Stressed about moving? We get it — moving has its ups and downs (and we don’t just mean in terms of flights of stairs). We’ve curated this handy list of tips to make your move less hectic.
- Create a checklist, timeline, and budget. An unorganized move can be stressful and expensive. Be sure to plan out a timeline of your move to stay on track. This is especially important if you’re on a time crunch so you can instruct vendors and helpers to budget and quote accordingly and so you can develop back-up plans in the event of delays. Don’t forget to factor in time for tasks like cleaning, paint touch-ups, and repairs.
- Evaluate your muscle power. If you have a larger home, heavier items, or a limited amount of time you may need to consider calling in backup. Maybe you have some friends who will help you move for the low cost of beer and pizza? That’s great! If not, call around and get some quotes for professional movers. In some cases, it really is worth it in order to protect your belongings, time and peace of mind.
- Declutter! Don’t move things you don’t need. There is nothing worse than moving items only to throw them out or donate them after you’ve settled. Once the clutter is under control and you’ve decided what’s coming with you, set up a Rümi Cleaning Bundle and make arrangements to donate what you can.
- Stock up on boxes and other moving containers. A little foraging can save you money on packing supplies. Ask around at grocery and liquor stores for recycled boxes and reinforce flimsy cardboard with extra packing tape. Remember: the heavier the items, the smaller the box. For example, books are perfect for liquor store boxes.
- Stock up on your recycling. Newspaper, magazines, scrap paper, even plastic grocery bags can be useful for protecting fragile items like dishes or picture frames.
The month you move:
- Spread it out. Based on your schedule and timeline, consider packing for a few hours a day over a two-week period. Start with what you use least on a daily basis, like off-season clothing, stored items, and family memorabilia. Give your family fair warning when certain rooms or items will be tucked away or disassembled.
- Meal prep. In the 2-3 weeks leading up to your move, plan your meals around whatever frozen food, perishable items, or half open containers that you have in your fridge and around the kitchen. Have some fun with it. Moving can be stressful, especially for kids, so a little ice cream for dinner might help.
- Mail Prep. Notify your bank, magazine subscriptions, and any other individuals or businesses sending you mail at least one week in advance to avoid disruptions.
- Contact service providers before you get stressed out. Try to do this at least ten days before your move to avoid breaks in service or expensive emergency connection fees. ATCOenergy customers can fill out the Move Assistance Form in My Account and new customers can arrange service at their new place in advance.
- Label, label, label. Keep individual rooms and spaces together in their own boxes for easy unloading and unpacking. Consider colour coating labels or tape based on rooms to keep boxes from getting mixed up. Write the contents of each box on the box, or on an inventory list. The moving heroes out there might even want to create an Excel document that tracks the contents of each box. For easy reference, take pictures.
- Think outside of the box. Repurpose household items for packing. Laundry hampers, suitcases, trash or recycling bins make great moving containers. Have a full dresser? Pack it as you normally would, then wrap either the whole unit or each individual, full drawer in plastic. Need extra cushioning for delicate items? Put towels, linens, and soft socks to good use. Pack your pots and pans with smaller kitchen tools. Leave no space wasted!
- Next level packing. Feeling fancy? Use wool string when packing to make opening boxes easier. You can create a pull tab on your moving boxes to avoid using scissors or box cutters. Simply place some wool string on the center of the closed box flaps, leaving excess on the sides. Tape over the string and seal the box with moving tape, but leave some excess string out on the ends.
- Easy assembly required. When disassembling furniture, keep all screws and hardware in a labelled plastic bag and attach it to the furniture itself, or designate a separate box with hardware for all your furniture.
- Snap a pic. If you’re disassembling furniture or a complex system of cords like a TV/tech system or computer, take a picture before packing it up. This can serve as a reference point or map for when you begin the re-assembly process.
- Pack your hanging clothes in garbage bags. Not only will you save time and space, but your clothes stay clean. Keep them on the hanger and secure them in bundles with rubber bands for easy hanging in your new pad.
2–3 weeks before you move:
Complete necessary change of address forms, including:
- Drivers’ license, health cards, insurance
- Employer, doctor, dentist
- Magazine subscriptions and other mailings
- Memberships and other accounts
- Bank accounts, credit cards, and tax office (Canada Revenue Agency)
It’s go time!
- Create a game plan for the day of moving. Everyone loves a good schedule, don’t they? You don’t have to stick to it, but it will help your day move smoothly and keep track of your items coming and going. Make sure you leave time for your movers or helpers to assist with last-minute tasks, like disassembling furniture.
- Pictures are proof. Take pictures along the way, both in your old home and your new, especially of any expensive items and any damage you can spot that you didn’t cause. In the event something goes awry, they may help you get out of a sticky situation with landlords or vendors.
- Don’t forget the snacks. Is this the most important tip on the list? We think so. Moving is hard work — make sure you’re prepared with things like water, granola bars and other energy-boosting snacks. No one wants to be hangry while doing manual labour.
- Don’t get locked out. When coming and going during a move, you might run the risk of locking yourself out (this is especially true in apartment moves). Try using rubber bands to prevent getting locked out. All you have to do is string the band around one doorknob, then cross it over and wrap it around the doorknob on the other side to keep the door from locking.
- Create a moving essentials suitcase. Think of it as going on vacation… in your new home. We’re talking toiletries, a change of clothes and things you’ll need to keep your mind and body fresh during the move. You also can create an “open first” box. You’ll want to pack this with bed sheets, hand soap, shampoo, towels and other items you’ll need ASAP. We even suggest coffee or tea and your favourite mug.