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Your Ultimate Moving Checklist Guide
A Checklist to Help Ease Your Stress While Moving in Canada
Moving is stressful. Not only do you have to pack up your home and clean everything, but you also have to move your life somewhere else. Whether it’s in the same city or across the country, the transition to a new home can be strange.
And when there’s so much to do before a move, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you’re forgetting something. But with this handy guide, you can spread out your moving tasks over a couple of months so you won’t feel too stressed. Come moving day, you’ll be at ease knowing you didn’t forget anything.
Renters usually have to give two months’ notice to end their lease. As such, this Canadian moving checklist covers a two-month period. Once you’ve decided to move, and have given your notice (or have sold your house), start checking off items on this list.
8 Weeks Before You Move
Create a Moving Folder
Either online with Google Docs, or a hardcopy that you will keep safe away from packing. Use this folder to store any receipts, quotes, and records related to your move.
Research Moving Companies
Ask friends and family for recommendations. Research accredited, licensed, and insured moving companies online. Read reviews and start requesting quotes and scheduling in-house estimates. If you have specialty items, such as fragile, large, and heavy items (i.e. a piano), make sure the movers are equipped to handle moving these items safely.
Set a Realistic Moving Budget
There are many expenses associated with moving, such as buying new furniture. So you have to decide what you can afford to spend now, and what expenses can wait until after the move. If it means you have to use an old couch for a few weeks longer so you can hire professional movers, this may be worth it.
Book Your Movers
Once you’ve found a professional moving company, read over the contract before signing it. If you’re moving into an apartment, find out if there are any moving day requirements. This could be a set time to use the elevator. Use this to schedule your move.
Book Time Off Work
If you are able to move into your new home on a Friday, consider booking off Friday for your move. This will give you a whole weekend to settle into your new place.
Research Your New Neighbourhood
Research local banks, doctors, dentists, vets, and schools. You should also request your kids’ school transcripts for their new schools.
Plan a Garage Sale
The less you have to move, the better. So try to sell everything you don’t need at a garage sale. And donate whatever is left over. Local charities might pick up donations free of charge.
6 Weeks Before You Move
Spend Quality Time with Friends & Family
If you’re moving to another town or city, get in as much time as possible with loved ones before you move. Consider hosting a dinner party or two, and make lunch and coffee dates.
This is also a great time to collect spare moving boxes! Visit grocery, liquor, book, and office supply stores for free boxes. These stores usually have many that end up being crushed and recycled. The more free boxes you collect, the less you’ll have to spend on moving boxes.
Pack a little bit every day. You can start with packing items that you don’t need for everyday use. Label boxes with a marker or colour-coded labels for their designated rooms. Also mark “FRAGILE” on any boxes with breakable items.
Create an itemized list of every valuable, and which boxes they are packed in
A few more handy tips:
- To help set up electronics in your new home, take photos of the wiring before packing.
- Put furniture hardware in labeled sandwich bags for easy reassembly.
- Use clothing and linens as packing materials for fragile items.
Make Minor Home Repairs
If you caused any damage to your home, make sure to repair them before moving. For rental units, making repairs will ensure you get your security deposit back.
Take this opportunity to measure any pathways and doorways you plan on moving furniture through. Make sure furniture will fit through doorways, hallways, elevators, and stairwells. Measure these areas twice; if furniture won’t fit, you’ll need to disassemble it or find another route before your moving day.
If you’re driving a long distance to your new home, check that your vehicle is in good condition. You don’t want your car to breakdown during the big day.
4 Weeks Before You Move
Confirm Parking Options
Find out where you and your movers can park both outside your current home and your new home.
Gather Important Documents
Create a folder with important documents. These include birth certificates, passports, and medical, financial and legal records. Keep this folder with you on your moving day.
Return & Pickup Borrowed Items
Return library books, rentals, and anything you or your kids have borrowed. Pick up belongings you lent out, in safety deposit boxes, in gym lockers, or clothes you have at the dry cleaners.
Get Your Pets Ready
If you’re moving out of town, get your pets’ vaccination records from their current vet. If moving out of country, have their vaccinations up-to-date. Also, have your pets’ ID tags on their collars.
Set Up Utilities
Contact your gas, water, hydro, phone, and Internet providers. Set up utilities at your new home, and cancel your utilities at your current address for the date of your move.
2 Weeks Before You Move
Change Your Address
Change your address with: banks, health cards, drivers’ licenses, auto insurance and registration, voter registration, payroll, and subscriptions.
You can also arrange for your postal service to forward your mail to your new address starting on the day of your move. You can have this service for up to a year after you move.
Update Home Insurance
Make sure your home or renters insurance is updated to cover your new home on your move-in date. You might also want to consider moving insurance. This will cover any belongings that might get damaged during the move.
Safely Dispose of Hazardous Household Items
Drop off items such as paint, corrosives, flammables, and poisonous household products at depots and home hardware stores. Note that some municipalities set up disposal days for these items and will only accept them on those dates.
Plan and prep your meals for the next two weeks and use up all perishable foods in your fridge and freezer.
Backup Your Computer
It’s wise to back up your hard drive in case something happens to your computer during the move. While you’re at it, make a playlist for your moving day to help make unpacking more enjoyable.
And transfer your prescriptions to a new pharmacy if needed.
Remove Light Bulbs from All Lamps
And pack securely with extra padding.
Create a List of Emergency Service Technicians
In case you have an emergency in your home that needs immediate attention during your move.
Keep Kids & Pets Engaged
If you’re staying in the same city, arrange to have someone look after your kids and pets during the packing process. Older children can participate and lend a hand, but young kids won’t have much fun staying out of the way while you work. Arrange a playdate with some friends or family to keep them occupied and in good spirits.
Week of Your Move
- Clean your current home & appliances
- Unplug appliances
- Redirect any deliveries
- Pack essentials for the first 24 hours at your new place
- Make sure everything is packed & nothing is hidden in a closet
- Take out cash to tip your movers
- Clean your new place before unpacking
Use this moving checklist for an easier move. You can embrace the excitement of the move instead of being too stressed out and overwhelmed.