After buying a home that you love and are excited to be calling your own, many people dread the upcoming move. It’s usually seen as the dark, looming cloud whose presence promises only headaches, misery, panic, and thunderous amounts of stress. Lots and lots of stress.
But it doesn’t have to! Proper planning, organization, and preparation can make your move much less stressful than all the horror stories of moving disasters that you’ve heard or lived through in the past.
We’re going to help you plan for you upcoming move, and if you’re not looking to move in the next while, you can always tuck this advice in your back pocket for when that day comes!
Make a To-Do List
For many people, list making is a favourite. And there’s a reason why! It helps you visualize the journey ahead of you, prioritize, and accomplish the necessary steps without getting lost in the confusion of unclear goals. Weeks prior to your move, make a list of everything that you will need to accomplish before the moving date, and keep the list in a notebook where you can store all important moving-related information.The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has a great checklist available on their website, which you can find here. Some of these items include:
- Find a reliable and moving company that fits within your budget (should you choose the moving company route).
- Start collecting boxes if you’re packing for yourself. Grocery stores and department stores are good places to check for boxes you can use in your move.
- Collect and fill out ‘Change of Address’ forms (i.e. health card, driver’s licence, bank, credit cards, Canada Revenue Agency, etc.)
- Contact your insurance company about your current home insurance and moving it over to your new place.
- Arrange registration and moving of your children’s records to their new school.
- Find a doctor, dentist, etc. in the area you’ll be moving. It may be useful to ask your current family doctor and dentist for any recommendation or referrals.
- Arrange for phone, Internet, cable, hydro, etc. services for your new location and cancellation of them at your current home.
- Visit the post office to change address/forward mail to your new residence. You can find out more about this here!
Declutter Your Home
Donation and second-hand store bins will become your friend! Go through your closets, shelving, basement, and any other areas that have become home for clutter and random items. If you haven’t used the product, worn that piece of clothing, or served anything on those dishes within the last year, chances are you won’t be using it in the future! Decluttering will save you a lot of packing space and hassle in the days when you’re actually packing up.
Prepare Your Family for the Move
This is especially important for your kids. Many kids can be against the idea of moving; however, adjusting to the idea by talking it out, visiting the new neighbourhood and schools, and showing your excitement will go a long way in helping them transition to a new home! For a great article on helping kids transition to a new home, click here!
Labels, Labels, Labels
When you’re in the process of packing up, label all your boxes well. Instead of just labelling the name of the room the box’s items are from, try being more specific – items from china cabinet; bedding for specific bedrooms; curtains from family room; drawer vs. closet clothing, etc. When you’re trying to unpack, specific labelling will help you locate the essential items first, and prioritize your unpacking.
Don’t Leave Packing to the Last Few Days
Packing is a process. It’s a great idea to begin packing a couple weeks ahead. Pack up the items you won’t be using for the next few weeks to help avoid last-minute stress and deadlines for packing. Not packing in a hurry will ensure all your items are stored away safely for the moving journey. It will also help you organize better!
Pack an Essentials Bag/Box
Plan on living without all your items unpacked for at least a few days after the move. Canadian Living recommends thinking of it like camping: you’ll need clothing, utensils, kitchen items, and bedding. Pack a few, very-easy-to-identify boxes with enough essentials to get you through a week. Doing this for your kids as well will help them get through the first few days with the items most important to them and not worrying about them getting lost in the move.
Keep Your Receipts
Canada Revenue Agency lets you claim certain moving expenses. Keeping your receipts will allow you to possibly claim expenses related to your move. For more information on this, click here.
Settle into Routine Quickly
When you move to your new home, getting into a new routine while not neglecting family traditions is a great way to help with the transition. Start reaching out to neighbours, getting to know the area, and trying to settle into new routine quickly will all be beneficial in the ‘settling in’ process!
This list is in no way exhaustive, but it’s a start! The most important thing to remember about the moving process is that what works best for one family doesn’t necessarily mean it has to work for yours! Sit down and prioritize according to what you feel is best for your family, how you operate as a unit, and what will be most efficient and stress free for YOU.
Moving to a new home is an exciting time! Don’t let the stress of moving rob you of the joy that comes from those dreams and visions about how you’ll make your new house your home!