Moving Checklist for a Stress-Free Work Relocation

Maybe you got a promotion at work and you’re moving to your company’s headquarters in a different state. Or maybe you’re making a career move, and you want to start a business in a city far away from home. Whatever the case, here are some things to think about to make the relocation process easy and stress-free for you and your family.

Eight Weeks Before Moving Day

By this time, you should have secured a place to live, whether buying a house or renting an apartment. If you have children, notes that you want to live in an area with the best schools possible; a real estate agent can help you find the best ones close to your new home. If you are renting your new place, make sure your landlord allows pets if you have any, and if you have a dog, look for places with nearby parks where you can take your furry friend for a stroll.

Now is also the time to contact moving companies and get some estimates. Find movers in your area that specialize in moving furniture, and read reviews from past clients that can further help you in your decision. Take time to sort through your belongings and get rid of the things you will no longer need or use in your new home: organize a garage sale, list items for sale online, or donate to a local charity. The less to pack, the better.

If you know there will be a lag between when you need to move out and when you’ll be moving into a new abode, plan to rent an apartment for the interim. You’ll be able to store much of your belongings and extra furniture in a storage unit if needed. Check to see which complexes offer leases for under a year or even month-to-month. You can search online listings to find a suitable home. Many listings offer virtual tours, so you won’t have to view as many spaces in person.

When touring prospective homes, take copious notes and photographs. A home may make a strong impression in person, but it’s important to have objective material to help you compare options after the fact – especially if you’re considering buying a home as-is. An experienced and skilled real estate agent like Brian Silvestry can be a helpful resource for your questions, including about the area and neighborhood in which you are searching.

If you’re moving your business to a new state, there are a lot of administrative tasks that need to be taken care of. One of the most important is forming an LLC in the new state. This will help to protect your assets in case your business is sued. To form a New York LLC, you’ll need to file articles of organization with the Secretary of State’s office. You’ll also need to create an operating agreement, which outlines how the LLC will be run.

Six Weeks Before Moving Day

Start packing! Label boxes according to the room they belong to: it will make the unloading of the moving trucks easier as movers will know where each box should go. Since you still have some time before your move, make sure you tie up all the loose ends: take care of minor repairs in the house you’re leaving, service your car to make sure you can make that cross-state drive, gather all your important documents (birth certificates, school records, passports, etc.) and do some research on the place you’re moving to (locate the best restaurants, the closest supermarket, and any professional services you may need right away).

Four Weeks Before Moving Day

It’s getting real! Cancel the subscriptions you will no longer need, return books or DVDs to the library, pick up your dry cleaning, and refill your prescriptions. Cancel your internet service and have it installed in your new place, especially if your spouse or children will be using it for work or school. As people rely more and more on the internet and their electronic devices, check if your new place has enough outlets for everyone, and contact a professional in the area if improvements need to be made (i.e., electrical updates, high-speed internet installed, etc.).

For pet owners, the USDA suggests making sure your pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations. And if you’re going to stay at hotels while you travel across the country, call ahead and make your reservations now, especially if you have any special requirements.

One Week Before Moving Day

Pack a small suitcase for everyone in your household with a few days’ worth of clothes, toiletries, medication, and anything they may need during the move: think of it as packing for a little vacation. Confirm dates and times with your moving company, and have your mail forwarded to your new address. Turn off the utility services in your old home, and turn them on in your new one. Make sure you have some cash on hand for snacks on the road and to tip your movers.

After your old place has been emptied and cleaned up, take pictures before you leave to show it is in move-out condition. It also may be wise to hire a lawn care service to make sure your soon-to-be-former yard remains well-kept while it’s on the market. You can check and compare reviews online to find the best suitor for your needs.

If you give yourself and your family plenty of time to move out, you can make the experience more relaxed. And if you take the time to research the people and companies you want to work with, you can save yourself a lot of stress, headaches, and sometimes a little bit of cash, too!

Bret Engle is the author of this post. His first DIY project came at age 10 when he and his best friend built a treehouse, complete with an (ill-advised) homemade zipline exit, in the woods behind Bret’s house.

When he’s not working as an architect, Brett Engle spends his time dreaming up new DIY projects that promote green living.

Brett Engle created Diy Guys and co-authored with Ray Flynn on their upcoming book How to DIY Damn Near Everything to give others the courage and confidence to pursue DIY projects in their homes. 

Brett Engle is an architect and co-creator along with Ray Flynn of DIY Guys