Bought a New Home? What’s Next? Here’s Your Moving Checklist

There are few things as exciting as signing the papers on your new home. But there are few things as stressful as moving – and you want to keep that stress as low as possible. Print out this checklist and post it next to your calendar, so you can check off each item as you knock it out. Soon you’ll be enjoying your new home and marvelling at how smooth the whole process was.

One Month Before You Move:

  • Decide whether you’re going to use a mover or try to rent a truck and get friends to help you. If you’re going to use a mover, go ahead and book the company.
  • Gather moving supplies (boxes, tape, newspaper, plastic packing bubbles, a Sharpie to mark the boxes, and so on).
  • Start going through your attic, garage and closets. If you haven’t used/worn something in six months (or maybe a year in case of seasonal items), consider donating it or selling it in a garage sale.
  • Do you have kids? Talk to the school about getting records transferred.
  • Visit the Canada Post website to arrange for mail forwarding. Get postcards that you can mail to notify every business that sends you mail (magazines, credit cards, insurance companies and other companies) of the change.
  • Set up telephone service at your new residence.
  • Contact your homeowner’s insurance company to make sure the policy gets transferred in a timely manner.
  • Do you have buckets of old paint, cans of old motor oil, or any sort of caustic cleaning chemicals? You can drop them off at the local branch of the Toxic Waste Centre.

Two to Four Weeks Before You Move:

  • Request records from your physician (s) and dentist. If you have pets, get their veterinary records as well.
  • Arrange for your existing utilities to be disconnected and for your new utilities to be connected. Remember that you are likely to need some overlap, so choose the date for disconnection and new service carefully.
  • If you haven’t done so already, make your travel arrangements for the move.

One to Two Weeks Before You Move:

  • Did you find your neighbour’s lawn mower in your garage? Time to return it, and any other stuff you borrowed. You’ll also want to get anything back that you lent to people.
  • Put together a closet of things that you will need when you’re cleaning up the house right before you move out. Put in some snacks for Moving Day, because you’ll be using a lot of energy.
  • Are you packing your own belongings? Start putting your things in boxes, and write the destination room on each box as you finish it. Start with guest bedrooms and the areas you use least, but don’t procrastinate the kitchen. It always takes more time than you think it will. Buy some paper plates, plastic cups and plastic silverware for use your last week in the house.
  • Do you subscribe to a newspaper? Do you have a local cleaning service or lawn service? Do you have a pest control contract? Remember to cancel all of these so you don’t get billed automatically after you move.

The Last Week Before Moving Day:

  • Take down any pre-installed shelving or other items you plan to take with you.
  • Pack a suitcase for the first night in your new place.
  • Pack a box with essentials for your first 72 hours in the new house and mark ‘DO NOT MOVE’ on the box. You’ll take this with you.
  • Clean the oven.
  • Mail in your address change forms.

The Last Day:

  • Go to the ATM or the bank and get the cash out that you will need during the move.
  • Empty the refrigerator, and clean it out. If it isn’t self-defrosting, you’ll want to defrost it.
  • Pack all of your personal belongings except what you will need the morning of Moving Day. Remember to leave an alarm clock out, or a charger for your cell phone so that you won’t still be asleep when the movers get there.

Moving Day:

  • Strip the beds you slept in and take them apart.
  • Do one more walk through, checking cabinets and closets.
  • Clean the place you are leaving thoroughly (or get a service to do it).
  • Do a walk through with the moving company to ensure that they get everything.

Get excited! You’re about to be in your new home!