How to Have a Stress-Free Moving Day

For many of us, moving to a new home — whether it’s a local move or you’re moving halfway across the country — can feel pretty daunting. It’s easy to second-guess ourselves, get bogged down in a slew of last-minute details, or convince ourselves that we can muscle through whatever comes our way with just a little more grit and determination.

But could there be a better path forward to creating a stress-free moving day? Yes, with some careful thought and a little planning, it’s possible!

Presenting … our Top 10 tips to make for a smooth moving day:

  1. Aim for one last good night’s sleep in your own bed. Even if you simply pare down the bedding to only essentials, having one last night could also make for an easier “First Night” box (or two) in the new place.
  2. Pack your small valuables yourself. Before anyone shows up that day, including a realtor, utility service personnel, or your movers, pack your special valuables, and then be sure to keep track of them during the whole moving process.
  3. Keep non-moving items in a separate place that’s designated to stay in place. If there are large furniture items that should stay, be sure to let the moving company know.
  4. Be present on Moving Day. Although there’s no need to give professional movers advice, they might have questions for you throughout the day, and it’s helpful when you’re around to answer them directly.
  5. Secure parking nearby. Be sure to clarify the (legal!) parking options with your movers upfront. This is especially important if you live in an apartment complex, condominium, or on a busy street.
  6. Clear out your perishable food, and if you haven’t already, remember to defrost your freezer and refrigerator(s), too. Whether you pack a cooler or donate food to a friend, make sure you’ve cleared out the items that the next occupants don’t need (or want).
  7. Try to unplug any appliances or electronics which you plan to move with you at least 24 hours in advance. One suggestion is to capture what they look like in a picture so you can easily reconfigure them in your new place.
  8. Pack a bag of essentials to transition into your new place. This might include a phone charger, portable speaker, a small tool kit, or essential paperwork for your current home or the new place.
  9. Make a plan for kids and/or pets. Especially for younger children, remember they might not enjoy watching all of their prized possessions loaded onto a truck. Try to plan ahead for how best to care for them — in the loving care of someone you trust, or with a goodie box of fun things to help keep them preoccupied nearby.
  10. Keep some basic cleaning supplies. Certain items like paint, bleach and lighter fluid will need to stay behind (or donated), but you might also want to keep a small box of cleaning supplies (e.g., window spray, paper towels, and 409 cleaning spray) to polish off your place one last time.

For more suggestions to help you minimize stress and maximize success on your moving day, including a complete list of items not to move with you, just visit our FAQs.