With proper planning and preparation, you can take the stress out of your upcoming move and save time and money.

Relocating to a new home is an exciting milestone, whether you're moving out on your own, starting a family, or putting down roots in a new community. However, the actual process of moving can be stressful and challenging if you don't plan ahead. Proper preparation is key to ensuring your transition from your current home to your new place goes as smoothly as possible while saving you time, money, and headaches. To help you get organized, follow this straightforward moving guide:

Two Months Out

  • Declutter
    Before you start packing, complete an inventory of your possessions. Moving is the perfect opportunity to declutter and get rid of anything you no longer need or want. Go through every room and be ruthless about deciding what to keep versus what to sell, donate, or discard. With enough lead time, you can easily offload unwanted items rather than paying to move them unnecessarily. 

  • Create a Floor Plan
    If you have your new home's layout, start planning where furniture will go to avoid bringing pieces that won't fit.

  • Make an Inventory
    After decluttering, make a detailed inventory of every item you plan to move. Being specific about listing out furniture, boxes, and other possessions will help you determine how many boxes you need, the rental truck size required, and whether you should hire professional movers. A precise inventory also streamlines the packing and unpacking process. It can also provide documentation for your moving insurance if anything gets lost or damaged in transit. 

One Month Out

  • Start Packing
    Don't underestimate how long packing takes - it always requires more time than expected. Use the weeks leading up to your move to box up items you won't need right away, like books, off-season clothing, and decorations. To speed up the process, consider hosting a packing party and recruit friends or family to help. As you pack, clearly label each box with its contents and the room it's destined for in your new home. Mark any fragile items for special care. Number the boxes and notate which ones contain items from your inventory for easier tracking.

  • Hire Movers
    If you don't want to handle the heavy lifting yourself, now is the time to hire professional movers. Get quotes from at least three licensed, insured, and bonded moving companies to find one that fits your needs and budget. Ask about their policies and additional moving insurance in case anything gets damaged during the move. If you plan to do the move yourself, start researching rental truck options and costs for boxes, supplies, and any hired labor you may need. Extra hands make a DIY move much easier, so try recruiting family or friends to help on moving day. 

  • Prepare New Home
    Try to get access to your new home before your move-in date. This lets you handle any painting, flooring updates, repairs, or renovations before your possessions arrive. Having an empty home makes projects much easier. For rentals, use this time to coordinate with your landlord. Discuss getting your keys, setting up utility transfers for your move-in day, and documenting any repairs or improvements needed before you take possession. 

Two Weeks Out

With your moving plan underway and packing/decluttering started, it's time to start separating yourself from your current home and transitioning accounts to your new address. This involves tasks like:

  • Forwarding mail with USPS
  • Canceling utilities and services at your old home and transferring them to your new home
  • Updating your mailing address with financial institutions, employers, subscriptions, etc.
  • Updating your vehicle registration if moving to a new state

Moving Day

Moving day is finally here. The more preparation and packing you've done leading up to this, the smoother things will go. Ideally, you'll have everything boxed up already so you can focus solely on loading the truck and transporting your belongings to your new home without distractions. 

  • Get Help
    Whether hiring movers or not, have friends/family assist, especially if you have kids or pets.

  • Pack Carefully
    As the moving truck is being loaded, do a final labeling of each box on multiple sides with the room and contents. Cross-reference your inventory list as well. Designate certain boxes for priority unloading at your new home - things you'll want access to immediately. Make sure those "essentials" boxes are the last ones loaded for easy retrieval. Keep all valuables like jewelry, cash, important documents, and personal records separate from boxed items. You can either transport them yourself or pack them in a clearly marked box that only you will handle. 

  • Clean Up
    Clean the house thoroughly or hire professional cleaners to leave it in good condition. Confirm all utility services (electric, gas, cable/internet, etc.) have been properly disconnected per your move-out date. Provide the new owners or renters with your house keys, garage remotes, etc. Do a final walkthrough, checking closets, cabinets, basement, and attic to ensure nothing is being left behind accidentally. Leave your forwarding address and contact information with the new occupants or a neighbor in case any mail or packages arrive after you've moved out.

After Moving In

Even after the moving truck is unloaded, there are still some important tasks to handle before you can truly feel settled in your new home. Beyond just unpacking and organizing, be sure to:

  • Update Important Accounts
    Once settled, update your new address on your license, voter registration, and any accounts you missed initially.

  • Get to Know Your New Area
    Locate nearby grocery stores, hospitals, fire/police stations, and other amenities you may need.

Moving can be overwhelming, but breaking it into simple steps helps streamline the process. And i-bank is here to assist with any banking or lending needs for your new home. Visit your local branch to get started.


Minimize Food Waste and Hassle

In the days leading up to your move, make an effort to consume or discard as much perishable food as possible. Having an empty or near-empty refrigerator makes things much easier on moving day. Since it may take some time to unpack and set up your new kitchen, pack a separate bag or cooler with non-perishable snacks and easy meal options, as well as disposable plates, utensils, and napkins.