Residential Moving Tips and Guides

Getting ready to embark on a journey to a new home? Looking for the best ways to tackle your residential relocation? If you need tips and tricks to simplify your upcoming move and streamline the process, we’ve got you covered. Explore our guides below!

Moving Timeline and Checklist

As you prepare for your move, having a schedule to refer to allows you to stay on track of the many tasks that need to be accomplished ahead of moving day. Sticking to this timeline will keep everything running smoothly as you tackle your big move.

  • 2 to 3 Months Before
  • Create a To-Do List and Schedule
  • Budget for Your Move
  • Start the Declutter
  • Search for a Moving Company
  • 6 to 8 Weeks Before
  • Obtain Packing Materials
  • Pack Your Home
  • Notify Landlord or Real Estate Agent
  • 4 to 6 Weeks Before
  • Notify Necessary Parties
  • Complete Change of Address
  • 2 to 4 Weeks Before
  • Wrap Up Packing
  • Confirm Details with Movers
  • 1 Week Prior
  • Pack an Essentials Box
  • Confirm Utilities (both termination and activation)
  • Moving Day
  • Safely Load Moving Truck
  • Complete a Final Walkthrough

How to Declutter and Downsize Before a Move

Before moving day, completing a thorough declutter is an important part of the process. By decluttering your home ahead of your relocation, you can effectively make your move easier and more organized. Discover the process in a few simple steps!

  1. Start the Process Early

One of the biggest keys to decluttering your home successfully is getting an early start on the process. Sorting through all of your belongings takes time, and without that time, you’re forced to rush, stress, and inevitably complete the task with much less than 100% success. Instead of dealing with the anxiety of a rushed decluttering process, give yourself a head start so you have ample time to get the job done the right way.

  1. Trash the Easy Stuff First

Decluttering can be an incredibly difficult process if you’re unsure of what you’re ready and willing to part with. Make the job easier on yourself by starting with the easy items first—the things you know you can simply throw in the trash. These items might be broken, tarnished, old, or simply eating up space. Whatever the case may be, you know the items shoved to the back of your closet that you’re ready to toss. Begin your declutter here, and everything else will come easier.

  1. Gain Momentum

A huge part of decluttering is momentum. As previously stated, this task can feel difficult, but if you garner some momentum, you’ll be amazed at how quick and painless the process can be. Start with the simple stuff, perhaps in the rooms or storage areas that have accumulated a lot of junk over your time in the home. Don’t allow yourself to spend more than a few moments on a singular item, and save your difficult items for later if you start to feel stuck.

  1. Plan Your New Space

As you’re trying to decide which items can stay and which ones can go, it can be incredibly useful to plan your space in your new home. Everything you own should have a place to go, and if it doesn’t have a spot, you might want to seriously consider decluttering it. This tactic allows you to ensure nothing is eating up space by simply sitting around or being shoved to the back of a closet or cabinet.

  1. Ask Yourself the Right Questions

To determine which items you want to keep, there are some helpful questions that can guide your decisions. Ask yourself these questions as you decide…

  • How often do I use this item?
  • Have I used this in the last 3 months?
  • Do I hold onto this item “just in case”?
  • Am I keeping this just for sentimentality?
  • Does something else I own serve the same purpose already?
  1. Set A Timer

Getting through the decluttering process is all about momentum, and keeping momentum up is about staying on time. This can be done in a couple ways. First, make sure you don’t spend longer than a few minutes on one item. Try setting a timer for a few minutes if you’re deciding on an item, and then when the time is up, that’s it—time to finalize your decision. Additionally, decluttering should be done in small chunks, not long marathons. Allot an hour or half hour at a time in order to make the most of your declutter without burning out.

  1. Try to Avoid Sentimentality

Last but not least, try to avoid being overly sentimental. Of course, we all have belongings that hold sentimental value, and it’s okay to hold onto them for this reason. However, you can’t justify holding onto everything for emotional purposes. Narrow it down to only the most meaningful, special items. Otherwise, if you’re only keeping it for sentimentality’s sake, it’s time to let the item go.

Efficient Packing Strategies and Organization Tips

As you pack your home for your big move, it’s crucial to stay organized in order to achieve the best results. With just a few simple packing strategies and organizational tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful relocation.

  • Label, Label, Label! While you fill your boxes with your belongings, be sure to label thoroughly on at least two sides of each box. Clearly write which room each box corresponds with, as well as a summary of the items inside. This will make finding your belongings much easier as you unpack.
  • …or Create an Inventory: Alternatively, you can skip the detailed labeling and opt for creating an inventory. Using an inventory allows you to simply assign a number to each box. Then, you will create a spreadsheet or inventory list detailing what items correspond to each number. This method allows you to keep track of your belongings seamlessly.
  • Be Mindful of Box Weight: When packing your boxes for your relocation, make sure you keep the weight in mind. If you overload your boxes, the likelihood of your boxes breaking upon lifting increases. Additionally, this can cause a risk of your boxes crushing each other in transit. Instead, keep your boxes at a reasonable, consistent weight. If your box is getting heavy and there’s still empty space, fill it with light materials to prevent movement without adding weight.
  • Use Specialty Boxes: For some items, using specific boxes can be incredibly useful to improve the process further. For instance, garment boxes are specifically designed to hang clothing, which can make it a lot easier to transition from one closet to another. Another option is to get specialty boxes for electronics if you don’t have the original packaging, as these boxes are specifically designed to enhance the protection of your devices.
  • Protect Your Items: One of the most important aspects of packing is keeping your belongings safe and protected. To do this, it’s crucial to utilize sufficient supplies to pad your belongings. Moving supplies such as bubble wrap and packing paper can be especially useful for this purpose, but you can also utilize items you already own such as clothing or blankets. This is also handy as it allows you to repurpose belongings you would be packing anyway.
  • Prepare Your Essentials: Last but not least, prepare your essentials separately as the final step of your packing process. Your essential items should be taken with you rather than loaded into your moving truck, and this should include the items you will need in the interim between homes.

Address Change Checklist and Utilities Transfer

Before you relocate, it’s crucial to notify the necessary parties about your change of address, as well as the transfer of your utilities. Depending on how far away you’re moving, you may need to contact two different parties for utilities—your current provider and your new provider. Making these changes and contacting the necessary places in a timely manner is an important step to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Check out our list of parties to notify below!


  • Postal service
  • Banks
  • Credit card companies
  • Schools
  • Employers
  • Insurance providers
  • Healthcare providers
  • Subscription services (Internet, TV, streaming services, etc)
  • Memberships (such as the gym)
  • DMV
  • Utility providers
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water

Residential Moving Made Easy

When you need a moving company to accommodate your residential moving needs, count on the professionals at Hollander Storage and Moving! Hollander provides top rated solutions to Chicagoland and beyond, offering packing, moving, and storage solutions that simplify the relocation experience.

With over 130 years in the business, we have the highest standards to deliver the best of the best to our valued customers. Interested in moving the Hollander way? Request a quote online, or give us a call at 866-754-0907!

Just as packing can be a challenge, unpacking can offer its own set of difficulties. Similar to packing, unpacking is often a large time commitment and requires a lot of energy. Luckily, Hollander Storage & Moving Co. also offers unpacking services to simplify your life as you settle into your new home.

You can customize your services, so whether you need your whole home or certain items unpacked, our team can do the job safely and efficiently. We can handle unpacking fragile items and even setting up and assembling furniture. Our personalized solutions can provide exactly what you’re looking for as you make your new house a home. 

Hollander Moving
Hollander-Moving Chicagoland Since 1888



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