Moving: Preparation

A comprehensive guide to getting you into your new home smoothly

Hiring a Mover

When your friends and family know that you are planning your move, they will probably recommend moving companies to you, and Jamie will do the same.  There are also no shortage of moving companies advertising everywhere from telephone poles to the Internet!  You won’t have trouble finding a mover; the key is to ask the mover some key questions:

  • Do you have references?
  • Can I have a written estimate and outline of fees?
  • Will you visit my home and see what has to be moved, before giving such an estimate?
  • Do you charge a flat rate or hourly fee?

You will want to ensure that your precious possessions are insured during the move. Your home or property insurance may already cover goods in transit; just call your broker or insurance company to be sure you are fully covered.  Many moving companies also offer insurance coverage, but typically, professional movers will not be held responsible for items such as jewelery, money, or important papers.  It’s best to move these yourself to keep them safe.

Box by Hudson Gardner
Box by Hudson Gardner

Costs Associated With Moving

The amount you spend on your actual move depends on your moving choices.  Here are some things to think about:

  • Do you need to hire professional movers or are you moving from an apartment, without too many possessions to worry about?
  • Will you hire a large company, or a smaller local moving company?
  • If you plan to move yourself, will you rent a vehicle?
  • Will you be paying for moving supplies such as boxes, bubble wrap and tape, or can you obtain these items at low or no cost?

There are also other costs associated with moving, apart from the move itself:

  • Changing the exterior door locks for security
  • Professional cleaning if needed, for both your old home and your new home

Moving Considerations & Tricks of the Trade

  • Weekends and holiday long weekends are busy times for movers and truck rental companies. Book far in advance (at least 2 to 3 months) to ensure you get a moving truck for the day you need to move.
  • Always have a second date ready if the weather doesn’t allow you to move on that specific date.  Get a second date from the movers and see if you can book that date as well just in case, and find out if there are any costs involved.
  • Think about holding a garage sale, putting furniture items on craigslist under the Free section, or making donations to a charity, to get rid of unwanted baggage
  • Make travel arrangements for your animals, or, if you have to give up animals, make arrangements with the local SPCA.
  • Make sure that you store any important documents in a safe place, like your bills and passports.  Let these documents travel with you, instead of in a box hidden somewhere on the truck
  • Arrange for more help than you need, because you will need more help than you think!  Hold a ‘packing party’ and invite all your friends over for pizza and packing.  If moving yourself, ask lots of friends to help on moving day; some probably won’t show up, and others might not last the whole day, so it’s best to overestimate the amount of people you will need.
  • Register your child(ren) at the schools they will be attending, if moving out of your current school district.
  • Change your address with banks, utility companies, doctors, and the many other institutions that rely on the mail address to contact you.  You can fill out a change of address online or in person at Canada Post which will ensure that your mail is also forwarded for a set period of months – buying you some time to complete all the change of address forms with each individual company.
  • Make sure that your utilities are enabled at your new place. This includes telephone, gas and cable TV.
  • Consider donating your plants to friends and family, or plant them back into the garden if possible, rather than travelling with them.
  • Make sure that your Internet is disconnected and your computer is in a safe place, and back up your hard drive.
  • Drain the fuel out of your lawnmowers and edgers before you move them. Try and avoid moving any other chemicals in the truck as well. Get rid of them if possible; the City of Toronto website has tips for safe disposal of hazardous materials.
  • Change subscriptions to magazines and newspapers so they are delivered to your new address.
  • If you will be changing gyms or rec centres, ensure your locker is cleaned out and they key has been returned.
  • When packing, mark all boxes that contain fragile items, and also put instructions on the boxes as needed, outlining which room the contents belong in.
  • Keep a box with essentials, such as toothbrushes, bathroom tissue, medications, soap, and even a kettle, easily accessible for your first night in your new home.
  • When you get to your new place, after looking after the immediate needs of pets and children, make sure that you prepare your bedroom next – as you will definitely want to relax later on!

Packing Timeline

There is so much to think about with a move!  Jamie has organized some packing tips that you might not have thought of, by date – so you’ll not only know what to do, but when to do it all.

2 Months Before Moving Day:
  • Go through your home room by room and determine what you want to keep and what you want to throw out or donate.
  • Make a list of items in your home that need extra attention while moving or special packing instructions (i.e. computers, televisions, fine china, etc.)
  • Order boxes and moving supplies or begin collecting these items from grocery stores.  The LCBO is a great source for free, strong boxes!
1 Month Before Moving Day:
  • To make packing easier, begin with the items in your home you do not use regularly.
  • As you pack, make note of items of significant value, such as stereo systems, flat screen televisions and computer equipment.  Depending on your insurance agreement, you will need to declare items of value in case items are lost or damaged.
2 Weeks Before Moving Day:
  • Confirm your reservations with your movers or truck rental company.
1 Week Before Moving Day:
  • Most of your packing should be done by now!
A Few Days Before Moving Day:
  • Re-confirm arrival time of your moving truck.  If moving yourself, re-confirm your reservations with the truck rental company.
  • Prepare a detailed map and directions for your movers including a cell phone number you can be reached at on moving day.
  • If you are moving yourself, start dismantling beds and other large furniture.

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