So, you’ve found a home. It’s just the right size, the dream neighborhood, and you’re ready to make your move (literally). There are many factors at play—job relocations, new communities, maybe even a new city to explore—but first, you’ve got to plan for your move.
While the prospect of moving to a new home is an exciting one, it’s no secret that the actual process of moving isn’t anyone’s favorite activity. Unless you’re living that #minimalist lifestyle (in which case, kudos to you), you probably have an established life—a life that might include a lot of hand-me-down knick-knacks you may or may not have ever used. (But more on that later).
When it comes down to it, moving day is a culmination of a few solid months of planning, organizing, and yes—throwing out those items you thought you could never part with. Now that you’ve found “the one,” we’re here to help you prepare for moving day like a pro. Because your big day should be full of excitement—not stress—and here’s how to make that happen.
Two Months Out
Decide how you want to move your stuff.
The first question to ask yourself is… are you going to hire professional movers or are you going to take the DIY approach? If you’ve decided to take on the challenge by yourself, now might be the perfect time to start cozying up to that friend or co-worker with the brand new pick-up truck. But if you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks on a professional service, reach out to moving companies in your area and compare a quote or two. Don’t forget to read reviews—saving a few hundred dollars might not be worth it if you have to deal with damage to that favorite family heirloom.
Channel your inner minimalist.
A few months before moving day is also the perfect time to go full-on Marie Kondo. Give everything—from pots and pans in the kitchen to that pile of sneakers in your closet—the classic “Have I used this in a year?” test. If not, now’s the time to put together a pile for the second-hand store and pass on your abandoned treasures to someone who can give them a good home.
Get to know your new neighborhood.
If you’ll be moving to a new part of town or whole city that you’re not super familiar with, it’s also a good idea to do some research, and line up doctors, schools, and maybe even some neighborhood hangout spots. Will you need a new pediatrician for the kids or a vet for dog? Ask your current doctors for recommendations, and check out local forums in your new neighborhood. If moving to a new school district, have you notified the school and asked for records to be transferred? To establish a new routine as soon as possible, scope out nearby parks and restaurants too so you can jump right in.
Get renovations out of the way.
Next, you want to make sure your house is actually move-in ready BEFORE you move in. Are there any renovation projects that you’re hoping to schedule and complete before moving in? Are you planning to knock down any walls, put in new floors, or repaint the bedrooms? Give yourself time to finalize these projects now, and make sure everything’s good to go so you won’t have to do any renovation work (or even quick fixes) when you move in.
One Month Out
Start packing anything you don’t absolutely need.
The countdown has officially started. And you’re probably starting to wonder how on earth you’re going to pack everything up. Rest assured, you can do this. Consider what you can pack up ahead of time, such as seasonal decorations, artwork, pretty much any items that you don’t need on a regular basis. A good few places to start include the garage, basement and attic, plus any closets or spare rooms that don’t get much use. Like that front-hall closet that the winter coats are in? Tackle that first.
Now’s also a good time to take inventory of your kitchen. Do you have bulk groceries in your fridge, freezer, or pantry that you need to use before you move? As the countdown to the move continues, buy your groceries a few meals at a time so you won’t have to throw away any perishables when it’s finally time to clean out the kitchen for real.
Meanwhile, if you still need to close on the home, check with your mortgage lender to make sure everything is in order for closing day, and that the loan has been fully approved to close.
2–3 weeks before moving day
Celebrate your new address with everyone you know.
Once you’ve officially closed and you’re nearing the finish line, share the good news on social media, and let all your family, friends, and neighbors know that you’re moving. Many new homeowners opt to distribute postcards among friends celebrating their new address. And hey, if you don’t necessarily feel like keeping up that nosy neighbor (you know the one), now might be your chance to accidentally “lose touch.”
When you’re 100% sure everything in place, you’ll need to file a change-of-address form with the U.S. Post Office and make any necessary address changes to your subscriptions. When you change your address, you’ll likely get a bunch of coupons in the mail for savings at popular furniture and home goods stores (because you needed another reason to jump on that mid-century sectional, right?). And you should let your banks know too so you don’t miss any important financial documents.
Double check all the details so the big day goes smoothly.
Once you’ve officially closed, double check all the paperwork surrounding the move, whether that be with your new house or with your old. This might include your agreement with a real estate agent, your purchase agreement, home inspection reports, or insurance policies.
If you’ve decided to work with a mover, hash out all the details with them now, and make sure you’re all set for the day of. If you’ve opted to test the bonds of friendship by asking for help with your move, reach out to your friends and make the official ask for that pick up truck.
And finally, moving day!
The time has come. You’ve prepped, double-checked, and packed up your life into cardboard boxes (color-coded and labeled meticulously, we hope). Your friends and loved ones are hyped about the move and all the dinner parties you’ll be throwing in your upgraded kitchen. And you… well, you’re just ready to celebrate. But before you start popping bottles of champagne, here are a few tips to make sure your day goes extra smoothly.
Think ahead and make arrangements.
Remember that the utilities should be turned off in your current home one day after your move-out date and turned on in your new home before you arrive. There’s nothing worse than wanting to christen your new master suite with a hot shower only to realize that you’re about to freeze your tail off instead.
If you have kids or furry friends, arrange for them to stay with someone you trust during the physical moving process. It’ll make the whole day a bit faster and you won’t have to worry about them getting tired or cranky.
Thank your helpful moving crew.
Make sure you have cash on-hand to tip your movers or as gas money for truck you borrowed. Buy your helpful moving buddies a pizza and some snacks to show your gratitude. And of course, pack a cooler too. Moving is tiring and you’re going to need a break! Who doesn’t love an ice-cold beer after a long hot day of work?
Toast your successful move!
Before you unlock the door to your new home, don’t forget your final walkthrough of your old house—and say those final goodbyes. Snap a photo to honor the occasion and all the good times you had there. And then, it’s onto your future home for a whole new chapter of great memories. Celebrate that champagne-worthy moment with an affordable (and tasty!) bottle of prosecco. Welcome home, and cheers to your new adventure!
This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.