Keep this handy list for when it's time to move! You can add this page to your favourites list, print it out, or download the PDF file.
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Obtain change of address forms from the post office - fill them out in advance so they can be mailed when necessary.
Co-ordinate the connection of electricity, telephones, gas and water. Take readings on the day the home is vacated.
Book your moving company or rental truck early. Which ever route you wish to take, several factors will effect your decision, for example: a) the distance of the move; b) the quantity of the items you are moving; c) the amount of money you can afford to spend; and d) the other resources you have in terms of manpower and time.
The easiest option is to have the moving company do it all - pack it, move it, unpack. But you do have alternatives. You may choose to use a moving company, but opt to pack the items yourself to save money. Keep in mind that many companies will not insure items that they have not packed themselves. Also, they have the material and experience to pack things properly. Contact several moving services and get cost estimate for a wide range of services. Get your estimates in writing.
Once you decided how to move, you now need to work on what to move. The more you can bear to throw out, the less you will have to move, and this can bring down your costs substantially. Be selective about what you really need to keep.
If you are packing yourself, you need proper packing materials, sturdy boxes, packing tape, twine, bubble wrap etc. These are usually cheaper at a store other than from the moving company. There are different types of boxes for different items (ie. Smaller, sturdy boxes for books, large square boxes for clothes, art boxes for wall hangings). If you do pack for yourself, you may still want to get movers to pack items like televisions, computers, furniture and glass table tops.
Pack the items you need least first. Label each box and indicate the room in which it should be placed. This will save you the task of moving boxes from room to room. You should decide well in advance where you want heavy furnishings to be placed in the new home. It will be easier on you to have the movers place them in the desired spot. Be specific about box contents and room placement to avoid extra moving after the movers have left.
Boxes that should be unpacked immediately, like medical supplies, perishables, linens etc., should be marked as "OPEN FIRST" and put in an accessible area together. Don't forget to pack a cooler with cold drinks and some snacks. It will be a long day and this will be a lifesaver. Valuables and important documents should be put into a safe place and should travel with you. Pack a tool kit and light cleaning supplies to be available at all times.
Appliances like washers and dryers, refrigerators and yard equipment, will require specific preparation for a move. Water or gasoline should be drained and moveable parts secured. Find your care manuals, or contact the manufacturers or dealer for instructions. If leaving the appliances for the new owners, leave the manuals for each appliance piece, if possible. Ensure all water is drained from the garden hoses. Inquire about the transfer of BBQ propane tanks; this item is usually not allowed in the move of your household goods.
If this is a long distance move, houseplants don't generally travel will. You may also not have time to care for them and they may not adapt to the climate. Check with your moving company. Will they move preserves, plants and other perishables? Does this company ensure safe transfer?
Leave a list of emergency numbers for the new owner or a trusted neighbor, as well as your new address in case they need to forward mail or messages.
Make sure the movers have accurate directions to your new home with the correct address. Obtain their cell phone number or that of the company in order to stay in contact with the movers, if needed, during the moving process. Be at the new location to direct where everything is to be placed. Check off your written inventory list as boxes are unloaded.
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