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A Schedule for Keeping Self Packing Stress Free

man carrying a box and woman with throw pillows in a basket

Are you moving soon? If so, we know this can be a stressful and expensive endeavor. Some homeowners try to save money by packing themselves, if you have the time, this is a great way to reduce your overall moving costs. However, it is important to remember to stay organized, start early, and be patient with yourself.

Once you have a closing date on your home, it is important to start getting organized to move. If you are going to pack yourself but are hiring a moving company to move your belongings, start contacting moving companies in your area immediately for a quote. Be sure to look for online reviews and other service awards like Angie’s List.

Your home closing or lease signing date should probably not also be your moving day. Home closings are especially prone to delays and you don’t want your movers to show up while you're waiting on a missing-in-action lawyer, lost house keys or paperwork delays. You will only end up paying for extra time.

As a result, you may need to plan on short term storage of your belongings for 24 hours or longer. Be sure that the storage facility you rent is clean, secure, and climate controlled. The storage facility should also be pest and smoke-free.

Moving soon? Find affordable local movers to do the heavy lifting for you on our mover marketplace.

2 Months Before the Move

You may think that you can’t start packing two months before your move, but you can. Go through your attic, basement and storage spaces and find items that you don’t need and haven’t used in years. Start making trips to the Salvation Army, have a yard sale or have a charity like Big Brother/Big Sister come pick up your reusable but unnecessary items. Go through your kids bedrooms and donate old, gently used toys, books and stuffed animals.

Once this is done, head to your dining room. If there are no formal dining events in your future (and there shouldn't be, you're moving!) start packing china, silver and Thanksgiving turkey serving platters. You can also begin packing holiday decorations, seasonal clothes and other seldom used items.

1 Month Before the Move

Contact your utility, cable, satellite and Internet providers and schedule dates to have your services transferred or disconnected. This is also the time to forward your mail to your new address. Remember that the USPS will only temporarily forward your mail, so you will need to notify friends, family, and businesses about your change of address.

2-3 Weeks Before the Move

As the move date gets closer it's time to start packing non-essentials, everything but the primary items you need to get through the next few weeks. Kitchens, bathrooms, great rooms and living rooms are full of dishes, glasses, photos, décor and artwork that is not essential to living over the short term. You should focus on packing these items during this period.

Moving soon? Find affordable local movers to do the heavy lifting for you on our mover marketplace.

1 Week Before the Move

It's now time to begin packing the essentials. If you are staying in a hotel for a night be sure to pack a separate overnight bag for you, your spouse and your kids. Plan your meals for the next week and buy portable and disposable dishware, such as paper plates, cups and plastic silverware so you can continue packing up your kitchen. This is also the week to defrost the freezer, empty the refrigerator and remove gasoline from your lawn mower and other power equipment. Be sure your yard furniture is dry and clean and disconnect the washer and dryer if you are taking them with you.

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