Home Moving Guide [2020]

Table of Contents

Selling your house and finding the ideal home may have seemed challenging until you were suddenly faced with the next step in the moving house. What are you supposed to do next, and where do you start? Which removal company should you use, and which services should you select? Is there enough money for a moving budget, and when should you start packing.

The whole process can seem utterly overwhelming. This ultimate guide to moving will provide you with the steps that you need to check off a list to ensure the most efficient and smooth move possible over 6 weeks leading up to your move.

So sit back, relax, and make use of the top advice compiled by the experts in moving, organization, and logistics.

WEEK 1: Booking Your DIY Or Professional Removal

At the end of the day, deciding whether to move or use a professional removal company comes down to budget. However, it is essential to note that while a DIY move is going to cost less money, it is going to cost you far more in time, back-breaking labor and effort.

    1. Take into account the additional expenses involved, such as hiring a moving van, paying for further work, or buying packing materials and moving equipment. These additional costs can quickly stack up and could actually make a move by the pro’s more cost-effective. So get a few quotes from different local and national moving companies and compare them to each other as well as the estimated cost of your DIY move. You have an entire week to compare quotes and make a decision, so take your time.
    2. Ask for detailed quotes that list all the expenses involved. You may want to do a comprehensive inventory of all your belongings that you want to move to get a more accurate estimate. Keep in mind that you are paying for each item to be moved. So if you don’t think an item is worth running it, don’t add it to your inventory. Find out about things that the moving company will not relocate.
    3. Remember to ensure that they are a reputable company and check online reviews, comments, and testimonials. Ask friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations of moving companies that they have used and were satisfied with the service provided. Read the fine print and ask about any additional hidden costs or fees.
    4. Also, weigh the added value that you can get from a removal company, including the peace of mind and expertise. This will give you the best idea which option will suit you best.
    5. Now, book your move. The earlier you book the date of your relocation, the more likely you will move on the day you want. Reputable moving companies will not charge you a deposit or fee to book early.
    6. Inform your moving company if any changes to the date or time of the move need to be made. If you have selected a DIY move, reserve a moving van in advance.

WEEK 2: Declutter

The organization is key to a successful move. It is recommended to organize and declutter your home step-by-step, room-by-room, and day-by-day in your second week leading up to your move.

1. Organize The Clutter
    1. Start with the most cluttered room and begin at the top, working your way down.
    2. Create 3 piles – Keep. Undecided. Trash.
    3. Organize the items to keep in closets where they will be easy to locate and pack according to an inventory later.
2. The Undecided Pile
    1. Follow the rule that if you haven’t seen it or used it in the last 6 months, put it in the trash pile. If there won’t be space in your new home for it, send it to the trash.
    2. Create 4 new piles. Keep. Sell. Donate. Trash.
    3. Items that you have decided to keep can be organized according to how they will be boxed up or placed in your new home.
    4. Store items in the sell pile for a yard sale at the end of the week or take it to a secondhand or pawn shop. Alternatively, sell the details online. You can use the extra cash towards your moving budget.
    5. Items in the donate pile can be given to friends or family or donated to charity.

You may want to get a trusted friend or family member to help you sort through the undecided pile. They will be more objective than you can be about your personal belongings and help you get rid of those items that you simply don’t need and are just creating unwanted clutter.

3. The Trash Pile
    1. Place any broken, malfunctioning items or simply do not serve a purpose in the trash pile. Things that have ornamental or sentimental value do serve a purpose.
    2. It is recommended to hire a dumpster for the entire week to dispose of all the items, no matter how big or small, in one convenient go.
    3. Remember to get a detailed list from your dumpster rental provider as to what items can and cannot be placed in the dumpster. Hazardous items, some furniture items, and electronics cannot be taken to a landfill site and, therefore, may not be placed in a dumpster.

You can find out more about recycling these items or even selling them to electronics or repair shops that are always in need of parts. This is another excellent opportunity to add funds to your moving budget. If you are unsure of how to dispose of a specific item, contact your local dumpster rental provider. They may take care of the unwanted item at a small additional cost.

4. The Yard Sale
    1. Give yourself about a week to advertise your yard sale. Avoid promoting the sale for less than 3 days.
    2. Place all items that you did not sell online or to a secondhand store in the sale.
    3. Any items that are not sold should be given away or disposed of immediately in the dumpster. Do not take these items back into your home to get rid of at a later date. Instead, put these items in the sell pile because you no longer needed or wanted them, and there is no time like the present to get rid of these items.

At the end of the yard sale, call your dumpster hire company to remove the dumpster as soon as possible. This will eliminate the temptation to remove items from the dumpster that you already decided to dispose of.

5. Collect Packing Materials

You are going to need the following items to pack up loose or small belongings into easy to manage boxes:

    • Various sized cardboard boxes.
    • Packing tape.
    • Packing materials such as newspapers, packing blankets, foam peanuts, and bubble wrap.
    • Markers.
    • A clipboard and pad of paper to keep an inventory.

You can either buy your boxes from a local supplier or find out if your removal company sells them. Alternatively, ask your local grocery store or supermarket to give you free of charge if they have spare boxes. You can also approach paper and cardboard recycling centers for boxes and paper to wrap individual items.

All other items should be available at your local supermarket, hardware, or stationery store.

If you have chosen a professional removal company and selected a packing service, you won’t need these supplies.

Week 3: Packing Up Your House

This is probably the most intimidating task of all. Where to start, when to start, and what to pack first are all questions that are buzzing around your brain.

If you try to tackle the entire task in one go, you will lose the battle and get much less done.

    1. First and foremost, divide your home into 7 different areas or spaces and tackle one area every day of week 3.
    2. Start with storage rooms, the basement/attic, spare rooms, the garage, or other spaces that are least used in the home and pack up items that are rarely used or will not be needed in the next 3 weeks.
The Garage And Garden Shed
    1. Pack tools and sharp objects into toolboxes or wrap the sharp edges in paper and secure them with tape before placing them in boxes.
    2. Disassemble bicycles or any other equipment that can be broken down into smaller parts for easier packing.
    3. Remove batteries from power tools and pack them in their original boxes if possible.
    4. Drain fuel from the mower, leaf blower, or other equipment.
    5. Use blankets or rags to wrap the sharp and pokey edges of garden tools and secure with packing tape.
    6. Wrap fragile items such as clay flower pots in the paper.
    7. Empty and clean the barbecue or remove the propane tank.
    8. Box up all loose items keeping an inventory of what item has been placed in which box.
    9. Stack boxes where they will be kept safe, dry, and out of the way.

It is recommended to treat all bathrooms as one area and pack them all up in one day, starting with the guest bathroom.

    1. Don’t purchase any new toiletries and use up what is left in the bathrooms. Buy travel size if you run out. Pack all toiletries that won’t be needed in the next 3 weeks in boxes making sure that all lids and containers are adequately sealed. Place them in a zip-lock plastic bag if you are worried about leaks.
    2. Wrap bathroom decorations, mirrors, glass, and other fragile items in paper before packing them in boxes.
    3. Pack up all additional items such as sponges, loofahs, washcloths, etc.
    4. Pack up any other bathroom items that will not be needed.
    5. Mark each box as to where it was packed and list items in your inventory.
    1. Wash, dry, and store linen and towels in plastic bags before packing them in boxes.
    2. Make sure that the items are entirely dry. They will be spending at least three to four weeks, boxed up, and damp can result in mold.
Attic And Basement

The attic and basement should ideally be tackled in one day. You should be able to accomplish this easily in mind that the spaces have already been organized and decluttered.

    1. Wrap all fragile or glass items in paper or bubble wrap before placing them in boxes.
    2. Disassemble any items like tables or exercise equipment that can be broken up into smaller parts before boxing them up.
    3. Any items that may need to be placed in storage for some time should instead be packed in plastic containers with sealable lids.
    4. It may be a good idea to pack a dehumidifying agent in each box to prevent moisture and mold.
    5. Mark each box as to where it was packed and list the items in the box in your inventory.
Dining And Sitting Room

The dining and sitting room can also be treated as one space to minimize time wastage.

    1. Remove legs and disassemble tables and chairs if possible. Place nuts and bolts in a sealable bag and label the bag.
    2. Wrap mirrors, pictures, glass tabletops, and other large, fragile items in packing blankets. Secure with tape and pay special attention to corners and edges.
    3. Wrap all delicate or fragile items in paper or bubble wrap before placing them in boxes.
    4. Remove shelves and glass fronts of cabinets, wrap these in blankets, secure with tape, and pay particular attention to corners and edges.
    5. Make sure wood surfaces are entirely dry before wrapping in paper or sheets. Plastic will trap moisture, which can damage the wood.
The Kitchen

The kitchen is the biggest challenge when it comes to packing, and you probably want to dedicate one entire day to this project. Remember to only pack items that will not be needed before moving day arrives.

    1. Each item of glassware needs to be individually wrapped in bubble wrap and placed in a box. Be careful not to pack fragile items too loosely in the box as they will bang together and break. Packing the box to tightly can also cause damage.
    2. Plates should be wrapped individually with paper and stacked on top of one another and not placed on their sides. Bowls and other dishes should also be packed and placed inside one another.
    3. Any other fragile items should be wrapped in paper and packed loosely (but not too loosely) inside the boxes.
    4. Wrap each piece of flatware or cutlery in plastic or newspaper. You can use one sheet to wrap multiple items.
    5. Place small kitchen appliances in their original packaging or bubble wrap before boxing. Make sure each machine is clean and dry.
    6. Finally, mark boxes and add the items to your inventory.

Last but not least, pack up the bedrooms. Kids’ rooms should be left until last, and it is an excellent idea to help them so that they don’t get too distressed. Keep a favorite toy, book, or another item aside.

Additional packing tips:
    • Wrap all fragile items in paper or bubble wrap before packing.
    • Use different sized boxes for optimal packing.
    • Pack items loosely and not too tightly.
    • Make sure that boxes are not too heavy to lift.
    • Secure boxes with packing tape on the bottom and top.
    • Place heavier items in the bottom of the box and lighter items at the top.
    • Pack heavy items with light items to ensure a full box that isn’t too heavy to lift.
    • Mark each box as to it’s the location and add the items to your inventory.

Remember, that if you have selected a packing service from your removal company, you don’t have to be concerned with packing up your loose belongings.

However, it is still recommended to box up valuables or any other items that have special significance or are especially fragile.

WEEK 4: Change Your Address And Make Plans For Kids And Pets

Moving can be a very stressful time for pets and children. It is best to make arrangements for a babysitter or for pets to visit friends on moving day.

    1. Make arrangements for this now so that a plan is in place, and if the plans change, you have time to make new plans.
    2. Make the final arrangements for kids to start their new school and ensure that everything that they need is ready.
    3. Also, look for a pediatrician or family doctor in the area. Save their contact details and address.
    4. Make sure that you visit your vet before moving and ask for a sedative if your pet stresses easily or is sensitive to travel. Find a new vet near your new home that has a good reputation. Save their contact details and address.
    5. Change your address with all the relevant government departments and wherever else is necessary. This will ensure that all bills, statements, and other important information are mailed to the correct address.

WEEK 5: The Remainder Of Packing

Moving day is quickly drawing nearer, and the time has come to pack up everything but the bare essentials. Keep in mind that you want to leave as little as possible to do in the last week before moving day. Use the same packing tips described in WEEK 3 above.

    1. Electronics need special attention when packing. Unplug all cables and disassemble where necessary.
    2. Pack each item separately and individually in a box. Use cut-up packing blankets or other soft fabric to protect the computer, laptop, TV, and different screens.
    3. If possible, use the original styrofoam and other packing materials. If not, layer the bottom of the box with packing materials like bubble wrap, then wrap each item individually, and secure it with tape.
    4. It is preferable not to pack other goods in the same box as electronics. Mark the boxes as fragile and electronic goods so that the movers know that they are handling sensitive products.
    5. Mark which side is up to prevent the box from being turned on its side or upside down.

WEEK 6: Last Minute Essentials

    1. Go through all your checklists and make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything.
    2. Pack up the last of your kitchen supplies and visit a favorite local restaurant or get take-out for the remainder of the week.
    3. Defrost the freezer or fridge/freezer. Drain the washing machine and dishwasher pipes and inlets and give them time to dry out properly.
    4. Call the removal company and make sure that all the arrangements are in order. Inform them of any height or other restrictions where specialized equipment may be needed. Also, let them know about any bulky items that need to be moved, such as a piano. Finalize the arrangements for the time and make sure that you are ready for the move.
    5. Pack a bag with items to keep the kids entertained on moving day and make sure that they will have snacks and drinks to last the entire day. You may also want to pack a moving day essentials bag for the adults.
    6. The boxes that you pack last will contain all the essentials that you will need first in your new home. So mark these boxes carefully and make sure that they go on the moving van last so that they will be unloaded first.
Confirm arrangements for kids and pets on moving day.

If you choose a DIY move, make sure that you know the correct way to secure, move, load and unload large appliances like the refrigerator, washer and drier.

Call your household insurance provider and make sure that your goods are covered for loss or damage during the move.


The day has finally arrived, and everything should be packed up, wrapped up, and ready to go. Once kids and pets have been safely secured away from the action, you should be there to supervise the loading and unloading of the removal truck.

Make sure that all valuables travel with you in your car. Ensure items, especially larger ones that are difficult to move, are placed in the correct rooms.

Walkthrough your old home and make sure nothing has been left behind.

And now you are ready for the next step in the process – UNPACKING. Happy moving!