By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Moving takes more time than most people think it will. We often underestimate how much time and effort it requires to pack up all your worldly possessions into boxes, into a truck, and get everything to the right destination. Packing alone can be exhausting, and not everyone has the natural organizational talents to make it work easily.
Between work and family and self-care, there is often not enough time in your planned moving timeline to get it all done. Hiring moving professionals can shorten that time span, but the best approach is to make a realistic timeline from the beginning. A realistic moving timeline for most households is about two months. Let us explore a standard moving timeline and how to build your own realistic timeline for the upcoming move.
Sample 2-Month Timeline
- Weeks 1-4:
- Clean and Organize
- Acquire Boxes
- Garage Sale
- Book Moving Company
- Pack Lesser-Used Items
- Sign Lease / Close Home Sale
- Weeks 5-6:
- Get Keys to New House
- Final Repairs
- Pack Everything but Essentials
- Make Plans for Items that Cannot go on the Truck
- Make Travel Plans for Family
- Cancel Local Accounts and Subscriptions
- Week 7:
- Pack All but Travel Bags
- Disassemble Furniture
- Wrap Up Final Affairs
- Mail Forwarding
- Week 8:
- Load the Truck
- Final House Clean
- Transfer Utilities
- Last-Minute Issues
- Hand Over the Keys
- Arrive Safely
Two Months Moving Time
Give yourself at least two months to book a professional mover, pack up and close all your local affairs. Packing takes time, and so does sorting through your things to donate or sell what you will not take with you. If your time is limited, and you can only pack after work and on weekends or if you know that packing is not your talent, give yourself even longer. You can also talk to your professional moving company about what packing services they offer.
· Set Packing & Prep Deadlines
However, do not give yourself all the time in the world. Set deadlines. This is the best way to get motivated and to use your time efficiently while packing up the house. Decide that you will have the entire guest room packed by this Saturday, and the entire living room packed by next Saturday and take the steps to get it done.
· New House Readiness Milestones
Also set deadlines for getting the paperwork and logistics ready for the move. You need to close on your lease or home purchase, get the keys, make sure the utilities are on in the new place and off in the old place, and so on. Make a list of all the important home-transition milestones you need to cover. Forward your mail, get in touch with new services, and ensure the homes are ready for you to jump from one to the next.
· Give Yourself a Final Day for Cleaning
Plan one last day after the truck is loaded. First, truck loading takes longer than you expect if you are loading DIY. Second, you will likely want to do a final round of ceiling-to-floor cleaning before your final departure. Give yourself the time to do it right, rest, and then safely get on the road after one final day of polishing.
· Be Ready a Week Ahead of Time
Finally, give yourself a week of margin-time at the end. Do not ride it up to the wire, there are always delays of one sort or another. You might need to spend an extra day in the old house before getting on the road. You might be waylaid by weather or a blown tire when traveling. The new house might not be ready for a day. Whatever happens, give yourself time to deal with it. Keep in touch with your moving company and make sure you have wiggle-room for departure, arrival, and problem solving along the way.
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