Before we make any wrong impressions, let’s first emphasize that any good moving company will make sure to take most of the load off your back and put it on theirs instead. What good would we be if we made you do most of the work still?
Although we cut down a lot of your to-dos though, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything on your moving day. There are plenty of things you should still do before and during moving day to help your movers, especially considering they can’t do it all. Let’s talk about how you can help.
Before Moving Day
Moving companies are usually responsible for handling all the furniture, artwork, mirrors and electronics so unless part of your contract with the moving company includes packing your other belongings into boxes too, this is something you have to do yourself.
Don’t forget, the longer the movers are there, the higher the cost, so have this done well before the moving day. Be sure to label and color-code all your boxes as well so when you arrive at the new home, the moving company knows right where to take the boxes. In addition, keep in mind that by law, moving companies are prohibited from putting flammable, perishable, or dangerous items into their truck. Therefore, you are responsible for those. Set aside a “no pack zone” with items that are traveling with you in your personal car so that the movers don’t include those items.
Some other items you want to pack yourself include plants, any valuables and important documents and records. In addition to packing up your items, be sure to make arrangements for kids and pets so that on the day of the move, that is taken care of and you aren’t scrambling around for a babysitter or petsitter. The last thing you want to do is juggle kids or a dog while you’re trying to pack a truck.
On Moving Day
On the day of the move, be thoughtful and kind to the people helping. To be a great host, consider showing the moving company around the home, offer bottled water and snacks, show them where the restroom is, and be open/honest with them about anything they need to know.
Another good idea is to keep some cash on hand to tip them. Although not required, it is courteous! Some other ways to help during the day of the move include stripping the beds of all linens, unplugging all electronics, and removing any unnecessary items that will get in the way such as trash or your “to be donated” boxes.
Lastly, prepare the environment to be efficient! Measure furniture and doorways to see if anything will need to be disassembled, and prep the floors by clearing pathways and laying down drop-clothes or large blankets to protect the floors.
Another thing you can do during the move is clean! Whether you go to the new home and clean before the movers arrive to prepare the space, or clean the old home room by room as they are emptied, this task will keep you busy for hours! Just keep in mind that you always want at least one person on-site with the movers to handle any tricky situations or answer questions.
Although hiring a moving company will help with a lot of your moving “to-do’s”, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to lift any fingers. There are several things you can do while the movers are doing their job to make the whole process go by more quickly and smoothly.
In addition, since they are responsible for moving your items, that makes you responsible for supervising the job and double checking that everything is going as expected. When in doubt, talk to your moving company to discuss any details about the moving day so that you are both fully prepared for what to expect. The more you have planned and thought-out, the better everything will go!
Moving homes can be quite the undertaking and oftentimes takes more time and planning than most people think. Add that on top of your normal day-to-day duties and suddenly it feels like you lost all hope of sleeping! Of course, hiring a moving company can make the process go more smoothly and quickly, but making a moving timeline from the very beginning is really one of the best strategies to tackle all your to-dos and make sure you have your home ready in time. Let’s take a look at a standard moving timeline and then get into how to build your own timeline for the move!
Here is a 2-month sample timeline you can use to guide yourself when you make yours!
● Clean & organize
● Gather boxes
● Hold a garage sale
● Book your moving company
● Pack lesser-used items
● Sign lease/close home sale
● Get keys for new home
● Final repairs
● Pack everything except essentials
● Make plans for items that can’t go in truck
● Make travel plans for family
● Cancel local accounts and subscriptions
● Make arrangements for pets
● Pack everything but travel bags
● Disassemble furniture
● Wrap up all final affairs
● Forward mail to new home
● Load your truck
● Clean the old home one final time
● Transfer utilities
● Fix any last-minute issues
● Hand over old keys
● Travel safe!
Now that you’ve seen a sample guide and have an idea of what your two-month timeframe should look like, here are some things to keep in mind as you build your timeline:
Make a Master Moving Information Sheet
Getting organized will be the key to making sure you are keeping track of everything during your move. Grab a binder or notebook and get organized by writing down every single vital detail. Whether it be important dates to remember, receipts, your moving budget, what items you plan to donate, what items you plan to sell… keeping everything about your move written down in one place will keep you and your brain organized.
Plan Your Moving Timeline Length
Although 2 months might seem like a long time to prepare for a move, this is the timeline recommended by almost all moving companies to make sure you get everything done without making you feel burnt-out.
Moving can take a lot of time, especially if you have a lot of belongings. 2 months will give you plenty of time to organize your things as you go and donate things you don’t need, that way your unpacking job becomes a lot easier.
Depending on how your schedule is for the 2 months leading up to your move, you can break those months down into weeks like we did above to create your own timeline.
Make a Moving To-Do List
Before categorizing all your to-do’s into a calendar to determine the timeline, you will need a to-do list first! Write down all of the things you need to do first so you can see what kind of time you need to get it all done.
Don’t forget to factor in the time you will need for cleaning! Once you have your list and deadlines (see next section), you can begin to add those to-dos to wherever they make the most sense in the timeline.
Setting deadlines can help to keep you on task and motivated. For packing/organizing, breaking the task up into chunks can help make things seem less overwhelming, whether you break it up room by room or category by category, depending on what works best for you.
Make sure to also write down the deadlines for the old and new house. For example, when do the old keys need to be handed over? When do you close on your lease or home purchases? When do you get the new keys? When do you have to transfer utilities? Once you have your deadlines you can figure out where the to-dos will fit into your timeline.
Get It Done Early
Making sure you have mostly everything done a week before your actual moving date is important. There will always be a delay somewhere, so having that last week to plan for any delays is really helpful in decreasing the stress experienced in the days before the big move.
Discussing schedule flexibility with your scheduled moving company might also be a good idea so you are prepared in case of a situation. Every moving company has their own set of policies so make sure you know what to expect. The last thing you need is a surprise that could ruin the big day.