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A Comprehensive Guide to Moving

At least two months before you take possession of your new home, you should start preparing for your move.

The following is a handy checklist that can help to streamline your preparations. This is a suggested timeline, but certainly the more items you can move up on the list, the better prepared you will be.

8 Weeks Before Moving

  1. Make yourself a MOVE FILE into which you can throw receipts, phone numbers, estimates and any other information you might have to refer to quickly. Keep this in a spot where it won’t get packed.
  2. If you are moving to a new municipality, research any special laws and requirements that apply to you in the way of home-based businesses, etc.
  3. Start getting estimates from reputable moving companies.
  4. Start thinking about furniture placement using the floor plan of your new home.

7 Weeks Before Moving

  1. If you are changing your doctor or dentist, check with them to obtain medical and dental records, X-rays and prescription histories.
  2. Contact your children’s schools or daycare facilities and arrange for records to be transferred.

6 Weeks Before Moving

  1. Start using up freezer food and cleaning items that shouldn’t be moved, such as bleach and aerosol cleaners.
  2. Inform your house insurance and car insurance agent that you will be moving, and start any required paperwork in motion. Be sure you are covered throughout your move.
  3. Make a list of valuables or items that will difficult to replace. Have antiques, artwork and other valuables appraised. Plan on moving these valuable items yourself.
  4. Make arrangements for storage if necessary.

5 Weeks Before Moving

  1. Locate the hospitals, police stations, veterinarians and fire stations near your home.
  2. Make a list of things you don’t want to move. Sell, give away or donate the items.
  3. Prepare a folder of information to leave for the new occupant of the home you are leaving.

4 Weeks Before Moving

  1. Choose a moving company or arrange to rent a truck if you will move yourself. If you are moving between June & September or at the end of a month, you may want to confirm your moving arrangements earlier than 4 weeks – these are the busier times for moving companies and rental agencies.
  2. Gather boxes and packing materials if you intend to pack yourself.
  3. Make any travel arrangements that might be necessary with airlines, buses, car rental agencies and hotels.
  4. Cancel or transfer memberships in clubs, organizations and churches.
  5. Set up a checking account in your new municipality if needed.
  6. Make an inventory of your belongings so that if you have to file an insurance claim later on you won’t forget items. Record serial numbers of your electronic equipment.
  7. Make arrangements for transporting pets.

3 Weeks Before Moving

  1. Return all library books.
  2. Make sure you’ve picked up all dry cleaning or items out for repair.
  3. Begin packing items you seldom use.
  4. Get rid of flammables, corrosives and poisons.
  5. Make arrangements for childcare and pet care on moving day.

2 Weeks Before Moving

  1. Arrange for the utilities switchover from your current home to your new home. Remember hydro, water, waste disposal, newspaper delivery, magazine subscriptions, telephone, cable company, satellite TV or Internet company, etc. Refer to the "Resources for Moving" article provided in this section of the web site.
  2. Arrange for any special help you may need on moving day – here’s your opportunity to call in favours from all the friends and family members you have helped over the years!
  3. If you are moving from an apartment, reserve the use of the elevator for moving day.
  4. Clean area rugs and clothing and wrap as many as you can for moving.
  5. Prune your plants and consult a garden center or book on moving tips.
  6. Make sure you have any prescription medicine you may be using on hand.

1 Week Before Moving

  1. Make a file for important papers, moving documents and phone numbers, and keep it with you.
  2. Fill out and mail change of address forms. Don’t forget:
    1. Ministry of Transportation
    2. Ministry of Health
    3. Bank/credit union
    4. Churches
    5. Credit card companies
    6. Family physician
    7. Fire/auto insurance
    8. Friends and family
    9. House insurance
    10. Magazine/newspaper subscriptions
    11. Organizations, groups and sports teams
    12. Post Office
    13. Hydro
    14. Gas
    15. Municipal Tax Department
  3. Contact the post office for information on where to collect your mail and obtaining a key for your mailbox.
  4. Pack.
  5. Label boxes that contain necessities and open first.
  6. Drain the gas and oil from your lawn mover and other motors, plus gas grills and heaters.
  7. Empty, defrost and clean your fridge at least a full day before moving.
  8. Dismantle beds and other large furniture.

1 Day Before Moving

  1. Clean rooms as much as you can. Keep a few cleaning materials on hand so you can go through each room after it is emptied.
  2. Drain water hoses.
  3. Make sure you are prepared to pay your mover.

On Moving Day

  1. Once your house is empty and you have checked to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind, CHECK AGAIN.
  2. Carry by hand any important documents, jewelry and currency.
  3. Make sure the movers have the correct address and your cell phone number if you have one. Get the driver’s cell phone number as well.
  4. Check your belongings and note any damaged items.
  5. An important consideration leading up to and on moving day is pets don’t understand why strangers are removing their furniture. Like children, you may not realize they can become very stressed. Keep their routine as normal as possible and designate and set up a small ‘pet room’ first. Provide them with all their normal comforts and post a sign on the door to ensure it is kept closed while the move is taking place. Keep them on leashes outdoors at all times to help them get to know their new home.

After Moving Into Your New Home

  1. Revise your will and other legal papers with your current address.
  2. Keep your move file handy for reference.
  3. Sit Back and Enjoy!