It is a universally agreed upon fact that moving is not fun. Even if you're moving to greener pastures under the best and most exciting circumstances, the packing, organizing, and planning can be stressful and overwhelming. And that doesn't even get into the physical labor or financial expense involved.

But the good news is that a little bit of pre-planning can make your move a whole lot easier. Nothing alleviates stress as much as knowing you are in control of the situation and know exactly what needs to be done and when you need to it.

If you have an upcoming move, your friends at Oola are here to assist you. We've put together a checklist to break your move into easy to follow, manageable steps, spread over time so you don't have to deal with everything at once. Your next move is going to be easier than you ever thought possible. You've got this.

Two Months In Advance

1. Lessen Your Load

A calendar on a desk.

Chances are there are some things in your house you don't use or won't need in your new location. Clothes you haven't worn in years, gifts that didn't hit the mark, and impulse purchases line the closets and drawers of just about every household in the country. It doesn't make sense to bring these items to your new house. They'll take up valuable room in your moving truck and you'll eventually wind up getting rid of them anyway.

Walk through your home in advance to identify these items. Properly dispose of any items that are hazardous or no longer usable. Make a plan to hold a garage sale to cut ties with serviceable items you no longer need or sell them online to bring in a little cash. You can also give them to friends and family or donate them to charity. Ridding yourself of unwanted items in advance will alleviate a great deal or work down the road.

2. Research And Put Together A Moving Plan

A Uhaul truck.

One of the most important decisions you'll make when it comes to planning your move is whether you'll be renting a truck for a DIY move or hiring a company to do it for you. And even within those options, there are variants to consider such as whether you plan to pack your own boxes or pay a professional to help you. Budget is likely to be an important factor. And research is the key to establishing your budget.

Two months in advance make a list of all you anticipated expense including a rental truck or full-service movers. You should also include:

  • packing supplies
  • fuel
  • potential tolls
  • dump fees if applicable
  • labor
  • professional cleaners if you plan to hire them after move out
  • restaurant meals you may purchase while kitchen essentials are packed away

Keep in mind that any quotes you get for professional moving services by telephone or online are likely estimates and not firm quotes. In order to give you a guaranteed price, most companies will need to walk through and estimate the amount of work and labor in person.

The longer you wait to plan your move, the harder it will be to stick with a budget or plan because many truck rentals and full service moving companies will be booked up and unavailable. This will prevent you comparing pricing and services from various companies. Once you've done your research and decided on a moving plan be sure to reserve all your services. This will alleviate stress and also ensure you don't find yourself scrambling to put together a secondary plan as your moving day gets closer.

3. Contact Your Child's Schools

School children raising their hands.

It's a good idea to contact your child's current school and new school well in advance of your move to arrange for things such as the transfer of transcripts and paying any outstanding fines for lost library books. Keep in mind that most schools are closed during summer and the weeks surrounding Christmas/New Years Day.

One Month In Advance

1. Line Up Your Labor

A man carries a big stack of boxes.

If you didn't hire a full service moving company, chances are you're still going to need a little help. Whether you plan to ask family or friends to lend a hand or plan to pay a couple of day laborers, it's a good idea to make these arrangements in advance so everyone has the dates you'll need them to be available marked on their calendar.

This is also the time you'll want to book house cleaners if you decide to use a professional for your post move cleanup or contractors if you'll want to make a few patches and repairs after you move out.

2. Gather Your Supplies

Packing tape.

Everyone knows moving equals a need for lots and lots of boxes. But you'll also need tape, markers, packing paper and/or bubble wrap, and extra garbage bags. Waiting to gather these things at the last minute s stressful and it will also prevent you from packing in advance.

Perhaps more importantly, if you plan your move in advance you may be able to get the majority of your supplies for free through your local Buy Nothing Group, friends, Craigslist, or local businesses. Corporately owned UHaul stores also have a program where people can donate their boxes after a move. These boxes are made available on a first come first serve basis. Planning in advance will maximize your chances or getting free, valuable supplies.

3. Begin Packing

An empty box.

Once you've gathered your boxes and supplies, seize the opportunity to get a jump on your move by packing away the stuff you won't need prior to your move. This might include holiday decorations, fine china, clothes for the next season or books and decorations. This will save you work and stress later on and help ensure you don't need to stay up all night packing because you underestimated how long it would take.

Just remember to label your boxes. It's not reasonable to expect yourself to remember what's in then that far in advance.

Two Weeks In Advance

1. Change Your Address

A mailbox.

Notify the post office of your address change about two weeks in advance to ensure your mail gets forwarded. This is also a good time to notify your credit card companies, bank, insurance companies, or delivery services.

2. Transfer Your Utilities

A thermostat

Be sure to call your utility companies two weeks in advance to make sure you have power, heat, and internet at your new house and no longer accumulate charges at your old one.

3. Confirm Your Arrangements

A computer, phone, pen, pad, and coffee.

Call your moving company, rental truck carrier, and any friends or professionals you've enlisted to participate in your move to confirm the dates and double check on your payment arrangements.

4. Be Strategic At The Grocery Store

A family at the grocery store.

Take inventory of your food situation and eat up as many things as you can before your move. It doesn't make sense to stock up on items you'll have to pack and carry to your new kitchen. This may mean being a little more creative come mealtime, but it will also save you a few dollars you can put back into your move.

One Week In Advance

1. Pack

A couple sits on the ground surrounded by moving boxes.

Hopefully, your non-essential items have longed been packed away to make alleviate your workload as your move approaches. A week before you move, begin packing your kitchen goods and other necessities, leaving behind the bare minimum items you use on a daily basis.

2. Clean

A woman gets ready to clean a kitchen.

If you haven't hired cleaners for your moveout, begin detailing your house about a week in advance. Clean your walls, wipe down the interior of your cabinets, fill nail holes, and remove the stains from your carpet so you don't have to tackle those projects when you're exhausted from loading the truck. Do keep in mind though, that you will likely have to give the floors another vacuum down the road when the boxes and furniture are removed.

Moving Day

1. Pack Your Last Minute Items

Toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Yes, I know you've already packed. But chances are you left out a few toiletries and enough dishes to make breakfast. Pack up any straggling items first thing in the morning and add them to the rest of your boxes so they don't accidentally get left behind.

2. Detail

A man cleans a toilet.

Even if you've done the bulk of your cleaning in advance, you'll need to some detailing after your house is empty. At the very least you'll need to vacuum the floors after the furniture and boxes have been removed and countless individuals have walked through. If you haven't done so in advance, you'll also need to wipe out and clean your refrigerator and make sure your bathrooms are sparkling clean.

There's probably no way to move and avoid at least a little bit of stress and inconvenience. But if you plan in advance and do the work in stages, the project will be far easier. If you follow this checklist you'll be prepared, packed, and organized when moving day rolls around. Because the only thing you should have to worry about is where you're going to hang your pictures and put your furniture in your new house.

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