Whether you are moving across the country or just across town, the process can be overwhelming. Knowing what to do and when by using a checklist can go a long way to reducing any stress you may feel. But, exactly how far in advance should you start preparing for your move?

In general, preparing your move should begin at least six months before your expected moving date. However, most experts agree that preparing for a move should be done as early as possible to eliminate stress.

To learn more about the specific timelines and checklists needed to prepare for your move, it is important to know how much time you have. Keep reading to discover how far in advance you should prepare to move.

How do You Prepare For a Move?

Preparing to move is not an easy task for most people, whether you are moving a short distance or a longer one. Many things have to be done and taken into consideration before the big moving day, and sometimes it can seem overwhelming.

Knowing how to prepare and following certain checklists can relieve some of the stress that you may be feeling. This is because most lists are compiled by people who have been in the trenches of moving and can attest to the fact that being prepared can help.

Here are the most important tasks that should be done as you prepare for your move:

  • Know the ins and outs of where you are moving.
  • Get to know the area.
  • Save money for the move.
  • Declutter your current space.
  • Pack your belongings.
  • Transfer or cancel your utilities and other bills.
  • Hire a moving company or rent a truck.

How Far in Advance Should You Start Preparing to Move?

Although many people have differing opinions about how far in advance they should begin their preparation for moving, it depends entirely on how far out you know that you are moving. This is because while some people know months to even a year in advance that they are going to make a move, others may only have weeks to prepare.

You should start planning your move at least six months out. This is, of course, after you’ve already committed to the move. However, it’s best to start planning as much as you can, as early as you can.

But if at all possible, don’t wait past the six-month mark to do the heavy lifting… other than the actual heavy lifting of the moving.

Whatever your situation, you should be familiar with all of the different things that need to be done before your moving day. Creating a plan that works for you can help you know what is coming up so that you are better prepared.

Keep in mind that moving is not only a daunting task. It can also be rather expensive with the different expenses that it requires. From rental fees to hiring a moving company, the moving process can take a hit on your pocketbook, so it is best to be prepared.

Read on to discover what you should be doing to prepare for your upcoming move:

One Year in Advance

Even though most people do not know a year in advance that they will be moving, there are things you can do if you do already know. Since moving is not a cheap or easy process, you can start by taking care of a few things before your checklists begin.

The most important thing you can do to prepare for your move if you know a year in advance is to start a savings fund. With all of the moving expenses such as rent, deposits, moving companies or trucks, and so on, it can be helpful to have a fund for such things.

Six Months in Advance

While it is still a little early to do the brunt of the moving preparation, six months in advance is a great time to prepare a moving file, whether on your computer or in a binder. This will help you to keep things better organized.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare six months ahead:

  • Begin the decluttering process. You have likely accumulated many things since you moved into your current residence. Now is the time to begin going room by room and deciding what you want to keep, what you will donate, and what should just be trashed.
  • Get price estimates. Although your move is still months away, getting estimates for moving companies and rental trucks can help you to be better prepared when it comes to your moving day.
  • Get organized! This is a good time to start those checklists that will be a lifesaver later on. Having a checklist can also reduce the stress you may feel about moving.

Three Months in Advance

Three months before your move is a crucial period since your move will be here before you know it. Knowing what to do at this stage of the move is vitally important when it comes to ensuring that you are ready to go on your big day.

Here are a few things you should do three months before your move:

  • Do another declutter sweep. Even though you went through the decluttering process at six months, it is always good to do another pass through your things. 
  • Narrow down your choices of movers. If you are using a moving company for your move, this is a good time to narrow down the choices and decide who you will be using. 
  • Gather important documents. This is a good time to make sure that your most important documents are in a place you can find them easily. You may want to invest in some type of filing cabinet or safe for important legal documents.

Final Thoughts

Whatever the process you choose to use, you should keep in mind that preparation is the key to a successful move. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of getting through your move without incident.