Managing Transition

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Move Timeline 

Moves generally follow the same basic process, but the timing can vary greatly depending on individual situations. The timeline below displays a typical move to-do list for a 120 day timeframe. Your list and timeframe will most likely differ, so add or subtract items as needed and adjust the timeframe. Access ReloTutor's Checklists and Forms section to obtain a printable version of the timeline.

Move Timeline


Move Minus 120 days

Discovery Phase

  • Discuss potential move with family
  • Assess Financial Impact
  • Assess Social Impact
  • Assess feasible Destination locations
  • Investigate Home Sale Brokers
  • Investigate job/schooling opportunities

Move Phase

  • Hire real estate agent in new location
  • Initial home finding trip
  • Confirm destination/financial/social assess
  • Confirm region and potential townships

Move Minus 90 days 

Discovery Phase

  • Investigate amenities
  • Investigate Towns/Neighborhoods
  • Search for physicians and other professional service needs
  • Investigate moving companies

Move Phase

  • Spousal/self job or schooling search
  • Begin cleaning out existing home
  • Hire selling Real estate agent
  • List existing home for sale
  • Self / spouse job or schooling search
  • Obtain loan pre-approval for home purchase 
  • Decide on Town/Neighborhood
  • Follow-up home finding trips as needed
  • Sign new home purchase documents
  • Apply for mortgage
  • Obtain offer for sale of existing home
  • Hire attorney or closing agent

Move Minus 60 days 

Discovery Phase

  • Confirm moving company participation, and other hired suppliers

Move Phase

  • Notify current school of child's exit
  • Register child into new school district
  • Contract Movers or reserve rental truck if moving on your own
  • Follow-up home finding trips as needed
  • Sign new home lease documents
  • Inform current landlord of departure*
  • Change of address notifications to go out

Move Minus 30 days 

Discovery Phase 

  • Reserve travel/lodging for final move
  • Locate new physicians, dentists, veterinarians, etc.              

Move Phase

  • Arrange for movement of pets
  • Transfer medical /dental records
  • Inform current employers of pending termination
  • Negotiate auto lease terminations
  • Sell or discard household items not moving with you
  • Get moving supplies
  • Apply for bridge loan if home not sold
  • Forward your mail with the Postal Service

Move Minus 2 days

Move Phase

  • Pack all belongs and load
  • Household Goods movement
  • Settle or 'close' on existing home
  • Travel to new town
  • Settle or 'close' on new home (buyer)
  • Finalize home lease and gain access (renter) 

Move Day!

Move Phase

  • Keep in contact with Movers
  • Make home accessible

Move Minus 2 days

Discovery Phase 

  • Help family familiarize with new setting

Move Phase 

  • Unpacking day
  • Travel for remaining family to new home
  • Obtain new driver's licenses, auto registrations, insurance, etc
  • Tie up all remaining loose ends


* Note: timing depends on your lease termination notification clause. 


The 3 Phases of a Successful Move


1] Properly research the new destination before you decide to move. Understand your financial and social impact to you, and download the free assessment form. Stressed Out by Moving


2] Learn about each step of the move process to get your move started in an organized way.


3] Manage transition and stress from the very beginning. Each family member needs to be fully engaged throughout the entire move to properly assimilate into their new environment.

Move Acronyms

AMSA  American Moving & Storage Association

CWT   Cost per one hundred pounds

DOT    Department of Transportation

PBO    Packed By Owner

SIT     Storage In Transit


Real Estate Acronyms

BPO   Broker Price Opinion

CMA  Comparative Market Analysis

FDR   Formal Dining Room

MLS   Multiple Listing Service

TI      Tenant Improvement


Relocation Acronyms

CRP   Certified Relocation Professional

COLA Cost of Living Allowance

FMV   Fair Market Value

MVA   Market Value Analysis

PCS   Personal Change of Station (military)



Also see Definitions and Terms

Avoid being excluded from certain policy benefits by first speaking with your Relocation Counselor...

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