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The Three P’s to Help You Achieve A (Relatively) Stress-Free House Move

Young man holds his head in his hands with packing boxes in the background

TLC Moving

TLC Moving

How to Plan, Prepare and Properly Pack When Moving Houses

When it comes to moving houses, there are only three words you need to remember: planning, preparation, and packing. But you might be thinking: is it really that simple? While there might be a bit more to it, following these three key steps will help ensure a smooth, stress-free move.


When planning for a big move, it’s important to start early. As soon as you have the official confirmation that you are moving houses is the best time to get started. This way, you can avoid rushing around and prevent any stress from unexpected issues that arise closer to the move.

What to Start Planning for Right Now


It’s easy to get so swept up in the moving process that you forget to budget for any costs associated with moving.

Draw up a budget and be sure to plan for the following costs:

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  • Hiring movers or renting a moving truck
  • Renting a storage container or unit
  • Moving boxes, tape, and other supplies
  • Travel costs such as food, gas, hotel, or plane tickets
  • Extra cash on hand in case of emergency or unexpected expenses during your move


Hiring movers

If you’re planning on hiring professional movers, don’t put it off. Start looking right away and ask for quotes and check availability.

Address Change

Start notifying friends, relatives, magazine subscription services, etc. of your impending change of address.

Also make sure you notify your bank, credit card company, insurance companies, and any relevant government offices.


If you need help storing the contents of your old home, make sure to book a storage unit early. Having this sorted will help you better budget for your move and determine the logistics of moving your items.

Six Weeks Until the Move

This is a good time to order furniture for your new home if you need it and reach out to an insurance consultant to help find an insurance policy for your new home.

If you are moving to a different city, state, or even country, start booking the necessary travel arrangements.

Also, don’t forget to arrange for the gas, electricity, cable, internet, and phone (if you have a landline) to be shut off and set up at both the old and new homes.

Three Weeks Until Moving Day

Now that you’re only a few weeks away, it’s time to:

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  • Book time off at work if needed
  • Buy boxes and other moving supplies
  • Plan for any childcare or pet care


One Week Before the Move

It’s officially crunch time. At this point, you should:

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  • Arrange for key pickup
  • Empty and clean out your fridge and defrost anything in the freezer
  • If you are driving a long distance to get to your new house, take your car to your mechanic for a tune-up to make sure everything is in working order



With planning in full swing, it’s time to actually start preparing for your big move.


Start by decluttering your home and clearing out any clutter. Getting rid of anything you no longer need, or use will help you immensely later on when it comes to packing and unpacking.

Start by going through the contents of your home and organizing items you’re getting rid of into three piles: sell, donate, and throw out.

For more valuable items, put them in the ‘Sell’ pile and list them on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace, or have a good, old fashioned garage sale.

Items that you cannot sell can be donated or passed on to friends and family. Anything else that you can’t give away should be thrown away or recycled.

Gathering Materials: Boxes, Tape, Bubble Wrap

Before you can start packing, you will need supplies such as boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, etc.

While these items can easily be acquired online or from a local storage company, consider hiring professional movers, as they have all the equipment and supplies you need and can save you from added worry.

Measure Your New Space

While your couch and dining room table were able to fit through the doors of your old house, you may not have room for them in your new space.

Take measurements of the doorways and rooms in your new home to help you determine whether or not your furniture will fit. If you find that certain items will not fit, make arrangements to move them into storage, sell them, or donate them.


If there is no place for your moving truck to park near your old or new home, the move will take longer than anticipated since you will have a further distance to carry everything. Try to reserve parking spots nearby if you can.


Once you have decluttered your home, you can start packing with ease.

Start packing one room at a time, beginning with ones that are used the least such as a spare room or study.

Pack Non-Essentials First

As you begin the packing process, start by packing the non-essential items that you do not use often.

This includes:

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  • Infrequently used kitchenware such as blenders, mixers or juicers
  • Home décor items and artwork
  • Books and photographs
  • Out-of-season clothes, shoes, and accessories
  • Spare towels and linens


Pack Mid-Essentials Second

As you get closer to your moving day, start packing up the mid-essentials. These are the items that you use more frequently but can survive without for a week or two.

This would include:

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  • Pots and pans
  • Dishes
  • Wall clocks
  • Electronics
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Children’s toys
  • Cushions, bed sheets and blankets


Pack Essentials Last

The day before you move is when you should pack up all your essential items.

This box should not go in the moving truck as you will need to have easy access to it while you move.

Items in this box should include:

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  • Toiletries
  • Medication
  • Moving-related paperwork
  • Phone chargers


Bonus Tips for a Stress-Free Move


Before you move into your new home, map out where you want all your items to go. A good way to do this is by sketching out the floorplan and writing down what goes in each room.

After you’ve actually moved in, your bed should be assembled first and made up with clean sheets in case you are too tired to unpack everything right away and want to go to sleep.

After your bed is assembled, start unpacking essential items first in the rooms you use most, such as the kitchen.

Labelling Is Your Secret Weapon

As you pack, write down each item going into a particular box on a piece of paper. Once the box is packed full, attach the list so you know exactly what is in it when you unpack.

Hire Professional Movers

You can avoid most of the burden and hassle of moving houses by hiring a professional moving company.

Movers will not only take good care of your belongings and make sure nothing gets damaged but will also do all the heavy lifting and provide all the supplies you need.

Moving can be overwhelming, but by preparing and planning ahead and hiring professionals to help, you can avoid any unwanted stress and enjoy settling into your new home.