An Eight-Week Guide to Moving Houses

Close-up of woman holding house key in new home
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You have your move date set, and you know where you're moving to, but getting from now to the move date itself probably feels a little chaotic. With so many things to do, where do you even begin to organize it all? Follow this guide to an eight-week timeline that will help you establish all those tasks that need to get done, so you don't miss a thing.

Eight Weeks Before You Move

It's just two months before you say goodbye to your house, your neighborhood, family, and friends, and by now you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. Right now, there's one critical task that you need to do: hire movers or if you're moving yourself, rent a moving truck.

Other tasks that you should accomplish before moving day include:

  • Set up a binder to use for notes on the move
  • Obtain a floor plan of the new residence
  • Take an inventory of household goods
  • Purchase insurance, if necessary
  • Create a file for all moving papers and receipts
  • Rent a storage space, if you need it
  • Get packing supplies

Six Weeks Before You Move

That move is probably starting to hover right over your shoulder, breathing down your neck. Hey, don't sweat it—you're right on track, as long as you hired moving or rented a truck. Six weeks before you move, here's what you want to do:

  • Start to use up the food that's in your fridge, pantry, and freezer, so that you don't have to move it
  • Start to declutter the household

Four Weeks Before You Move

With a month to go before the big day, you may be feeling like you'll never get it all done, but trust me, you can. All you need to do is take a breath, stop looking at the big picture and start concentrating on the small steps.

Tasks to do four weeks before moving include:

  • Come up with a system for labeling your boxes
  • Start packing the non-essentials, such as decor, off-season clothing, and books
  • Pack any outdoor and stored items
  • Make a list for where you'll need to change your address, such as at the bank
  • Confirm the moving company or truck
  • Finalize travel arrangements if hotels or flights are necessary

Two Weeks Before You Move

Two weeks to go—you're almost there! It is the most stressful period when it feels like there will never be enough time to finish everything. Maybe it's time to call in some help. Rally some friends or family or neighbors, offer them a glass of wine and hand them a box. Most people are glad to help out, plus it gives them all a little extra time to spend with you before you leave.

Other than continuing to pack, here's what you need to do two weeks out from the move:

  • Contact utility companies and arrange for a transfer of service
  • Schedule pet care or childcare during the move, if necessary
  • Start deep-cleaning your current home as you finish packing up rooms
  • Transfer prescriptions to a new pharmacy, if necessary
  • Return library books or items you've borrowed from local friends

One Week Before Moving Day

There's just one week left, which means it's time to finish up the final tasks, which include:

  • Packing a suitcase to live out of for the next week
  • Thoroughly clean your current home
  • Close bank accounts in current city
  • Pack an essentials box
  • Disassemble furniture

It's Moving Day

Set your alarm early because it's moving day! It is the day you've been waiting and planning for the past eight weeks, and now it's finally here.

Make sure you get plenty of sleep, take the children to a babysitter or neighbors, drink lots of coffee and get ready for the final tasks in your soon-to-be-old home and check them off one by one.

  • Do a final walkthrough of the house before you leave to make sure you haven't left anything behind
  • Check the thermostat to ensure it's at the proper temperature
  • Make sure the house is secure
  • Dispose of all garbage
  • Leave all keys behind