Should I create a schedule in advance?
You should absolutely create a schedule in advance, as preparing to move can become an overwhelming and chaotic experience. Creating a schedule can help you remain on task and ensure you don’t forget anything you need to do.
If you’re not sure where to start, below, you will find our personal long-distance guide to help you stay on schedule.
8 Weeks Before Moving Day
- Find a moving company: start researching long-distance moving companies so that you won’t feel rushed to decide on one too quickly. Get multiple in-home estimates to determine what company will work best for you.
- Decide how you’ll get there: are you driving or flying to your new home? If flying, book your plane tickets now and research thoroughly to determine who you will use to ship your vehicle.
- Plan ahead for moving expenses: whether you’re moving yourself or using a moving company, the act of moving in itself is not cheap. In addition to the moving truck (and shipping your vehicle, if you’re going that route), plan ahead to have extra money put aside for things like hotels, dining, gas, packing supplies, and any unexpected expenses.
4 Weeks Before Moving Day
- Organize and declutter: sort through your whole house, including the attic, garage and storage shed. Toss what you don’t plan to use at your new house or donate it to charity.
- Take inventory of your entire home: Now that you’ve reduced the amount of stuff you will be moving with you, take inventory of everything you own. Refer above for the inventory checklist to find four easy steps to help you make your list.
- Get your In-home estimate: Request an in-home estimate of your moving charges from your moving company agent. After downsizing, the agent can provide you with a more accurate estimate.
- Transfer records: start transferring records (e.g., school, medical, insurance, etc.), as these things can take a while.
- Schedule the essentials: sometimes, when scheduling connection dates, you’re looking at a few weeks out. So if you call to schedule the gas/electricity, water, phone, internet, and cable now, they will be set up and ready to go when you arrive.
- Forward your mail: Sign up for the mail forwarding service with Canada Post so that you don’t miss anything. This is especially important for long-distance moving.
- Appliance Servicing: You’ll need to prepare your appliances for moving, such as your washer and dryer, so book a reliable service firm to prepare them. Also, make sure you inform your moving company agent of special items you own, such as grandfather clocks or pianos, as these will need special attention.
3 Weeks Before Moving Day
- Start packing: people often underestimate the time and effort it takes to pack up an entire house, so give yourself plenty of time. Check out our helpful packing tips if you don’t know where to start.
- Make arrangements for young children and pets: if you have pets, make transportation arrangements. Don’t forget to get your pet’s health records from your veterinarian. Also, arrange for care of any young children or pets with a friend or grandparent on packing, loading, and delivery days.
- Use up frozen foods and staples: plan to use up any frozen foods as it is not recommended to transport them long distances. Also, by using up pantry items, you will have less to pack. Until moving day, consider only purchasing what you will eat before moving.
- Dispose of flammable products: Movers are not licensed to carry dangerous goods on the moving van, so you must dispose of any flammables.
2 Weeks Before Moving Day
- Create a floor plan: designate where your furniture will go in your new home. This will make unloading more efficient as your movers will know exactly where to place everything.
- Have your vehicle serviced: if you’re planning on driving, get your vehicle fully serviced to prepare for travel.
- Disconnection date: schedule the disconnection of your utilities, cable, and internet. Also, don’t forget to stop or reroute any delivery services.
- Return borrowed items: return borrowed items you come across while packing. Also, gather anything you’ve loaned out to family and friends. Pick up any dry cleaning or items out for repair.
1 Week Before Moving Day
- Final preparation time: finish packing your essentials and suitcases. Carry any valuable documents, currency and jewelry with you — never put these on the moving truck.
- Clean your refrigerator and freezer: clean them 24-48 hours before moving day to allow enough time for them to dry if you plan to take them with you. Leave any lids and doors open to help them dry.
- Clear your walls and ceilings: packers and movers don’t remove items such as curtain rods, drapery tracks, and blinds, so make sure you remove anything you have attached to the walls and ceilings.
- Outdoor prep: drain water from garden hoses and empty out any oil/fuel from lawnmowers and other machinery. Gather up any outdoor toys and put them somewhere they can dry before loading them onto the truck.
- Double-check important items: run through the list of your important papers, keys, medications, and plane tickets to make sure you have everything.
- Be helpful but not in the way: try to keep your house organized and accessible to make things go more smoothly. Let movers know what items are breakable and what is and isn’t moving.
- Don’t leave early: plan to stay until the moving van has left so that you can:
- Tour the house with the van operator during inventory.
- Sign the Bill of Lading.
- Confirm they have the correct new address, delivery date and contact numbers.
- Do a final walkthrough of the house.
- Double check that windows and doors are locked, utilities are discontinued or turned off, keys are transferred, and lights are out.
- But do plan to arrive early: you’ll want to reach your new place a day before the moving van. This way, you can confirm utilities are on and that your floor plan is correct.
- Verify inventory: check your inventory list to make sure all of your belongings are unloaded and accounted for.
- Appliance installation: in case the moving truck was delayed, you should wait to schedule this. But once your belongings are unloaded, arrange to have your appliances installed.
Final moving day tips to help things go more smoothly
- If you don’t want to spend money while travelling, pack meals and snacks for moving day, while on the road, and even for the first day in your new home. The last thing you want to do during all that chaos is cook — that is, if you can even locate your boxes of food or dishes.
- Ensure that the last box you pack is the first box you open. It should be full of items to help you clean and unpack, such as:
- a box cutter
- an extra charging cable for your phone/tablet
- hand and paper towels
- plastic cups
- shower curtain
- Lastly, put together a list of anything you want to be done immediately. This list will help you to remember what should be done first so that you’re not scrambling to do something at two in the morning, such as:
- Setting up an area for young kids/pets.
- Putting together your bed so that you have a place to sleep.
- Setting up the bathroom so you can take a shower.