90-day moving checklist: How to Prepare for Moving Day

90-day moving checklist: How to Prepare for Moving Day

Whenever I find out we are moving, I freak out a bit. What do I need to do? How soon do I need to start planning for the move? Where are we going to live? How are we going to move our belongings? Do you ever feel this way when you figure out a move is in your future? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone said, “Hey, want a 90-day moving checklist to help you plan for your move?” Well, I’m here to be that person for you.

In the past, I made the mistake of contacting a moving company way too early. It was six months before I knew we were moving. To get an accurate estimate, I needed to give exact details, such as the date we were planning to move and the address of our new home. I had no clue about those details. I didn’t even know what city we would be living in. I knew we were moving halfway across the country in six months, but that’s all. The person I spoke to on the other line laughed at me and told me to contact them once I had more details.

After so many moves in my lifetime, I created a 90-day checklist to help simplify the moving process. It is something I can reference if we are to move again or if a close friend is to ask me how to plan a move. I broke up the massive task of relocation into baby steps. Here is the 90-day Checklist. I also created 60-day30-day2-week1-week, and moving-day checklists. I like to review our progress on the move and complete tasks on time so I do not get overwhelmed.   

So, what can you do 90 days before our move? What are practical tasks to complete this far out from a relocation? Below is a checklist of things to do 90 days out.

relocation planner from Move Mama Move with 90-day moving checklist

Put Together a Moving Binder

Keeping organized is an essential part of the moving process. You can avoid major mistakes while also saving money and time. I recommend creating a binder that holds all important documents related to the move. Check out “The Best Way to Stay Organized While Moving” to prepare for your upcoming move. 

contract on a clipboard

Send your new employment contract to an attorney for review

If you are moving for work or planning to start a new job, hire an employment contract attorney to review your contract. They will review the terms of your new job, help you determine if the contract is fair, and make suggestions to protect yourself. While it may seem early to do this, now is the time to request changes to your agreement if needed.

two men moving a couch

Begin researching moving companies based on your desired method of movement  

Moving companies can offer various levels of support for moving. You may only want to hire someone to load and unload boxes for your moving truck rental. Or maybe you need help unpacking and organizing at your new home. Or you’re looking for a company to do everything, from start to finish. Or you want to rent a truck and do the rest on your own.

Whatever your level of need is, start looking at companies available in your local area. How do you find the right moving company? Ask close friends, colleagues, and family for recommendations. Who have they used in the past? Ask your future employers if they have suggestions. Scour online reviews but use good judgment. Some comments are legit, while others have blown little details out of proportion. What do people like about a company? What do people dislike? Remember, customers are more likely to leave a bad review than a good one.

If you have the time, start reviewing companies as soon as you know you are moving. By 90 days out, I recommend having a list of five companies that you want to interview. Then, you can see how well they communicate early in the process. I prefer prompt and thorough responses. If I don’t hear back from a company in a reasonable time, I usually drop them from my list of contenders.

two houses, one for rent and one for sale

Look for housing options in your new town 

Because we move as much as we do, renting has always been our best option. If you want to buy, connect with a realtor in your new town. We like to visit our new city for a couple of days and get a feel for various neighborhoods. We will rent a car, and on the first day, drive around looking at different areas. I jot down notes of places we are interested in, available apartments, and compatible neighborhoods while my husband navigates around the city. 

Usually, I have researched areas before the trip, so we will schedule appointments to check out apartments for our second day. That evening we review our day and narrow down neighborhoods and rentals that work best for us.

two photos one of a woman on an airplane and one of kids in a car

Start looking at travel options

Now is the time to look at options for moving. Are you going to fly? For best prices, booking a flight 1-3 months in advance is best. To keep costs down, use points you have with a particular airline. Booking flights midweek can be cheaper than on the weekend.

Or are you going to drive? How long will it take to drive? Do you need to make arrangements for overnight travel? Do you have a vehicle that is safe to drive? Do you need to schedule a tune-up? The 90-day mark is when I start brainstorming ideas to narrow down my options over the next month.

entry way of a house

Take inventory of all of your belongings

In case we ever need to provide proof of our belongings and the condition that they are in, we take a video of everything. At our last home, I started in the front entryway and walked from room to room, videotaping every item in our house. I opened drawers, closets, and cabinets to record all things inside. We laid out our jewelry and valuables on the bed and took a video. This way, if anything ever came up missing, we could show that it was part of our inventory.

You can also record your belongings on a spreadsheet so you have a written record. But I always recommend videos and photos for proof of ownership.

Whether you want to start planning as soon as you know you are moving or you want to wait until the last minute to get things done, start getting your ducks in a row now. The sooner you start brainstorming and thinking about what moving day will look like, the easier it will be to make decisions throughout the process.

The above list is an abbreviated version of the Move Mama Move Moving Checklists. If you want full access to Move Mama Move’s 90-day, 60-day, 30-day, 14-day, and 7-day checklists, check out the Relocation Planners. With inventory trackers, tasks to prepare your new home, moving day planning sheets, budget trackers, and more, Move Mama Move Relocation Planners were created to help make your move more simple.

⇒ Next Step:  60-Day Checklist

90 Days Before the Big Move

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