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Get Ready to Move With These Moving Guides

by Heather Magness Posted on July 5, 2022

There are several reasons to pack up your life and relocate to a new home — retirement, heading out to college, a new job, a new love. Whatever your reason, moving is a daunting task that requires weeks (or months) of planning, extra money, sweat, and sometimes tears. That’s exactly why we’ve put together this compendium of moving guides. So wherever (and why-ever) you've decided to go, you’ll know how to prepare for moving with confidence.

Pro Tip: Before we get started, check out our guide to avoiding moving stress. Spoiler alert! It involves starting early.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

8 Weeks Before Your Move

1. Where Are You Gonna Move?

If you’re moving for a new job or to be closer to family, you probably already know where you’re headed. But if you’re deciding between multiple career opportunities, still working remotely, or perhaps preparing for retirement, you may be in the lucky position of getting to choose where you relocate. In that case, you should definitely check out these guides to the best places to live:

Heading to college or the big city? These moving guides will walk you through the steps:

Oh, and if you’re heading to a part of the country with drastically different weather, you should also check out Tips for Moving to a Different Climate

2. When Are You Gonna Move?

The actual date of your move may not be entirely in your hands. School schedules, work schedules, house closings, and holidays can all make planning a move tricky. This is why summer tends to be a popular time for relocations, which makes booking a moving company in the summer that much more challenging. If you have some flexibility with your move-out date, you’re gonna have an easier time booking your move and may even save some moolah. Just remember, off-season moves come with their own challenges, so use this guide for moving in the winter.

A man and woman carry a piece of furniture and a plastic tub out to their PODS portable moving container in their driveway. The PODS container is nearly full with boxes, furniture, a cooler, and a mattress.

3. How Are You Gonna Move?

There are several choices when it comes to moving services. The three moving options that typically come to mind are full-service movers, a moving rental truck, and — surprise, surprise! — portable moving containers. Which option is best for you? That depends on your situation, budget, and personal preference. For help in making this crucial decision, check out these guides on how to make each option work:

Insider Tip: See how PODS compares to conventional moving options:
PODS vs. Moving Truck Rentals
PODS vs. Traditional Moving Companies

If you’re moving cross-country, it may be worth it to ship your car instead of driving or towing it. With this option, you can avoid adding thousands of miles to your odometer, unnecessary wear to your vehicle, and that ridiculously long drive! Check out our post on 9 Questions to Ask Before Shipping Your Car.

6 Weeks Before Your Move

4. Who’s Gonna Help You Move?

Regardless of how you decide to move, you’ll likely need some help. Full-service movers often include packing, loading, unpacking, and unloading as part of the overall service — but it’s gonna cost you. You could also hire local packing and loading help to handle the heavy lifting, or round up a bunch of friends to move boxes in exchange for pizza and sodas. But if you don’t want to shell out the cash for expensive movers or if you have to tackle this task on your own, put these moving guides to good use:

5. Is There A Checklist for Moving?

Yes! I’m so glad you asked. During your move, checklists are definitely your friend. If you find yourself having trouble accomplishing the tasks on your checklist, consider breaking each item down into its own little checklist. If moving is a mountain, you wanna take baby steps up that thing. Start with these:

And if you’re moving into your newly purchased home (or your first newly purchased home), here are some bonus checklists:

5 Weeks Before Your Move

A happy mother and daughter are sorting through clothes while decluttering before their move. There are two cardboard boxes nearby labeled, “DONATIONS.”

6. Start Decluttering

Alright, now you may be wondering — “When do we start packing!?!” I hear you, and I promise we’ll get to it. First, however, we need to declutter. This step is absolutely crucial to the moving process. If done right, it can save you time, money, and precious space in your new home. Besides, who wants to spend hours packing and unpacking boxes with things they’re gonna get rid of at the new house anyway? Nobody. That’s who. Take advantage of this handy guide to decluttering before moving — you’ll thank me later!

Pro Tip: Moving bills stacking up? Keep your moving expenses under control with 10 Surefire Ways to Cut Moving Costs.

7. Pack It Up!

See? I told you we’d get to it! This step has the most guides because — let’s face it — packing is a h-u-u-u-u-u-u-ge part of moving. From which supplies you’re going to need and what shouldn’t go into boxes to packing tips from the pros, after following these guides, you might even like packing.

4 Weeks Before Your Move

8. Do Sweat The Small Stuff

If you’re asking yourself, “What should I do 30 days before moving?,” here’s the answer: the tedious (but totally necessary) stuff. No matter where you’re moving, there will be lots of little details to take care of, and a month before your move is a good time to start. First of all, you’re definitely going to have to change your mailing and billing address, set up your utilities, enroll the kids in their new school, and update your driver’s license (to name a few). But if you’re planning a long-distance relocation, there’s even more. Use this guide to moving out of state and don’t miss a step.

3 Weeks Before Your Move

9. Drop That Extra Baggage

At this point, you’ve already decluttered and packed quite a bit. But during the packing process, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll come across even more items (big or small) that you just don’t want to lug with you to the new place. Worry not! We have guides to help you offload the extra “baggage” as well! 

A large blue bowl on the floor of a clean kitchen. The bowl has various cleaning supplies in and around it, including soap, window cleaner, a scrub brush, rags, rubber gloves, another cleaning solution, and two colorful sponges.

10. Prepare to Depart

Eeeeeee! The big day’s getting closer! With so much to keep track of, it’s easy to forget things. Be sure to use these guides to prepare for your egress, get your deposit back, and leave no man — er, thing — behind.

1–2 Weeks Before Your Move

11. Load It All Up!

If you’ve decided to use portable moving containers, you can start loading up as early as you want. That’s part of the flexibility that comes with moving with PODS. Instead of a 2-day mad dash to get all of your worldly belongings into a truck, you can pace yourself and load a little each day. This method really helps reduce your stress level, as well!

Moving Day!

A happy family of four driving to their new home after successfully preparing for their move.

12. Hit the Road, Jack

You did it! All the planning and preparation have paid off and now you’re ready to hit the road (or the sky, depending on how you decided to travel). If you are driving to your new home, consider making the most of it with this fun long-distance moving guide:

13. If All Else Fails — Make It Work!

Moving can be tough, and life can get in the way and make it tougher. If you find your move date is right around the corner and your checklists are severely lacking in “checks,” it’s time to acknowledge that this is a last-minute move. Don’t you fret, though! We have a guide for that, too.

Bonus: Moving Q&A

Q: Do you tip movers?
A: Whether they’re full-service movers who are packing and loading everything or local helpers who are just carrying the heavy pieces down the stairs one afternoon, tipping isn’t required, but it is customary. Rather than basing your tip off of a percentage of the bill, though, you can apply this general guideline: Tip $10 per mover for a half day (4 hours), and $20 per mover for a full day (8 hours).

Q: What to set up first when moving?
A: The first thing to set up is your moving service — whether you’re going with full-service movers, a rental truck, or moving containers. This is especially true if you plan to move in the summer because rental trucks and movers can get booked up fast.

Q: Do you need moving insurance?
A: Moving insurance is a great option, and a lot of moving companies offer some sort of coverage to protect your belongings from accidents or damage in transit. If you currently have homeowners or renters insurance, you should first check with your insurer to see if it will cover your belongings during your move. If not, ask your moving company what options they have available.

Check out the PODS Blog to learn how to tackle a complex move and get answers to even more moving FAQs.

Heather Magness is a member of the PODS Blog creative team. When she’s not formatting images and blog layouts, you can find her writing a song, watching a movie, or enjoying the great outdoors.

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