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Posted in Moving Essentials, Moving Preparation on March 10, 2021
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

The Ultimate Long Distance Moving To Do List – The Only Relocation Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Relocating is always somewhat stressful. Even when you hire the best long-distance movers, there are things you must know and do yourself. Creating a moving to do list is one of the most influential factors that determine the course of your actions and journey. And more than that – it provides you with useful insights regarding time frames, duties, potential obstacles, necessary tools and equipment, and proper budgeting. Reading this detailed guide and figuring out how a step-by-step relocation timeline should look will help you move smoothly.

Is There a Checklist for Moving?

If you follow this eight-week guide, you’ll learn how to compose your own moving list. Although all of the tips, tricks, and relocation hacks we’ll mention are universally applicable, you will need to customize them to match your needs. Here’s how you should split your time before the move:

  • Start planning the whole process two months ahead,
  • Commence collecting boxes and other supplies at least six weeks before the move. Also, this is the time to determine which relocation services you’ll acquire,
  • Two weeks later, you’ll have to book the movers that suit your needs and match your finances,
  • When it comes to 14 days prior to relocation day, sync your contacts and plan the day of the move-in details,
  • Seven days before the move, you must be fully prepared and packed.
  • The day you get to transfer your belongings into a new home is finally here. You should conduct the final steps, which include reviewing your stuff, checking up on your essentials and documents, and providing a moving inventory list.

Now, let’s see what every stage implies and how you should develop your strategy. The full list of things to do when moving into a new house is below.

Person making a checklist
Start planning your relocations two months ahead and create lists that will guide you

Your To Do List for Moving – Eight Weeks Before You Relocate

First thing’s first, you ought to be asking – “How do I start preparing to move?” Now’s the right moment to decide how you want to transport your household items to your new location. You should contemplate whether you will hire professionals to help you with the move and provide packing services or any other type of assistance. Also, you will have to:

  • Create a binder that contains an extensive relocation checklist and other relevant files,
  • Find the best long distance moving company,
  • Research the area and visit your chosen city,
  • Plan your budget.

Once you’ve completed these tasks, make sure to notify your employer and your landlord on time. Also, you should start discussing every step of the process and make plans beyond the relocation day with your family. Even if you’re relocating by yourself, there are people in your current area that should be informed and in the loop regarding your progress.

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Creating a Binder to Keep Track of Your Tasks and Progress

Create a relocation-themed binder or set up a digital folder where you can track every stage and duty. Doing it will help you save a bunch of time.

After you’ve added the checklists and inventories, you should divide them into several categories. Your documentation, bills and receipts, and various useful contacts should be separated.

Folder on a shelf
Create lists and arrange paperwork, and then put it all in a single binder

Choosing Your Movers

Begin to get familiarized with choices that fit your needs and budget. If you choose to hire movers, do some research to ensure that your prized possessions are in good hands. Also, take a look around. Compare prices and services online. Read the reviews and testimonials to make sure that your chosen company is credible. Still, you shouldn’t rely on phone information or websites. Book an on-site estimate before signing the deal. Furthermore, you must hire a licensed and insured company. To be certain, verify their Department of Transportation number.

Researching and Traveling to Your Chosen City

Read all you can about the town you’ll be kickstarting your life in. If you know someone in the area, connect with them and seek more information. Still, digital trips are insufficient in this case. Before you officially relocate, make sure to pay a visit to the brand-new community you’re joining and:

  • Learn about the public transportation,
  • Read about local schools and colleges,
  • Check out the housing and job markets,
  • Review the local stores,
  • Look up the crime rates.

Planning Your Budget

Your overall relocation budget includes various types of expenses. You must count on:

  • The costs of renting or buying a house (or apartment,)
  • Several factors that affect relocation costs,
  • Costs of living in your new town.

Managing your finances is particularly important if you still didn’t find a job in the new city.

House blueprints and a piggy bank
Include all factors into the equation when calculating your relocation costs

Other Actions to Add to Moving List of Things To Do

At this point, you will have to take care of some additional tasks:

  • Start to declutter and organize your home,
  • Host a garage sale,
  • Donate some of the unwanted items from your house,
  • Clean everything thoroughly,
  • Separate the belongings that require extra care,
  • Measure your furniture.
Vintage objects
Hosting a garage or yard sale is an excellent idea for many

Steps You Must Take Six Weeks Before the Move

A month and a half before you move, you should keep on planning and researching. Now that you have contacted several long distance movers, shortlist them, and pick three companies that seem the most appropriate for you. Also, take care of these significant responsibilities:

  • Prepare your packing materials,
  • Take pictures of your belongings,
  • Repair what needs fixing,
  • Find a suitable storage unit.

Gathering the Packing Materials

Every room is specific and needs careful calculations to determine the amount of time and materials needed to cover it. You will have to obtain boxes of different sizes. Also, you should purchase some packing paper and bubble wrap. And lastly, you must have label markers to mark each box properly. Plan ahead and strive to follow all packing tips. Dealing with packaging glasses and fragile items requires a different approach than the one you’ll use to pack your shoes. Make sure to have it all figured out. And try to get more materials than you initially thought you needed. Or ask for packing supplies from the company that helps you relocate.

Pile of boxes
Purchase or find your packaging materials for free

Taking Pictures of Your Household Items

Making a photo inventory is essential. It is imperative to do it with your dearest and most valuable possessions. This way, you will have insurance in case of breakage or any sort of damage or loss during the relocation process. Also, it will be much easier to keep track of your things.

Repairing Minor Issues

When you plan to relocate to another city, you should choose wisely what to take with you. All broken, out of use, outdated, or mismatched items should be thrown away. For instance, you might not want to bring all pots and pans, and you’d leave behind those that miss a lid or a handle. However, leaving damaged properties that belong to your landlord is out of the question. If something in the household is broken, fix it before you leave.

Here’s a video that might help you fix your door knob in 30 minutes or less:

YouTube video

Finding a Suitable Storage Unit

If you must use a storage unit because you already shipped most of your items in advance, book it now. Also, if you have to wait for previous residents to move out of your new home, reserve storage immediately and avoid the stress. Talk it through with the long distance movers you’ve hired. They can most likely offer you adequate storage service.

Transporting boxes
Many people who move need additional storage units, so book one on time

Things to Do Four Weeks Before Relocation Day

Now, when there’s only one month to go, you should handle some crucial matters and clear your path. At this point, it’s not all about the boxes and packing papers. You will have to manage your personal documents, post office and banking matters, your car, and more. Additionally, this is the period when you finally decide which long distance moving company suits you best, and you schedule their services.

What Should I Do 30 Days Before Moving?

One month before you move, you will need to:

  • Service your car,
  • Book the car shipping service,
  • Ditch hazardous and flammable items,
  • File for the address change,
  • Manage your banking account,
  • Check your insurance coverage.

Also, you might have to deal with temporary housing. If that’s your case, four weeks before the relocation is the right moment to do it.

Service and clean your vehicle before shipping it

What Should I Do 3 Weeks Before Moving?

There’s only three weeks left until your relocation, and you must manage your annual subscriptions, sort out your valuables, and plan what to do with your sentimental items:

  • If you are subscribed to any weekly or monthly delivery service, let them know about your change of location. Set up the new address and keep receiving your goods or services.
  • Collect your valuable paperwork, jewelry, and heritage objects. Keep them separate from the rest of your belongings, as these possessions should be shipped by hand. If not, make sure to provide adequate relocation insurance for them.
  • Examine your furniture. Photograph it, and write down any current damage, scratches, or other.

Bonus Tips

If you’re relocating with children, arrange for a babysitter to keep an eye on them during the relocation day. This type of help is particularly important if you have a baby or a small child. Besides, now’s the time to:

  • Take care of the unpaid bills and tickets,
  • Think of the medical care and change the data connected to your whereabouts,
  • Handle social security matters.
Organized documentation
Taking care of bills, medical information, and social security before relocating is inevitable

What to Do During the Two Weeks Before Relocating

Firstly, this is the precise moment to request some time off from work. You will need the extra energy to finalize some of the superbly significant stuff:

  • You should forward your medical records and transfer your prescriptions,
  • If you have a pet, take it to the veterinarian now,
  • Figure out what to do with the houseplants.

As for your new home, now is when you must:

  • Take a good look at its blueprint,
  • Schedule a painting,
  • Order some furniture or decorations,
  • If you’re relocating to a less spacious homestead, look up some small apartment ideas.

Even though you still have 14 days to go, you should see if there’s enough parking space for the truck you’ll use to relocate. If parking represents a problem in your area, book some space now. Also, you should back up your computer and sync your phone. You must be able to stay in touch with old friends, neighbors, peers, and relatives. In addition to it, your devices will help you through the whole process and will hold onto the vital information on your behalf for the weeks and months to come.

Polished mirror
Start thinning about decoration and getting more furniture two weeks in advance

One Week Left Until the Big Day – Here’s What You Must Do Now

There’s undoubtedly some work left undone. Seven days before you relocate is the time to finalize it:

  • Clean the old home,
  • Remove trash and take care of recycling,
  • Inspect it in detail with the landlord,
  • Make sure all utilities are off immediately after you leave,
  • Pack your kitchenware, bathroom items, and other essentials from your moving packing list.
Cleaning supplies and a red wall
Cleaning is possibly the most important thing to do during the last week

Relocation Day Is Here!

All of the hard work and careful preparation have led you to this day. Now, you must make sure to have an early start. Set your alarm, shorten your usual morning routine, and start crossing the things from the relocation day checklist:

  • Prepare plenty of water bottles on-hand for the long distance movers and your friends,
  • Protect your floors and carpets,
  • Do a final sweep by checking all the easy-to-miss spots (kitchen drawers and cabinets, bathroom units, washer and dryer, and more).

Even before the final sweep, you have possibly found some leftover food. You should give it to someone in need before you move to the next town. And lastly, don’t forget to return the keys to your landlord or hand them over to the new residents if you sold the house. When you get to your brand-new home, make sure to unpack the essentials, make your bed, and get some rest before you commence with necessary actions.

Professional movers' truck
The big day's here - get up early and prepare everything

The Weeks That Follow – What to Do After Relocation?

Once you’re all settled in, you should create another plan that will help you make the place truly yours. But, before you do that, don’t forget to leave a review for the long distance moving company that has helped you. Now, you most likely have some loose packaging materials and you don’t want them sitting around your brand-new house. So, you could sell or donate them, or just hand them over to someone you know needs them.

The First Week

Besides exploring the neighborhood and meeting the local people as soon as you move in, you should:

  • Unpack your stuff,
  • Be sure that all belongings are safely transferred,
  • Clean up the whole house,
  • Change the locks,
  • Check up the smoke detectors.

As for the paperwork and similar duties, the main ones include:

  • Registering to vote,
  • Changing your IRS data and address,
  • Updating your driver’s license.

If you relocated to a new state, you would need to establish a legal domicile there. Check out the state’s official government website to find the best way to do it.

Half-packed boxes
Unpack carefully and don't forget other tasks that require your attention after you relocate

Complete Your Moving To Do List

Relocations are challenging, and there’s no way around it. Still, if you start to plan your actions and prepare for the big day two months in advance, you will have no problems. This guide will help you figure out the necessary steps. Even so, you will need to customize it a bit. Each household is different, and every person has some unique necessities. Stick to the basics we wrote, and boost them according to your needs. Look up the best local long distance moving services and book an appointment ASAP.

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