Part of being organized is organizing your time and schedule.
That can look like many things: maintaining a written planner, using and sharing an online calendar, time blocking, scheduling appointments as well as daily tasks, or creating a timeline for big events. And, while creating a timeline is a great way to keep track of any project or event that you are planning, it is a most valuable asset in managing a move.
Why is a timeline so vital to the relocation process?
Moving is uncomfortable and inconvenient at best, and downright exasperating and stressful at its worst. This is due to the infrequency and unpredictability of the process.
This isn’t an undertaking the average person practices over and over again throughout the year. We don’t move to a new home every week! Therefore, we don’t get the opportunity to hone and streamline each step of the process. And, even if we do sharpen our skills, there are some factors that just cannot be foreseen. Housing deals fall through, moving trucks get delayed, people in our lives have emergencies that need to be handled. Making a timeline cannot change these unexpected delays but it can put us in control of how to manage them and that’s what being organized is all about – being prepared.
Whether you are moving next year or this summer, it is never too late to create a timeline for your move.
Here are three simple steps to get you started:
- Make a List. Write down everything you can think of that you will need to get done before moving day. For example:
- Interview and hire professionals for assistance: a realtor, organizer, stager, movers, pack/unpack team (do this early – moving seasons get hectic and you won’t have many choices if you wait for the last minute)
- Declutter and stage the house
- Pack (if you plan on doing this yourself)
- Give notice to landscapers, schools, clubs, jobs
- Change address with the Post Office
- Notify utility companies
- Plan for travel (don’t forget your pets!)
- Plan for child and pet care
- Take a day or two to keep adding tasks to your list as you think of them.
- Pull out a Calendar. You may want to have a calendar or planner devoted just to this. If you use a digital calendar, make your moving agenda a separate color so that it stands out. Check it weekly, and daily as your move date gets closer.
- Begin by filling in all fixed dates. Fill in your timeline with things that are certain. Do you have to close on your new or current house by a specific deadline? Are you starting a new job on a specific date?
- Add in the rest. Once your fixed dates are filled in, go to your list (see step 1) and add in ALL the items. If you have more time, you can simply assign them to a certain week on your timeline. If you’re on a time-crunch, be more date-specific so that you can insure that nothing slips through the cracks.
- Details. Add details such as contact names, phone numbers and email addresses to your timeline. Include contacts for schools, movers, realtors, stagers and organizers. Adding these details to your timeline will help by keeping all your essential move details in one convenient location.
- Overestimate. If you haven’t moved in a while, estimate the amount of time you will need to pack and double it. This is a time-consuming process.
- If you are packing yourself make sure you order your supplies at least one week in advance of starting.
- Allow several weeks for packing.
- Packing paper is something that you can overestimate with as well. It is frustrating to keep running out for more supplies once you’ve hit your packing groove.
A moving timeline may seem like extra work for your move right now, but the small bit of time taken to set up this management tool will support you throughout the process and keep you in the driver’s seat.