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For many of us moving is one of the big milestones of our lives.  For some it is an exciting time; for others it can be traumatic, more so for children than adults.  Depending on why you are moving, it can be hard to uproot your life.  It can also be one of the highlights of our lives: moving into that dream home, buying your first home, a new job in a new town with a fresh start.  At the same time, there are many uncertainties, especially if you are coming to a new city and have to build new social networks and put down roots in a new place.

Whether you’re feeling excitement or unease about moving, packing up and moving all of your things to a new home whether its across the country or up the street, moving can be a real chore, but there are simple things you can do to make it less stressful and less expensive. A good way to start is with a simple calendar beginning one-two months before the big day. That way you can check things off as you go and make sure you will be ready to go and relatively stress free when the big day comes. Here’s a simple timeline that will keep you on track:

Two months to one month before moving

Begin to go through your current home and decide what you want to take, what you want to throw out, and what you want to donate to charity or sell.  Now is the time to de-clutter and weed out many of those things you have been storing in the basement or in the attic and have not seem since the last time you moved.   Do it before you move, and start fresh in your new home!

Arrange for important school, medical, financial, and legal records to be transferred.  Pre-register the children in their new school and take them for a tour of the new school if possible.

Book your mover: it’s a good idea to obtain estimates from more than one company, not only to get the best price, but because likely not all of them will be available on the day you want to move (especially if you’re moving in the summer). The estimates you get will depend on whether the movers pack everything for you, or whether you want to do the packing yourself.

If you rent, give your landlord written notice and make arrangements for the return of any deposits.  Your landlord requires 60 days notice from the end of the month, so don’t put this one off or you may be on the hook for an extra month’s rent.

Inform gardening, newspapers, magazines, diaper, and any other home services of your move. Now would be a good time to arrange for service at your new address.

If you’re moving far from your current home, you will want to transfer such things as a gym membership and prescription records to a local service.

Change the address on your driver’s license effective the day of the move.

Three weeks before moving

Arrange to have your pets transported or boarded.

Start preparing your plants for the move or, if it will be a long trip, consider giving them to friends, hospitals, libraries, or selling them. If you decide to move them, it’s a good idea to prune plants and re-pot them into unbreakable plastic containers before putting them in cardboard moving boxes with holes punched in the sides for air.

Get back any items you have lent (and give back any items you’ve borrowed). Pick up any items that are being repaired.

Collect all items out for cleaning or repair, or in storage.

Dispose of flammable items such as paint, aerosol cans, and cleaning fluids.

Send change of address information to the post office, bank, credit card companies and any other services where you get a monthly statement or newsletter (Canada Post allows you to change your address online and will forward your mail for six months for about $30).

Start using up frozen food, refrigerator staples and dried goods. Don’t buy any more than you absolutely have to, before moving.

Two weeks before moving

Schedule a date for a service firm to disconnect and prepare the appliances you are moving.

Make arrangements for your appliances to be connected after you arrive in your new home.

Start packing nonessential items.

Arrange for a babysitter for moving day if needed.  (Tip: make sure that your children’s favourite toys are one of the last things packed, last to go on the truck and one of the first things off the truck and unpacked.)

Start planning to disconnect utilities including phone and cable.

If you have one, have your oil tank read and filled and, if required, give the receipt to your legal professional.

One week before moving

Finish packing suitcases and basic essentials. Make sure valuable documents, currency, and jewellery are in a safe and easily accessible place.

Drain garden hoses, lawn mowers, and other machinery.

Clean and dry the fridge and freezer.

Take down items such as curtain rods, shelves, light fixtures, and mirrors that you’re taking with you.

Dismantle large power tools, such as lathes and grinders.

Make arrangements to pick up the keys at the lawyer’s office, and if not at the lawyer’s office (especially if your lawyer is not in the town where you are moving) then make sure that you will be able to get the keys and move in a timely manner.

Packing day (If the moving company is packing for you)

Leave a clear work space for the packers.

Identify fragile and valuable items, items you are taking with you, and items being left for the new owners.

Move-out day

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 have been left behind for whoever will be moving into your home.

Before heading off to your new location, make sure that the house you are leaving is clean, as clean as you would like it to be if you were moving in.  Think of how you would like the house to be if you were moving into it and give that gift to the purchasers.  It is a little extra work and lovely gift to someone on their moving day.  If you can’t stay to do it yourself, consider arranging for a cleaning company to come in and give it a quick once over before the buyers take possession.

Move-in day

Make sure the utilities are connected.

Confirm that appliance installation appointments are booked and let the service firms know that you have arrived and the best way to contact you if there are any scheduling problems.

When the mover arrives, check items unloaded against the inventory.




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London, Ontario N6C 4P6
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