Step by step moving tips

Use our handy moving tips to plan and execute your next move

Last Updated 7/25/17

by Rosemary Avance, Ph.D.ConsumerAffairs Research Team

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Moving boxes with plants


Moving can be one of life’s most stressful experiences. If you plan ahead, you can cut out some of the stress and streamline the process to save yourself some headaches. We’ve compiled a to-do list with advice on how to prepare for the big move.

This list starts with items you can do well in advance, but don’t worry if you’ve waited until the last minute. You’ve probably done more than you think, and, if not, you can tackle many items (like learning about your new community) once you’re settled in your new home.

Moving boxes with bubble wrap

Two months before your move

If you know you’re moving well in advance, starting early can make the whole process easier. At the two-month mark you can do a lot of research and planning to prepare for your upcoming move.

  • Clean out your house. Moving is always easier, and cheaper, with less stuff. Throw away, donate or sell whatever you don’t need or want. Don’t forget your attic, basement, shed and garage. Make sure to read our top tips for getting rid of clutterto make this step as pain-free as possible.

  • Learn about your new community. Learn about public transportation, look for doctors and veterinarians in your new area, choose schools and daycare and look into local churches or clubs that are important to you.

  • Finalize lease or new home contract. Don’t wait until the last minute to finalize your lease, contract, move-in date or any other details with your new home.

  • Begin researching moving or self-packing container companies. You’ll need to spend some time comparing your options and getting in-person estimates, so start looking for movers as soon as you know your moving date.

  • Buy moving supplies. If you’re packing your own things, don’t forget boxes, tape, labels, newspaper and bubble wrap. If you’re hiring movers, ask if they provide these supplies and how much they cost. You might be able to get them cheaper on your own than through your moving company.