The Ultimate One-Month Moving Checklist: What to Do and When to Do It

Moving may be the most stressful thing one can do, so naturally I've picked the craziest time of year to do it. Genius. To help keep my sanity, I've been relying heavily on my master to-do list. I broke it down week-by-week for the final month before my move in order to not only accomplish it all, but do it within the time frame that makes sense. Wanna see my list?

Week One
• Give written 30-day notice to the landlord.
• Schedule movers/book a Uhaul. Do this well in advance, especially if you're moving at the end of a month (the most popular time to move and when they'll most likely be booked up).
• Clean out closets/purge belongings. Never move more stuff than is necessary; get rid of excess now.
• Decide what furniture will work in the new place; for everything else, list on Craigslist or offer to friends.
• Get boxes and packing materials. You can always buy 'em, but I've found the Craigslist free section to be the best source of packing materials; after you've moved you can pass them on.

Week Two
• Start packing. Begin with non-essentials (out-of-season clothes, rarely-used kitchen equipment) and work up to necessities as you get closer to moving day.
• Start taking down art and photos from the wall and patch the holes with a dab of spackle.
• Stop grocery shopping — learn to embrace the makeshift meal and start cleaning out the freezer.
• Change your address with your all financial institutions, credit card providers and insurance.
• Go to USPS to choose a date to begin forwarding your mail (it costs $1).
• Send a mass email to your contacts with your new mailing address.

Week Three
• Cancel or forward utilities: gas, water, electricity, garbage, cable/internet, phone and cell phone. Remember to collect any refunds from prorated service or deposits.
• Cancel or transfer your subscriptions: newspapers, magazines or Netflix.
• If you have plants to move, stop watering them now so they're not heavy and dripping on moving day.
• Pack, pack, pack.

Week Four
• Pack an essentials box with everything you'll need for the first night in your new home: sheets so you can make the bed, a few plates, cups and silverware, basic toiletries for a shower, and your phone charger.
• Hire professional cleaners or schedule a block of time to thoroughly clean the empty apartment.
• Leave a written copy of your forwarding address with your landlord so he can return your deposit.
• Do a final walk-through/inspection with your landlord and finally, return the keys.

As for me, I'm beginning week four, so I'm rounding the final stretch. Moving is tough, but it helps immensely to have a plan so it's not so overwhelming. Now it's your turn: what have I forgotten to list that I'll be kicking myself about later? Help!

(Image: Shutterstock)