The secret to a smooth move is preparation and organization. Whether you have the time, energy and skills to lead the project yourself or are hiring move managers to alleviate some of the pressure, starting early is always a good idea.
At NEATSPACES, we believe that moving doesn’t have to be stressful. After all, the biggest hurdle of moving is knowing where to start. While there are some things that you can only do closer to your moving date, there are many things that you can and should do well in advance to set you up for success on your moving day.
Use our moving checklist to determine what you should do and when to help you get organized and prepared for your big day.
6 WEEKS OUT
Sort & Edit Before You Pack
Sorting through your things will not only set you up for a more organized unpacking process in your new home. It will actually save you money! If you don’t need it, why pay for supplies to pack it and invest time in moving and unpacking?
- Donate, consign, give away or dispose of all unwanted items. It’s never too early to start this process.
- Categories such as out-of-season clothing, sports equipment, books, photo albums and memorabilia for example can be boxed up and easily stored.
- As the move date gets closer, pack away items that you will not need before moving (i.e. China, crystal, decor items, the garage, shoes and purses, workshops, non-essential kitchen items).
It’s good practice to get several quotes from movers if your Realtor or move manager has not recommended someone.
- Interview and engage a move manager to coordinate everything for you.
- Book your mover early to secure the date you want. Keep in mind, avoiding the last few days and first days of the month is a good idea because movers often charge a premium for these dates and they are booked well in advance.
- Check with your insurance broker to ensure that your furniture and contents are covered during transit. If not, consider taking out additional insurance or buying insurance from the mover
Have a Floor Plan & Label Furniture
- Label furniture with an adhesive that will not damage the finish to indicate room placement in your new home.
- Print floor plans of your new home and have them available the day of your move.
- Use the name of the room or a colour-coded system for each room.
You can use painter’s tape to label the walls in your new home for furniture placement.
Packing & Supplies
- Order supplies of various box sizes, paper, tape and other special packing material. If you are using a move manager, they will do this for you. If not, reach out to your mover who should be able to provide you with a list of required supplies.
- It’s important that the right size and shape box is ordered for the intended contents. If anything needs to be crated to ensure safe transportation, ensure that measurements are taken well in advance so they can be manufactured and delivered by move day.
Helpful Hint: Your Driver’s License and Health Card have very specific time limits on change of address notifications. Make sure to check!
4 WEEKS OUT
Contact Utility Companies
You will have to deactivate/activate your internet, cable, home phone, water, hydro, and gas. Your lawyer will likely no longer do this as part of the closing procedure.
- Book a date for a service call to activate the internet, cable and home phone as early as possible so you won’t be without these services following the move.
- If you are leasing, the landlord may have to participate in this process.
- If you live in an apartment or condominium, the service provider may need access to central system rooms that may only be available during certain hours.
2 WEEKS OUT
2 weeks before the move, send your drapery out to be altered, hemmed and cleaned.
- Send area carpets out to be cleaned and repaired. Have them delivered to your new home if possible. If not, leave them rolled up, ready to move.
- Use this opportunity to replace the underpad if needed.
- Arrange cleaners in advance
- Refer to your Agreement of Purchase and Sale for direction around the level of cleaning needed. This agreement will identify if your home should be “broom swept” or a “higher state of cleanliness.”
- If you have the benefit of your closing dates being at least a day and preferably more apart, have cleaners attend your new home to clean out kitchen cupboards, bathrooms, baseboards, shelving, and appliances. This way, when the movers arrive, you can unpack things immediately.
- Continue packing things you won’t need before you move.
- Think strategically about managing your wardrobe, toys and games and the kitchen, for example, and only leave out the essentials.
- Remove art from walls and pack small pieces that the movers won’t deal with.
Label All Boxes
- Label boxes with contents
- Label boxes with their destination
- Consider a colour-coded system using bright labels or markers
Make arrangements for small children to be out of the house.
Moving day is stressful, and it can be unsafe to have children underfoot where large furniture is being moved, doors are left open, and adults are distracted throughout the day.
Consider boarding your dog or cat at a kennel or with family or friends.
Moving can be stressful for animals too. It can create a dangerous environment for animals to have people moving furniture and heavy boxes and leaving doors open.
Mail Forward & Change of Address
- Complete the Canada Post Mail Forward paperwork either in person or online. Keep in mind that there is a lag time before the service is activated, so you will want to do this sooner rather than later. You can state a future date it is to be effective as of.
- If you receive mail in the name of a company at your home you will need to complete a separate Mail Forward Form. If there are other adults receiving mail at your home, including adult children, you will need to get their authorization if you include them on the list of mail recipients.
- Contact your financial institutions, alma maters, charities you donate to, magazine subscriptions, newspaper delivery and anything else that comes through the mail to notify them of your address change. A lot of this can be completed online now.
Helpful Hint: You can label boxes based on a (room Kitchen, Family Room, Basement, Garage, Master Bedroom), or person (parent, grandparent, Child 1, Child 2 etc.) You can also use a colour coded system so movers will not need to ask where each box goes
1 WEEK OUT
- Have your upholstered furniture cleaned.
- Clean your fridge out a week in advance and try to consume as much food as possible before the move.
- Clean other major appliances as required.
- While you are sorting and packing, locate all of the manuals for appliances, technology, building or renovation plans for the house and garden, warranties for windows, doors or anything else relevant. It is usual practice to leave these things in a package for the new owner.
- Continue packing to ensure that everything is packed a few days before the move except for what is essential for daily living.
- Ensure movers label a box “set-up” where you can easily access nuts, bolts, picture hangers, cords, instruction manuals etc., during set-up. If you start to disassemble things, put the components aside to add to this box.
- Strip Beds and pack linen in boxes marked “ESSENTIAL” so they can be easily accessed at the other end.
- Pack last-minute toiletries and bathroom items.
- Keep a box in the kitchen for coffee maker, mugs, etc.
- Make sure you know where your eyeglasses, phone, tablet, charging cords, medication, and any items needed to care for a senior or young child are. Consider taking them with you in the car.
- Pack remaining perishable food in a cooler for easy transportation.
- Pack other food supplies in boxes or reusable shopping bags.
- Protect plants for transportation if you are moving in the winter.
- Pack up supplies for pets and mark boxes clearly so you can easily access them.
- If you haven’t arranged for cleaners, ensure the house is in satisfactory condition for Buyers.
Final Walk Through
- Check closets and cupboards for the last time.
- Ensure all garbage and recycling created by the move is collected.
- It’s your time to say goodbye which can often be emotional.
HELPFUL MOVING TIPS
- Keep in mind that your mover may not transport:
- Propane Tanks
- Oil/Gas Cans
- Paint and Thinner
- Aerosol Cans
- Cleaning and Other Household Liquids
- Cleaning Supplies
- Liquor and other liquids
2. Make sure that freezers that are being moved are defrosted, dry and empty.
3. Ensure that stoves are clean and ready to be transported (remove pots, pans and other content from the drawer).