Moving can be stressful. So stressful, in fact, that a recent survey of over 2,000 Americans revealed that for many people, moving is more stressful than getting a divorce, planning a wedding, or interviewing for a new career!


But those Americans must not have had a well-organized move plan in place, complete with a detailed timeline. Don’t be like those people.


If you want to avoid making your upcoming relocation one of the most stressful events in your life, you can’t neglect organization. And one of the most critical pieces of your organization puzzle is your move timeline. Below, the experts at Ed’s Moving & Storage share what that timeline should look like for a low-stress move.


8 Weeks Before Move Day: Start Planning

Beginning the move planning process eight weeks prior to move day will help ensure you’re able to conduct your relocation with as little stress as possible. Here’s what you’ll need to do:


●        Organize paperwork. To keep all of your move-related paperwork, receipts, and notes in one place, create a folder for everything and keep it in a place where you know it won’t be misplaced. It’s also a good idea to pick up a notebook where you can take notes while you perform research on moving companies and other move-related necessities.

●        Sort your belongings. Whether or not you’re moving to a smaller place, it’s always beneficial to downsize as much of your belongings as you can. Decide what you’ll pack, donate, and toss.

●        Research moving services. To snag the move date you want, you’ll need to start researching moving companies early. Search for professional movers and packers online and make note of the companies with the best reviews. Start calling around for pricing or requesting quotes online.


7 Weeks Before Move Day: Supplies and Downsizing

Once you have your belongings sorted and you’ve researched moving companies, here’s what to do next:


●        Buy moving supplies. If your working with professional movers and packers, you can skip this step — they’ll provide the moving supplies on move day. But if you’re doing a DIY move, now is the time to get boxes, packing tape, markers, bubble wrap, anything else you’ll need to pack.

●        Plan how to get rid of things you don’t want. Decide if you’ll donate or sell the belongings you won’t be bringing with you. You can have a garage sale, sell your things online, or donate to a local charity.


6 Weeks Before Move Day: Start Notifying People

A month and a half before your move, start letting people know that’ll you’ll be heading to a new address. Here’s who you’ll need to notify:


●        Schools. If you have kids and are moving to a new school district, let their teachers know that you’ll be moving soon. Ask for copies of school records and look into the enrollment process at their new school.

●        Your physician(s). Notify your doctor(s) that you’ll be moving and get copies of medical records for everyone in your family.

●        Acquaintances. It’s always nice to give friends and neighbors a heads up that you’re heading to a new home. Don’t surprise them at the last minute!


5 Weeks Before Move Day: Hire a Professional Moving Company

If you’ve nailed down your preferred moving company, book your move date at least five weeks in advance. Booking as early as possible helps ensure you’ll get the time slot you need, especially if you’re moving on the weekend or during peak moving season.


4 Weeks Before Move Day: Packing & More Notifications

One month before your move, it’s time to start getting things rolling. Here’s what you should do:

●        Pack non-essential items. If you already hired a moving company, skip this step. If you’re conducting a DIY move, now is the time to start the packing process. Begin with non-essential items in the rooms you don’t use often. If you won’t need it within the next four weeks, pack it.

●        Your landlord. If you’re moving out of a rental, let your landlord know as soon as possible. Most landlords allow 30 days' notice, but a couple extra weeks’ notice never hurts.

●        Utility providers. Since you pay your utilities on a monthly basis, start closing out service at your current home and begin setting up utilities at your new address.


3 Weeks Before Move Day: Arrange Transportation for Non-Allowables

If you’re working with professional movers and packers, there are certain things they cannot or will not transport. Federal law prohibits movers from transporting flammable or hazardous materials, so you’ll need to arrange alternate transportation for those items.


In addition to the items your movers cannot transport by law, most moving companies will also refuse to transport other items, such as:


●        Animals

●        Live plants

●        Perishable foods


For a full breakdown of non-allowable items your movers cannot or will not transport, check out this helpful info from Atlas Van Lines.


2 Weeks Before Move Day: More Packing, Cleaning, Coordination, and Disposal

Your move is two weeks out — it’s time to get serious. Here’s what you need to take care of:


●        Change your address. Fill out a change of address form on the USPS website.

●        Dispose of anything you don’t want to move. If you have foods, cleaning materials, or other non-allowables you don’t want to move, now is the time to start tossing them out.

●        Get your vehicle checked out. If you’re moving a long distance and plan to drive your vehicle, have your car or truck professionally serviced.

●        Transfer insurance. Transfer your homeowners and vehicle insurance to your new address.

●        Marathon packing. If you’re packing on your own, now is the time to get serious about boxing most things up. Don’t forget to label your boxes!

●        Separate valuables. You don’t want valuable items getting tangled up with everything else you own. Your movers and packers may not be willing to transport extremely high-dollar items either. Now is the time to separate out those items and put them in a safe place for transport.

●        Arrange for house cleaning. If you don’t want to clean your house on your own, now is the time to schedule a deep clean with a local house cleaning company.


1 Week Before Move Day: Confirm With Movers and Pack an Essentials Bag

One week before you move, call your moving company and confirm your move date and the scheduled arrival time. You also seriously consider packing an essentials kit for your first night in your new house.


Not sure what to put in there? Pack as if you’re going on an overnight vacation, so you have everything you need while your belongings are still in boxes. 


The Day Before Your Move: Clear Out Your Pantry, Refrigerator, and Freezer

The day before your movers arrive, get rid of all the food you know you don’t want to move. If there are certain food items you want to keep, pack them up. If you need to put some of them in a cooler, get some ice the night before so you’re ready come morning.


The Day of Your Move: Inform Your Movers and Perform a Final Sweep

When your movers arrive, help them out by notifying them where fragile, large, and important items are right away. Make sure you’re on site when you’re movers are scheduled to load the truck so you can verify that everything is where it should be.


You are responsible for verifying that everything made it onto the truck and your movers aren’t liable for anything you accidentally miss. Only sign the bill of loading when you’re confident everything is there.


Last but not least, perform a final sweep of the entire house to make you didn’t forget anything. Now you’re ready to relocate — good luck!


Need Local Movers in Tacoma? Contact Ed’s Moving & Storage

If you’re planning a move in the Seattle-Tacoma area, get in touch with our team at Ed’s Moving & Storage to discuss your needs! Since 1958, we’ve proudly provided a comprehensive collection of moving services for Washington residents, and when you’re ready to move, we’re here for you too. To get a fast moving quote or learn more about our services, call our Tacoma office today at 253-581-2446 or connect with us online.