Moving Tips


Get a move on: Surviving relocation

Nobody pretends that moving is a walk in the park ­ but it needn’t be an out-and-out nightmare either. As moving day approaches, don’t wait to be overwhelmed with a flood of jobs that should have been tended to weeks before. Here, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to easing some of the panic associated with the big day:

8 weeks to go

– Get estimates from several different moving companies and book a mover. If you decide to contract the mover to take care of your packing, arrange to have this done one or two days before the moving date.
– If you’re doing the job yourself, book a truck. Self-movers should consult the truck rental company as to the truck size required to accommodate your belongings.
– If you’re moving to a new town, make a phone call to the local Chamber of Commerce for information about schools, amenities, taxes, etc.
– Take a good look at the floor plan of your new home and visualize your furniture arrangement. Decide which furniture you want to hang on to, and which, if any, should be set free.
– Properly dispose of anything you will be unable to move ­ie, food in the freezer; flammable painting and cleaning supplies. If you have stuff in storage, re-familiarize yourself with the contents of your storage locker.

5 weeks to go

– Talk to your mover about costs, insurance, loading delivery and claims procedures. Ask your accountant about tax-deductible moving expenses, and be sure to retain any pertinent records.
– Obtain copies of your family’s records from doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc.
– Transfer your children’s school records.
– Fill out a change of address form at the post office. Inform creditors, magazine subscriptions, etc., of your new address.

4 weeks to go

– Arrange storage if needed.
– If your furniture, curtains or carpets need fixing, now is the time to have the work done.
– If you don’t want it, unload it at a garage sale: less to move, cash to gain.


3 weeks to go

– Estimate how many boxes you’ll need and collect them from neighbourhood stores.
Also collect the following:
– newspapers
– bubble wrap
– scissors
– utility knife
– packing tape and string
– labels and markers
– furniture pads
– dolly

Moving day may seem eons away, but it’s time to start packing those things you won’t use before the move. Arrange for cancellation of utilities, television programming, phone, Internet, etc., and arrange for their set-up at your new home. If you’re taking a lengthy journey, make travel and hotel reservations. Have your address changed on your driver’s license, registration and insurance, and your health card.

1 week to go

– Have medical prescriptions transferred to a pharmacy in your new neighbourhood. If necessary, book a baby-sitter for moving day.
– Return library books, videos and items long ago borrowed from neighbours

2 days to go

If you’ve hired movers to pack for you, they should be doing so now. Set aside a suitcase with the clothing and toiletries you’ll need along the way, or upon arrival in your new apartment.

Pack a survival kit for your first day, including:

– scissors and utility knife
– coffee cups, paper plates and
– paper towels
– tea kettle, instant coffee, tea and water/ soft drinks
– phone book, pens and paper
– garbage bags
– soap and towels

Valuables and important papers should be carefully secured. Bring these with you instead of packing them in the truck. Defrost your refrigerator and freezer. Be prepared to pay the movers on delivery day.

2 weeks to go

– Arrange for the transfer of your bank accounts to your new branch.
– Cancel or re-direct any direct deposit or automatic payment arrangements.
– Talk to your veterinarian about the best way to move your pet.
– Cancel delivery services and newspaper subscriptions.

Moving day

– Pick up the truck early, if you’re moving yourself.
– Make a list of every item loaded onto the truck.
– Provide the mover with a phone number through which you can be reached.
– Be available by phone to answer questions and direct the mover as needed.
– Read the bill of lading before signing.
– Put aside in a safe place until the transaction is seen through to the very end, including any settling of claims.
– Ensure water and appliances are turned off in your old place.
– Do a final thorough inspection of the place you’re leaving.
– Lock all doors and windows.
– Clean and sweep, throw out any remaining garbage.
– Drop the keys off at with your landlord/property management.

Upon arrival

– As the truck is unloaded, check off each item on your list. Examine furniture for damage and settle your bill.
– If you have children underfoot, open a box containing their toys and books.
– Ensure utilities are in working order.
– Sit back with the comforting beverage of your choice, ignore the disarray and feel proud.