Your Moving Timeline

Simplify and organize your move by staying on task.
timeline

Don't let your move overwhelm you too much. You can get prepared for each phase of your move by creating a timeline. Besides keeping you on schedule, you'll also have a handy outline that can help sort through the messiness of a move.

3-4 Months Before the Move

Plan a Moving Budget.

It's easy to forget about moving expenses when you're also juggling a buying timeline and selling timeline. But the additional costs of moving from one place to another can add up. Try to budget accordingly. Plan for both the big costs, like hiring moving professionals, and the lesser costs, like packing tape and markers. Give yourself some breathing room with the budget, as hidden expenses tend to appear quickly.

Create a Mover's File.

Moving will produce a lot of paperwork. Besides any worksheets or checklists you create, you'll also have quotes, estimates, and receipts to manage. Keep everything pertaining to your move in one secure place. This file will help during your move as well as at tax time.

Choose a Moving Company.

If you decide on getting a professional mover to help, you'll want to start researching companies early. Be thorough when selecting a mover: get estimates, research the company and ask questions. Keep the written agreement between you and your mover in the mover's file.

Note: If you're not using pros, get truck rental estimates and make an early reservation.

2-3 Months Before the Move

De-clutter Your House.

Since you'll be preparing your house to sell, take the time to pack and store some of your belongings. Schedule a garage sale to get rid of items that won't be making the move. Whatever doesn't sell, donate to charity. Also, try to give your houseplants to either friends and family or a charity.

Make a Contingency Plan.

Depending on the market disparity, you may be selling your previous house faster than buying a new home. Look into temporary housing solutions and storage options as a precaution.

1-2 Months Before the Move

Transfer Records.

Make sure your medical and dental records are transferred to the appropriate places. If you have children, send school transcripts to the new district. Don't forget any veterinarian records for your pets.

Let People Know You're Moving.

Send moving announcements to family, friends and colleagues. It's easy to forget important events when packing up your entire house. Make sure you stay in touch with those most important to you.

Create a Moving Inventory.

As you begin packing, you'll also want to document the stuff you're taking with you. Either videotape or photograph your items before you pack them up. Then, create a written list of your belongings (marking serial numbers when available). A moving inventory is essential when loading and unloading a truck.

Get Insured.

Check with your insurance provider to see if you're covered during the move. You may need to purchase additional coverage.

Final Weeks Before the Move

Set-Up and Disconnect Utilities.

Make sure the utilities in your new home will be on when you arrive. These include water, phone, electricity, cable, etc. At the same time, make sure your utilities are disconnected from your old home after your move.

Important Note: Don't forget to forward your mail at USPS.com.

Prepare for the Drive.

If you're moving a long distance, get your car serviced. Collect important documents (legal and financial) that you'll take with you when traveling. Make a mover's survival kit for the drive: first-aid, prescriptions, snacks, a change of clothes, etc.

Clean.

After finishing up your packing, check places where items could be forgotten: attic, basement, closets, etc. Also, defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer.

Load Up the Truck.

Pick up a cashier's check to pay professional movers. Make sure there is a clear path between your truck and your house's entryway. Check your moving inventory to make sure everything has been loaded onto the truck. Before the driver leaves, review the bill of lading before signing.

Move In.

As soon as the truck begins unloading, double check your moving inventory. When everything is accounted for, you can start unpacking. Be sure you visit the DMV to register your vehicles and switch your license. Finally, take a breather and enjoy your new home.

Moving Tips Checklist