The pandemic stay-at-home protocols forced us to evaluate our homes. Is my home the right size? Will I need a home office long-term? Should I relocate to a more affordable city? Should I live closer to my family? Whatever the reason, millions of people are moving creating the “Great Reshuffling.”

This record rise in Americans moving, coupled with the typical busy moving season in the summer and a shortage of workers, has created the perfect storm. Moving companies are incredibly busy and are working hard to hire the qualified help they need. Moving is challenging enough without scrambling to find a reputable moving company.  

So what does this mean for those planning to move? Plan ahead! Make your moving reservations as early as possible to beat the surge and put your organizational skills in overdrive.

If possible, give yourself eight weeks to handle the moving to-dos in an orderly, low-stress manner. Use the steps below in this two-month moving calendar to keep you calm and prepared. Simply follow these steps and check them off one-by-one: 


  • Start the process of selecting a mover
    • Check a mover’s record with the Better Business Bureau in your state and social review sites. A great reputation is the best way to choose a mover
  • Book your mover
  • Start to inventory and divide up your belongings: Decide who gets what, which items to donate, recycle, to take and which items (if any) need to go into short-term or long-term storage


  • Mail change of address cards or change your information online at the following: 
  • Post office
  • Local Department of Motor Vehicles for License & Registration 
  • Social security 
  • Insurance companies
  • Credit card companies
  • Credit bureau and/or other creditors
  • Employer (to forward W2s)
  • Broker
  • Mail order accounts
  • Magazines
  • Friends and relatives
  • Gather personal records (medical, dental, etc.)
  • Arrange to transfer children’s school records
  • Gather all pet’s vet records and make sure all pets are microchipped and chip corresponds to a cell number that goes with you on your move. Order new tags and licenses with new address and your cell phone number
  • Check homeowner’s insurance policies to see if moving is covered. Be sure your new home is protected by transferring fire, theft and other personal-property insurance



  • Make arrangements to discontinue current utilities and schedule the start-up of new utilities:
  • Landline telephone service
  • Cable TV 
  • Internet 
  • Electricity (check for refund)
  • Gas (check for refund)
  • Fuel oil
  • House cleaners
  • Babysitters
  • Dog walkers
  • Gardeners
  • Pool Service
  • Diaper service
  • Water
  • Water softener
  • Parking
  • Other: ________________________
  • Have appliances serviced for shipment



  • Arrange to transfer local bank accounts
  • Ask doctors, dentists and veterinarians for medical records 
  • Cancel newspaper delivery
  • Refill all prescriptions. Get prescriptions transferred to a new pharmacy closer to the new home
  • Make arrangements to move children and pets. Do you need a babysitter for a day or two? A pet sitter? 
  • Confirm that the mover will move houseplants; if not, make arrangements. Houseplants, usually, cannot be moved by a mover, especially on long distance or out of state moves
  • Start to disassemble any shelving, closet systems, etc. that you plan to take or arrange with the mover that they will be doing this on the day of the move
  • If you need one, hire a cleaning crew to come clean your empty place to get your deposit back. Will your new place need a cleaning crew before you move in too? 


  • Pack in separate boxes the items necessary for first days in the new home: Label “LOAD LAST.” And label where to put each of those boxes in your new home:
    • Medicine (always keep prescriptions on you)
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Linens and towels
  • Toothbrushes and toiletries
  • Paper goods
  • Disposable plates and silverware
  • Foil and wax paper
  • Plastic containers
  • Microwave
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Garbage bags
  • Tool kit
  • Step ladder
  • Extension cords
  • Light bulbs
  • Cleaning items (mop and pail, broom and dust pan, etc.)
  • Each member of the family should also pack a suitcase with what they need for a few days while you’re getting settled into your new place. Don’t forget cell phone chargers, medications and favorite teddy bears
  • If the movers are packing all or part of your belongings, call to schedule and confirm the details. Make sure your mover knows how much packing you expect to do yourself and how much you expect them to do
  • Plan to use up most food items before the move. If you have any leftover food on moving day, donate it to Move For Hunger
  • Register to vote



  • Defrost and dry refrigerators/freezers to be moved
  • Gather valuables and important documents from jewelry cases, safe deposit box, etc. to take with you in the car. Do not pack these items with your other belongings



Congratulations, you conquered “The Great Reshuffling!” Not only did you move during a very unique time, you stayed organized and, hopefully, the entire process was much more stress-free. As the winner of this moving marathon, you now get to slowly unpack and peacefully settle into your new and improved lifestyle.


  • Laura McHolm

    Chief of Organized Living and Co-Founder

    NorthStar Moving Company

    Home is where the Om is is the practical series to the art of mindful living. In each article you’ll learn ways to get your external world set-up to give your inner world more room to breathe. You’ll learn how to minimize distractions, be more efficient, and how to create more space externally and internally. Turns out a clean and clear closet, purse, kitchen junk drawer really can set you up for mindfulness.    Featured in Ladies' Home Journal as one of 16 women making the world a happier place, named 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and Community Leader 2019 by The National Association of Women Business Owners Los Angeles, Laura McHolm is one of the few women at the helm of a moving company. Laura had a unique entrance into the world of entrepreneurship and organized living.   As a child, Laura drove her mother crazy when asked to clean her room; she’d start by completely emptying out her closet and drawers. This quirk turned into a passion for organization, developing systems, solving logistical problems and, basically, streamlining life. Laura began university at the age of 16. After law school, she worked as a corporate intellectual property lawyer. In the mid-1990s, she moved away from the Fortune 500 to fulfill her more creative, entrepreneurial spirit and co-founded NorthStar Moving® Company in Los Angeles.    Today, NorthStar Moving is the largest independent moving company in California and is the go to mover for A-List celebrities, and other movers and shakers. Laura coined the phrase “eco-luxury moving services” and is changing the way we move by selling the red carpet treatment. Honored with more awards for service than any other moving company including: ten consecutive “Best Places to Work” awards; “A+” rated by the Better Business Bureau; Green Vendor Awards; and earned the most five star ratings on Google, Trustlink and Yelp. Laura has broken the long-held notion of moving and storage as burly men doing one job – lifting heavy things.   As a marketing consultant and business owner, Laura uses the podium to spread her unique outlook and share tactics on how to disrupt your business and industry for positive change.