Moving Timelines

The following guideline/timeline is provided as a tool to assist you in making your move less convoluted and less stressful.  When you review the items below, there may be items that do not pertain to your move and other items that you may wish to address in a different sequence.  Work the process with your individual strengths, needs, and in your own time frame.  However, most of the items in this document are pertinent to a successful stress-free moving experience.


6 to 8 Weeks


4 to 6 Weeks


2 to 3 Weeks


1 to 2 Weeks


Day Before


Move Day


Delivery Day


Post Move


6 to 8 weeks before move day

Individual Residential Move

  • Factors for consideration
    • What items are NOT going?
    • What items might the real estate agent want out of the house, but that you will still be taking with you to your next home
    • What packing are you going to accomplish?
    • Do you have a budget?
    • Are you able to move small items?
    • Will you need storage?
  • Do NOT be afraid to ask questions!
  • If storage is needed, determine the type of storage you will need (Self Storage, Portable Storage, or Mover’s Storage).  Each method has its strengths and in certain circumstances each can be the most cost effective.  After determining the type of storage which will work best for your needs, make arrangements to secure your service. 
  • Factors for consideration in making your storage decisions can include:
    • How long will you be in storage? 
    • Do you need access to your items while they are in storage? 
    • How many pads will I need to rent to protect my furnishings? 
    • How much will it cost to get my items into and out of storage? 
    • Is it important that my household goods are insured while they are in storage? 
    • Who is responsible for damage when my goods are delivered to my new home? 
    • If I rent temporary housing with an extra bedroom will my items fit in it so I don’t need extra storage?
  • Who is going to service the appliances?  Grandfather clock?  Pool table, etc?
  • Secure referrals to quality movers, interview them, conduct individual surveys, and secure written estimates from moving companies.  Compare all of the written estimates against each other, research the company (BBB, Utilities & Transportation Commission, Mover’s Conference, etc), and select a mover.  THEN, make sure you secure a written commitment of pickup and/or delivery dates, and insurance (coverage) options.  Ask the mover to explain your “Rights and Responsibilities”.

Corporate Move

  • Review your relocation package and determine:
    • What expenses will be paid by your employer?
    • Do I need to secure the estimates in-writing for company approval?
    • If so, how many?
  • Start a file of moving expense receipts (some may be tax deductible)


  • Pets:
    • If you are moving locally, make arrangements for the pet to be off-site or securely constrained on the packing and moving day
    • Research and make transportation arrangements
    • Request pet’s records from your veterinarian.  Most states require health certificates and rabies inoculations.
    • Identification and rabies tags should be securely attached to your pet’s collar.
    • Movers typically have printed materials and referrals to pet services
  • Decide what to do with your house plants
    • Movers cannot safely move your plants due to potential issues such as lack of water, light, and possible temperature changes while in the van.  Many states will not allow their transportation! 
    • Consider giving the plants to relatives or friends; donate them to a hospital or a non-profit organization; include them in a garage sale; Craig’s List, etc
  • If you are moving from a rental property notify the landlord and request site-visit and deposit return

4 to 6 weeks before moving day

  • Notify the post office that you are moving.  An online Change of Address form is available on the US Postal Service website -
  • Prepare a list of friends, relatives, business firms, and others who should be notified of your move.  The following may be helpful
Utilities Professional Services Personal
  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Telephone/Internet  
  • Sewer District 
  • Refuse
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Fuel (oil/propane/gas)
  • Doctor(s)
  • Dentist(s)
  • Accountant
  • Lawyer
  • Broker
  • Insurance Agencies 
  • Pharmacy
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Lawn/yard service
  • Bank/Investment
  • Credit cards
  • Laundry Service
  • Auto Finance
  • Health Club
  • Associations (AAA, Rotary, etc)
Government Offices Publications  
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • State/Federal Tax Bureaus
  • City/County Assessor 
  • Veterans Administration
  • Newspapers
  • Newsletters
  • Magazines
  • Professional Journals


  • Have a garage sale or use an internet based service to dispose of unwanted items. 
  • Donate unwanted clothing or household goods to charitable organizations.
    • Obtain receipts showing the items’ approximate value for possible tax deductions.
  • Begin to use up supplies of canned goods, frozen foods and other household items.  Buy only what will be used before moving.
  • Arrange transfer of school records
  • Draw up a floor plan of your new home, noting where the furnishings will be placed.  It will make your move-in easier and in some cases (a local move) possibly save you some cost.
2 to 3 weeks before moving day

Items involving your Mover

  • Notify your mover if you have added or subtracted items from your planned move or if there needs to be any changes in the service dates. 
  • For any move, make sure the mover has interim contact numbers (cell phone, etc) and the correct destination address.
  • If moving to another state, get name, address, and phone number of  your mover’s destination agent
  • Confirm the mover’s plan – extra stops (how, where and when); start time, securing space for the trucks (barricades, etc); vehicle
  • Unless other means of payment have been prearranged, e.g., credit card, personal check, or company paid – payment is due in cash, cashier’s check, or postal money order before your household goods are unloaded at their destination
  • If pertinent, review and complete the movers High Value Inventory form and ask what your responsibilities are.


  • Finalize family travel plans, daycare, pet sitters, hotel rooms & airline tickets as/if needed
  • If you are moving long distance and you will be driving your vehicle, have your car serviced, tires, brakes, spare tire, wipers, fluids, and belts checked,
  • Arrange to have special items serviced before the move – front load washers, pool tables, plasma TV, entertainment equipment
  • Return library books and any other items that you have borrowed
  • Collect things that you have loaned, and items in the dry cleaners, layaway, safety deposit boxes, etc
  • If you are doing your own packing, this is the time to think about getting into HIGH gear!
  • Federal law requires that you dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, and poisons such as weed killer.  Drain fuel from your lawn mower and other machinery.  Discard partly used cans of oil, paint, thinner, bleach, or other substances that may be flammable or combustible or those stored in containers that may leak.   Check with your moving company to secure and read a complete list of non-allowable items.
  • Discard propane tanks or on a local move, plan to move them yourself.
  • DO NOT clean you upholstered furniture before moving.  Moisture could cause mold if furniture is placed in storage. 
  • Obtain a written appraisal of antique items to verify value.  Avoid waxing or oiling wood antiques (and fine wood furniture) before moving because some products might soften the wood, making it vulnerable to imprinting from furniture pads and harder to handle.
  • Have rugs and draperies cleaned and leave them wrapped when they are returned from the cleaners
  • Arrange for connection of utilities in your new home –a minimum of two days before your move.
  • Movers are not permitted to take down TV antennas or satellite dishes.  Either arrange for this service with your mover or satellite service provider.

1 to 2 weeks before moving day

  • Empty your locker at the gym
  • Items you should take with you in your car
    • Maps, Snacks, Flashlight, First-Aid kit, Prescription drugs, Credit cards, cash/travelers checks, emergency road equipment (tools, flares, etc)
    • Gather important papers and medicines for the car trip
  • Start packing your travel suitcases
  • Drain garden hoses of water and gasoline and oil from gasoline-powered equipment

Day before the move

  • Work WITH your packers
    • Point out to the packers any extra-fragile items needing special attention.  Mark appropriately any items you do not want packed or moved, as well as cartons you will want first when the van arrives at destination
    • If you are doing your own packing, make sure everything is ready to go before moving day.  Upon arrival, the van driver will check to see if boxes have been properly packed.  This is the area of relocation process that can affect the price more than anything else.  If you are not packed, the mover will help you by doing some packing or try to work around what is not packed.  Either way, it will add to the cost of your move. 
  • Be prepared for the move!  If you are not ready for the movers, it will drive up your costs!
  • Collect things you definitely want packed together, such as children’s toys, and place in separate them into groups.
  • Unplug all electronic appliances 24 hours in advance of a move, except plasma televisions, so that they will be at room temperature on moving day.  This includes home computers, stereos, and audio/video equipment. 
  • Check closets, cabinets, and storage lockers for any articles overlooked.
  • Be on hand when the service representative arrives to prepare your appliances for shipment.
  • It is your responsibility to see that all mechanical and electrical equipment is properly service for shipping prior to the arrival of the moving van at your expense.  If you have failed to have an article serviced, the van operator may load and haul it but will mark the inventory sheet “Not Serviced”.
  • Finish packing your traveling suitcases.
  • Defrost, clean, and dry any refrigerators and freezers.
  • Disconnect and secure the hoses/parts for your washer and dryer.  Front loading washers require special treatment.  Gas dryer disconnecting is your responsibility.
  • Pack your local phone book for future reference of addresses and phone numbers of businesses and friends.
  • Confirm that your utilities are connected at your new home.

Move Day

  • Work WITH your mover
    • It is your responsibility to see that all of your goods are loaded, so remain on the premises until loading is complete.  After making a final tour of the house, check and sight the inventory (Interstate moving or going into storage).  If you sign an inventory, make sure that you get a copy of it
    • Approve and sign the Bill of Lading/Freight Bill.  It states the terms and conditions under which you goods are moved and is also your receipt for the shipment.  Be sure to complete and sign the declared valuation statement.
    • If needed, complete and sign any High-Value Inventory Forms
    • Make sure the van driver has the exact destination address.  Be sure to let the driver know how you can be reached, including phone numbers, pending the arrival of your household goods.
    • Leave your phone connected throughout moving day.  After the mover leaves and you finish last-minute calls, be sure to pack the phone in one of your suitcases.
  • Make your final check of every room, closet, cabinet, garage, attic, storage, etc. 
    • Make sure the windows and doors are closed and locked
    • Thermostat is in correct position
    • Appliances turned off
    • Old house keys and garage door openers are surrendered
    • Water shut off
    • Furnace and air conditioner shut off
    • Light switches in the off position
    • Have you left anything?

Delivery Day

  • Work WITH your mover:
    • You must be present when your household goods are delivered.  If you can’t be present, then you need to have an authorized adult to be present.   Movers will not load or deliver unless you or your representative is present.  The liability issues are too great.
    • This in where the driver having your contact information is very important.  If you or your authorized representative do not show up to accept delivery, the mover will wait a reasonable amount of time, and then deliver your household goods into storage and you will incur additional storage and redelivery costs – can be very expensive.
    • Movers do not install appliances or fixtures.  The mover can arrange for that service, but there will be an additional cost to you.
    • Check the inventory list as the items are unloaded
    • Monitoring items being unloaded for visible damage and make notes on the inventory list or the Bill of Lading.
    • The positioning of the large pieces of furniture
    • If pertinent, give your kids something to do – unpacking/arranging their rooms
    • Review the mover’s Bill of Lading VERY carefully before signing and making your payment

Post Move

  • Complete Moving Link’s Post Service Evaluation which will be emailed to you 1 week post move.
  • Contact your new post office and ask them to start mail your delivery.
  • Contact the appropriate licensing departments for auto registration and driver’s license.