How to Master a Move this Summer

Are you one of the millions planning a move? The pandemic has jumpstarted one of the largest American migrations in recent history, and with so many people on the move both locally and across state lines, it’s very likely that you or someone you know will be packing up their life and heading for a new home this summer.
The Lisa Kirshner Properties Team is here to make this big life change as seamless as possible. Moving is a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be a major source of stress (I think we’ve all had enough of that over the last 15 months)!
This checklist will ensure you get all of the essentials done early, so you can focus on the fun part– getting settled in your new home!
*Click to download and save a print-ready version of this checklist

6 WEEKS OUT - Select Your Moving Style & Purge

The first step is to decide what type of move you want. There are essentially three categories:

  • Do-It-Yourself Move: You rent the truck, load it up, then drive it all to the next location by yourself or with friends.
  • The Hybrid Move: You hire help to load and/or unload the truck, you drive and rent the truck.
  • Full-Service Move: You can relax while the movers take care of loading and driving. 
Once you’ve selected the type of move, you can proceed with getting quotes from moving companies and truck rentals. Summer is typically a busy time, so we recommend booking long-distance moves around six weeks out. Local helpers and truck rentals can be booked closer to three weeks out. 

Popular Moving Companies:

  • Greystone Relocation Concierge (local) - For a seamless and personalized relocation experience, there’s no one better than Greystone! They take care of all the details from purging to packing to hanging your prized possessions in your new home. Just sit back and let their experts do all the heavy lifting. 
  • Wetzel & Sons (local) - A local, family owned and operated company, dedicated to meeting and exceeding all of your moving and storage needs. They’ve been in business since 1976 and are well equipped to handle all your moving needs.
  • Redondo Van & Storage (local) -Since 1919, their team has been helping corporate and residential clients safely and conveniently move. They have years of experience packing everything from the baby’s nursery to priceless family heirlooms. 
  • Gentle Giant Moving (local) - A local company with a global reach. Gentle Giant has been a staple in L.A. for more than 30 years and can handle any type of move, here or abroad, due their affiliation with Atlas Van Lines. Making them a great choice for international clients. 
  • Home Sweet Home (local) - Dreading having to purge and discard all your old household items? Not looking forward to digging through boxes and organizing your new home? Home Sweet Home takes the stress out of the packing process, by handling all the nitty gritty details for you. 
  • United Van Lines (nationwide)  - United Van Lines is the largest moving company in the United States, with agencies conveniently located all over the country.
  • American Van Lines (nationwide, good for long distances)- They do an accurate inventory, individually package each item, and handle fragile belongings with care.
  • Bellhop (nationwide)- When you book your move with Bellhop, you’ll be connected with local drivers to speed up the process.
  • Atlas Van Lines (nationwide) - They will take extra precautions when packing your stuff, using wooden crates for delicate larger pieces and extra padding.
  • Allied Van Lines (nationwide) - They take on every aspect of the process, like disassembling furniture and other tedious tasks that can and will come up.

Do-It-Yourself & Hybrid Options:

  • Truck rentals - U-Haul, Budget & Penske
  • HireAHelper - the “muscle” portion of your move. Hire helpers to load and unload your belongings.  
  • Storage Containers - PODS or UPack. While you prepare for your move, use a portable container to rent and keep on your property as you transition.
The final task you can tackle around six weeks is to start the process of getting rid of the stuff you don’t need and will not be taking with you. It’s best to declutter and purge before you even start thinking about packing. 

What Can I Do With Old Stuff?

There are many options for getting rid of your old things, even if COVID-19 has made garage sales obsolete for the time being. Here are some options to consider:
  • Sell online - Facebook Marketplace, Offerup, Letgo… there are so many options! 
  • Donate - Check the Salvation Army and Goodwill to see what items they are currently accepting. You can also contact local charities to see what items they may be able to use.
  • Recycle - To recycle all kinds of things from mattresses to appliances, search: Earth911 to find a local place to drop off your items.
  • Throw it away (correctly) - The Bureau of Sanitation will pick-up your large or bulky household items, such as mattresses, couches, appliances and other furniture free of charges if you contact them in advance and schedule a pick-up time. Learn more.

4 WEEKS OUT - Moving Prep Work

Four weeks before your move is a good time to start notifying people or companies about your relocation and to start collecting moving supplies. These parties include:
  • Utility companies
  • Local schools
  • Medical professionals
  • Veterinarians - don’t forget about your furry family members!
  • Homeowner’s insurance company
  • Current landlord - if you have one
  • Bank/credit card companies
  • Government agencies
  • Anywhere you hold subscriptions
  • Anyone else who may be sending you important documents over the next few months

Start Collecting Moving Boxes

There are plenty of ways to get boxes on the cheap … or even FREE if you do a little research. This checklist outlines all of the places you can score free boxes. 

Start Packing Things You Don’t Use Often

Anything you can pack ahead will save you time on moving day. For summer, get your winter clothes out of the way. Pack up guest rooms, seasonal decor and extra items you don’t need. Pare down cooking utensils and food supplies to the essentials.

Purchase Furniture to Be Built or Delivered

Buying furniture now is a great idea so it can be delivered to your new home just as you’re about ready to set things up. If you have them shipped to your new address, you won’t have to worry about moving them! 

3 WEEKS OUT - Book Movers & Start Packing

If you’re moving long distances, we recommend booking a moving company at the six-week mark, but for local DIY and hybrid moves, three weeks out is an ideal time to reserve helpers and moving trucks. See the list above for places to contact.

It’s (Officially) Time to Start Packing!

One of the biggest mistakes movers make is waiting until the week (or days) before moving to pack. Ideally all belongings should be packed up prior to your moving day. Here are some tips to help you pack things efficiently and ensure your belongings are safe and organized.
  • Make a list: create a numbered list that specifically names the contents in each numbered box.
  • Don’t skimp on boxes: invest in enough high-quality boxes to contain all your things.
  • Color coordinate: designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for the kitchen, orange for the dining room, and so on.
  • Pack strategically: take some time to consider the best way to pack up your items without causing any damage.
  • Keep items from the same room together: this will make it easier to sort the contents after you move.
  • Label all boxes: it is crucial to label your boxes for seamless unpacking.
  • Safeguard valuables: items with high sentimental or dollar value should remain in your possession when moving, if possible.
  • Personal boxes:  let each family member fill a bright colored tote bag with items that they want right away in the new home. Keep these accessible during the move.

1 WEEK OUT - Cleaning & Moving Day Essentials

It’s always nice to leave your old property in good shape for the new homeowners, but for renters, it’s imperative to do a few things before you leave in order to increase the chances of getting your security deposit back.

Housekeeping Tasks 

After your place is emptied, make sure to patch and paint any holes in the walls so you don’t get charged for this simple repair. If there is anything else your landlord requires (like getting the carpets professionally cleaned), be sure to coordinate this before you head out. Want to hire a professional cleaning service? Contact our team for a local referral!

Essential Items For Moving Day 

Now’s the time to do a quick store run to stock up on these moving day essentials…
  • Water bottles
  • Trash bags
  • Cash for tipping movers
  • Extra supplies: tape, a marker, and boxes
  • Snacks
  • Moving Items: if you’re doing the heavy lifting pick up a dolly or cart
  • Other items: keys for both homes and directions to your new place!

Cleanup Your New Place

If you can get into your new house, we highly suggest you head over there before you actually move everything in to give the space a good, deep clean or hire a cleaning service to come before and/or after your move. You can also setup time for a locksmith to come over to your new place to rekey the locks. Here are five areas that need some TLC right away:
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Inside the refrigerator
  • Stove - inside and out
  • Washing machine
  • Bathtub and jets
  • Floor vents and baseboards


  • If you booked a container, it should be fully loaded before moving day, especially if you have a morning pickup for your container.
  • If you rented a truck, make sure you get to the rental place early to avoid a line. Start your day on the right foot and on time! 
  • If you hired helpers, make sure you allow yourself at least an hour for picking up the truck so you can get back in time. You don’t want to waste any valuable time with your hired help!
  • The best thing you can do is to have a talk with your moving team at the beginning of the day. Go over all of the key pieces of information so everyone is on the same page from the start. 
  • A nice touch is to also supply lunch and cold drinks for your moving team! You will reap the benefits.

If I Hired Movers What Should I Do?

Sit back, be a manager and watch them do the heavy lifting. Yes, this may feel a little awkward, but it’s what they’re there for! (Plus, for insurance reasons, you’re usually not allowed to help anyway.) Don’t be afraid to speak up if you want them to do something differently, like wrap the piece of furniture with one more pad for safety!

If I Didn’t Hire Movers What Should I Do?

Get your friends to show up early! Do some quick stretches so you can avoid injury and mentally prepare yourself for being on the downside of a couch up a staircase. At the very least, it’s going to be a long day, so stay hydrated and nimble. 

Unload and Label in the Most Efficient Way

If you used our labeling tips to make a game plan for which room each box should be delivered, then you’ll want to label the doors in the new place based on the key. This will keep things organized and will ensure that your helpers get the right boxes in the right rooms of your new pad.

Should I Tip My Movers? If So … How Much?

There’s a lot of debate on whether you should tip your movers or not, and if you do tip…how much should you cough up? For more clarification, check out this post and then make your call. 

AFTER YOUR MOVE - Meet the Neighbors & Settle In! 

Yes, it’s time to relax! You definitely deserve to focus on this celebratory step before moving on to sprucing up your new home. You’ve earned it! After you’ve taken some time to enjoy your new pad, here are some remaining steps to take:
  • Get rid of or utilize all your moving boxes. If you don’t want to repurpose or don’t have the room to save them, don’t forget to recycle! 
  • Finish any remaining unpacking and organizing.
  • Meet your neighbors online or in-person! Download the Nextdoor app (must have), and then muster up the courage to head next door and say, “hello.”
  • Explore! Get a feel for your new neighboorhood. 
  • Contact the Lisa Kirshner Properties Team for a list of local contractors and the best spots to start planning your renovation projects.
Moving is a big life event, often filled with many emotions. If you are moving in or out of the Los Angeles area, contact our team for a list of local vendors you can trust! We have a large network across the U.S. and are here to make sure you’re in good hands both locally and nationwide.

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