How to Prepare for a Temporary Move

When planning a temporary move, you know that your destination will not be your real home, but just a provisional shelter. This interim period, however, may last from several days to a few months or even years, so you need to be well prepared. Exactly what that preparation entails depends on the reason for your move.

  • Temporary relocation for work. If you have found seasonal work away from your hometown, or if you need to go to another city on a short-term assignment, you will need adequate temporary housing close to your workplace. A hotel stay is definitely the most convenient option for spending a few days or weeks in unfamiliar surroundings. You will only need a suitcase packed with your personal essentials and a few electronic devices – your phone, laptop, and camera. But, if your assignment is going to last for several years, you will probably plan a temporary move with your entire family and most of your belongings. In this case, the only logical option is to move into an appropriate rented property and take most of your personal possessions with you, or place them in temporary storage while your own home is leased out to tenants.
  • College or other academic pursuits. When you’re moving to study, you will only need to take a number of personal possessions. Your parents will probably keep the rest of your belongings at home, and you will likely return on a regular basis to enjoy the comfort of familiar surroundings and the company of family and friends. Even if you forget to pack something you need or enjoy, you can always take it on one of these visits back home, or have your parents send it.
  • Home renovation. It may be necessary to move temporarily out of your home for the duration of any major renovation projects. You will need temporary accommodations for your family within the same town, and storage for your belongings until the restoration work is over.
  • Assisting a relative or friend. If a close friend or relative needs assistance, especially due to an illness, you may want to move closer to them. However, you will probably only take some essentials and will not move or store your household items.
  • Relocating to a new area before you have found a home there. Choosing the right home for you and your family requires time to research your new area, the standards of living and the available opportunities in the different neighborhoods. If you haven’t had the chance to get familiar with your new city in advance, moving into temporary housing may be the best navigational tool for your successful relocation. You will be able to experience the overall spirit of the community, and to take into account the housing prices, crime rate, infrastructure, proximity to amenities, distance to your workplace and your kids’ school, healthcare centers, and available recreational and entertainment options to decide which neighborhood is best suited to your needs and preferences.
  • Closing on a home sale before your new home is ready. When selling your old home, it may not be possible to arrange convenient move-in and move-out dates. Even if you have already located your new home and organized your relocation, the place you are moving to may be in dire need of repair or could be still occupied. If you can’t settle in immediately after leaving your previous property, you will need to find temporary accommodations and place your belongings in temporary storage.

Housing options for a temporary move

The best way to prepare for a temporary move depends not only on the reason for your relocation, but also on the type of temporary housing you choose.

  • Hotel. You may stay at a hotel to avoid all the troubles involved in renting short-term housing and moving all your belongings several times to several different locations. Your household items can stay in storage until you move to your final destination, since you won’t need them. Hotels offer full service amenities, so you should only pack your clothes and medications. Just keep in mind that hotels can be rather expensive.
  • Extended stay hotels. This option is more affordable and just as convenient as a regular hotel. All the necessary utilities will be available, as well as suitably furnished rooms with full kitchens and on-site laundry facilities, so you can store all your major furnishings and pack only your personal items.
  • Rental home. If your temporary move will last more than six months — and especially if you have your family with you — you should search for an appropriate rental home. Look for a fully furnished place, so that you don’t have to move all your household items. They can stay in your home until you return, or in storage if you’re moving into a new home eventually.

How to pack for a temporary move

  1. Find out what is already available in your temporary home. Make a detailed list of everything you are going to need — including TVs, stereos, shutterstock_193364828kitchen utensils and cookware and other smaller appliances — and check whether it’s provided. Find out if bedding and towels are provided, and pack whatever you need to ensure your comfort.
  2. Consider the climate. When packing clothes and shoes for a temporary move, take into consideration the weather conditions at your destination area and the time of the year when your move takes place.
  3. Sort your belongings carefully. The more items you move, the more expensive and difficult the moving process will be. Take only what you’ll really need and enjoy, and place the rest of your possessions in storage. Entertainment items will come in handy in a place where you don’t know many people and may feel isolated, but don’t pack too many of them — you can always visit the local library or go to the movies.
  4. Don’t forget your essentials and valuables. Take all your personal documents, medications, clothes and accessories, toiletries, important electronics (such as your laptop and phone, as well as your camera and your music player, together with their chargers), toys and games for your children, pets’ amenities, a variety of small tools and other items that will bring you comfort and entertainment. Keep safe all the items that have high monetary or sentimental value.

Temporary storage

You will need a suitable storage solution for all the household items you’re not taking with you. Ensure maximum protection for your stored belongings, and easy access if you happen to need any of them.

If you need temporary storage for a short period, your movers may provide the most beneficial storage option for you. They will move all your belongings out of your old place, into the storage facility and then to your final destination when it is ready.

Self-storage units are another option. When choosing a storage facility, take into consideration its location and overall condition, as well the size of the storage unit you need, the security level provided and the quality of the service offered.

If you intend to leave all the furnishings in your permanent home and lease it for the period while you are away, take adequate precautions and set clear terms with tenants concerning the usage and the condition of your belongings.

Preparing for a temporary move requires careful planning and thorough research. Do your homework properly to ensure a smooth relocation experience.


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