8 Important Moving Timeline Tips
Moving is one of the most stressful tasks a person can undertake. There's so much to do and so much to keep track of, and the emotional impact of moving can set in quickly. When things aren't organized, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the details. However, there's no need to get lost in the chaos. Creating a timeline can help break up the tedious tasks into manageable pieces. Doing a little bit each day in the months leading up to a move can make the entire process a breeze. Read on to find eight great moving tips and a sample timeline that makes moving easy.
8 Tips to Relieve the Stress of Moving
Understand the Big Picture Before Getting Started
If you wake up each morning and say, "OK, what do I have to do today?" you're bound to get flustered and to leave something important until too late. The first step to making moving easy is to establish a timeline. Create a list of everything that needs to be done before the move-in day, including issuing an inspection of your new home. Then prioritize those tasks in order of most to least important. A computer spreadsheet is good, but a hard copy is better. Post it in a place where you'll always be able to see it. Using a calendar makes it easier to conceptualize the time each task will take. Check tasks off as you complete them.
What to include in your timeline? There are many good examples online, and there's a high-level sample at the end of this article.
Always Start Early
Eight weeks before the move is not too early to start organizing essential tasks and asking yourself important questions. For example, are you going to hire professional movers? Decide soon. You'll need plenty of time to select and schedule one.
Other items at the top of the list: identify all the supplies you'll need and make a list of people and businesses that need to be notified about your home move. Getting these details on paper early frees up space in your mind to focus on packing.
Use a Folder to Keep Important Documents Readily Available
This folder should contain your timeline, any phone numbers and addresses you might need, moving contracts, and anything you might have to quickly reference as you're packing. A computer file folder works well, but, again, a physical copy works best. Phone batteries and cellular connections can be unreliable. By keeping physical documents on hand, you'll never have to go without them.
Cut Back on Clutter
Do you still have unopened boxes from your last move? Don't move them again. If these items haven't made it out in your current residence, it's safe to assume that you won't need them in your new home. As you're discarding unused possessions, it's a good time to take inventory and get rid of everything that won't be needed at the new place. There are many creative ways to declutter, but you can start by setting aside unneeded possessions as you pack and sell them, donate them, or throw them away. By travelling with as little as possible, you'll save time, effort, and money.
Do a Little Every Day
Don't wait until the last minute to start packing. Attempting to throw everything into boxes at once will result in complete disorganization. Additionally, if fragile objects aren't packed carefully, they can be broken or damaged during the move. If you start packing early, you can first pack the things you won't need at all during the move. For example, holiday decorations and seasonal clothing can be packed first. Kitchen items and everyday essentials should be packed last. To stay on track, use a timer and pack for about an hour every day.
Buy New Boxes
Although boxes are relatively cheap, the cost of new ones can add up quickly. That said, resist the temptation to reuse old and worn boxes. The money you might save by reusing old boxes can easily be offset if damaged boxes allow your possessions to be ruined. Replacing old boxes can keep your things from getting wet, broken, or infested with pests.
Use Proper Packing Techniques
Don't stuff as much as you possibly can into a box, but don't leave empty space. Pack heavier items in the bottom of the box. Each box should contain items from only one room to make unpacking as easy as possible. Label each box and include a quick overview of what's inside of it. Use packing tape to close the seams, then add a couple of wraps all the way around the edge, where the box is most stressed. If you're loading the truck yourself, put the heaviest boxes in first.
Make An Essentials Kit
Carry critical items where you can get them quickly. This kit should include your folders, extra clothes, toiletries, and other items you wouldn't have to dig out of the back of the moving truck.
A Sample Moving Timeline
Your real timeline should have more detail, but here are a few thoughts to get you started.
- 6-8 weeks. Gather supplies such as boxes, containers, and packing materials. Make arrangements with professional movers, and schedule your garage sale to expedite the decluttering process.
- 5-6 weeks. Go through each room in the home. Storage areas such as attics and closets come first. Identify what gets packed early and what you'll still need before moving day.
- 4 weeks. Unload the things that aren't making the move. Identify them to sell, donate, or discard.
- 3-4 weeks. Pack the seasonal and infrequently used items. Examples are decorations, off-season clothing and little-used utensils.
- 1-2 weeks. Pack up everything you won't need before moving day.
- 2-3 days. Pack everything but the things you'll carry with you: some clothes, toiletries, cleaning supplies, toys, and games. And, of course, your all-important moving folder.
Moving is complex, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. An orderly process guided by a timeline can make any move a success. Working as efficiently as possible allows you to increase your home's curb appeal with exterior updates. By the time you reach your new home, you'll be settled in before you know it.