Breaking Up, and Packing Up: Tips for Moving After a Divorce

Last Updated: January 13, 2020By Tags: , , , ,

Tips for Moving After Divorce

Divorces can be tough, but moving doesn’t have to be. TNT Moving Systems has you covered on how to plan for a move during or after a divorce, peacefully separate your belongings, and make it through the days and weeks leading up to the big move.


What kinds of divorces are there and how could they impact your move?

  1. Hostile takeover of the house

This could entail a locksmith coming to your home, changing the locks, and leaving one partner locked out suddenly. In a hostile takeover, it’s to be assumed that this is a high-conflict and malignant divorce.


  1. Semi-peaceful separation

In this case, both parties have agreed to the moving plan, but there still may be issues to iron out, such as the separation of items in the house.


  1. Peaceful separation

A peaceful separation entails both parties are in agreement, and are amicable with one another enough to settle the divorce.


Before the Divorce Move:

Settle any major legal issues before starting with your moving plans.

From legal affairs to custody battles, and boundless stress, a divorce isn’t easy for anyone involved. Moving out before major legal issues are settled can bring about even further chaos down the line.

If you are moving out of state, your lawyer will need to be aware of your plans. Moving states prior to the finalization of a divorce can complicate the proceedings. If you have custody of children and plan to move out of state, failing to appropriately inform the spouse about your move can lead to that partner filing objections or changing the original custody agreement. Some states even require you to file a petition to move out of state.

Talk to your lawyer about the timeline of these processes, and make sure you can meet all of your legal obligations before the moving day.


Sell the house. Find a new place?

You may be the one who keeps the house, or you may be the one moving out. Sometimes, both parties agree to sell the house and move on. You might move in with a friend or back in with family, move cities or states, or perhaps into a new apartment. In any case, a divorce entails lifestyle changes.

A house previously shared by you and your partner may be too much financially or emotionally in the next phase of your life. Moving can entail downgrading the style or space of the house.


7-8 weeks out from the move is the important timeline for:

  • Preparing to tell your children that will be moving or a partner will be leaving the home
  • Informing the children’s schools that they may be moving, and giving yourself time to find another school for the children to enroll in
  • Increasing your chances of moving on your preferred date when scheduling with a moving company
  • Hiring professional packers and house cleaners, if wanted


Work with a professional to sort out high-stake items and who-gets-what.

The rush for one partner to leave the house isn’t worth the headache of getting to the day of moving and arguing over a bedroom set. Meet with a legal professional or mediator and take the time to have both parties agree on who will take, leave, or sell the items in the home. It may seem tedious, but with the stress of a divorce and the emotional toll on both parties, neither partner wants to spend the moving day arguing over the items in the home or later regretting giving away something sentimental or expensive for the sake of keeping the peace. If you’re paying a moving company, this will ensure that their labor the day of is as efficient as possible.

5 or 6 weeks before the move is a good time to begin sorting your belongings, splitting items with your partner, and agreeing on who gets what. Consider the space you’re moving into, be practical about what you absolutely need and want, and decide what you can do without. If you have items to sell, donate, or toss, you’ll have plenty of time to handle them. If there are items you may need to wait on due to a lease or if you’re planning to temporarily move into a smaller home, you might consider renting a storage unit.


Ensure you start packing at least 4-5 weeks out and label boxes clearly.

What has worked in previous, conventional moves to label your belongings may not work in a divorce move. If both partners are leaving and labeling boxes as vaguely as “Bedroom” or “Kitchen,” then there’s bound to a mix up. Break out the bold Sharpies, and be extremely meticulous in your labeling and sorting, even if it means assigning one color to one partner’s boxes, and an opposite to the other. Write on the top and two sides of the box to increase ease of visibility.

Start packing by finishing one room at a time before moving on, and boxing similar items together. Make sure you don’t pack away items you’ll need prior to the move, but be mindful of how you can minimalize your lifestyle leading up to the move.  Having an essential items box can be handy for your first night in a new home.

During this time, you may want to start cleaning your house as you clear the rooms. Empty your lawn mower and weed eater of gasoline. Areas and items that may take a while to clean could be your windows, the oven, and garage; you’ll be glad you tackled them ahead of time, instead of on moving day!


Make important notifications regarding any change of address.

Your bank, insurance, driver’s license, and other state and federal agencies should be notified of your change in address 3 weeks out before moving. You’ll also want to set a disconnect date for your utilities, and a connection date for your new move-in.


Here are few to keep in mind:

  • Gas
  • Water
  • Electric
  • Phone/Landline
  • Internet
  • Trash/Recycling
  • Cable
  • Mail-forwarding
  • Bills
  • Doctors
  • Subscription services
  • Retirement accounts


Reach out to your support system.

Reach out for help from the people in your life who care about you, like family and friends – and of course, the people at TNT Moving Systems (who will definitely be of great help on moving day). Having people help you move can make the day go by faster, and keep your spirits lifted during a difficult time.


Decide how the moving day will proceed, based on the type of divorce.

Based on how the legal affairs are settled and how splitting the items are going, you’ll probably have a fair idea on whether you and your spouse should both be home during moving day. If you truly can’t get along for even a day, you may want to plan to move when your spouse isn’t at home. If there is potential for violence during your move, request a police presence on your moving day. Keeping yourself safe is the main concern, and you should not be afraid to have a police presence – this is not an uncommon practice.


During the Divorce Move:Tips for Moving After Divorce

Set ground rules for behavior and expectations for the day, and ask that all people involved in the move hold themselves accountable.

Having a friend or family member with you on the day of the divorce move can be great, but more people can also mean more chances for snarky remarks, confrontations, and provoking comments if both partners are present. It can help everyone involved to start the day by asking everyone there to keep the peace, despite how uncomfortable the situation may be. Of all the tips, we know this may sound like the most insurmountable feat, but asking for one day of peace and sticking to it can lead to an all around better moving experience.


If there are children in the relationship, this may be a good time for a family member or friend to take the children out of the house for the day.

Moving out of a childhood home or witnessing a parent who’s in emotional distress leave a house can be jarring and traumatic for a child, no matter the age or maturity. If it’s within your budget or you have the resources to lean on, consider having someone take the kids out for the moving day.


Furry pets will also be happier staying with a friend or in boarding.

We love our pets dearly, and the emotional support they provide in trying times is absolutely unparalleled. However, in the urgency and chaos of a divorce moving day, pets will not understand what’s going on.

Pets can undergo a lot of stress whether they’re experiencing the packing, moving, and unlikely schedule, the scariness of strangers coming in and out of the house, or just the noise that comes with tearing down, packing, and moving items out of a house. A divorce move is the last possible time that you want your pet to be in danger of running out of the house, getting in the way or stepped on, or becoming stressed out from the situation. Boarding your pet with a friend, vet, or daycare can ease your mind that they are safe and happy, as well as simplify your moving day.


Final Pro-Tips

Don’t be too quick to toss your marital keepsakes.

When it comes to sensitive items like marital keepsakes, wedding photos, or mementos from dating, it can be tempting in the divorce move to toss them and move on. However, letting your post-divorce emotions settle is important. There may come a day when you want to look back on that time in your life or share it with those who are important to you. Consider boxing it away safely, and returning to it at a later time.


Personalize your new home.

Moving is always a great opportunity for a fresh start. When you’re moving somewhere new after a divorce, it’s important that your space invites healing and positive energy. It may be a good time to switch up the furniture, rearrange, and have a fresh outlook on the newest phase of your life.


Be kind to yourself during the process.

The moving day during a divorce can feel like insanity, finality, happiness, and sorrow all at once. The first day out of a house, or in a new home can be the hardest. Be kind to yourself. Utilize your time throughout the move to practice self-care, such as making sure you eat two to three meals a day, exercising, catching up on rest, or meeting up with a friend.


No matter the circumstances of your divorce, we’re here to help.

It’s important that you honestly communicate your moving situation to TNT Moving Systems, especially as it may affect your moving day. If you would like to discuss with our moving professionals about how to keep your move discreet, such as in the case of domestic violence threats, we can talk with you about our options to keep your move low-key, organized, and safe. Your safety is very important to us at TNT Moving Systems.


Find a Good Moving Company in Charlotte, NC

Going through a divorce move? You don’t have to do it by yourself. Make sure that you choose a reputable moving company that is fully licensed and insured, has reliable, trustworthy employees, and affordable packages. Let TNT Moving Systems help you move on by contacting us today.