Planning a move? This guide has every thing you need to know. Plus! a 90 day step-by-step moving checklist!
Moving is one of the more stressful life events. Some people hate it so much that they would rather spend a week in prison. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At Zaarly, we want you to experience the zen of moving. We take the stress out so you can focus on getting ready for your new home! To make life a little easier, we have a step-by-step process that will reduce confusion and help you stay organized.
3 Months Before You Move
- Declutter. We highly recommend hiring a pro-organizer. Marie-Kondoing before the big move is going to save you a lot of time and money. Why bring stuff you don’t need to your new place? If you prefer a DIY decluttering, we’ve got a 31-day organizing challenge you can use!
- Make an inventory. Write down everything you will be taking with you, categorizing room-by-room. This will make both packing, sorting, and unpacking much easier.
- Get out the calculator—it’s time to budget! Before you start, take a look at our article on moving costs so you know what typical moving costs should be, and avoid paying more than you should. Make sure you avoid being scammed.
- Do the research. Zaarly is built on a foundation of trust. Part of how we do that is by vetting every service provider. Learn more about how we vet.
- Make sure that you purchase moving insurance in advance so that your belongings are fully covered.
- Start getting boxes! But remember, if you will be hiring a moving company to pack, you don’t need to buy/find boxes - they will pack everything in their own containers.
- If you are currently renting, it’s time to talk with your landlord about moving out and getting everything in writing to end your lease. Most landlords and property managers want at least 3 months notice.
- Sell, sell, sell. Take pictures of anything you are selling and start posting online to reduce how much you will need to move. Selling, when possible, is great for three reasons. One, you get rid of something you don't need. Two, you make some money. Three, you save money on the move because there is less weight!
- You can also donate items or, in some cases; however, bring large things to the dump. If you need help we have pros who can help remove junk from your home.
2 Months Before You Move
- If you are DIYing your move, this is when you want to schedule your moving day.
- If you are leaving your move to the pros, now is the time to book your move. We recommend booking 60 days out so that you get the time and day you want.
- If you are moving yourself, purchase moving supplies. Boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, labels, moving blankets. Stock up!
- Get in touch with your insurance companies to set up coverage change. Double-check on insurance for your move while you’re at it.
- On the Monday after the move, you are going to be TIRED. Ask your boss for time off.
- Now is the time to tell your friends and family you need help on moving day. In exchange, the tried-but-true currency of pizza slices. We all know this is not a fair exchange, but for some reason, friends and family continue to help with moves. If you want to avoid making your loved ones wonder if they really love you that much, we have pros who can do it all for you, and they will appreciate the pizza even more!
- It's time to find a mover and start getting estimates! We have a full run down on how moving costs are calculated.
1 Month Before You Move
- Make it official! File a change of address with the post office. While you’re at it, Update EVERYTHING. Forwarding address, magazines, memberships, banks credit card - basically anyone who sends you mail should get an updated address.
- Set up start dates with your new utility providers and determine a shut-off date with your current provider.
- If you are currently renting, update your landlord with a written notice with your move-out date and be sure to give them your new address for any future correspondence (like your security deposit).
- If you are packing yourself, set up a detailed schedule. Make sure you pack the things you need most last!
- Make sure you label all of your boxes and store them in the rooms that they will go in. Need some packing tips? We’ve got some!
- Buy disposable utensils, plates, bowls, and cups. Your stuff is going to be in a box eventually.
- Make easy meals - this is not going to be a month of your home chef dreams. You’ll have plenty of time to bake and cook in your new kitchen. On the other hand, it’s the best excuse to eat like a teenager again: Frozen pizza and chicken nuggets!
- Schedule a deep clean for the day after you move out.
1 Week Before You Move
- Confirm everything. Whether that’s a truck rental or confirming the schedule with hired movers. If you are working with a Zaarly moving company - you can easily send them a message!
- Schedule a time for a walkthrough with your landlord or your real estate agent. Be sure you get that deposit back!
- Pack like you are going on a 4-day vacation - make sure you’ve got enough clothes and toiletries for a few days.
- Get together an essentials box. Put toilet paper, shelf-stable food, snacks (lots and lots of snacks) paper plates, first aid items. Pro-tip: PACK SHOWER CURTAINS. Otherwise, you’re going to have a tricky time taking a shower. Check out our guide to packing on the ReeceNichols blog.
- Be sure to store important documents in a waterproof container and keep it with you.
- Donate any items that haven’t sold to nonprofit programs like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore or Goodwill.
- If you haven’t hired an assembly pro, start taking apart furniture and keep all the hardware in a labeled bag. Take pictures as you dismantle each piece–this will make it easier to put it all back together.
- Get rid of anything toxic, like paint, household cleaners, and batteries. Not sure how to dispose of toxic chemicals? The EPA can help!
1-3 Days Before You Move
- Double-check all of the details of your move. You won’t have to worry about your Zaarly pros — we guarantee your provider will show up on time; if they don’t, we’ll give you $100. For more details, check out our terms of service and guarantee policies, and frequently asked questions.
- Defrost refrigerators and freezers at least 24 hours before your move.
- Wash all the linens.
- Donate shelf-stable food.
- If you didn’t schedule a deep clean - go through your home and clean up as much as you can. Here’s a DIY deep clean checklist for moving out.
- If you are moving yourself, put down carpet protectors.
- With all the chaos of moving, you might. have forgotten a thing or two. Don't worry! We've got a checklist so you don't end up taking a shower the first night in your new home and then realize the towels are packed away in box 37 of 105.
***Moving during the COVID-19 crisis means taking a few extra steps. We’ve got a guide to help you get through it.***
- Give yourself a high-five! You’ve made it to moving day! But even though this might be the most stressful day of all, remember that you'll soon be in a deep sleep in your new home.
- Do a final walkthrough to make sure you haven’t left anything behind.
- If you hired a non-Zaarly mover, double-check that the crew that shows up to move you is the same company you have been working with. Read tips on avoiding moving scams.
- If you are loading a moving truck,put the heavy stuff in first, toward the back of the truck. You’ll want to do the same with how you stack boxes - the heavy stuff goes on the bottom. We asked our pros for moving tips and they have few that might help make your move easier.
- Do a walkthrough with your landlord or real estate agent. Return all of your keys.
- Before your movers leave, make sure you’ve done a final walkthrough, checked your inventory, and confirm when they will arrive at your new home.
You did it! You moved! Order some pizza, eat on the kitchen floor, and get started on moving-in.
You are in your new home. This is a crucial month to get recurring home services set up, get service providers scheduled, and start dreaming of any home improvements or upgrades you want to make! But first, take the best nap of your life.
Schedule these recurring home services during your first month:
- HVAC - get your filters changed and have a service provider check to make sure your HVAC is ready for the season.
- Pest control - now is a good time to make sure that no one else has been living in your new home. Most homeowners have regular pest control services.
- Gutter cleaning - this one is super important. Having clean gutters prevents all kinds of structural damage to your home. If you don’t want to bother with cleaning your gutters, there are gutter systems you can install (or have installed) so that you will never have to worry about digging out gross, slimy leaves ever again!
- Carpet cleaning - you should have your carpets cleaned about twice a year. If the previous owners didn’t clean the carpets, schedule a cleaning before your movers arrive, or before your move-in day.
- Window cleaning - protect your windows and get all the sunlight! We recommend having your windows cleaned by professionals three times per year.
- Lawn services. You can go all out and create a landscaped oasis for your new home or maybe you just need the lawn mowed every week - either way, we can help!
- Airduct/Dryer vent cleaning. Vent fires are one of the leading causes of house fires. Have them cleaned once a year to keep your home safe and your vents clear!
- Deep clean/regular house cleaning. Having pros come in and give your home a detailed clean will assure that areas like the inside of your cabinets, the baseboards, and the top of your kitchen cabinets will stay clean. Most of the homeowners on Zaarly schedule 2-4 deep cleans per year. Curious how much house cleaning is? We are transparent about our pricing and we've broken it down for you here.
- Roof check! Roofs are prone to damage, but the symptoms of the damage can take a while to manifest. Have a roofing expert come out and inspect (and fix) your roof once a year. Tip: Find reliable roofers early in case you need to call them for an emergency repair.
- Tree trimming. Arborists know exactly how to determine if your trees need pruning or if you have any diseased trees that need to be taken down. Have them come to your new home within the first month, and then twice a year afterward. The arborist might find dead trees or branches hanging over your home--you don’t want to have to hire a roofer if all you needed was an arborist to cut down a branch!
Top home improvement projects homeowners book in the first 3 months.
- Painting. If you can get your painting done before you move-in, that is the best-case scenario. You can definitely DIY painting. We’ve got lots of tips if you want to paint on your own. Or, you can hire painting pros who will deal with all that blue tape.
- Mini kitchen upgrades. Small changes go a long way. Replacing the cabinet doors, kitchen hardware, faucets, and upgrading the appliances are among the most popular projects homeowners take on when they move into their new home. Get inspired and check out our kitchen Pinterest board!
- Curb appeal. If you want to make a good first impression to the neighborhood, you might be thinking about curb appeal. Landscaping your lawn, painting your door, power-washing your home, sealing your driveway, and even installing a new mailbox can improve your curb appeal and make you stand out for all the right reasons. Check out our 50 curb appeal ideas!
- Flooring. If you can replace flooring before you move in, you will be in much better shape than if you wait till after. Wood floors are one of the most popular requests homeowners make after moving into a new home. Looking to learn more about wood floors? Ask a pro!
- Security. You should have your locks changed ASAP. When your new house was still on the market, it’s likely the keys to your new home are with several people. While you’re having your locks changed, you might want to consider having motion lights and a video doorknob monitor installed. Learn all about home security from a Zaarly pro!
Go big...or Stay home!
Ready to make big changes to your new home right away? Here are the top big home improvements:
You’ve got a brand new kitchen to work with! Ready to get the kitchen of your dreams? From giant kitchen islands to double stoves — the new modern kitchen is all about balancing modern convenience with togetherness. We’ve got some advice on dreaming up your kitchen that might be helpful as you start the process. We also suggest getting in touch with a few service providers to start getting quotes.
A new or upgraded deck
With more of us spending time at home, a lot of people are looking to expand their space. Decks are a great way to add more room for entertaining and for a wonderful change of scenery. If you are not sure where to start when it comes to a deck, we might be able to help. Here's a guideline that will walk you through every decision you’ll need to make for your new deck. You can also reach out to a service provider and get started that way.
Looking to add lots of livable space? Finished basements can create the room—or rooms—you need to accommodate your growing family. Finished basements are also a great place to have your very own in-home theater or game room! Think a home theater is out of reach? Think again! If you are finishing your basement anyway - an in-home movie theater is a great addition that everyone in the family will love! It's also a great reason to invite your neighbors over and get to know them. Learn more about home theaters.
The Zaarly team is dedicated to helping you make your house a home. Have you already started envisioning what you can do to make your home a place you and your family will love? Reach out to us anytime to discuss the dreams you have for your home!
Questions or concerns? Reach out to us at Zaarly.com