Just the facts:
Prepare each day.

Set aside time each day or a few hours every weekend before the move to pack, sort and purge.

Ask for help.

Ask close friends and family to help you prep. You can soak up time together before the move while knocking out your to-do list.

Pack the essentials.

Pack a box of first-night essentials for every family member, including pets. You’ll be happy you did once all the boxes are unloaded.

28 Relocation Tips

A new job. A growing family. Moving closer to relatives. The reasons for relocating vary, but all lead you to new opportunities, new challenges and a new place to call home.

Whether you’re moving across town or to the other side of the country, uprooting your life is a major decision that calls for plenty of preparation.

From organizing your movers to changing your address, use these 28 relocation tips to help you plan, prepare and pack like a pro during your move into a new home.

1. Give yourself time to prepare. Moving can be overwhelming, so begin early. Plan your move six months in advance for ample time to prepare.

2. Get plenty of rest. Enhance your productivity (moving can be a lot of work) and take care of your emotional well-being by getting enough sleep and not overworking yourself.

3. Make plans for your new life. Research what the new area has to offer: companies, gyms, restaurants, nightlife, etc. Envision your new life in a positive way.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask for assistance and support from close friends and family to lighten the load. It will help you complete chores and spend time with people before you go.

5. Create a moving checklist. Make sure to cover all your bases with a checklist of everything you need to do. This will help you spread out your tasks rather than cramming them into one last-minute surge. The more you can do to mitigate chaos through thoughtful preparation, the better.

Bonus Relocating Tip: Make an effort to pack a little every day or for a few hours each weekend to help save yourself stress.

6. Research movers. Investigate moving options and get an estimate in writing. The U.S. DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) is a helpful resource here, and is especially important if you’re moving out of state.

7. Sort and purge. Decide what you want to keep and what you can get rid of. Think of what items may need special packing or insurance coverage.

8. Order moving supplies. Stock up on relocation essentials, like boxes, bubble wrap, tape, containers, etc.

Bonus Tip: Get thrifty if you’re on a budget. Ask around at grocery, clothing and warehouse-style stores for free boxes. You can use shirts, towels and pillows to wrap and help protect your breakables.

9. Start using things you don’t want to move. Use up those frozen or perishable foods and the rest of your cleaning supplies.

10. Communicate with the kids. To help relieve anxiety, try communicating as much information as possible with children and allow them to participate in decisions when it’s appropriate.

11. Get children excited with visuals. Start a kid-friendly Pinterest board of photos of the new city, neighborhood, things to do, etc. so your kids can get excited about where they’ll be living. Adults can join in on the fun, too.

12. Prepare the young ones with a test drive. If you’re moving somewhere in driving distance, take the kids for a ride around the neighborhood or walk your dog so they can get used to the sights, sounds, and smells.

13. Get your pets ready. Take your pet’s carrier out a month before the move, when they venture near it, feed them a treat so they will start to trust the place when they have to move.

14. Forward medical records. Arrange for medical records to be sent to a new health care provider or obtain copies for yourself.

15. Get your pet’s medical records. Make a trip to your vet to get all of your pet’s medical history or interstate health certificate so they’re covered wherever you relocate.

16. Get your kids set up at their new school. If you have children in school, make sure their records are transferred to their new school.

17. Refill prescriptions. So you’ll have them on hand during the next couple of weeks.

18. Make a packing supplies basket. You can carry it from room to room so you won’t spend time searching for where you left the scissors.

19. Finish packing early. Try to finish a few days before you move and pack suitcases for enough clothes to wear for the next few days.

20. Pack your jewelry. Use egg cartons to store and move your jewelry. Try toilet paper rolls for packing necklaces or loose bracelets. Just put one end of your jewelry through the roll and fasten the clasp.

21. Remind yourself how to set up electronics. Take pictures of the cords on the back of your electronics so you can remember where they all go when you have to set them up again.

22. Keep your clothes from wrinkling. Instead of putting clothes in a box, take a large garbage bag and make a hole in the bottom of the bag. Pull the bag over your hung clothes so the handle of the hanger goes through the hole. Tie the garbage bag at the bottom so clothes don’t fall. When you unpack, simply put the hangers in the closet and remove the bag.

23. Defrost the freezer. If you’re moving your refrigerator, defrost it at least 24 hours before moving day.

24. Pack the essentials. Pack an essential box for every family member including pets. Include the things they’ll need at their fingertips the first night. Whether it’s pictures of family, stuffed animals, books or games, or pet toys (they’re creatures of comfort, too!).

25. Arrange for a sitter. It can be stressful for a child to watch boxes and furniture move out of the house and doors are often left wide open. Try to arrange for a child and/or pet sitter for the day of the move.

26. Verify and take inventory. Your movers will most likely create an inventory list. Make sure the list is detailed, complete and that you get a copy to help ensure nothing gets left behind.

27. Update your pet’s address. Make sure to change any pet ID tags and, if you’re moving far, check that they’re up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations.

28. Fill out a change-of-address. The form is online at usps.gov or at the post office. You may want to have a neighbor from the old house check the mail two weeks after you move, just in case.

For more moving tips, check out our moving guide to help minimize stress.

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