Moving home

They say that the three of the most stressful things for anyone to do are:

1 - getting married

2 - starting a new job

3 - moving home

Although I cannot help with the first two, the following may help with the third as unless you are an organisational expert or can list 'Project Manager' on your resumé, it can be easy to forget something.

Moving Checklist

What's the best way to prepare for a move?

Four weeks before moving

• Decide what you want to take to your new home, what you want to throw out, and what you want to donate to charity or sell.
• Start using up frozen food and staples. Don't buy any more than is necessary before moving. 
• Start planning your trip. Make airline reservations. Book hotels and rental cars.
• Arrange for important school, medical, financial, and legal records to be transferred to your new home.
• Decide how your furniture and belongings will be moved, such as using a packing and moving service, or renting a truck and packing and moving yourself.
• Schedule a moving service company for your move, or reserve a truck or van rental for relocation. 
• If you will need to store any of your stuff for the move, arrange for storage space. Often your moving company can provide temporary storage.
• If you have kids, start talking to them now about the move. Get them involved in the moving process as that will help them cope with the move, especially if this is a long-distance relocation. 

Three weeks before moving

• Arrange to have your pets transported or boarded. Start preparing your plants for the move.
• Get back any items you have lent (and give back any items you have borrowed). Pick up any items that are being repaired. 
• Dispose of flammable items such as paint, aerosol cans, and cleaning fluids.
• Send change-of-address information to the post office and other businesses.

Two weeks before moving

• Schedule a date for a service firm to disconnect and prepare the appliances you are moving.
• Start packing non-essential items. 
• Arrange for a babysitter for moving day.
• Start planning to disconnect utilities.
• Arrange for any services for your new home that will be easier to do before your things arrive, such as painting, carpet-cleaning, floor or wood cleaning.
• Draw up a floor plan for your new home and start planning your furniture arrangement (it makes moving in twice as easy).

One week before moving

• Finish packing suitcases and basic essentials. Make sure valuable documents, currency and jewellery are in a safe and easily accessed place.
• Drain garden hoses, lawn mowers, and other machinery.
• Defrost and dry the fridge and freezer. Don't forget to empty the defrost water pan.
• Dismantle large power tools, such as lathes and grinders.
• Make sure all your important papers, keys, medications and plane tickets are available for the trip.
• If you are travelling a long distance by car, you may want to have the car serviced.

Packing day

• Leave a clear workspace for the packers.
• Identify fragile and valuable items, items you are taking with you, and items being left for the new owners.

Moving-out day

• Plan to stay home until the moving van has left.
• Tour the house with the van operator during inventory. Sign the bill of lading. Confirm your new address and delivery date. Check destination contact phone numbers.
• Do a final check for overlooked items. Make sure windows and doors are locked, lights are turned off, utilities are discontinued or turned off, and the keys are transferred.

Moving-in day

• Try to get to your new home the day before the moving van arrives. Make sure the utilities are connected. Take another look to see if your furniture plan is optimal.
• When the mover arrives, check items unloaded against the inventory. Make arrangements for installation of appliances. Confirm unpacking requirements.
• Look over this moving checklist and calendar. Make sure you’ve covered everything for your move. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy your new home!

When You Move

Remember to notify

Government & public offices
Post office
Veterans affairs
Income tax
Family allowance
Old age security
Canada pension plan
Unemployment insurance
Maternity benefits

Health & hospital insurance
Vehicle registration
Driver’s license


Mail order houses
Books and record clubs

Business accounts
Finance companies
Credit cards
Charge accounts
Department stores
Service stations
Diaper service
Dry cleaner
Drug store
House cleaning service

Professional services
Insurance agencies
Real estate agency

Utilities and services
Appliance service
Cable TV
Water treatment

Final day moving check
All meters read
Furnace turned down or off
Lights turned off
Windows & doors shut and locked
Keys left as agreed with new occupants

Telephone service discontinued


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Ian Hodson
Telephone: (250) 756-1132
Toll Free: 1-800-377-4374
Fax: (250) 756-1210
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