When Should I Start Planning My Move?

As you venture on the exciting journey of relocating, you constantly make decisions and juggle a wide array of responsibilities. With so many elements to consider ahead of moving day, most people ask the question, “How far in advance should I begin planning my relocation?” Although there’s no “one size fits all” answer to determine exactly how long each move will take to prepare for sufficiently, making an educated decision based on different factors can help you shape your relocation timeline with precision.

Curious about how long you should spend preparing for your upcoming move? Keep reading for our guide to all things moving prep!

How to Prepare for Moving

To get ready for your upcoming move, it’s important to consider various factors that determine how much time and energy will be needed to plan and prepare. Learn about what to take into account ahead of your moving preparations.

  • Distance: One of the most significant determining factors in a move’s required planning time is the distance. Long distance relocations often demand more time and effort dedicated to logistics, and starting early with these moves can result in a much less stressful, more streamlined experience. At least a couple months of planning will be needed for best results in these moves, whereas local moves will take less time. 
  • Size: The larger your home, the longer your move will take. The more items you have, the longer your move will take. Packing and moving more items simply means a longer timeframe dedicated to your relocation needs. You may also need storage space in these circumstances.
  • Timeframe: The time of year for your move plays a big role in the amount of time needed for your relocation. For moves during the peak season from May to September, booking moving services will be considerably more challenging, so starting preparations well in advance is recommended.

What’s an Ideal Moving Timeline?

Although timelines require tweaking for your unique moving circumstances, the following timeline can provide a solid baseline for you to work from. Tailor the timeline below to your individual needs.


  • 6 Months in Advance
  1. Create a Moving Binder:
    • Start a moving binder or folder to keep track of estimates, receipts, and important documents. This should also contain a schedule, a to-do list, and a budget to make sure everything stays on track and organized as you prepare for your relocation.
  2. Research Moving Companies:
    • Begin researching and gathering quotes from moving companies. As a rule of thumb, you should obtain quotes from at least three movers to ensure you receive the most fair price possible from a reputable company.
    • Check reviews and references. Make sure any company you consider is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, and ensure their customer reviews are generally positive. This should play a huge role in your decision-making process.
  3. Purge and Declutter:
    • Start decluttering and organizing your belongings. With less items to pack, you will spend less time packing and unpacking, and you will also end up saving money on any moving services you pay for. 
    • Sell, donate, or discard items you don’t plan to move. Secondhand shops are a great spot for donations, and a yard sale can be an effective way to make some extra cash while selling your unneeded items.
  • 3 Months in Advance
  1. Hire a Moving Company:
    • Finalize your choice of a moving company and book your moving date.
    • Obtain a written contract. Carefully review the contract prior to signing to ensure all agreed-upon aspects are accurately represented in writing, and be sure that all sections of the contract are complete.
  2. Create a Budget:
    • Although starting with a budget is crucial, once you’ve booked moving services, you can move accurately map out what your major expenses will look like. Develop a moving budget that includes all potential expenses.
    • Factor in packing supplies, travel costs, and potential storage fees.
  3. Notify Important Parties:
    • Inform schools, employers, doctors, and relevant service providers about your upcoming move. Giving ample notice will prevent any issues along the way.
    • Request records and transfer prescriptions if needed.
  • 2 Months in Advance
  1. Begin Packing:
    • This part of the process may need to begin earlier depending on the size of your relocation. Be sure to start earlier than you think you need to, as packing can be a very time-consuming process. Splitting the task into manageable chunks can also be a great way to reduce stress along the way.
    • Start by packing non-essential items. Work from room to room in order to prevent items from different rooms getting mixed up into the same boxes.
    • Label boxes with contents and destination rooms. Thorough labeling will enable easier sorting in your new home.
  2. Notify Utility Companies:
    • Schedule disconnection of utilities at your current residence.
    • Arrange for connection at your new residence well in advance to avoid any delays in service. The earlier you schedule, the better.
  3. Update Address:
    • Notify the post office, banks, credit card companies, and subscriptions of your change of address. This will prevent any issues with important correspondence.
  • 4 Weeks in Advance
  1. Confirm Moving Details:
    1. Reconfirm the moving date, logistics, and contact information with your chosen moving company.
  2. Finalize Packing:
    1. Complete packing, labeling boxes clearly.
    2. Pack a suitcase with essentials for the first few days in your new home.
  • 2 Weeks in Advance
  1. Verify Details:
    • Confirm all details with the moving company.
    • Provide your contact number and address at the destination.
  2. Prepare for Moving Day:
    • Disassemble furniture if needed.
    • Ensure you have cash on hand for any unexpected expenses.


  • The Week of Your Move


  1. Double-Check Everything:
    • Confirm the moving day details with the moving company.
    • Double-check your travel arrangements to ensure everything will go according to plan.
  2. Pack Essential Items:
    • Pack a box with essential items such as toiletries, medications, important documents, and valuables. This box will stay with you while you relocate, rather than going into your moving truck.
  3. Set Aside Important Documents:
    • Gather important documents, such as passports, IDs, and moving contracts.
  • Moving Day
  1. Be Present:
    • Be available to answer any questions from the moving crew.
    • Take inventory as your belongings are loaded onto the truck.
  2. Travel Safely:
    • If driving, drive safely to your new location.
    • Keep important documents, valuables, and essentials with you.


Simplify Your Relocation with the Best Canton Movers

With this timeline in mind, you can complete a simplified, stress-free relocation. Interested in working with a moving company that can make the process even easier? Meet RLD Relocation & Logistics, your premier Akron moving company.

For over 44 years, RLD has made streamlining relocations our business, and we have consistently delivered with our highly-rated packing, moving, and storage solutions. With our team of expert moving professionals, relocating has never been simpler. Request a free quote online today or call us at (330) 494-1321, and discover how we can improve your move at an affordable rate!

Accredited Moving Services & Community Affiliations

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