How to Move Out With Less Than A Month's Notice
This post part of my #MoveItOrLoseIt series, where I share my best moving tips with you. Find links to more moving tips at the end of this page!
"Pack it up, Pack it in. Let me begin." - noble words from House of Pain's Jump Around
3 Weeks Until the Move
Deal With Current Housing - Notify landlords (if applicable) to schedule a walkthrough, plan for any budgetary things like paying through your lease. Make note of all the things to repair and make a trip to a hardware store for supplies. Begin "deep" cleaning, little by little OR hire a cleaning service. DECLUTTER - read about it. Donate/Recycle/Sell. Figure out what to do with the trash (dump run, schedule a pick-up)
Plan For Upcoming Housing - Assess your budget for travel and housing in the next few months. Find a place to live. Simple, no? Figure out if your stuff can fit into your upcoming home - make sure you actually measure your things and don't just guess. Arrange for a (climate controlled) storage unit if you need one.
Plan for the Move - Figure out if you can make the move with just your personal car, or if you need to rent a moving truck/service. Find out if you need a permit for off loading, or are restricted by move-in dates/times. *If you are traveling farther, you will need to shop around for the best rates based on miles and storage space. If you have children, you will need to request to have their school records transferred to the new school. Notify your employer if you have not already done so. Is there a branch of your bank near your new location? Will you need to open an account somewhere local?
Health/Wellness - Refill prescriptions and arrange with Doctor/Pharmacist for a smooth transfer to your future pharmacy. Make any last minute doctor/vet appointments as needed. Cancel your memberships/subscriptions. (gym, magazines, groceries/meal services) Speaking of food - start cleaning out your pantry, freezer and fridge. Toss expired food, and decide whether you will commit to eating the remaining food over the next few weeks.
Gather Supplies - Think about gathering supplies for packing AND unpacking at the same time. -You will need tape, boxes, and markers for packing. -For unpacking, you'll need box cutters or scissors, trash bags. For more supply suggestions, see this post about an arrival care package for when you arrive. It also includes tips about what to pack first and last.
Consider Purchasing Clear Plastic Containers - Purchase cardboard boxes only if you have to - try to get them for free first. (Unless you're moving during a global pandemic, in which case, buy new things) While it may ding your wallet up front (not by much), purchasing sturdy reusable clear containers will come in handy over and over again. Once you move, you can use them to store off season items like clothing and holiday decor, for example. Or you can use them to collect all your memorabilia, extra home decor, and party supplies.
2 Weeks Until the Move
Address Change - For mail, You can do it online here at USPS.com *Bonus! You can also register to vote at this new address after you complete the address change. #govote Don't forget to change your address with your Insurance companies, subscription services, and banks. Changing your address with your bank will also mean updating all your billing information on Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon, Apple, etc... *We chose to wait to change our bank address until we arrived at our destination so we didn't run into any issues with using our cards while we traveled. Realistically, I knew I was never going to remember the new zip code for my card at the gas station.
Contact Utility Providers - Starting with Internet/Cable (if you wish to transfer service, they will need to schedule a technician for you and you can even try to negotiate a lower rate for being a loyal customer)
Take Inventory - Take a video tour of your home after you've decluttered, and before you start packing. This will give a video record of what items you are bringing with you, as well as show proof of how you left the home upon move out. If you only have items of value, take photos of them in your home/how you've packed them and record the information for future reference. You can use a spreadsheet to get super detailed about listing box numbers.
Start Packing You can begin packing books, magazines, mirrors & decor, and off-season items that you won't need access to in the next two weeks. If you're struggling about where to begin, just gather everything of the same category together and pack it. Packing by room may save you time now, but it will be a hassle at the move-in.
1 Week Until the Move
Confirm everything. - Call and confirm with your moving service that you are still scheduled for the date/time as planned. Give them specific instructions about how to get to your house and tell them where they can pull in. Confirm your future housing and ensure you will know how to gain access upon arrival.
Take Care of Maintenance - Take your personal cars in for a tune up - maybe even vacuum/wash you car. If you are moving far enough away that you'll lose your favorite stylist/masseuse - schedule one last appointment.
Plant care - This article from Apartment Therapy has some great tips about prepping your plants, but here are my takeaways: prune those babies ASAP, repot them into plastic for an easier move, water the for the last time a few days before the move. Fake plants - You can use a garment box for tall plants and surround the base with other fake plants or items. See this blog post for a visual.
Food/Snack/Beverage Prep - Take inventory of your current food/water supply and replenish as needed Check in with neighbors and local food pantries to see if they would accept any food. Don't forget to check your pet and plant food supply!
Prep Your Life- Set aside the clothes and shoes you'll need for time between packing the box, and the next time you'll have access to the box. Pull out the toiletries and styling tools you'll need access to upon arrival. Prep your arrival care package (read more about that here) in a large container or box. Gather all your important documents (make copies if you need) and valuables that you don't want to get mixed into boxes that go on the moving truck.
Defrost Your Freezer - Do this. I feel like that's all I need to say.
Finish Packing - If it needs to go on the moving truck, pack it at least 24 hours before the moving truck arrives. Only essential items should remain unpacked in the home. So like, alcohol and dental care, you know?
Day Of the Move
Movers - -Verify that the people showing up in the truck are actually the people you hired. *A great tip: The USDOT number on the side of the truck should match the number on the estimate given to you. (Tip from Ali Wenzke's book "The Art of Happy Moving") -Provide Refreshments if you're able. Buying them water, lunch/dinner will keep them on the property so they don't have to travel somewhere for lunch and take a loooooong time to come back. Tip per person, per day (rate depends on your regions average). Make sure they sign the inventory list/bill of lading before they go anywhere with your stuff.
Turn Everything Off/Close Up- Unless otherwise directed, turn everything off and unplug everything.
Spot Check - As you say goodbye to your home, make sure you open all the rooms and closets one last time to make sure you haven't missed something. Look on the top shelves (often gets overlooked) and underneath/behind things. *Fun fact - after 30 days of an item being in one spot, you can forget it's there, even if it's in direct line of vision. Have someone else follow behind you for a double spot check.
Locks and Keys - If you've agreed to leave copies of the keys somewhere, please please please label them for which door they open. Lock all the windows and doors behind you, but only after you've done a full spot check.
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to read more helpful moving tips from me, as part of my #moveitorloseit series:
How to Declutter Before a Move - ft. Missy Elliott How To Pack Your Photos and Art for a Move How To Pack Your Closet for a Move How To Pack Your Kitchen For a Move What To Pack First & Last, plus Your "Arrival Survival Kit"