How Early Should I Pack for a Move?
Have you just closed on your dream house or been approved for the perfect apartment? You probably feel like a huge weight has lifted off your shoulders. While finding a place to live lets you cross a big item off your to-do list, you now have a daunting task ahead of you: pack up your entire house in cardboard boxes just in time for moving day.
There’s no doubt that packing is the single most time-consuming aspect of moving. How early should you start packing for a move? The short answer: start as soon as the move is confirmed. To help you stay on track, follow this packing calendar as moving day approaches.
6 to 8 Weeks Before the Move
- Start cleaning out the basement, attic, garage, and closets. Decide what to keep and pack up whatever you won’t need before moving day. Then, make separate piles to discard, donate, or sell.
- Research the moving companies you’re interested in hiring. Read testimonials, compare rates, and ask for moving quotes. Request proof of insurance from every company you consider. Remember, hiring an uninsured mover could leave you responsible for property damage or personal injury claims.
4 to 6 Weeks Before the Move
- Arrange a moving sale. By completing this step far enough in advance, you allow time to donate or discard whatever items don’t sell.
- Select a moving company and confirm your moving date.
- Order packing supplies. Hopefully, your moving sale helped you downsize so can order fewer boxes and make moving day easier.
1 Month Before the Move
- As you begin the actual packing process, adopt a labeling system to keep your belongings organized. Consider taking pictures of the contents of each box to help you find what you’re looking for later. You can also download a packing app like Move Planner or Sortly to help you inventory your belongings.
- Begin packing decorations that serve no practical purpose and items you seldom use, such as China, holiday décor, and anything in your storage room.
- Contact charities and arrange to have items picked up that didn’t sell during your moving sale.
2 Weeks Before the Move
- Begin packing anything you don’t consider “essential” for daily use.
- Organize important documents, including bills, stocks, insurance policies, and bank account statements to make sure these are packed securely in the same box.
1 Week Before the Move
- Finish packing the rest of your non-essential items.
- Begin building your “day of” box, which contains everything you’ll need right up until the move and immediately upon arriving at your new home. Everything from toilet paper and cleaning supplies to a change of clothes and cutlery items belong in this box, so start setting essentials aside now, so they don’t accidentally get packed.
The Day Before the Move
- Defrost the freezer, clean out the fridge, and throw away any perishable food.
- Clearly label all furniture and appliances you’re not taking with you.
- Keep your “day of” box along with cash, jewelry, credit cards, and a checkbook with you during the move.