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Moving Checklist

Helping you plan a smooth moving experience In all the excitement of getting ready to move into your new home, some details can easily get overlooked. To help make your move as smooth and as enjoyable as possible, we have included this helpful moving guide and checklist. You can glance over the list here on the website and you can also download a printable checklist that you can use to keep track of your progress and make lists and important notes.

Two months prior to moving day:

  • If you will use a mover, get a few estimates from moving companies
  • If you will move yourself, get costs from at least two truck rental companies
  • Create a floor plan of your new home for furniture and appliance placement
  • Make an inventory of your household goods and begin to remove clutter (start with basement, attic, garage, and other storage areas)
  • Start a file for all your moving paperwork (estimates, receipts, etc.)
  • Arrange to transfer school records
  • Choose a mover (or truck rental company)

Six weeks prior to moving day:

  • Obtain and fill out post office change-of-address cards
  • Subscribe to the paper of your new hometown to learn more about your new community
  • Make arrangements for storage if necessary
  • Ask your doctor for referrals, and obtain all medical records
  • Have antiques, pieces of art, and other valuables appraised
  • Clean all closets and drawers
  • Start using foods and cleaning supplies that cannot be moved

Four weeks prior to moving day:

  • Schedule disconnection of all utility services (hydro, gas, cable, phone, security) at your old home, and connection of them to your new home. Be sure to disconnect the day after you leave and connect the day before you arrive. Get a new phone number
  • If you are moving yourself, reserve a rental truck
  • If you are packing yourself, obtain packing materials and start packing items you won't need until after you arrive at your new house. Packing supplies: tape, boxes, tissue paper, bubble wrap, markers
  • Arrange for cleaning and repair of furniture, drapes and carpeting
  • Arrange for special transportation of your pets and plants if necessary
  • Check with your insurance company to see how your possessions are covered during transit
  • Arrange to transfer your household insurance to your new home
  • Make any travel plans necessary for your move
  • Plan your moving sale
  • Collect your important records; gather personal and family records, including medical and dental, veterinary and school records; legal and financial documents; birth certificates, passports and insurance documents

Three weeks prior to moving day:

  • Properly dispose of items that cannot be moved, such as flammable liquids
  • Prepare auto registration for transfer (if moving to another province)
  • If you are moving in or out of an apartment, arrange for use of the elevator
  • Make child care arrangements for moving day
  • Hold your moving sale

Two weeks prior to moving day:

  • Arrange for disposal of anything not sold at your moving sale
  • Service your car in preparation for the move. If you're moving from a warm climate to a cold one, check your antifreeze
  • Return any borrowed items (including library books) and retrieve any loaned items
  • Cancel newspaper delivery and any other home deliveries
  • Notify any creditors of your move
  • Transfer prescriptions and be sure you have an adequate supply of medications on hand
  • Assemble a file folder of information to leave for the new owner of your home
  • Change your address
  • One week before your move send change-of-address cards to everyone who will need to contact you. Arrange to have your mail forwarded by the post office
  • Advise friends, family, and professionals of your new address and phone number (doctor, dentist, other medical professionals, schools, library, accountant, financial advisor, credit card companies, Canada Customs & Revenue, Motor Vehicle Branch, frequent flyer plans, your employer, medical plan, magazine and other subscriptions)
  • Pick up laundry: laundry tickets are easy to misplace, so ask for your things by name and not just by the receipts you have
  • Pack a travel kit
  • Put aside critical items like a checkbook, credit cards, personal phone book, ID, flashlight, keys, toiletries, tools, paper plates, cups, towels, travel alarm clock, aspirin, bandages and games for the kids. Also, pack a suitcase with clothing and other personal items
  • Recruit moving day help

One week prior to moving day:

  • Clean your home or arrange for a cleaning service
  • Confirm delivery address, phone number and delivery date with the movers
  • Clean out school or gym lockers

One day prior to moving day:

  • Transfer your bank accounts. Order new checks with new address
  • Close and empty your safe-deposit box
  • Settle any bills with local businesses
  • Drain power equipment of oil and gas. Drain water hoses
  • Find new homes for plants that will not be moved
  • Confirm any travel reservations
  • Drain your waterbed
  • Defrost refrigerator and freezer, propping doors open
  • Let movers pack your belongings (unless it's a do-it-yourself move)
  • Disconnect and prepare major appliances for move
  • Set aside anything that will travel in your car so it will not be loaded on the truck
  • Back a box of items that will be needed first at the new house. Clearly mark this box "Load las"
  • Obtain cash or traveler's checks for the trip and to pay for the movers
  • Confirm arrival time of your moving van/truck
  • If moving yourself, dismantle beds and other large furniture

Moving day:

  • If using a mover, be sure someone is at the old house to answer questions
  • Read your bill of lading and inventory carefully before signing. Keep this paperwork in a safe place
  • Check all the rooms and closets to make sure that you haven't left anything behind
  • Turn down thermostat
  • Lock up and leave labeled keys with the landlord, new owners or real estate agent
  • At new home make sure all utilities are on and working
  • At new home make sure all appliances are working
  • Unpack your "Open first" (Load last) box. Set up beds, unpack kitchen and bathrooms first
  • Order in for dinner

Delivery day: again be on hand to answer any questions

  • Check belongings carefully and note on the inventory paperwork any damaged items
  • Supervise unloading and unpacking
  • Be prepared to pay your mover with cash, certified check, or traveler's checks unless other arrangements have been made in advance

After moving:

  • Contact city/municipal offices to find out about garbage pick up, recycling facilities and local regulations and information
  • Change address on your driver's license
  • Change address on your car insurance
  • Change address or register for voting (if you have changed provinces)
  • Change locks on your new house

How to move with Pets

Firstly, remember that your pet is also a member of the family, and deserves some consideration in the moving plans. Your pet will also be leaving familiar surroundings, and you’ll have some trouble helping your pet understand what’s happening and why. Your goal will be to get your pet out of your present home and into your new home as securely and smoothly as possible. Think about your pet’s temperament and special needs and put together a plan to help your pet make the transition:

Plan for your pet’s trip to the new home. 

Most pets will make the move in a car with the rest of the family. In the event that you’re traveling by air, you’ll need to make arrangements for your pet several weeks in advance. If necessary, get your pet used to a carrier.

Make a moving day plan for your pet. 

Ideally, on moving day your pet should stay elsewhere, preferably in a familiar place: a favorite kennel service, or at a kind friend or relative’s home. With all the comings and goings at your house – strange people and vehicles, and constantly open doors – there are just too many chances for your pet to have a meltdown or meet with an accident. Stressed pets and movers don’t mix well. If your pet must be in the house, find an empty room with the least commotion and put your pet there. Put a sign on the door to clearly indicate that the room is not to be entered. Ensure your pet has comfortable surroundings, enough fresh water and some familiar toys.

Try to keep a calm environment. 

Your pet will be picking up on the family’s signals in the weeks before and after the move. If you’re experiencing stress, your pet will be tuning into the change. No matter how crazy life gets, try to maintain (as closely as possible) your pet’s feeding, watering, play, and exercise routines. Keep their familiar foods, toys, and bedding accessible. After all, there is upheaval enough in their surroundings now!

Think about your pet’s own personality. 

Cats are far more territorial than dogs are. Cats need to feel that they are in control of a changing environment, whereas dogs are far more attached to their owner than they are to the actual house. So make sure your cat always has a nook or cranny or box to hide in or under at both ends of the move.

Make sure your pet is wearing identification. 

Also, take a picture of your pet and jot down a written description. Pets can be unpredictable when their home life is upset. There is a higher risk of your pet escaping in the weeks before and after the move

Prepare your pet for travel. 

When travelling by car with your pet, remember to restrict its food intake several hours ahead of the trip, and during the trip too. Animals should be in a carrier unless you are absolutely sure that they will not get under a brake pedal or cause a dangerous commotion. Most cats will sleep away their long trip. Your dog will be much happier if it has been well exercised before the trip. Use a tranquilizer for your pet as a very last resort, and then only with your veterinarian’s instructions.

Pack a travel kit for your pet. 

Be sure that the food is easy to digest, and use water from your regular home supply; changing diet or water sources are common causes of diarrhea and vomiting from upset stomachs. If in doubt, check with your veterinarian for food recommendations. Don’t forget extra food for the arrival (can opener too!), medications and vet records, familiar toys, new identification tags, and something with a reassuring scent.