Whether you’re moving to an apartment across town or a house across the country, there’s a lot to think about as you’re preparing to move out. Planning ahead and sticking to a timeline will make your move as seamless as possible. Stay stress-free with these tips so you can look forward to your next move in life and not dread the move to get there.
A Helpful Packing Timeline for Moving
Wondering how to plan a cross-country move or when to start packing for a move? We’ll answer these questions and more —keep reading!
8 Weeks Before Moving Day
Mark your calendar.
Look at your calendar and designate time for packing to help keep you on track. If you’re moving far away, be sure to plan time with friends and family in the area for goodbyes.
Research moving companies.
Get quotes from a few different companies to compare pricing. Use your discretion—your budget may not allow the highest cost but be wary of low-ball offers that might indicate low-quality service. Look at reviews and make sure the professional movers you hire are legitimate.
Notify your landlord.
If you’re moving out of an apartment, don’t get stuck with fees or paying an extra month’s rent for late notice—check your contract and take care of it asap. This will affect your move-in date too, so the earlier you know the better.
Sell your house.
If you’re in a house, this is a major step in the moving process. Find a good realtor who will guide you through the process of listing and preparing your home. Timing is everything so start forming a plan as early as possible.
7 Weeks Before Moving Day
Decide when you will give notice at work.
Leaving your current job? Be sure to give at least two weeks’ notice. Allow a week or two (or more if you can swing it) between your last day and moving day—you’ll appreciate the extra time and energy you’ll have to devote to packing and preparing.
Notify schools and/or daycares.
Do you have kiddos changing school districts? Make sure everything is squared away, like transfer documents from their soon-to-be former school or enrollment at their future school.
Request medical records.
If you’re changing doctors, it’s a good idea to get copies of your family’s medical records for the new physicians.
Organize important documents.
Gather those medical records, transfer paperwork, birth certificates, financial documents, lease agreements, etc., and organize them neatly into a file folder. Keep in a safe but accessible place.
6 Weeks Before Moving Day
Start the process of closing out water, electricity, AC/heating, internet, etc., services at your current place and get everything squared away for your new place. You don’t want to get to your new home to find the water is turned off.
Change your address at USPS.com.
Go ahead and check this off your list. You will be able to set the date you want the postal service to start forwarding your mail.
Notify banks and credit card companies.
They’ll need the change of address, plus it’s good to give them a heads up of large moving expenses.
Contact insurance companies for your home and car in case any policies need to be adjusted or transferred.
5 Weeks Before Moving Day
Choose and book the moving company.
Most companies can set up a window of time for pickup so you’ll need to be fairly flexible and have everything ready. For a cross-country move, that window may even be a few days.
Plan the move.
Plan what items are going with the moving truck and what will be coming with you if your move date is different (it will be for a long-distance move).
Schedule car maintenance.
If you’re moving cross-country and have a long drive ahead of you, take your car in for a checkup to be safe.
Sometimes it’s easier and more cost-effective to sell your furniture instead of hauling it to a new home. Buying high-quality second-hand furniture or renting furniture from places like CORT Furniture Outlet, are great options for an easy move-out and even easier move-in when you get to your new home. Check out our inventory online and schedule pick up or delivery—easy. Looking into this ahead of time can help prevent furniture delivery delays but have a backup plan (like air mattresses) just in case. Consider CORT for home decor, too.
4 Weeks Before Moving Day
Downsize and declutter your belongings.
Sort through your things and decide what is worth coming with you to your new place. The less stuff you have, the fewer the boxes, and the less expensive the bill from the moving company.
Cull your closet.
Donate or sell clothes, appliances, and other items you no longer use that are in good condition. Throw away what can’t be salvaged.
Start gathering moving supplies.
After purging what you can, you’ll have a better idea of the number of boxes, amount of bubble wrap, and other materials you’ll need. There are places to score free boxes, like from friends, your workplace, grocery stores, or liquor stores — just be sure the boxes are sturdy. For a cross-country move especially, it’s best to buy special boxes for items like glassware, lamps, artwork, and TV.
Start packing non-essentials.
Box up off-season clothes, books, picture frames, holiday decorations, etc. It may seem like overkill to start packing this early, but packing will take much longer than you think (trust us).
3 Weeks Before Moving Day
Strategize food and meals.
Decide what fridge and pantry items are worth taking — if any — and set them aside. Plan meals for the next few weeks to use up what you can and minimize waste. You’ll probably want to resort to takeout and meals out (at restaurants or friends’ houses) the last few days before the move so you can finish packing up the kitchen.
Call in reinforcements.
Ask good friends or family members for help on moving day. Plan to provide lunch or dinner for them as a thank you.
Have a plan for your pets.
Moving isn’t just stressful for humans—it can cause your pets to experience anxiety, too. Arrange for dogs or cats to stay at a friend’s place when the moving truck comes. This will ensure they don’t make an escape and save them from the anxiety of strange people in their home and all the chaos of loading the truck. Also plan how you’re getting your pets to your new home.
Keep on packing.
Continue working your way through the most non-essential items first. Plan what you will use in the next couple of weeks and start boxing up the rest.
2 Weeks Before Moving Day
Make an essentials list.
Make a list of what everyone will need for the first few days at the new place, i.e. a few outfits, toiletries, laptops, and chargers. Set those items aside to pack separately in suitcases.
Start packing jewelry and accessories, clothes and shoes. Box up games and toys, art and office supplies, sports and hobby equipment, decor. Start packing plates, bowls, glasses, serveware, appliances, and other kitchenware you can do without in the next couple of weeks—this will take the most time, as you’ll need to take the most care with fragile items.
Get disposable dinnerware.
Purchase disposable plates, cups, utensils, napkins, etc., so you can start packing up your kitchen.
Get an air mattress.
Don’t end up on the floor—think ahead and have pillows, bedding or sleeping bags, and an air mattress (or air mattresses) handy for the last couple of nights without beds.
1 Week Before Moving Day
Confirm the details with the moving company.
At this point, you’ll have a good idea of how many boxes they’ll be transporting and they may be able to narrow down the window.
Check your checklist.
Make sure you have everything on the essentials checklist set aside with boxes or bags ready to be packed at the last minute.
Box up the last of your clothes and shoes, electronics, kitchen items, toiletries, bedding, linens, and any other miscellaneous items that haven’t made it into a box.
Confirm expectations with your apartment complex or realtor. Vacuum, dust, mop, scrub, and patch holes, if needed. If it’s too much for you to handle on your own, schedule a cleaning company to do it.
Confirm with the movers again.
It doesn’t hurt to double-check!
Clean out the fridge, freezer, and pantry.
Discard any leftover food or supplies you’re not taking with you and wipe down the interior.
Take stock of the boxes and items.
Mark what is going on with the moving truck and everything going with you—this will help you keep track of all your belongings and avoid mishaps.
Stow away your essentials.
Pack up your essentials in the designated moving box.
Pack any food or drinks you’re taking with you in a cooler.
Oversee moving help.
Coordinate with professional movers and unprofessional movers (aka friends and family) to make sure everything is loaded carefully. You should label boxes of fragile items as such, but it doesn’t hurt to point them out, too.
One last walk-through.
Before heading to your next home (and adventure), walk through the entirety of your house. Keep an eye out and ensure you don’t leave anything behind.
Check out these helpful tips to pack your belongings so they reach their destination safe and sound.
- Pack similar items together.
- Pack boxes by room.
- Label every box with the items and room.
- Label boxes with “This side up!” and “Fragile” as needed.
- Don’t pack boxes too heavy.
- Don’t leave empty space—fill it with towels, packing peanuts, or paper.
- Wrap fragile items carefully with bubble wrap.
- Pack heavy items on the bottom and lighter-weight items on top.
- Tape boxes well—and don’t skimp on tape quality.
- Get special boxes for fragile items such as glassware, artwork, lamps, or TV.
Find Furniture, Decor, and More at CORT Furniture Outlet
Planning on tossing a few items? Want to upgrade your couch once you reach your new destination? Keep your move on track by purchasing new and gently used furniture and decor from CORT Furniture Outlet. With price tags at up to 70% off original prices and same-day pickup, you’re sure to find stylish, durable items to complete your home.