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Although wintertime is generally a slower season for residential moves, many homeowners already have an idea of whether they’re planning to move to a new place in the new year. And because there are so many factors involved in moving from one home to another, there is no such thing as “too early” when it comes to planning your upcoming move. In fact, the earlier and more you plan the less likely you are to encounter a stressful situation on the big day of the actual move. This is true whether you’re planning to organize it on your own, or will be relying on a moving company for some or all of their services. An extensive checklist is the best way to itemize all the tasks you need to accomplish before the day of your move and prioritize them as the date gets closer. It will also give you a general idea of where in the process you should be throughout the different time periods closer to the date. That’s why we wanted to put together a relevant and extensive checklist to cover all the angles you should think about when planning to move into a new place. Remember, each individual move is unique and these timeframes are just a suggestion. Your particular case may require different tasks and items, but we tried to be as encompassing as we could and include all the important points you need to know about moving in Canada.
2-3 Months Before Your Move
– Decide if you will be using a moving company for your move. Whether you want the movers to take care of the whole move or just parts of it, it is best to book a moving company as early as possible.
– Shop around for at least 3-4 moving companies and compare the quotes they offer. While one company may offer a better price, it may not provide all the services that your individual move requires, and always ask for a Written Quote.
– Read over all the paperwork from the movers before signing anything. It’s important that you understand everything that goes into your moving contract, what the mover is responsible for, and what is expected of you.
– Movers will often offer to “price-match” their competition to get the contract, but make sure that you are comparing between similar services. There is no point of getting a cheaper price on your move if you are not getting the same service.
– Figure out if you require storage. Whether temporary or long term, you should have an idea if some of your items will need to be stored rather than moved to the new place. Most moving companies also offer storage solutions for your belongings.
– Consider extra insurance. Most movers should and will offer coverage on your move, but what exactly is covered and for how much, may differ from company to company.
– If you’re moving with kids, work with their current and new schools to find out what paperwork is required to accommodate a smooth transition.
– Notify property managers or superintendents at any of the properties as necessary.
– Make a list of people and institutions to notify about your upcoming move.
– If you want to do any renovations or repairs at your new residence, try to arrange for it to be done before all the stuff is moved in. This may not always be possible, but can make things a lot easier managing between contractors and movers.
Arrange to have utilities disconnected by the date of your move with
-Gas or oil
1 Month Before Your Move
– Figure out what stuff will come to the new house and what can be donated, recycled, or thrown away. If you want to maximize the return on getting rid of your old stuff, consider holding a garage sale.
– If you’re packing your own stuff, arrange for boxes and supplies you will need. Metropolitan Movers also sells packing supplies, even if we won’t be doing the actual packing.
– Try to pack a little bit every day. If possible you want to avoid packing everything in the last week, worse yet, the last night before your move.
– Begin by packing rarely used and seasonal items and clothes.
– Return any borrowed items from friends or family.
– Notify your local post office of your new address and the date you will move, so any mail can be forwarded to your new place.
– If you’re moving into an apartment, find out if the building has any moving day requirements or limitations.
– Book elevator and parking as needed.
– Take care of any home repairs that are required at your current residence. In the end, this can be the difference in getting your security deposit back.
Confirm the change of address with:
– Ministry of transportation
– Any subscription services like newspapers
– Set up mail forwarding through Canada Post
– Provide your new residence information to the Canada Revenue Agency
Arrange to have utilities connected at the new place by move-in date:
-Gas or oil
The Week Of Your Move
– Confirm the date and time of your move, as well as any deliveries, laborers, or service technicians.
– Back up your computer and any personal information stored digitally. You don’t want to lose all the information if something happens to your computer during the move.
– Defrost your freezer prior to the day.
– Drain all equipment with fluids: water hoses, lawnmowers, or propane tanks.
– Try to finish up as much of the existing food as you can in the days prior to the move. You can always donate non-perishable items.
– Take down any pictures or frames before the day of the move.
– Take out and pack up lightbulbs from any lamps you’re planning to take with you.
– Clean out and pack up the bathroom.
– Take down and pack any window treatments, curtains, or blinds.
– Pack yourself a small travel kit with necessary bathroom essentials, that can be easily accessed on the day of your move.
– Pack a bag with a change of clothes that you can have handy on the first night in your new place.
– Pack a small carton of stuff you will need immediately at your new place. You may want to put it on the truck last or take it with you in your personal vehicle.
– Create a labeling system for your boxes. You may want to colour code the boxes by different rooms or parts of the house, as well as a label on which contents are inside which box.
– Try not to over pack cardboard boxes as they can break under the weight. But make sure the boxes are filled as much as possible for easy stacking,
– Label all boxes on the top and the sides for easy identification.
– Create an inventory sheet for all your boxes. You may also want to add notes about what you packed in which box.
– Secure parking or unloading spaces at both your old and new residences.
– Clean your old residence, or arrange for cleaners to come in after you move out.
– Put together all the manuals for appliances, and keep them in an easy to find spot for the new residents.
On The Day Of Your Move
– Check the weather the night before and the morning of. Inclement or extreme weather may require specific arrangements or change the timeframe of your move.
– Try to be present or have someone responsible be there for the entire move process or at the very least the loading and unloading. If possible try to move on a Friday, so you can have the weekend to settle in. It’s always good to have a familiar face to negotiate with the building management or neighbors.
– When the movers arrive at your residence take a couple of minutes to walk around with them and point out things that require special attention. Make sure you communicate as much as you can and leave nothing to chance or a guess.
– Movers generally load boxes first, so if you can, try to stage them in the most easily accessible area.
– When the truck has been loaded check all the rooms, closets, garages, attics, or storage spaces to make sure nothing has been left behind. If you can, try to cross reference your inventory and the original quote to make sure everything on both lists made it onto the truck.
– Make sure you have returned or made arrangements to turn over any keys, parking fobs, or access cards.
– Keep all your documents, paperwork, money, and valuables as close to you at all times as you can. Same goes for personal laptops.
– Try to get to your new place before the movers arrive so you can talk to anyone from building management if necessary and supervise the unloading process.
– Direct the movers as they unload the truck. It can save you a lot of time if all the boxes end up in the rooms they belong in right away.
– Make sure you read and understand the bill of lading before you sign off on anything at the end of the move. Keep all the papers until all claims have been settled and charges paid in full.
After Your Move
– If you moved big appliances or electronics, check to make sure that everything is working properly and didn’t get damaged during the move.
– Make sure you keep all the paperwork and receipts from your move. You may be able to claim your move on your tax return, and you’ll need all the receipts and paperwork to complete your claim.
– From your city office find out about garbage pick up, recycling regulations, and any waste management facilities in the area you should know about.
– Aim to unpack all your stuff and be fully settled in within two weeks of your move.
– Make copies of new keys for anyone who requires them. It may also be a good idea to make a set for a friend or a close neighbor in the event of an emergency.
– Enjoy your home! In the hustle and bustle of moving and relocation, a lot of homeowners often forget that the whole point of moving is to enjoy the new place they are in.
Hopefully this checklist can be useful to you when planning and arranging your move. We recognize that every move is different and may require specific steps or items that are not listed here. Long-distance moves or a move to a different country may need a whole other set of steps and we may address these moves specifically, in a future blog. Use the steps listed here as a guideline throughout your moving process, to keep your organization and packing on a timely track.