burden at this point, but remember, your friends and family want to help. If you need childcare or a pet sitter for a few hours, ask someone! If you can’t handle moving boxes or furniture around, ask someone! Moral of the story: It’s okay to ask for help when needed.
When moving day arrives, try not to stress about items you realize you forgot. Most of the time, it’s okay to take care of these things once you relocate. It’s a big day with even bigger emotions, so give yourself and those around you grace. Once you're actually in the space, that's when the fun (aka designing) begins.
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