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Moving Planner

Published by Chris Townsend

moving planner

Three Movers Moving Planner: A Guide To Help Navigate the Moving Process

There’s a lot of planning that needs to go into any move and it’s easy to lose some of the details in the process, which can leave you scrambling to tie up loose ends at the last minute. Clearly, that’s not the best approach and can immeasurable stress and complication to your move, which is why we’ve compiled a week by week moving checklist of the most important things to address before you move. With a tightly organized checklist of what you need to accomplish, you’ll be able to more easily handle any unexpected surprised and focus on what needs to be done on a timeline that fits your schedule. While it’s not imperative that you start planning and organizing two months from your move-in date, it is helpful to give yourself plenty of lead time, which is why our checklist starts eight weeks out. Let’s get started!

8 Weeks To Moving Day

The first step you should take when planning your move is to establish a place where you’re going to keep all the information and notes you’ll need. This can be done any way you like, but we advise using something that can be easily edited like a word processing document, though there’s nothing wrong with using pen and paper as long as you can keep everything easily accessible and organized in a way that makes sense to you. Once you’ve accomplished a task on your checklist, you can mark it as complete and know that you’re that much closer to being ready to move.

Research Moving Companies

If you plan to hire a moving company to help you with your move, this is the time to start researching your options. It can be helpful to check online reviews, ask friends who have moved recently for their input, and of course, doing some basic background checking using the FMCSA Household Goods Program Database. The moving database is one of the most reliable tools at your disposal and we encourage you to check any prospective company you’re considering before contacting them.


Moving to a new home often means moving to a new city or state, which means you’ll have to start thinking about establishing your new life where you’ll be moving. Things like utilities, cable, internet service providers, doctors, school enrollment, and any other aspect your life that requires contact on your behalf should be scheduled at this point. This includes any financial institutions you may need to alert to your change of address, especially if you need to change banks and transfer funds. These steps are important to ensuring that you’ll be able to get your life going right away after you move in, and will make moving that much easier knowing you’ve already taken care of everything before moving day.

Learn Your Neighborhood

Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, you’ll need to get familiar with your new neighborhood. The best way to do this is in person and seeing things with your own eyes and talking to locals where you’ll be living. Moving requires a transition period and that can be made much easier if you’ve already established the restaurants you want to try, the activities you want to attend, and generally getting to know the lay of the land. If you are unable to visit in person, Google Maps is a great way to draw up a list of places you’d like to check out and learn about local events. Most cities have a website that includes visitor or tourist information that will help you learn about upcoming activities and recurring events that you can attend to get to know the area.

Establish Your Budget

Whether you plan to rent a truck and handle the moving duties yourself or work with a moving company, you’ll need to determine what fits your budget. If you haven’t yet decided between hiring movers and the do-it-yourself method, this is a good time to start pricing the options and figuring out the best course of action. You likely won’t be able to pin down exactly how much a mover will cost until you contact them for a price quote, but you can certainly figure out how much it will cost to rent a moving truck, as well as how much time you’ll need to spend driving to your new residence. If you are going to rent a truck and do everything yourself, be sure to factor in the cost of food and lodging during the move, particularly if your move will require more than one day of driving.

Back Up Files

Don’t forget to back up and digital files or documents before you move—something that often gets overlooked. This includes things like photos you have stored on your computer, as well as any work related or personal documents that you can’t afford to lose. A simple thumb drive is a good way to do this as it allows you to easily transfer your files and keep them together in a safe place without taking up too much physical space.

Determine What Requires Special Care

If you have any items that will require careful handling during moving, be sure to make a list of them so that you can communicate that information with the moving company. Anything that’s fragile, valuable, or particularly tricky to move (such as heavy or oversized items), add them to the list. This includes things like pianos, hot tubs, art and collectibles, and anything else that you feel needs to be handled with more care than your other belongings.

7 Weeks To Moving Day

Narrow Your List of Movers

Three Movers is a long distance moving with years of experience moving families to locations all around the United States. We consistently offer some of the lowest prices in the industry, coupled with some of the best and friendliest service you’ll find. Contact us today at (888) 202-0036 for a FREE price quote, or use our online form to receive a moving estimate from a qualified, professional representative in your area!

Seven weeks from your moving day is a good time to whittle down your list of moving companies you’re considering. At this point, you’ve done some basic research and figured out which options best suit your needs, which should allow you to narrow your list of options down to three to five good choices. This step will give you a good list to work from in the next week when you start contacting movers to get a cost estimate, which will help you make your final decision on which one to go with.

Will You Need Storage?

If you know that you’ll need storage, this is the time to start looking at your options are in the area you’re moving to. This is information you’ll also want to communicate to any moving company you get in touch with since many of them have their own storage facilities, or at the very least, they can help you by arranging storage with a local facility. The same applies to long term storage if you have any items that won’t fit in your new home that you’re not quite ready to part with yet.

Job Considerations

Put in a request with your employer for time off so that you’ll be free to take care of everything on moving day. If you are changing jobs after your move, this is a good time to alert your employer that you’ll be leaving and they’ll appreciate that you gave them more than the standard two week notice.

Basic Cleaning

You don’t need to do a deep clean at this point, but some basic tidying up will mean you’ll have less to do as you get closer to your move out date. If you have any big projects, such as a garage that needs cleaning and organizing, this is the time to do it. Ultimately, you’ll want to leave as little as possible for yourself to do in the final days before you move and that definitely includes cleaning.

Arrange For Help

If you need to enlist the help of friends or family for moving day, be sure to give them plenty of notice so that they’ll be able to give you a firm answer as to whether or not they’ll be available. This goes double if you’re moving without the help of professionals since you’ll likely need some help moving larger items. Don’t forget that you’ll also need help on the back end of your move to unload everything from the truck

6 Weeks To Moving Day

Get An Estimate

When you’re six weeks out from your moving date, it’s time to contact movers from the list you’ve made of acceptable choices and get a cost estimate. As mentioned above, it’s important that you convey as much information as possible in order to get the most accurate estimate and ensure that the companies you reach out to can provide the services you need. All movers should offer a price quote at no charge and then it’s simply a matter of weighing the services they offer and how affordably they are able to do the job. If you plan on renting a truck and doing the job yourself, the same applies: contact your options and see how much they’ll charge for a truck rental.

Gather Supplies

You should collect the moving supplies you need at this point and try to get everything you’ll need, including boxes, packing tape, markers, bubble wrap and anything else you think you might need along the way. Since you’re getting organized early, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you need to need to pick up some extras down the line.

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Start Packing What You Don’t Use

While you don’t need to get your entire house packed up this early, you can certainly start making some headway when it comes to the items you don’t use that often, or don’t plan to use in the coming weeks. Those nice dishes and silverware that you use only when you host company can all be packed away early, as can blankets, clothes, and sheets that you won’t be needing in the immediate future.

Travel Arrangements

Whether you’re driving or flying to your new home, it’s time to start making your travel arrangements. Buying plane tickets is pretty self explanatory and even if you’re driving, you should start planning where you’ll be stopping for the night, even the meals you’ll be eating if you want to minimize costs. Planning the route you’ll take if it’s a long trip can be very helpful too so that you don’t have to make last minute decisions that could add time to an already lengthy trip.

5 Weeks To Moving Day

Choose A Moving Company

Choose the moving company you’ve settled on based on the price quotes you’ve received and which one you feel is the best option. Be sure to confirm all the services you need with them so that you can get the most accurate estimate, and also so that everything goes according to plan on moving day.

Cook Food You Have On Hand

With just over a month before you move, you’ll want to start eating what you have in your fridge, freezer, and pantry so that you can minimize trips to the grocery store. It’s easy to forget that much of the food you have won’t be able to make the trip with you, unless you’re moving a short distance. If you do need to buy groceries, try to limit what you buy to what you’ll be able to eat before moving.

Packing Timeline

You should have some items already packed into moving boxes, but now it’s time to make a formal plan of what to pack and when. You may also want to move some items to a temporary or long term storage unit, The main things you’ll want to leave until a later date before packing are kitchen items you’ll need to use for cooking, toiletries, and anything else you will need to use on a regular basis.

Three Movers provides a wide selection of affordable moving solutions, regardless of where you’re moving to or from! Contact us today at (888) 202-0036 for a FREE moving cost estimate! All price quotes are given in real time by a certified moving representative and require no payment or obligation on your part! You can also get a price quote by filling out our short online request form and a moving professional will contact you to discuss your needs and provide an estimate!

4 Weeks To Moving Day

Schedule Car Shipping If Needed

If you won’t be driving all your vehicles to your new home, you may need to ship them with an auto transport company and this is when you should start scheduling for that. Many moving companies also provide car shipping, including Three Movers, which can make it easier having everything moved by the same company, rather than using two different companies to get the job done.

Cancel Memberships

If you’re a member of a gym, club, or any local organizations, you’ll need to cancel membership before you move (assuming you will no longer be able to maintain membership while not in the area). It’s good to cancel a month in advance so that you don’t incur another month of dues after you’ve already moved.

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Have A Yard Sale

You should have a good idea of what needs to go before you move at this point, which makes it a good time to have a yard sale. This is best done on a Saturday or Sunday so that you can maximize traffic and increase the chance that you’ll be able to unload any items you don’t need or want. After the yard sale, you should donate any items that you can and get rid of the others so that you’re not left with any unnecessary items when you need to move.

3 Weeks To Moving Day

Change of Address

If you haven’t already filed for a change of address with the post office, be sure to do it now. It’s also important to update your address with any other relevant parties, which includes any bills, credit cards, financial institutions, services you have a subscription with, and any other business or government institution that you need to maintain your address with such as the local voter's registration office.

Car Servicing

If you are driving or shipping a vehicle when you move, it’s a good idea to get your vehicles serviced before moving. This is especially important if you’ll be driving long distance since you don’t want to deal with any mechanical issues while you’re on the way to your new residence.

Notify Friends & Family

You’ve likely already told people close to you that you’re moving, but make sure you haven’t left anyone out of the loop. If you have kids, inform the families of their friends that you’ll be moving so that they can say proper goodbyes before leaving. You may want to host a small going away get together so that you have a chance to relate contact information and share a few parting words before moving.

2 Weeks To Moving Day

Confirm Arrangements

Double check that all moving arrangements are set up and confirmed for the dates you’ve specified. This also applies to being able to access your new home if you’re not already in possession of the keys. If you have any doubt or concern that something may not be ready and available when you need it, be sure to confirm all arrangements relevant to your move.

Remove Wall Hangings

With just two weeks left, you can take down wall hangings and pictures and get them packed for the move. If there are any holes left in the wall after removing items, be sure to get them patched up. The same goes for any existing damage to walls so that you can maximize your home’s value or make sure you get your full security deposit back if you’ve been renting.

Plan Your Meals

You should put together a plan for meals and snacks for the next two weeks. If you’re trying to save money, you’ll want to have meals that are relatively easy to prepare at home, though it can sometimes be easier during this period to eat out once in a while so you don’t have to worry about dishes or leftovers. Don’t forget to plan for meals and snacks during your drive if you’ll be driving a rental truck or vehicle when you move.

Forward Medical Records

Moving long distance means you’ll have to find new health care providers and it’s important that you have your medical records forwarded. This is usually done directly between doctor and dental offices so you should just have to contact them to make arrangements. If you have any medications you take, be sure to do the same so that you’re not left without refills at the pharmacy.

Furniture Layout

If you haven’t already done so, start considering the layout of your new home and where certain items will go. If you’re buying new furniture after you move, it still pays to think about where everything will be positioned, and in which rooms. These plans don’t need to be set in stone, but it will help if you at least know which rooms you want certain items in when unloading the moving truck.

1 Week To Moving Day

Final Cleaning

You may want to leave this task until the end of the final week in your home so that you don’t have to do a second pass before moving day. Ideally, you’ve already done some basic clean up along the way so that this won’t take too long. Make sure floors, walls, and bathrooms are clean and don’t forget to tidy up around any appliances you’ll be leaving behind. To avoid being overwhelmed, you can hire move out cleaning services.

Pack What Remains

Everything that remains in your home should be packed during the last week, with the exception of what you’ll need to use on a daily basis like toiletries and what you’ll need for food and cooking, which can be left until the day you leave. Make sure that all final cleaning has been done before you pack up cleaning supplies too.

Essentials Kit

The items that you’ll need for daily care such as bathroom items, medications, and change of clothes should be put together so that they’re accessible during the moving process. If you have children moving with you, be sure to keep some items to keep them entertained during a flight or long drive.

Packing process

Activities List

Once you’ve moved, you’ll want to start exploring your new city or neighborhood. It can be helpful to know what you plan to do ahead of time, including places to eat and things to do. Even exploring local parks and sights should be on your list so that you can get a feel for the area. If you’ll be living in an area that’s pedestrian friendly, it’s a good idea to get out for a walk and take a look at the local sights.

Last Minute Tasks

Take a final walk round your home to spot anything that remains to be done before movers arrive or when you need to start loading the rental truck. If you’re driving a vehicle and need to get it loaded with boxes, packing can be done before moving day. Any final clean up falls under this task as well, as does discarding unused food that will go bad if not stored in a refrigerator or freezer. If you have pets travelling with you, make sure they have everything needed to handle a long trip as well.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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