Moving is always a pretty major milestone in life. According to a recent estimate published by the Census, the average American moves about 11.7 times over the course of their life—about once every seven years.
However, while the moving process can often be very exciting, there is no denying that there are usually a lot of different steps involved. Having a checklist can usually be very helpful, which is why we’ve compiled this helpful list below (organized in stages):
Two Months Before Moving
(1) Find a Place to Live
Of course, the most important thing you should do when planning a move is actually find somewhere to live. Even if you are planning on living there for a short amount of time, the home you choose will have a major impact on your life. Start by deciding whether you want to buy or rent. If you do decide to buy, you’ll also want to think about things such as your personal budget, the schools available in the area, current housing (and interest) trends, along with various other factors.
(2) Visit Your Home Before Closing
If you are moving across the country, any sort of long-distance trip probably feels like a big inconvenience. However, whenever possible, it is always a good idea to take a look at any home before you decide to purchase it. Not only will this give you a chance to look at any possible problems but it will also give you an opportunity to truly envision and plan out how you plan to live there.
One Month Before Moving
(3) Find a Moving Service (if Needed)
Even if you don’t have a lot of personal belongings, you still might want to consider getting a moving service. Nationally, the average cost of a moving service is around $1,000, though this can vary depending on who you use. Most services also offer insurance policies in case anything breaks throughout the process.
(4) Organize a Storage Unit
(and Temporary Housing, if Needed)
If there is any sort of gap between when you plan to move out of your old place and move into a new one, you might need to contract a storage unit. Luckily, storage units tend to be quite affordable—you might be able to find one for as little as $20 per day. Before deciding where to store your things, you should also try to estimate how much space you’ll actually need.
(5) Book a Moving Truck
If you do decide to conduct your move on your own, then you’ll probably need to get a moving truck. The cost of the moving truck will depend on its size, how long you need it for, and how far you plan to move. For local moves, you might be able to get a truck for less than $100—long-distance moves will inevitably cost more.
One Week Before
(6) Get the Moving Supplies You Need
There are a lot of moving supplies that people might just assume they have lying around, only to realize they need a lot more. Boxes typically cost $5 or less but if you need a lot and are hoping to save, consider visiting your local grocer or big-box store (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) and seeing if they have any surplus boxes available.
(7) Make Sure Your House is Ready to Sell
If your house is about to be sold, you’ll want to make sure it is for-sale ready. That usually involves making a few minor fixes, organizing transitional paperwork, and also making your home as visually appealing as possible.
(8) Switch Any Subscriptions and Services
Take inventory of all the subscriptions and services that currently use your current address. This can include everything from your magazine subscriptions to your insurance provider to everything in between.
(9) Create an Exit Plan
By moving day, you’ll want to have carefully coordinated how everything will be moved from its current to its future location. That might involve contacting your friends for help, securing any keys that are needed, and more.
(10) Conduct a Final Sweep
Let’s be honest, nine times out of ten there is going to be something that you forgot. Though you’re probably exhausted from moving at this point, it is a very good idea to take just a little bit of time to look in every closet, check outside, and otherwise search your property for anything you might’ve missed.
If you coordinate everything efficiently, you might be able to unpack all of your things in just a couple of days. But just in case you need a little bit more time, be sure to put all of the items you immediately need towards the top of each box and towards the front of the moving truck.
(12) Conduct Your Follow-Ups
Congrats—at this point you’ve finally moved into your new home. However, it’s a good idea to follow up on any account from your old and new home. Cable, electricity, gas, mail, insurance, and any other bills should all be transitioned in a short amount of time.
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