Long Distance Move Timeline

In preparing to do my cross country move, I have realized the importance of creating a strict long distance move timeline. This is not because everything necessarily needs a specific time and date, but for your peace of mind. Here’s the timeline I used for my move:

  • Six to Four Months Before- Know where you are moving to: select an apartment and sign a lease. This timeline can be extremely  varied depending on location. As is typical with college towns, like the one where I am moving, it was necessary to have arrangements 6+ months out due to popularity of area and availability due to school year housing. If you wait until the last minute, there will still be apartments available, but they probably will be the leftovers of prime pickings.

Ed. Note: If you are moving to a major metropolitan area, apartments may be advertised only one month — or less — before availability. Therefore, everything from the signing of the lease to scheduling for the utilities has to happen on a much faster timeline.

  • Three Months Before- Select your mode of transportation: plane, train, automobile? Depending on how far you’re going, the options may be more or less. If you need a Pod, U-haul, or other moving device, now is the time to make those reservations.
  • Two Months Before- Check in with your landlord about who you will need to contact before moving in. Usually the list includes a few utility companies, and possibly tv/internet hook ups. This is also a great time to ask for the current tenant’s contact info. Remember when you took all those amazing photos on your tour? Now is the time to make an offer on their furniture (the stuff you’d like to have) before they start making arrangements.
  • One Month Before- Make those calls!
    • Utility Companies (gas, electric, water, sewage/trash, internet)
    • Solidify travel plans (hotel for road trip, suitcases for air travel, etc.)
    • Landlord (to verify move in date & key pick up procedure)
    • Movers or Storage Company (if you need move-in assistance or you’re storing in destination city)
    • Credit Card Company (let them know you will be moving- change your address and alert them to sudden influx of charges in new city)
  • One Week Before- Pack your bags, pack your car (but only if you keep your car in a secure, locked garage!) & start checking the weather! Especially during inclement weather seasons (hurricane, blizzard, tornado, etc.) check your weather forecast for your trip, especially if it’s a road trip. Don’t forget to pack a bag for the first few days with necessary items: clothes, toilet paper, flashlight, blanket, etc.
  • Three Days Before- Set up your move-in game plan. This is especially important if you are moving in with other people. Set an agenda of what you will do first, and the order in which you will unpack and set up.
  • Day of- YAY! Today will be exciting and stressful. Stay calm with yourself and those helping you. Get your basic needs met first and then worry about all the fun decorating!

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Author My First Apartment

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Marisa Rinchiuso is a Design+Production major at Carnegie Mellon with a passion for DIY, budgeting and event management. She's always on the search for a great deal and new projects. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafts and travel.

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