Moving On: My Tips & Resources to Make Your Move Easier

Just thinking about the endless amount of research and energy that goes into a successful move gives me a migrane. Almost all of us have experienced our own variety of “moving” days. When you move with your family, all you need is patience for the drive or flight (something I’ve always struggled with). When you move to and from the dorms, there are RAs assigned to walk you through the process. In fact, their step by step guide almosts masks the true difficulty and responsibility you’ll have to cough up at one point in the future. Fortunately, we are blessed with the internet and online services. Since I’ve spent hours doing my own research for something you’ll probably need to do in the near future, it’s worth using my references and skipping over the countless hours your moving search will take you. Here are my steps to ensure a successful move, and I hope you use them well!

6-8 Weeks Before the Big Day

Preparation is Key: Maintain a small notebook dedicated to moving information only.

It’s nice to have it all in the same place, and it’s also extremely helpful. Always go into a big move being organized and you’ll have less stress to deal with later.

Here are a few things to jot down:

  • Research. Make note of any companies you will be using throughout your move, include their names and numbers, dates and times you’ve agreed upon, et cetera.
  • Make sure you can finance the move of your dreams because if you can’t, it will be one big nightmare. Set up a reasonable budget.
  • Take the time to read about your destination. What kind of stores are walking distance from you? Is the area dangerous or safe? What are some community resources you could utilize? WalkScore is a great site for finding these things.
  • Check your current apartment’s lease. How much notice do you have to give? This is important to know.
  • Call your new apartment leaser and ask about any special moving day services or parking arrangements that can be made. It makes a huge difference when the actual moving comes around.
  • This is such an essential, but overlooked step in the moving process. Believe me when I say that you need to find new doctors and health care providers. Even leaving Davis and coming to SF, I had difficulties finding the right resources for medical advice. I used OneMedicalfor my go-to health provider while staying in SF. It’s actually a really cool organization and you should give it a try.
    • Oh, and don’t forget to transfer your school or past medical records! Just look for the release forms on your current health provider’s website and fax the completed form to your new health option.
  • Make a list of people to notify about your move and when/how. Also, arrange a way to give notice to your current apartment and roommates as well.
  • Start looking out for packing tools and boxes! The more the merrier!

The Big Question: Will you be moving yourself or will you be hiring movers/moving services?

If you decide to hire movers, research and hire a moving company ASAP.

  • Using Yelp as a local reference is probably your best bet if you need help packaging your things, and need some heavy lifting. When you search for movers, you should refine your results to “Offers Coupons” and see if you can snag any deals while browsing.

Local serives aren’t for everyone though. If you plan on moving out of state or over a long distance, you should definitely look into arranging auto shipping (in case you can’t close your car’s trunk at the end of the day).

This might sound a bit bizarre but don’t forget that plain ol’ postal mail works too. You can send things through the mail, as long as you have the packaging and postage down use the USPS app on your iPhone to schedule a pick up date and your mailman will take care of it. This would be a great option for valuable pieces of artwork, delicate clothing, etc.

Another shipping option would be to use a company I have in the past, Luggage Forward. I stumbled upon the company’s website after googling about luggage transportation. All of my winter clothes had been sitting, untouched, in a few large and battered luggage carriers. I was too lazy to take them out and I figured there has to be some sort of company that offers this service – just a few words in Google and voila! Luggage Forward was discovered (by me, but maybe you already know about it).

I highly recommend using this service if you are moving out of your college housing and moving into an apartment in the city but you need to get your things to your future, permanate location. I was a bit uneasy using Luggage Forward without referencing any reviews, but they are honestly 5 stars worthy of a review. The process is simple and handled very professionally. 

One last thing, if you are a college student and your apartment’s lease is up before your new living situation’s lease begins and you don’t know where to put your things.. don’t jump to public storage systems just yet (you’d have to rent the storage place and hire movers as well). Try using UPS‘s U-Box option. You can choose a U-Box as little as a dorm size room and fit all the essentials (bed, mattress, desk) in the pod and much more! You can reserve a U-Box drop off date online, and then you will have [X] amount of days to load it. UPS will then pick it up on your desired date, store it in safe facilities for you, and drop it back off at your destination’s address in the amount of time you specify. They also offer moving help add ons so you don’t have to find movers on your own and the prices are relatively cheap.

4-5 Weeks Before the Big Move

Research and Plans Made, Let the Packing Begin!

The To-Do List:

  • Begin the packing process, but only pack items you use less frequently than others
    • Tip: Don’t be a hoarder, always throw away or donate anything you find yourself debating about keeping. Starting fresh and clean is always the best way to make your move effective.
  • Donate and throw awaythese items & the things you don’t need
    • I always find myself with piles of junk so big I lose all my motivation. Try using a Junk Removal service like 1-800-JUNK. Online booking too, it’s great.
  • Use up your groceries and other items that are perishable
  • Always remember to cancel and change your magazine subscriptions. Another overlooked step!
  • Fill out the change of address form on the USPS site. If you use your apartment as your billing address, make sure to let your bank know about the address change.
  • Make sure and then double check that you call your utility providers (for cable, gas and electric, internet) and have services in your name ended on the day you move out. If you have roommates, do not make the same mistake I did and try to transfer the service account to one of your roomies. You need to cancel it, otherwise you get left with the unpaid fees.

Two Weeks Before the Big Day

The List Keeps On Getting Shorter: Details & Check Up Time

  • Return any library books before you get fees more expensive than parking tickets.
  • Confirm all your large or unique furiture with the moving company you scheduled. They will tell you what they can and cannot do for you.
  • Read your lease agreement again. What are the cleaning requirements are expected of you? Although I had a junk removal company take most of my trash, a deep clean was still necessary. I hired a cleaning service from TaskRabbit, one of the cheapest ways to get services from locals. I would suggest doing the same or similar, you want as much of your deposit back as possible.

One Week Before the Big Day

Icing on the Cake: Making Sure the Move Runs Smoothly

  • Make and confirm cable and internet plansat your new place.
    • I would skip the cable and get a Netflix or Hulu Plus account instead, it’s not worth the trouble for me, and maybe it won’t be for you either.
  • Order new checks for your new address (one of my favorite parts)
  • Withdrawl the cash you will need to pay the movers
  • Keep your essentials together and pack them up in one place. Plan to carry them or have them on hand on the moving day
  • Create or conduct your apartment checkout walkthrough. This will give you the ability to discuss any deposit issues or deductions that may occur in the future.

Moving Day

The Last Goodbye: How To Leave Your Apartment Without Looking Back

  • Have directions either printed or loaded on your phone/GPS system
  • Confirm payment with movers, and also set out some water or cold drinks as a token of appreciation.
  • Trade contact information with the movers in case of any emergencies that may happen on the road
  • Leave your apartment keys in a labeled and obvious area, and let your former leaser know what your new address is/will be. This will make sure you receive the security deposit in the future.

Resources & Suggestions:

I know that was a lot of information in one post, but it’s the essential checklist that all movers deserve to know! If you want some other lists and planning advice, here are some links to check out:

Real Simple

OneSimpleMove Software (Free)

Moving Timeline

Successful Packing Tips

The Essential Packing Supplies

Companies and Services Worthy of a Click:


A list of moving services and companies

Boxes & Supplies from Uline


Find A Mover

Get Expert Advice


Reference A Customizable List

I am in the process of moving myself.. ironic, huh? I need to get a few more items checked before making my own move possible. I will make sure to post another, more detailed moving post about resources ASAP. Any feedback? Thanks for refering to this post!


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