Moving Checklist

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You may not be able to move mountains, but you can plan an organized move with a little help from this step-by-step timeline.

Two Months Before

  • Sort and purge.Go through every room of your house and decide what you’d like to keep and what you can get rid of. Think about whether any items will require special packing.
  • Research.Start investigating moving company options. Check with your friends or neighbours who have recently move for moving company recommendations.
  • Create a moving binder.Use this binder to keep track of everything – all your estimates, your receipts and an inventory of all the item’s you’re moving.
  • Organize personal records.Arrange for medical and dental records to be sent to your new health-care providers or obtain copies of them yourself. Ask for referrals.

Six Weeks Before

  • Use it or lose it.Start using up things that you don’t want to move, like frozen or perishable foods and cleaning supplies.
  • Take measurements.Check room dimensions at your new home, if possible, and make sure larger pieces of furniture will fit through the door.

One Month Before

  • Choose your mover and confirm the arrangementsSelect a company and get written confirmation of your moving date, costs and other details.
  • Order supplies.Order boxes and other supplies such as tape, Bubble wrap and permanent markers. Don’t forget to order specialty containers, such as wardrobe boxes, if required.
  • Begin packing.Start packing the things that you use most infrequently, such as the waffle iron and croquet set.
  • Label.Clearly label and number each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for. This will help you to keep an inventory of your belongings. Pack and label “essentials” boxes of items you’ll need right away.
  • Separate valuables.Add items such as jewelry and important files to a safe box that you’ll personally transport to your new home. Make sure to put the mover’s estimate in this box. You’ll need it for reference on moving day.
  • Do a change of address.Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form, or do it online.
  • Notify important parties.Alert the following of your move: banks, brokerage firms, yours employer’s human resources department, magazine and newspapers you subscribe to, and credit card, insurance, and utility companies.
  • Inform children’s school.Inform children’s school authority of your move in order to get a refund on any deposits made.

Two Weeks Before

  • Arrange to be off from work on moving day.Notify your office that you plan to supervise the move and therefore need the day off.
  • Clean out your safe-deposit box.If you’ll be changing banks, remove the contents of your safe-deposit box and put them in the safe box that you’ll take with you on moving day.
  • Contact the moving company.Reconfirm the arrangements.

One Week Before

  • UtilitiesUtilities should be turned off in your current home one day after your move-out date. It is helpful if utilities in your new home are turned on one day before your move-in date.
  • Disposal.Dispose of all flammable items that can't be transported (paint, chemicals, aerosol cans).
  • See if you have accumulated anything else in your "donate," "pitch," or "sell" piles. After more packing, you may have additional items to donate and should have one last pickup by your chosen charity, if needed.
  • Back up all computers and have a plan in place for checking e-mail and paying bills online while your computer is in transit.
  • Get each family member to pack a suitcase like they are going on a two-week vacation. Remember all toiletries and comfortable clothes for unpacking.
  • Check in with your moving company one last time and confirm that everyone is on the same page. Reconfirm the moving-day arrival time as well as cell phone numbers and last-minute details.
  • Hire a cleaning company to come in and do a quick clean after the movers leave or schedule a day that you will come back and make sure that everything is clean and in place for the new owners.
  • Celebrate the memories you've made in your home and get ready to start a new chapter in your life.

A Few Days Before

  • Defrost the freezer.If your refrigerator is moving with you, make sure to empty, clean, and defrost it at least 24 hours before moving day.
  • Pack last-minute itemsTake down your perfect curtains, rods and rings (if you are taking these with you). Pack sheets and pillows in a dresser drawer, for easy access on your first night in the new house. Finally, pack a special box with essentials such as toiletries, pajamas, a change of clothing food and serving utensils and anything else you might need on the first night. Be sure important documents and moving company documents are readily accessible and safe.
  • Plan for the payment.If you haven’t already arranged to pay your mover with a credit card, make sure you have cheque or cash for payment and tip. If the staff has done a good job, a little tip is always appreciated. Don’t forget that refreshments are always appreciated.

Moving Day

  • Compare notes.Compare the movers’ inventory with yours to ensure nothing has been left out. Plan to be there while the movers are loading, to make sure they take everything and that there are no problems. Ensure the movers have your cell phone number or a number where you may be contacted if there are any problems.
  • Final checkOnce the apartment is empty, do any final cleaning and sweeping up. Walk through all rooms, ensuring that nothing has been left behind, and that windows are locked and lights turned off.