Your How-to Guide for a Seamless Move

Moving to a new place can be exciting. With fresh opportunities, new experiences, and a dose of uncertainty waiting just around the corner, the months leading up to moving day become filled with a blend of excitement and anticipation. While this can leave you eager to kick off the process, you may feel uncertain about where to begin. If you find yourself in the waiting period, this moving guide can help you streamline the process.

If you’re planning a move, chances are you don’t have the time to read through an entire moving guide to find what you’re looking for. Simply click where you are at in your moving journey below to jump to that section in the guide.

1 to 2 months before moving

The week of moving

The day before moving

Moving day

Notify your landlord
If you’re renting, review your lease agreement to give proper notice to your landlord about your anticipated move. A common standard is to inform your landlord at least 30 days before your intended move-out date.

Request time off
If you plan to stay at your current job, review the company’s policy regarding time-off requests. This is also a good time to communicate with your colleagues about your absence to create a less stressful environment for when you return.

Hire a moving company or rent a truck
If you plan to hire a moving company, check their reviews or get recommendations to ensure a smooth moving process. Book their services in advance to confirm they’re available on your moving date. If you plan to rent a truck, make the reservation early to secure the vehicle.

Declutter and start packing
Sort through your belongings and decide what to donate, keep, or throw away. This will reduce the number of items you need to bring with you. You can also pack the items you won’t need in the weeks leading up to your move.

Pack important documents like passports, birth certificates, and financial records separately. Keep them with you during the move.

Update your address
Visit your local post office to fill out a change-of-address form so that your mail is forwarded to your new home. Notify important parties like your bank, credit card companies, and subscriptions as well.

Make transfer requests
Transfer medical records, school transcripts, and prescriptions to the institutions near your new home. If you will be using the same utility companies and Internet service providers, you can transfer these services to your new address as well.

We don’t want you to live without Internet for days or even weeks after you move in. Transferring your Smithville service is easy. If you call ahead, we can even have your Internet up and running the day you move in. Find out if your home is Fiber-certified by downloading this Google Chrome Extension on Zillow. 

Confirm moving details
Double-check the details with your moving company or truck rental service, including the time of arrival and any specific instructions. Confirm that the utilities at your current home will be disconnected after you leave and connected at your new home before you arrive. This ensures that you won’t go without essential utilities such as water or electricity.

Finish packing and start cleaning
Finish packing the remaining items, ensuring that everything is labeled appropriately. Then, you can disassemble furniture that needs to be taken apart.

If you’re renting, leaving your old place clean and in good condition increases the likelihood of getting your security deposit back. If you’re selling your home, a well-maintained property makes a positive impression on potential buyers and can enhance the appeal of your home.

Separate the essentials
When you arrive at your new home, chances are you won’t be able to unpack everything. The last thing you want is to rummage through boxes to find certain items when you’re already tired from the move. To prepare for this, you can pack your essential items separately.

First, you can pack a bag with the essential items you will need the first night you will be at your new home. This includes toiletries, a change of clothes, and any medications. Second, you can pack an essentials box with items that you will need first few days at your new home. These items aren’t necessary to get through the first night but can come in handy later. This can consist of more clothes, tools, basic kitchen items, entertainment, and cleaning supplies.

Set aside items you’ll need for moving day, such as moving paperwork, and keys. Keep important documents, valuables, and small electronics with you rather than packing them with the rest of your belongings.

Check the weather
Check the weather forecast for moving day and prepare accordingly. This gives you enough time to get last-minute materials to protect your belongings. If it’s going to rain or snow, make sure to cover and protect items that may be sensitive to water. You can also find a window with clear weather to move these items as well.

For more tips on moving in the rain, click here.

Pack snacks and meals
Pack drinks, snacks, and easy-to-prepare meals for moving day. If you have pets, be sure to include food for them too. This allows everyone to refuel and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Prepare appliances
Now that you’ve set food aside for moving day, you can clean out your refrigerators and freezers. Be sure to defrost them if you are taking them with you to ensure that they are ready for transportation. Instead of throwing away unopened food, find a local food bank or community kitchen to donate to.

Don’t know of any local food banks? Find one near you by entering your zip code or state on the Feeding America website.

Organize your keys
Label keys clearly and organize them in a safe and easily accessible place. This includes keys for your old and new residences.

Meet your movers
The key to moving is to start early. Make sure that all of your boxes are labeled and packed so that you are ready for the movers when they arrive. You should also plan to arrive at your new home early to ensure you’re there before the movers. This allows you to supervise loading and unloading and inspect your boxes for damage.

Final walkthrough
Before leaving, walk through your home one last time to ensure nothing is left behind. Double-check that all windows and doors are locked as well. If necessary, hand over the keys to your real estate agent, the landlord, or the new occupants of your old home.

Start setting up
Once you arrive at your new home, you may need to confirm and activate your utilities. You can also set up your basic living spaces and unpack your essentials box. The move-in process can be lengthy, so having the necessities unpacked can make it less stressful. Don’t forget to take breaks and give yourself time to recuperate.

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