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The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Posted on Mar 28, 2017 by Earl Raatz

The Ultimate Moving Checklist woman packing imageWhether you're moving across town, across the country, or somewhere on the other side of the globe, the best way to ensure an easy move is by preparing and executing a detailed plan.

While many people approach moving as a very stressful and time-consuming task, it's actually very easy to prepare for a move to a new home if you know what to do. The moment that you know for sure that you'll be moving to a new home is exactly the right time to begin.

The following checklist will help you get ready one step at a time so that once moving day arrives, you'll have peace of mind knowing you have everything covered.

2 Months (or More) Before You Move

If you're fortunate enough to have a lot of lead time before moving, you can use the time to get organized and ready.

  • Start going through your home and make a plan to get rid of anything that you won't be taking with you. You can give these items away to a friend or family member, sell them, or donate them to a charitable organization.
  • Contact moving companies and get quotes.
  • Make a plan for moving your pets and/or plants.
  • Create a notebook to keep track of your move. This notebook will contain phone numbers, quotes, sources for materials, receipts, etc.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist imageMoving your pets will require a different plan than moving your belongings. Pets, of course, cannot be transported by a moving company. If you're planning on flying, contact the airline to learn about the rules for transporting your pet. If you're planning on taking the train or a bus, contact the carrier.

Depending on how far you're moving, there may be provincial or national laws that prohibit the transportation of live plants across borders and/or certain licenses may be required. If you don't plan on moving live plants in your own personal vehicle, ask the moving company if they accept plants.

6 Weeks Prior to The Move

At this point, you should have all of your dates locked down, including when the movers will arrive. Although you're on track with plenty of time to spare, there are still some important steps to take at this point.

  • Verify that your home insurance covers your new home.
  • If you have children, make sure they're registered at their new school and that their old school knows they're leaving.
  • Purchase or obtain all the moving supplies that you'll need.
Moving Supplies

Most moving companies sell boxes that you can easily assemble yourself. Another way to get boxes is to ask for donations from friends and family members, grocery stores, liquor stores, and retail "big box" stores. Simply enquire with the store manager to see if they have any boxes that you can have for free.

  • Boxes, different sizes.
  • Packing tape.
  • Permanent markers (for labelling the boxes).
  • Newspaper, Styrofoam "peanuts", bubble wrap, or other similar material.
One Month Before Moving Day

Moving day is now quickly approaching, so be sure to stay on top of your preparations and ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.

  • Organize any important documents (will, house deed, mortgage papers, etc). Consider giving these to a solicitor or storing them in a safe deposit box in a bank.
  • Contact the utility services for your new home and follow all the necessary procedures to ensure your new home will have light, gas, and water on the day you move in.
  • Contact your current utility services providers and let them know when you'll be leaving your current house.
  • Begin packing as many items as possible. Be sure to label each box both with a description of the contents and the room in your new house where the box needs to be unpacked.
  • Cancel or update any subscriptions you have to newspapers, magazines, etc.
Two Weeks Before Moving Day

Change is in the air, and you're almost ready for the big day.

  • Notify your employer(s) of your new address. If you're moving before the end of the tax year, you may also need to contact previous employers so they can send your documents to your new home.
  • Contact your local post office to obtain your mailbox key. You'll have to show them proof of ownership of your new home. Also, set up a date-restricted (temporary) forwarding of your mail to your new address.
  • Finalize everything with the moving company.
The Night Before You Move

Don't forget to try and get a good night's sleep so you're rested and thinking clear on the big day.

  • Make sure everything is packed and labelled.
  • Do a quick run-through and make sure anything not packed is organized for personal transport or will be thrown away.
  • Prepare pets and/or plants.

If you're transporting live plants, follow this guide:

  • Make sure all plants are potted in unbreakable plastic containers.
  • Do not water plants the night before the move.
  • Place plants in boxes, carefully wrapping and protecting branches.
  • Use newspaper or other cushioning to keep the plant from shifting around.
  • Add small air holes to the side of the box.
  • Draw an arrow to ensure plants stay right side up.

If you're transporting pets with you, consult your veterinarian.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist family imageMoving In

Whether you're unloading and unpacking yourself using a rented truck or directing the movers at your new home, it's important to take your time in unpacking and organizing your new home. The last thing you want to do is sprain your back or create unwanted clutter in your brand-new living space.

In the first week of life in your new home, be sure to:

  • Update your address information with your bank, credit card providers, Canada Revenue Agency, driver's license, health card, medical contacts, memberships (gym, etc.), and insurance company.
  • Contact your municipality to learn the garbage collection schedule for your new home.

By following this detailed guide, you will enjoy a stress-free and positive moving experience.

Now that you've arrived at the house that will become your new home, it's time to relax and enjoy! Check out these 9 tips for getting settled in your new home to get you started.

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