Stressing About How to Move Out? Follow This Simple Timeline

By Lindsay Stefan

Posted on September 20th, 2022

Flat illustration of people moving house

According to a recent Home Bay survey of 1,000 Americans, 92% are open to the idea of moving to another city or state.

But before you relocate across town or across the country, moving out of your home is a daunting task.

The key to a low-stress move: Start early. With a three-month timeline, you'll have ample time to declutter, shop around for deals on moving supplies, and gradually work your way from rarely-used items to your daily essentials.

Follow these steps to streamline your next move — and make the whole process much more bearable.

Three Months Before the Move

As soon as you know a move is on the horizon, begin sorting and simplifying your stuff. If items no longer spark joy, consider holding a garage sale or selling items on Craigslist to raise funds for the big move.

If you don’t want to deal with selling your stuff, donate gently used items to a local thrift store or nonprofit organization – and remember to get a receipt, as donations are tax deductible.

By paring down before you pack, you’ll save money and reduce your stress.

As you declutter your house, you can also get a jump-start on your packing. Gather rarely-used items such as:

  • Holiday decorations
  • Specialty kitchen items
  • Extra linens
  • Seasonal sports equipment
  • Collectibles
  • Books you've already read
  • Out-of-season clothes

You can pack these away as soon as possible — just don't forget to label the boxes.

3 Weeks Before the Move

At this point, it’s time to bring home boxes, packing materials, and heavy-duty tape. If you have valuable items, consider picking up specialty boxes, such as moving boxes for TVs.

Before you shell out hundreds at your local home improvement store, ask local grocery stores if they’ll hold boxes for you. Also, be sure to check Craigslist for anyone selling or giving away boxes in your area.

Do a little packing each day. Start with rooms that you don’t use often, such as a spare bedroom or dining room. As the days tick down, move into the den, the kitchen, your home office and your bedroom.

A week or so before moving day, you should be down to only a few dishes, the clothes you can pack in your suitcases, and any important papers that you need when you arrive at your destination. Put bright labels on your boxes and mark them clearly.

Tip: If you’re hiring a professional moving company, ask if they have a packing checklist you can follow and find out how much you need to have ready before they arrive.

3 Days Before the Move

Pack up your final round of kitchen and bathroom items and make do with the bare minimum for the next two days. Use paper plates and survive on take-out!

1 Day Before the Move

Designate one or two boxes as your survival boxes. Leave them open until the last minute and make sure they are the last boxes on the truck and the first ones off. Include must-have items like your coffee pot, basic dishes and pans, a potholder, essential toiletries, and a few changes of clothes.

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Posted in Moving