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How to prepare for moving day

Preparedness is the key to a successful move. Starting early and staying on schedule will ensure that everything is ready to go by moving day. Below, you'll find a suggested moving timeline to help keep you on track.

Download this moving checklist to make sure nothing is forgotten on the big day.
Download the checklist

8 weeks prior: budget the move

The move might still seem far away with eight weeks to go, but it's time to start planning and making some important decisions.

Budget the move

First, you need an idea of how much the move is going to cost and how much you can afford. The biggest factor impacting the cost of your move will be whether you choose to hire movers or go the DIY route. Calculate the potential cost of packing supplies as well, including boxes, tape, bubble wrap, kraft paper, and wrap roll.

DIY moving considerations

Moving yourself can be a good way to save money, but you will need to round up enough helpers and vehicles to get it done. Make sure you can also take the time off work and that you are physically up for the job. Moving takes a lot of strength and stamina.

Some of the potential costs involved in a DIY move include:

  • Truck rental
  • Gas
  • Insurance
  • Equipment rental
  • Food and drink for helpers

How to find reliable movers

If hiring professional movers sounds like a better option for your needs, then take the time to find a reliable company. Look at reviews online and contact multiple movers for estimates. Be clear on what the quoted price includes and don't hesitate to ask questions.


6 weeks prior: start cleaning and pack seasonal items

With just over a month to go, now is the time to get to work on preparing your house for the move and getting your belongings organized.

Start cleaning

A clean and decluttered home will be a lot easier to pack up. Gather your cleaning supplies and begin by clearing out all of your closets and storage spaces. Create piles of items to throw away, recycle, donate, or sell. If you have enough things that you want to sell, you can even hold a yard sale and make a bit of extra money for the move.

Pack seasonal items

While it's too early to box up items you use every day, you can start packing away seasonal items such as out-of-season clothing and yard tools. If you're moving in the summer, then pack up your winter boots, jackets, accessories, and winter sporting gear. If you're moving in the winter, then you likely won't be needing sandals, shorts and tank tops, or any of your gardening supplies.


4 weeks prior: fill out address changes

At the four-weeks-to-go point, you can take a break from cleaning and packing to focus on some other aspects of the move and make sure everything will be ready for your new life in your new home.

Confirm moving day bookings

Whether you chose to hire professional movers or rent a truck, check that your bookings are confirmed and ready to go for moving day. If you hired movers, then arrange the specific dates and times you need them for.

Fill out address changes

For a smooth transition to your new home, change your address with any institutions or service providers that have it on file ahead of time. This includes your bank, your insurance provider, the Canada Revenue Agency, your internet provider, and any magazines you receive.

Transfer important records

Moving to a new area likely means you will be using new services. You'll have to transfer your children's academic records to their new school, your family's medical records to a new medical clinic, and your pet's health records to a new veterinary clinic.

Pro Tip

If you need new appliances for your new home, then it's best to start looking at least three to four weeks in advance. This will give you plenty of time to find the right ones and to place your order.

3 weeks prior: get packing room to room

With moving day fast approaching, the three-week mark is when you really want to get packing. The best strategy is to go from room to room, as this will help you keep everything labelled and organized, making it much easier to unpack in your new home.

Here are some important packing tips to keep in mind as you go:

  • Use brown kraft paper rather than newspaper when packing the kitchen to avoid having to wash everything after you unpack.
  • Keep all of your clothes on their hangers and pack them inside large garbage bags. Have the hooks sticking out so that you don't accidentally throw them away!
  • Pack boxes so that weight is evenly distributed (for example, don't put blankets on one side and books on the other) and so that heavier items are at the bottom.
  • Label all boxes (colour-coding them if needed), noting not only what room each box is from but also a detailed list of all of the contents inside as well.

2 weeks prior: make moving day arrangements

As you continue to pack with a couple of weeks left, you should also start looking ahead to moving day and make sure that everything is set to go as planned.

Make moving day arrangements

If you have children, pets, or plants, then you'll need to make special arrangements to have them looked after on moving day. Arrange for a babysitter if you need one and ensure your pets will have a safe place to go. Confirm that all of your moving helpers will still be coming as well and that everyone has the number to reach you.

Get rid of items you can't move with

If you hired professional movers, then note that moving companies will not accept hazardous items such as gasoline and propane tanks. Either use them up or dispose of these items in a safe manner.


1 week prior: finish packing and cleaning, and pack a bag of essentials

The final week before the move should be about putting the finishing touches on your packing and preparations.

Finish packing and cleaning

By now, most of your belongings should be in boxes that are ready to get taped up and loaded onto a truck. As you pack your remaining items, keep your vacuum handy to finish tidying up as well.

Some of our top tips for finalizing your packing include:

  • Shrink wrap your furniture and bubble wrap art and mirrors to protect it in the move.
  • Use painter's tape to mark different parts of your bed frame for easy assembly, and put hardware in a bag taped to the frame.
  • To save space in the moving truck or your trunk, fill drawers with boxes, cover them in a blanket and tie them securely closed.
  • If transporting your washer and dryer, fill them with towels so that the drum doesn't move.

Pack a bag of essentials

Keep one box or duffle bag of essentials with you so that you don't have to go searching through all of your boxes on the first night in your new home. Pack it with items such as toiletries, pyjamas, bed sheets, extra clothing, and any medications you need.


Day of the move: change the doorknob and the appliances if they don’t fit

On the day of the move, make sure you have all of the necessary moving supplies on-hand to keep everything going smoothly. This includes:

Change the doorknob

When you take possession of your new home, one of the first things you may want to do is change the doorknob on the exterior doors. This provides an added sense of security as you do not know who may still have the home's old keys. Check out our DIY guide to installing new handles or locksets on exterior doors.

If your appliances don't fit…

Sometimes, unfortunately, your old appliances might not be the best fit for your new kitchen or laundry room. In that case, you will have to change them. You can opt for new or used devices.

Suggested products

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