What’s the number one piece of advice for having a successful move? Get organized and stay organized. Even if you’re hiring a full-service moving crew to do packing, moving and upacking, there is still a ton of work to do, dates to coordinate, and papers to keep track of. How you organize is up to you, but here are the most important things that you need to do.
Get your dates set first. Figure out when you need to be out of your old home and can get into your new home. You will most likely need four to six weeks to plan, book your move, and get everything else accomplished. Within those four to six weeks, set deadlines for all the things you need to accomplish.
Which means, you need to start making a list of everything you need to accomplish, so create a master plan and task list, and keep it updated. You can do this with an app, with a spreadsheet, or on paper. However you do it, make sure your master plan includes deadlines, a timeline, and assigns tasks to people.
Create detailed task lists. It’s not enough to create a to-do list that with items like, “Pack everything.” Break out tasks into detailed lists: What rooms to pack and when, all the places you need to change your address, when to do charity donations, etc.
Break out tasks by person. While one person may need to be in charge of the master plan, moving is a family chore. Be sure that everyone in your household knows what their responsibilities for the move are, understands deadlines, and is working on getting them done.
Deadlines are critical. If you don’t have deadlines, you stand a much greater chance of having a marathon packing session the night before the moving trucks arrive. As with task lists, break out smaller deadlines that are easier to accomplish. So every small task should have a small deadline, with a larger deadline (everything packed the day before the movers arrive) for the
Have a master file for moving paperwork. There’s a lot of stuff that goes with moving: Lease or mortgage paperwork, moving estimates and contracts, confirmation of address changes, utility connection or disconnect confirmations, and much more. You’ll want a method to corral all of this, whether that’s scanning them to your phone or keeping paper copies in an accordion file.
Create task lists for both move out and move in days. It will make the day go more smoothly if you identify things like who will be the main contact for the moving crew, who will check all the closets to make sure nothing is forgotten, and who is responsible for getting pets corralled and out of the way.
Most important: Create a system of rewards to help keep you motivated and making progress. Whether that’s a big reward, like a vacation while you’re on the road to your new home, or small rewards like dinner out or a night off from moving prep, you’ll be better about cleaning out your garage and getting the packing done if there’s a little extra reward.
However you’re staying organized, be sure to keep everything up to date, so cross off all those completed tasks, edit as necessary, and keep working toward your goal of a successfully completed move.