How to Prepare for Your First Moving Day

For some people, moving to a new house is one of life’s greatest adventures. For others, it’s a major chore with plenty of headaches and frustration. But, no matter which camp you fall into, a little advance planning can make the process go much more smoothly. Here are some things you should do in the weeks leading up to your move to make it less stressful and more productive.

Let your gardener, housekeeper and other service you first moving providers know that you will be moving. They may need to cancel your services or find new clients, so letting them know early on is a good idea.

Start searching for a roommate, if you need one. This can be done by using a roommate-matching service or simply advertising an open room. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find someone quickly and easily.

If your move is long-distance, map out your trip and plan logistics like stopping points, gas, meals and places to spend the night if you’re driving. If you’re flying, book your flight and reserve a car to transport your belongings if necessary.

Visit your new home while it’s empty if you can. This is a great way to get familiar with the space and plan where everything will go. If the house is staged, it can be easy to figure out where furniture will go based on the layout, but you can also take a tape measure with you and plan each room in detail to save time and hassle when you unpack.

Depending on your circumstances, this could be a good time to give notice to your landlord that you will be moving out and will not be renewing the lease. This gives them two months to start looking for a new tenant and arrange turnover services, like cleaning and maintenance.

Label boxes, if you haven’t done so already. Clearly labeling and categorizing each box can help speed up the unpacking process once you’re in your new home. Make sure each box is marked with what is inside and which room it belongs in.

Set up utilities, if needed. This is best to do in advance, so you don’t end up living without power, heat or water for any amount of time. Some companies allow you to transfer your service from one home to another, but if not, a technician will need to come to the home and connect services.


This can be among the last rooms to unpack, but nothing makes a house feel more like a home than having all your necessities at hand. Unpack items such as medicines, body care products, towels and the shower curtain, if possible, and then finish with things like linens for each bed. If you’re able to install shelving and closet organizing units before unpacking, that can also make the process more productive.