Tips & Guides / Moving Guides

Temporary Move Checklist

By Landing | Feb 25, 2020
Person making a checklist in a notebook

Planning for a temporary move but not sure where to start? A relocation checklist allows you to prioritize what needs to be completed ahead of time before you announce a change of address. The to-do list includes finalizing your temporary housing options, knowing what to pack, what to leave behind, as well as finalizing transport for you and your belongings and discontinuing services at your old residence.

By listing each of these steps and tasks individually, it’ll help to ensure that you have enough time to take care of the necessities and won’t be scrambling at the last minute. Organization is crucial in order for everything to run as smoothly as possible and minimize stress. Although your checklist will be customized to your specific situation, starting with this general guideline is key.

Step 1: Knowing your options

The first part of your relocation checklist should include looking into living arrangements in the city you are moving to. In recent years, we have seen non-traditional short-term stay accommodations branch out from the typical extended-stay hotels. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with innovative options, like flexible-lease furnished apartments, is important not only for a cost-effective temporary move but also to make the move as easy and comforting as possible. 

Familiarizing yourself with the city you are moving to and the options for living within that city is an exciting and reassuring first step for such a big life change. Here are some of the various options that may make your temporary move or relocation easier.

Extended stay hotels

Extended stay hotels are temporary residences that allow you to book for a long period of time, with a monthly suite rate as opposed to a nightly rate. This is usually a popular option for those who are temporarily moving for work due to job relocation and need corporate housing accommodations. Typically, these types of hotels will include smaller appliances like a mini-refrigerator or microwave, and come with additional furniture like a small couch. The downside to extended-stay hotels is that they lack many of the things that you would typically have in a home. For example, hotels generally lack personalized decor, larger appliances like a stove for cooking meals, and in-unit laundry. Although this option works if you simply need temporary housing, opting for extended stay hotels make it difficult to transition from your previous home. 

Furnished apartments

On the other hand, furnished apartments offer the best of both worlds. With short-term furnished rentals, you get a full-furnished accommodation that actually feels like a home. Most furnished apartments will typically include all that you would have in your own home- a bed, couch, a full kitchen with appliances, in-unit or on-site laundry services, personalized home decor, and more. Having the freedom to cook in your apartment or do laundry on your own timing makes your temporary living arrangements feel like your previous living arrangements. As you say goodbye to your old home, it can be hard to transition into a new place. With a fully-furnished apartment, like those at Landing, you can walk right into your new place feeling right at home and you won’t need to bring much more than your personal belongings.

Once you’ve solidified your temporary living arrangements and figured out what it will include, you can figure out what you’ll need to bring and what you can get rid of.

Step 2: Sort your belongings and start purging

Since the process of sorting belongings and purging takes time, this is one of the earlier steps. To start, separate piles by what will be making it into the moving boxes, what you’ll take to temporary storage, and anything remaining that can be donated or trashed. Depending on how much you have to sort through, it’s smart to start several weeks in advance of your moving date to ensure the relocation goes seamlessly.

As you consider what to pack, keep the things that will bring you comfort in your new temporary home, but also use the opportunity to start fresh. Depending on where you’re going, you may or may not need to bring all that you have. If you plan on moving into a furnished apartment, you likely only need your clothes, as most items will be included already in your new home. This means you can leave your furniture and larger valuables behind. Furnished rentals, like those at Landing, include beds, couches, and home decor, in addition to kitchen appliances and other everyday staples to allow you to settle in immediately. 

Knowing what’s already available will help you stick with only the essentials when packing. The less you take, the more you save on transportation costs and hassle. Subtasks to add to this first step include:

  • Confirming what is and isn’t included in your new fully furnished apartment or temporary housing situation
  • Consider how large or small your new living space will be. For example, a furnished apartment in San Francisco is likely much smaller than an apartment in Dallas. Understanding the average square footage in your new hometown will give you an idea of how much you should or shouldn’t bring.
  • Buying packing materials, including boxes, trash bags, tape, and markers for labeling
  • Research non-profit organizations and schedule a drop-off or pickup of your donated goods

Step 2: Set up storage or hold a garage sale

A storage facility may be the best option if you are relocating for a shorter period of time and plan to return to your original home base. However, if the plan is indefinite or you’ll be moving to another city beyond your current plan, selling your furniture or donating it to a local charity may be in your best interest. If your next home is a furnished apartment, then holding a garage sale would be in your best interest as you won’t need to bring the majority of these items.

On the plus side, selling your items means you’ll have extra money to use toward moving expenses. Plan both an in-person and online event to reach a wider group of people. You may decide that you need to do both; sell what you can and store the rest. Add the following tasks as part of this step:

  • Get quotes from storage unit facilities to find the best rate for the space you’ll need
  • Take pictures of all items for sale to post online
  • Schedule the date and time for your garage sale 
  • Take inventory of what will be taken to storage as well as what will need to be shipped

Step 3: Schedule shipping or a moving truck

Is it easier and more cost-effective to ship your belongings through a moving company with professional movers or rent a moving truck to drive yourself? Better yet, can what you’re taking for your short-term lease fit into your car? Many companies have a company relocation package set in place to assist employees with moving expenses up to a certain amount when relocating for work. After putting together your inventory spreadsheet, get quotes for moving trucks well in advance in order to compare costs. 

Schedule the shipment to coordinate with your arrival date in your new city. Take any household items and essentials of what you’ll need in the first week should there be any delays. This includes any valuables, such as personal documents and electronics, medications, and clothing and other items you’ll need right away. Once you’ve decided how you’ll move your belongings, also remember to:

  • Create a physical or digital file to record your expenses and save your moving-related receipts
  • Clearly label all storage containers and moving boxes to make the unpacking process much smoother once you arrive to your new home
  • Set aside cash for a tip for the moving company – the professional movers will appreciate it
  • Schedule any final doctor appointments necessary to refill prescriptions 

Step 4: Cancel utilities and update your address

Approximately one week out from moving day, pause or cancel your utilities unless you are subletting your current residence. Empty your refrigerator and donate any non-perishable items from your cabinets. Also, update your new address with the post office for mail forwarding and make changes online to any of your current subscriptions as well.

After everything is packed, scheduled, and ready to go, leave time to hang out with friends and family to say your goodbyes. By giving yourself enough time to walk through each step of your own relocation preparation checklist, the less stress it will bring come moving day and the more prepared you’ll feel as you settle into the comforts of your new home, however temporary it may be. 

Skip a few steps and opt for easy living

If you need to move quickly, there’s a way to skip the stress and move easily. As you weigh your options for your new home, remember that furnished apartments come furnished, meaning you can skip out on a few of the steps above, like figuring out how to bring all of your items to your new home. There’s no need for a moving truck to transport your furniture, home decor, and kitchen appliances. And if you opt for furnished apartments, like that of Landing’s, then you don’t have to worry about breaking a lease if your temporary move doesn’t last long. Our short-term rentals with flexible leasing allow you to come and go as you please, making it easy for any temporary move or sudden relocation.

As you prepare for this new transition, remember that it doesn’t have to be hard and that there are ways to simplify it. For a smooth relocation, check a few items off this relocation checklist, find a furnished apartment and be on your way to your new temporary home!


Ted may be the world's slowest typist and struggle to hold a pen, but he has mastered how to pursue a more flexible lifestyle throughout his airborne adventures around the U.S. Whether you're looking for more information before migrating to a new city or want to find an easier way to rent a nest—erm, apartment—Ted will always be here to share his best advice for where to live and how to thrive.