What to Do While You’re Waiting for Your Things to Arrive

By now you’re probably well aware that a perfectly orchestrated move requires careful planning, not just for you but also for your moving company. But sometimes there will still be a lag between when your valuables are scheduled to arrive and when you cross the threshold of your new front door. 

Make a Short Lag Time Work for You 

If it’s a matter of day or less, use this as an opportunity to prep your new space. It will never be easier to clean your new home than when it’s practically empty. After you unpack any stuff you’ve taken along with you, buy some cleaning materials locally and get the space dusted, polished and in “move-in” condition. If you ordered furniture or other household goods that may have already arrived independently from the moving van, use the time to assemble them or put them where they belong.  

Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to leave your new home unattended. Stay in contact with your mover and make sure someone’s there when the van pulls up! 

Will It Be More Than a Day or Two?  

This scenario definitely requires a backup plan. First, decide whether it makes sense to stay in the new space or if you would be more comfortable checking into a hotel or motel. Look into efficiency-style accommodations which typically provide a kitchen and space to spread out in addition to beds and a bathroom. If you’d rather stay in your new home, consider bringing or buying inflatable mattresses, bedding, and some linens and personal care items. A couple of first-night boxes would be very useful. In most cases, you can use them in the future.  

Do you have family or friends in the area? Staying with them might be an option – and they’ll also be a great asset in helping you find new go-tos and must-sees in your new city.  

Consider Others on the Journey  

If you have kids, the novelty factor of cleaning, unpacking and wandering from room to room will probably run its course quickly. If you know about the lag time beforehand, be sure you’ve got some toys and games – preferably a couple of new ones – along for the ride to keep them occupied and content. Teens might be happy venturing forth to do some exploring around their new neighborhood and reporting back what they found. If you have a partner, they might enjoy checking online for a great restaurant, takeout or delivery place for dinner. A family movie night at the local Cineplex would be a welcome treat, too. 

Go Into Mini-Vacation Mode 

Depending on work and school schedules, a longer lag time might be pivoted into a mini vacation that makes the whole experience something you can look back on fondly as an unexpected adventure. A summer season move would be an ideal time for a trip to a national park or an entertainment resort like Walt Disney World or Silverwood. In winter, you might plan a few days at a ski resort.  

Our city and regional guides contain lots of great options. 

Let's Get Moving

Other Moving Tips & Guides

  • Moving for school district - Kid and his parent with moving boxes - Mayflower

    Moving for the School District: How to Find the Right School for Your Kid’s  

    Finding the right school for your kid is as important as Finding Home itself. Check out these tips for making a good match.
    Continue Reading
  • Nashville Tennessee skyline sunset view - Moving to Nashville - Mayflower

    7 Essential Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Nashville

    Moving to Nashville? Renowned for its vibrant music scene, budget-friendly housing and plethora of entertainment options, discover 7 essential insights about calling Nashville home!
    Continue Reading
  • a woman planning a move on her computer - Manage your move - Mayflower

    How to Manage — Not Micromanage — Your Move

    When it comes to moving, there’s a difference between managing and micromanaging. Try our tips for dialing down the stress and trusting the process.
    Continue Reading