Before You Move: a Checklist

Moving into a new home can be an exciting yet hectic experience, but careful planning can make the move much less stressful for you and your family.

Two months before moving day:

•               This is typically when you should give notice if you are leaving an apartment building, but because the time required can differ it’s best to check your lease with your landlord. If you don’t give the full amount of notice necessary, you may find yourself in a hassle and not get your full security deposit back.

•     It’s a good idea to begin researching moving companies to see which one will suit your needs at the best price. Booking far in advance shouldn’t be a problem, and make sure to identify what possessions needs special packing materials, like bubble wrap. The moving company may be able to supply these materials for you.

One month to three weeks before:

•     To make it easier on yourself down the road, begin packing any items that you rarely use or won’t need in the coming weeks, and get rid of anything you don’t need anymore that you could donate to charity or throw away. You can also begin disposing of anything that requires special care, such as chemicals. The less you actually have to move, the better.

•        Arrange for new phone or internet service at your new residence if you need to make an appointment for a technician to come out and set it up for you.

•        The paperwork: ensure you have set up mail forwarding and informed the following places of your address change: government offices for health cards, driver’s licenses and tax information, the dentist’s, doctor’s and veterinarian’s offices and your banking and credit card companies. Check that any insurance you have incorporates your new address and any car information or license plate tags are transfered if necessary. If you are moving far enough away, ensure the transfer of medical, veterinary and school records.

Two weeks before:

•     Cancel the newspaper subscription if necessary.

•        Return everything you’ve borrowed from neighbours. Be sure to get back everything you’ve lent out over the years too!

•        Make sure your utilities are set to be cancelled when you move and confirm your move with the moving company. Keep on packing!

One week to the day before moving day:

•     Confirm your moving date again with the company or any friends and relatives that might be helping you. Ensure everyone has accurate directions to your new home.

•        If you don’t need them for the time being, arrange your bedding and alarm clock in an “open first” box so you can set up your bed right away and get a decent night’s sleep the first day in your new home.

•        Begin prepping your larger items for the move by defrosting and emptying the refrigerator and taking apart larger furniture like beds or couches if possible.

Moving day:

•     Do a complete walkthrough of your home, opening every drawer, closet and cupboard to set your mind at ease and make sure you haven’t left anything behind.

•        If you currently have a landlord, invite them to inspect your empty residence with you to avoid any later complications.

•        Double check and record the readings on all utility meters, shut the doors and windows, and drop off any keys.

•        Try to be present when your things are loaded and unloaded in case the movers have any questions.

•        Prepare a suitcase with clothes and toiletries for the first night such as paper plates, plastic cutlery, garbage bags, drinks, Tylenol, snacks, toilet paper, soap or anything else you might need right away so it’s easy to get to. One of the fastest and easiest ways to feel at home is being able to get right back into your routine as soon as possible.

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