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Eight Week Moving Plan: Steps to Take Before Leaving Your Home, Packing, Organization, Outline / Track Tasks, Professional Movers

 Plan Your Move to the Indianapolis, IN Area 
Home > Home Buying Guide > Plan Your Move

One of the most stressful aspects of buying or selling a home is the move. We are pleased to present this planning guide to help you through the moving process and make it as easy a task as possible.

Packing Up & Moving Out - Organization is the Key to a Low-Stress Move

Moving Truck

Moving is considered one of the most stressful life events you can face. There are, however, ways to make your move less intimidating and easier on the nerves.

Organization is the key. Carefully plan your move well in advance, giving yourself at least eight weeks to complete the project. Outline all tasks on a week by week basis, and track each task's progress.

Below is an example of an eight week moving plan with examples of the steps you will need to take before leaving your home.


  1. Create a three-ring binder to organize all the details.
  2. Will you move yourself or use professionals? Price the many costs of doing it yourself (truck, gas, food, hotels, physical requirements, available assistance from family and friends, etc.) before deciding that professionals cost too much.
  3. If you choose to use professional movers, book your truck or moving company immediately.  Depending on the time of year and direction you're traveling, space availability may be limited, which may cause you to be wait-listed or forced to pay premium charges.
  4. Can you deduct any or all of your moving expenses? Keep careful track of all expenses; tolls, snacks, maps, etc. can add up.


  1. Clean out storage areas. Donate sell or dispose of everything you don't want to take with you.
  2. Start planning your meals around the contents of your freezer.
  3. Dispose of all flammable or corrosive products in a lawful manner, such as
    • Paint
    • Cleaning products
    • Antifreeze
    • Oil
    • Gasoline (don't forget the lawn mower and hedge trimmer)*
    • Propane tank from BBQ grill - empty it completely or remove and dispose of properly*
    • * If you're unsure where to get rid of these materials, contact your State Health Department or ask your moving company for a local HAZMAT disposal site.
      Click for Indiana HAZMAT disposal information. (opens in new window)


  1. Start collecting used boxes for your packing needs. This can save you money versus buying new boxes.
  2. Re-appraise all valuables you are moving; purchase additional insurance riders, if needed.


  1. Notify your local post office, family, friends, banks, credit cards, etc. about the upcoming address change.
  2. Notify your homeowner's/renter's and auto insurance companies.
  3. Register your children in their new school and transfer their records, if needed.
  4. Research the driver's license and auto registration requirements if you are relocating to a new state.


  1. Ask your doctor, dentist, etc. for referrals in your new location.
  2. Transfer your medical records, including x-rays, to the new service providers.
  3. Record the serial numbers of all electronic equipment in a secure location.
  4. Pack any items you won't need again before the move.


  1. Obtain a 60-90 day supply of prescription medications. Transfer your prescriptions to a pharmacy convenient to your new location.
  2. If you plan to pack your own stuff, start assembling packing materials (old newspaper, bubble wrap, packing "peanuts", sealing tape, etc.)
  3. Does your current insurance policy(ies) cover moving damage, or loss to your belongings during the move? If not, arrange for additional coverage, if needed.
  4. Arrange to overlap your homeowner's or renter's liability insurance coverage for both the old and new locations during the move.


  1. Contact the utility companies to arrange to turn off the old services and turn on the new (two days before your arrival).
  2. Pack all valuables you will be taking with you.


  1. Unplug, defrost and dry the refrigerator and freezer.
  2. Pack suitcases with any items you'll need before the moving truck arrives at your new location.
  3. Prepare a special "last-on/first-off" box with any items you'll need immediately upon your arrival.

Moving: Hire a Pro or Do It Yourself?

If you have decided to hire professionals to move you get some recommendations from friends, relatives and neighbors. Often, this is the best way to find a competent, reliable moving company.

Here are a few items to keep in mind when you interview prospective movers:

  • Deal with licensed moving companies ONLY! Ask the representative for proof of worker's compensation insurance to protect the company and its customers.

  • Ask about the firm's experience and client list. Call a few clients to verify references.
  • Is the moving company a member of any local or national moving trade associations. If so, contact the associations for further information.

  • Check the company's Better Business Bureau rating.
  • Contact the American Moving and Storage Association to see if they have information on them.
  • Choose the type of service you want:
    • Full service - they pack, unpack and move everything, or
    • Self-service - you pack and unpack everything, they just move it
  • Get a written estimate, and determine whether it's binding or non-binding.

    The most accurate way to estimate your moving costs is to get an in-home, visual assessment from the mover.
  • When you're ready to sign the contract, insist on a guaranteed price in writing that includes:
    • Guaranteed pick-up and delivery dates
    • A guarantee of how many hours the job will take, allowing an overrun of no more than 10 percent.
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