TLDR: When moving, it's best to start planning well in advance. 

Nobody likes a cluttered house, and this includes potential buyers. If you already have another property that you’re moving into, great! You can pack up your stuff and ship it out, leaving the property neat and tidy (though if it’s totally empty, we recommend staging the house. Read the step on staging for more information). If you haven’t already begun moving out, you should probably start since it’s only a matter of time until closing! In this case, you can begin moving personal items and “clutter” into a temporary storage unit to give your property a tidier look.

When it comes to planning a move while selling a house, early preparation is key to a smooth and successful transition. Ideally, you should start planning your move as soon as you decide to sell your house, even before you list it on the market. Here's a timeline to help you navigate the moving process while selling your house:

The Moving Timeline

As Soon as You Decide to Sell

Once you've made the decision to sell your house, it's time to start thinking about your move. Begin by assessing your current belongings, decluttering, and organizing your home in preparation for staging and showing to potential buyers.

4-8 Weeks Before Listing Your House

About a month or two before you plan to list your house on the market, start researching moving companies, obtaining quotes, and scheduling estimates. This will give you time to compare services, prices, and availability to find the right moving company for your needs.

When Your House is Listed for Sale

Once your house is listed for sale, it's time to kick your moving plans into high gear. Continue decluttering and organizing your belongings, focusing on creating a clean and clutter-free environment for potential buyers during showings and open houses.

When You Receive an Offer

If you receive an offer on your house, you'll need to consider the timeline for closing and factor that into your moving plans. Negotiate a closing date that aligns with your moving timeline and allows you enough time to prepare for the move.

4-8 Weeks Before Closing

About a month or two before your scheduled closing date, finalize your moving plans and book your moving company. Start packing non-essential items and belongings that you won't need before moving day, labeling boxes and organizing them by room to make unpacking easier later on.

2-4 Weeks Before Closing

As your closing date approaches, continue packing and organizing your belongings, noting the boxes that contain essential items and things you'll need immediately after moving into your new home. Notify utilities, service providers, and important parties of your upcoming move and schedule disconnections and transfers as needed.

1 Week Before Closing

In the final week before closing, double-check all moving arrangements, confirm details with your moving company, and make any last-minute preparations. Pack a moving day essentials kit with important documents, valuables, and necessities for your first night in your new home.

Moving Day

On moving day, be prepared for a busy and potentially stressful day. Work closely with your moving company to ensure a smooth and efficient move, and be available to answer any questions or provide directions as needed. Once your belongings are loaded onto the moving truck, do a final walkthrough of your old home to make sure everything is in order before leaving. 

Fun Fact

Many moving companies also offer storage services. If you require those services, make sure to inquire as you conduct your search.


Most real estate contracts stipulate that the dwelling must be in "broom swept condition" before transferring the property to the buyer. Keep some cleaning supplies on hand for once your belongings are all moved out. 

By starting to plan your move early in the selling process and following a timeline that aligns with key milestones in the home selling process, you can minimize stress and ensure a successful transition to your new home. Working closely with your moving company can also help streamline the process and address any challenges that may arise along the way.