A career relocation can be intimidating, especially when you’re caring for a family. It can seem like a lot of balls to juggle on top of your existing load, and you don’t want to forget anything. Read on for tips from Future Business Ventures on handling each phase of the moving journey and keeping your move organized and under control.

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5 Months Prior

Decide whether you’ll purchase or rent a home in your new town. Use an online mortgage or rental calculator to narrow down your budget, and use a rent vs. buy calculator to determine which option is better financially based on details like credit score, salary, years in the home, and market changes. When relocating to an unfamiliar location, it can help to rent for a bit while you’re getting to know the area. Once you know your price range, you can look for the best apartments in Houston to compare options by cost, location and number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

If you settle on purchasing a home, take a house-hunting trip. Find a qualified local realtor and bring a list of desires such as schools, house size, proximity to work, and budget. Keep a digital folder of important paperwork and information, and make a point to keep it organized. Once you’ve made offers, your realtor will guide you through the rest of the process and should be able to work with you remotely.

6-8 Weeks Prior

Put together your team. Research moving companies and get some in-home estimates. This is also a good time to call a professional locksmith in your next location to ensure your new place is secure and safe. Make sure companies are bonded and insured and ask what kind of warranties they offer for their services.

Contact your kids’ schools and learn the proper procedures for requesting transcripts, enrolling in special programs, preparing for extracurriculars, and other details of the transfer. According to Family Lives, talking to your children about the upcoming move and helping them work through feelings they might be having can be beneficial. Help them collect contact information for friends and plan a goodbye gathering.

This is also the time to purge! Sort your things, get rid of what you can, perform a deep clean and begin packing early. Inventory items by room to make unpacking easier later. Collect boxes from friends, grocery stores, and online neighborhood groups. If you’re selling your home, you should clear out clutter for showings.

2-4 Weeks Prior

Make sure you know how you’re getting to your new home and put together an itinerary. Purchase airline tickets if needed and make sure your vehicles are tuned up and ready to go. The Mom Kind suggests planning activities for the kids to pass the time and exciting stops to check out along the way.

It’s time to start gathering loose ends: Cancel or update subscriptions and memberships that are linked to your address, call utility companies and tell them your move-out date and let people (and the USPS) know your new address.

The Move

Have your refrigerator cleaned out and defrosted, electronics unplugged, and appliances disconnected. Provide movers with enough supplies and consider hiring a babysitter for the big day. Be sure important documents like passports and birth certificates are kept together and with you. This day will be full of hard work and probably stress, but it will also be a memorable and exciting day.

Once you’re unpacking boxes in your new home and getting to know the neighbors, you’ll be grateful to yourself for having the foresight to prepare so thoroughly. For now, roll up your sleeves and dig in!

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How To Relocate Like a Boss