A Checklist for the Big Move

When the ink has dried and you have successfully sold your home and purchased a new one, the next thing to think about is the big move! Although the end results of moving are exciting and positive, the process itself is often arduous. With countless dishes to bubble wrap and endless drawers to rummage through, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget a few things along the way. That said, having been through this process a few times ourselves and also with clients, we’ve whittled it down into a fairly complete checklist to ease the pain and keep things streamline…

Step 1- Update Your Address

Although we are getting less and less paper mail, our addresses are still connected to so many aspects of our lives. Whether you’re buying or renting, it’s worthwhile to arrange to have your mail forwarded to the new address so that you don’t miss any important bills, packages etc. This way as the mail comes in, you can check off a list of companies, card providers and so forth that need to be notified of your new address. For driver’s licenses, IDs and the like, most of these can be updated simply online and will be mailed to you. 

Step 2 – Notify Utilities

Before you move into your new home, utilities such as water, gas, electricity, cable and internet all need to be set up. For the most part, these services are a simple phone call away or in some cases can be set up online and can be done ahead of time by providing a move-in date. If you’re moving into a house or semi-detached, transferring or installing a security system is particularly important. If you’re moving into an apartment building or condo building, the individual utilities you are responsible for will vary. It’s best to contact the property manager and/or landlord to find out what you’re responsible for. Chances are, at the very least, they will require a void cheque or PAD form in order to set up monthly maintenance fees.

Step 3 – Declutter First

Packing is an obvious must but before you place a single item in a box, we recommend decluttering first. Start early and set up small daily goals leading up to your move so that the task doesn’t seem too daunting. Create designated piles of things that are junk, things that can be sold or donated and things you plan to keep. This process of decluttering will keep you organized and save you the hassle of moving and unpacking a lot of unnecessary stuff. 

Step 4 – Gather Your Documents

Although most of your personal items will be packed away in boxes, we recommend keeping some important documents safely close by. Make sure you have birth certificates, passports, SIN cards, insurance policies, medical records etc. in a file that you keep with you. This will ensure that they make it with you to your new home and, should there be an emergency, are readily available versus hidden in one of many boxes. 

Step 5 – Pack it Up!

Once you’ve completed step 3 and 4, it’s time to start packing. Start by ranking your rooms and areas within those rooms by most essential day-to-day to least essential. For example, start with the guest rooms and bathrooms because those items can afford to be packed away the longest. When you finally get down to the essential areas like your closet, kitchen and master bath and bedroom, pack the things that aren’t currently in season or immediately necessary first and then keep the rest in more easy-to-access storage. Regardless of what you’re packing, label your boxes clearly and try to keep common items together. This will make life easier for both the movers wondering where to place the boxes and for you, when you go to unpack. With packing, the key is to start as early as possible. Chip away at it every night after work and dedicate your weekends to packing so that you only have to take one day off for the move.

Step 7 – Arrange for Cleaning

With all the work involved in moving, there is nothing worse than moving into a dirty home. For that reason we always urge our clients to leave their former homes as clean as possible and the best way to do this is simply to hire a cleaning service, as you likely have enough to do with packing etc. For the new home, the same thing applies. Even if the previous owners cleaned before they left, it’s likely not cleaned in the way that you’re accustomed to. If possible, it’s best to clean or arrange for a cleaning service ahead of time, while the house is still empty. This way you can settle in and feel at home quickly.