So you are moving. Some advice to make it a great experience!
In Alberta, anyone moving will get keys to their new home on “Completion Day” (otherwise known as closing or possession day). I always recommend, where possible, to schedule moving 1-3 days after possession date. Why? Two key reasons:
1) Sometimes, possession date gets delayed, usually because of mis-communications between clients, lawyers and bankers – it happens. And it’s not fun if the movers are waiting on you to open the doors so they can unload their moving van.
2) The other reason is that it gives the new home owner a chance to fully clean & prepare their new home for a great move in experience.
Typical Moving Itinerary & Task List
8 Weeks Before
Sort & organize. Walk through every room and open every drawer; decide what to take to your new home and what to get rid of. Make a list of “keep” items that will require special packing or extra insurance coverage.
Purge. Throw out or donate items you no longer want, or sell them via a garage/yard sale. If you have excess furniture you may want an auction house to do that work for you.
Hire movers. Research moving companies. I have some that I could recommend. Always ask to make sure they are bonded/insured. Pick outfits that have a good track record. Most importantly, get a written & signed work order from the mover so it minimizes any potential for mis-understandings.
4 Weeks Before
Start packing. Begin with items you use only rarely or seasonally and hold off on items you use frequently until just before moving day. Pack valuables separately & carry those items yourself if possible.
Label, label, label. Mark each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for in the new house. The only exception: Don’t list contents on a box that contains valuables, to avoid theft.
Measure. Ensure that all of your belongings can make it out of your old home and into your new one; measure any tall, wide or oddly shaped items, as well as any doorways or tight spaces they’ll need to fit through, so there are no surprises on moving day.
Contact utility companies. Instruct existing utilities (well ahead of time) to disconnect services the day after your move; direct new utilities (well ahead of time) to ensure services are in place on possession day.
Clear your freezer & fridge. Start using up frozen food items that will be a hassle to move. Then tackle the pantry and fridge.
Change your address. Visit your local post office to officially change your address & have “mail forwarding” in place for a while.
Alert important parties of your new address. Notify your employer, banks, credit card companies, subscription services, friends and family of your move.
1 Week Before
Confirm the movers. Contact the moving company and double-check your plans. Make sure the insurance in place is enough to cover your valuables.
Finish packing. Aim to complete the general household packing a couple of days before moving day.
Pack your emergency bag. Your last bag should contain at least one change of clothes — or more, for each person in the family, as well as all of the basics (e.g., phone charger, toilet paper) you need to survive for a few days without the items on the moving truck.
A Few Days Before
Touch base with the movers. Triple-check arrangements with the moving company. Verify how much you’ll owe on moving day, and what forms of payment are accepted. Ask for a cellphone number for the day-of contact, and confirm the crew’s arrival time. Prepare written directions to your new home and hand them to the movers on moving day.
Disassemble furniture. Place screws, brackets and fasteners in a small plastic storage bag, and label it.
The Don’t Pack List
Keep these items off the truck and close to you on moving day:
- Important documents (e.g., passports, marriage license, birth certificates, any records containing bank account information or Social Security numbers)
- Credit cards
- Phone and charger
- Laptop and charger
- Toilet paper
- A change of clothes (one for each member of your household)
- Snacks and water (for kids and pets)
- Tape measure
- Trash bags
- Paper towels
- Any other valuables, heirlooms or irreplaceable items
Meet the movers. Greet the moving crew and ensure that all workers are representatives of the moving company you hired.
Supervise the load-in. Assign a helper to watch the moving crew stack your belongings inside the truck, keeping an eye out for damage.
Keep valuables with you. Be sure the movers don’t mistakenly load boxes containing your laptop, jewelry, passports and other irreplaceables you should keep near you at all times.
Clean the old house. Tidy up rooms as the moving crew empties them, or consider hiring a cleaning service.
Roll out the flooring protector. Lay down a flooring protector at the new house, if your movers haven’t already done so. Most “good” movers do this but bird dog them.
Show the moving crew around. Point out specific rooms so boxes end up where they belong.
Start unpacking. If you notice any damage to your boxes, set them aside until the moving company can return to inspect them. Take photos of the damage for your records.
I always recommend planning “take out” or “eating out” the day of your move. More likely than not, you are not going to have everything unpacked plus the groceries that you need to make a decent meal. And I suspect you’ll probably be pretty tired too. Why not treat & congratulate yourself for the big move you just made!
You’ve gone through a lot of planning & work to get where you are. Enjoy your new home and community!