Family moving checklist: Moving timeline for your family

Family moving checklist More about Ethan Greenfieldby Ethan Greenfieldon Mar 15, 2023.

Moving house is one of the most stressful events in life for a number of indisputable reasons. The upcoming relocation can turn out to be rather expensive in the end, the preparation will require a serious investment of your time and effort, and the move is likely to disrupt your life as you’re moving away from friendly faces and familiar places.

Moving house with children will present additional challenges and make the entire move even more complicated than you need it to be. In most cases, the overall complexity of the residential move will depend on the exact age of your child or children.

And this is exactly why you need to have a family moving checklist – a detailed to-do list that gives you all the important steps you have to follow to have a successful, safe, and stress-free relocation with your entire family as a unit.

The following moving checklist for families will start one month prior to Moving day and will include the first several days of the post-relocation period. The biggest advantage of using a family relocation timeline is that the moving checklist is specifically designed to address the particular challenges when moving with children to another home.

Why is it so important to follow a moving checklist?

If you think that you can do without a family moving checklist when you’re moving with your family to another home, then you should think again. Why would you choose to have a bumpy ride when you can have a smooth house-moving experience from start to finish?

Briefly, here are the benefits of having a family moving checklist by your side when you, your spouse, and your children are getting ready to relocate:

  • You will be able to organize your time in the most efficient way possible because you’ll know what to do at each given moment;
  • You won’t forget to take care of an important task simply because you’ll be following the moving to-do list closely; and
  • You’ll be able to keep the notorious stress of moving in check simply because you know you’ll be quite ready by the day of the move.

And now that you know why it makes perfect sense for you to follow a family moving checklist when moving with your family, it’s time to start working on it without delay.

One month before the move

In most cases, 4 weeks should be enough time to prepare to move out… as long as you don’t lose any precious time.

  • Discuss the move with your children. The very first thing you need to do when moving with children to a new place is to discuss the relocation with your kids. If they are too young to understand what’s happening, then do whatever you can to keep their daily routine unchanged. In the case of school-age children, then letting them know about the upcoming changes is of paramount importance. 
  • Set a convenient moving date. Schedule a move-out date that won’t disrupt your children’s school curriculum too much. Ideally, you will choose to move out during the summer break when children don’t have any school classes.
  • Choose wisely: movers or DIY. One of the biggest dilemmas when moving out with a family is to decide whether you will try to organize a self-move or hire professional movers to do it all for you. There are pros and cons in each relocation scenario, so make sure you are well-informed before you reach your decision.
  • Get accurate movers quotes. If you make up your mind to use professional moving services – especially relevant when you’re moving long distance – then don’t hesitate to get free quotes from the top-rated movers in your area. After all, you want nothing but the best for yourself and your family.
  • Arrange the school transfer. Moving with school-age children will always be more challenging for an obvious reason – their school. Changing schools is never easy, even when done during the summer. Find a reputable school in the destination city or town, then arrange the transfer of the necessary documents between the two institutions.
  • Declutter your home. Trust the ultimate moving checklist for families when it tells you that you shouldn’t pack and move all your things without sorting them out first. Just don’t move any items you don’t really need to save both time and money in the long run. So, start decluttering, today.
  • Prepare the necessary packing supplies. Packing up your belongings by yourself – as opposed to paying professional packers to do it for you – will help you save money. However, you’re going to need to secure the proper packing materials for the job: cardboard boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and a set of markers.
  • Start boxing up your things. Packing for a move is the most time-consuming task by a long shot so logic dictates that you should begin boxing up the things you’re taking with you as soon as you can. Ask your children to pack up their own things, if applicable at all.

Must-read: Packing timeline for moving

Three weeks before the move

Sorting out your things and packing up the ones that are worth moving to the new place should keep you pretty busy for the time being.

  • Keep packing up your stuff. Increase your packing efficiency by sorting and packing the rooms in your house that are known to be the hardest to pack. In most cases, those premises will be the storage areas such as the garage, attic, basement, and any spare rooms.
  • Make a decision about your furniture. Moving to another state with a family is already a challenge so you don’t need to make things even more difficult for yourself. Be very careful which furniture pieces you choose to take with you, if any, simply because moving furniture across the country can cost a fortune.
  • Pay a visit to the family doctor. Moving to another part of the country means that you’re going to have to find and register with another family physician in the destination place. Visit your current doctor and request all the necessary medical documents for each family member so that you can sign up with another healthcare provider upon arrival.
  • Take your pet to the vet’s office. Any pet you may have is part of your family so you’ll need to address their needs as well. So, take your animal friend – be it a cat, a dog, or a bird – to be checked out at the vet’s office. You have to know that your pet is healthy enough to make the relocation trip safely.

Two weeks before the move

Two weeks have passed and two more weeks remain to finish your pre-move preparation successfully.

  • Organize a garage sale. Do consider organizing a moving sale where you can try to sell all the items you’re not moving to the new house. A garage sale is a win-win situation for you – you’ll get rid of those unwanted items and you will pocket some cash from the sale.
  • Change your address with the USPS. Moving with a family to a new state or moving to a place within the same state – means that your postal address is about to change. To keep receiving your mail without a problem, initiate the change of address procedure with the United States Postal Service.
  • Transfer the utilities. This family relocation guide is all about not forgetting to do something important before you move out. A good example is the task of transferring the home utilities such as electricity, water, gas, cable TV, phone, Internet, and so on. After all, you wouldn’t want to unpack in the dark after arriving in the new place, would you?
  • Organize a farewell party. It’s important to say goodbye to your friends before moving away. And what’s the best way to do it? Organizing a moving away party for your pals, of course. Encourage your children to invite their best friends as well.
  • Hire a car shipping company. If you own more than one vehicle, you may need to hire a car shipping company to transport your extra car to the new address. Also, you may need the services of a car shipper in case you’ve decided to fly to the new home.

See also: Car Shipping Tips

One week before the move

With only one week until the move-out date, here’s where things can start to heat up. Keep using this family relocation checklist to have things under total control.

  • Ask friends to help you pack. You have roughly 7 days to complete the packing job so consult your personal Packing Timeline to check your progress. If you find out that you’re running behind schedule, then one way to correct the situation is to ask some of your best friends to help you pack.
  • Prepare essentials boxes for your children and pets. Remember to pack essentials boxes for each family member, including for any pets you have. Add any essential items, including a spare set of clothes, so that everybody feels fairly comfortable until you get access to your household items once more.
  • Use up your food supplies. Moving day is just a few days away and you don’t want to throw away any large amounts of food when you have to move away. To minimize any unnecessary food waste, start using your current food supplies roughly a week before the move.
  • Plan your own relocation journey. If you intend to drive to the new home in the family car, then it’s important to note that you can turn the relocation trip into a fun experience for the whole family. It doesn’t have to be just drive, drive, and drive the whole time – a bit of proactive planning can result in an unforgettable adventure for everyone.

Read also: How to prepare your car for a cross-country move

Moving day

Your family moving timeline checklist has led you safely to moving day. So far, so good – now you only need to survive the toughest day in the entire relocation process.

  • Wake up early to gain more time. Give yourself a bit more time on the day of the move by waking up early enough. Encourage your family members to do the same. This way, you’ll all have a few hours more to finish any last-minute tasks before the movers arrive.
  • Meet the movers and let them work. Working with a reputable and experienced moving company can be greatly advantageous simply because the pros will take the weight off your shoulders, both literally and figuratively. Greet the movers at the prearranged hour and let them do what they do best. However, you should still hang around in case of any issues.
  • Keep your children and pets safe. Moving day can be dangerous for so many reasons. Your number one priority should be to keep your family safe from harm, so keep your young children and pets in a room away from the packing and moving action.
  • Wear suitable clothes and shoes. You should also do all in your power to remain safe during the most unpredictable day of the entire relocation. Wear your most comfortable set of clothes that won’t restrict your movements in any way. Additionally, make sure you wear a pair of closed-toe shoes with rubber soles for excellent traction.
  • Start the family relocation journey. When the movers drive off in the direction of the new address, you should check the entire home for any forgotten items. If everything seems fine, then you can all get in the family vehicle and start the relocation trip to the new place.

See also: 16 practical tips for moving with a large family


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