Moving might seem stressful, but the truth is, it doesn’t have to be, especially if you have some time to plan and start the process early. If you know you’ll be packing up within the next year or few months, you have plenty of time to get things in order so that you don’t have to feel “under the gun” as your moving date draws near.
WHEN YOUR MOVE IS 1 YEAR AWAY...
You can enjoy this stage of decluttering, room by room, shelf by shelf, drawer by drawer. Turn on some music or a movie, take your time, and remind yourself: the fewer things you have in your home, the less time you’ll have to spend packing and unpacking, and the cheaper it will be to move everything.
Start going through your closet and dresser drawers monthly.
A “wardrobe purge” is harder than it sounds—trust us. It may take multiple decluttering sessions before you really weed through what you actually wear and what is truly worth saving. Now is the perfect time to get rid of old bridesmaid dresses, impulse purchases that you’ve hardly ever worn, and clothes that you’re simply bored with.
Pick one area of your home each weekend to declutter.
Clearing the clutter from an entire room can feel overwhelming. Instead, just pick one shelf, one wall, or one desk, and start there. If you have no use or positive attachment for an item, it’s better to toss it, recycle it, or donate it.
WHEN YOUR MOVE IS 6 MONTHS AWAY...
Now that you’ve determined what’s staying in your home, it’s time to get rid of what’s going.
Have a yard sale.
If you’d like to make a little extra money from items you’re getting rid of, hold a yard sale. Don’t forget to put up signs in advance and collect some coins to make change. Keep in mind, most people who visit garage sales do so early in the morning, so you’ll want to start preparing the night before.
Advertise items you don’t want on Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace.
If you’d rather avoid the bustle of a garage sale first thing in the morning, you can post about items you’d like to sell or give away on Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor’s website or mobile app. This will help you connect with neighbors and other locals who’d be interested in what you’re trying to sell. Of course, remember to exercise caution.
Nope, it is not too early to start packing. Start with the items you know you won’t need soon, like home decor, books you won’t be rereading right away, and out-of-season clothing and bedding. Make sure you label your boxes so that you don’t forget what you’ve put inside them!
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WHEN YOUR MOVE IS 3 MONTHS AWAY...
While three months gives you several weeks to prepare for your move, that time can pass quickly, especially if you’re busy with other tasks Monday through Friday.
Start emptying your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.
You don’t want a kitchen full of perishable food to worry about when your moving date arrives. Start eating what you have now—don’t forget to dig into the back of your freezer! Canned food is also just one more thing to pack (and possibly forget about). When your move is getting close, clear out your pantry and donate the canned goods to a local charity.
Create a moving binder.
This binder will have information about your new home and home town such as your new utility companies, the schools you’ll need to enroll your kids in, and where to find the things you need (like groceries). In another section of your binder, keep information about your moving expenses, including quotes, bills, and receipts, as you may be able to write some of these costs off on your taxes.
Hire a moving company.
While lifting boxes might be manageable for the average person, you’re going to need some help when it comes to heavy furniture and appliances, especially if stairs are involved. This is where a trustworthy moving company can be a lifesaver (and a back-saver)!
Contact your internet and utility companies.
Let your gas, water, electric, and internet providers know in advance when you will be moving. If you are moving a short distance, you may end up with the same providers. If not, you’ll need to make arrangements with the companies in the new area where you’ll be living.