Moving Guide

Let’s be honest—moving is stressful!  But by organizing and preparing well in advance of your anticipated moving day, you can greatly reduce your stress as well as save yourself time and energy.  Here are a few helpful guidelines to help you enjoy a more organized and less stressful move.

Two months prior to moving:

  • Sort through each room of your home to determine which items you no longer need or want.  It is better to either donate or discard those items prior to moving.
  • Make a list of those items that you will need in your new home and those that may need to go into storage.
  • Request estimates from several moving companies or truck rental companies.  If using a moving company, once you’ve selected your mover, be sure to discuss costs, packing, timing and other details.
  • Since many moving expenses are tax deductible, be sure to keep a file with receipts, contracts and other important information.

One month prior to moving:

  • Notify the postal service, subscriptions, creditors, financial institutions and others of your change of address.
  • Place all important papers such as medical records, insurance documents, banking information and pet vaccination records in a safe place where you can easily access them if necessary.
  • Begin packing those items that are non-essential.  Designate an out-of-way place in the basement or garage where you can place your packed boxes.
  • If you are moving with pets, make arrangements for transportation.  Check with your veterinarian to be sure your pets are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
  • If you are going to be traveling by car, you may want to have it checked over prior to moving day.

Two to four weeks prior to moving:

  • Continue packing, clearly labeling all boxes with its contents and the room that it belongs in.  Also, be sure to label which boxes are to be opened first.
  • Check the attic, the basement and all closets and storage spaces to be sure that nothing is left behind.
  • If placing items in storage, be sure to reserve a unit.  Summer is a busy time for moving and available space may be hard to find.

One week prior to moving:

  • Continue packing.
  • Pack those items that you will need for your last few nights in your current home and for the first few nights in your new place.  Label them as “essentials” or “load last, unload first”. Place these boxes in a separate area to avoid confusion.  Be sure to include items such as toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, soap, dish towels and rags as well as food items such as peanut butter, fruit snacks and pasta for snacks and quick dinners.  You may also want to include small appliances such as a coffee maker and a toaster.
  • Confirm all reservations.  Go over any last-minute details with the movers.
  • Disconnect, clean and prepare any appliances that you may be taking with you.
  • If packing lawn and garden equipment, be sure to drain them of oil and gas.  Make sure to drain garden hoses of water.


  • Examine items as they are being unloaded for any damage and to check that nothing is missing.
  • You will want to make sure that the utilities in your new place are connected.
  • Always carry traveler’s checks or cash for easy and quick payments.
  • Before leaving your home be sure that all switches are off and that the doors and windows are locked.

Most importantly, don’t wait until the last minute—moving day will be here before you know it!