Everyone knows that we Canadians are good at a lot of things – producing maple syrup, being cold, playing hockey (most of the time), and being overbearing polite. Did you know that we also excel at moving? Well, maybe not all of us. That is why Action Moving & Storage are here to present our readers with an ultimate checklist for all Canadians looking to move house. By following this checklist, you can ensure that your raise yourself to the high standard set by Action’s master movers. With a bit of elbow grease and this handy guide, we can soon add moving to the list of things that Canadians are masters of.
Part 1 – The Pre-Move
- Start the proceedings by giving your current home a complete clean. If you are a renter, this is a great idea as, chances are, you want your damage deposit back in your pockets. If you are a homeowner who is looking to put your domicile up on the market, this will improve your chances of selling (and make a realtor happy).
- Organization is always key. If you have a large and complex move ahead of you, we strongly recommend that you save a file on your computer to store any estimates, checklists, or paperwork that will come in handy before, during, and after your move. Having a scanner handy is going to be of great use here – you can use it to scan paperwork that will otherwise encumber your move! Please respect mother Earth and remember to recycle the scraps.
- Take some time to measure and itemize any large pieces of furniture or appliances. This is going to be vital in the event that you are renting a moving truck – the fewer trips, the better.
- There is a good chance that you have possessions that are easily breakable or require extra care. Whether they are collections of fine china, AK-47s, or your child’s finger paintings, make sure they are marked appropriately and separated from the less important items. Make a mental note to purchase packing supplies that will preserve these precious objects.
- Moving is a close relative of Spring-cleaning. Do your best to downsize and get rid of objects that you no longer need. This is a great opportunity to donate to charity, or, at the very least, offload your junk to your close friends and family.
- When given the chance, go check out your new home, and bring a measuring tape along for the ride. Having accurate measurements will ensure that you are well prepared for the optimal placement of your furniture. Without this precaution, all of your interior design dreams may be dashed in an instant.
- In the event that you are downsizing, it may be worth your while to contact local storage companies so as to ensure you have a home-away-from-home for those items that are valuable enough to keep, but not valuable enough to be worthy to obtain a spot in your new space.
- Loved ones always come first. Make sure that your children are mentally and physically prepared for the transition. Rover and Boots (those are standard pet names, right?) may also need somewhere to stay during the proceedings. Making arrangements with kennels and daycares may prove to be lifesavers on moving day.
- No matter how dedicated you are to your work, it is probably a good idea to consider taking a day or two off to oversee your move. Fortunately, Canadian employers are obligated to give their staff flex time in order to permit such activities. The more warning you can give your boss, the more they will appreciate it.
Part 2 – Find Yourself A Reliable Moving Team
- If you are making the decision to place your move in the hands of a professional team…. Good on you! Have you ever heard of Action Moving & Storage? All jokes aside, there are a couple things to be wary of when picking a moving company that works best for you.
- Do they have moving insurance? Nothing could be worse than some clumsy movers dropping your grand piano, only for them to lack sufficient coverage for it.
- Does the estimate cover everything you need? How much time did they put into the estimate? If it is obvious that they are pumping these things out like no tomorrow, it may be a good idea to consider someone who is a little more thorough.
- The Internet is a wonderful place for reviews and feedback on the companies that you are considering – if previous customers have negative things to say about the business, you probably will as well.
- In a perfect world, the company that you choose is going to be ready at your door at the crack of dawn, eager to start the process. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. Because of this, always have a back-up plan handy. Whether this involves the help of another moving company, or just the elbow grease of some dedicated friends, make sure you are covered!
Part 3 – Supplies
- At this stage in the adventure, you have followed Part 1 to a tee, and have a complete grasp (and, ideally, a checklist) of exactly what you plan on moving. Now, it is time to move on to the next step – gathering supplies that will help make your move stress-free.
- If you are a normal human being, there is a good chance that you have some breakable items. This is where ‘soft packing’ techniques will come in handy. Bubble wrap, foam, and even blankets can be great materials to help ensure that your breakables remain, well, not broken.
- Who could forget about boxes? True moving experts are not those who run last minute to the grocery store to pick up banana boxes. Rather, they plan ahead and ensure they have sturdy plastic boxes or containers handy. Disclaimer: This is by no means intended as an attack on cardboard containers – they work great. Just make sure you don’t overstuff them, and also consider taping the seams to avoid mid-move disasters.
- One under-appreciated component of a mover’s kit is moving straps. These can make a world of difference when you are moving appliances. They are generally very affordable, and certainly preferable to shredding your fingers on a jagged metal stove component.
- One of man’s greatest inventions is the wheel. Take advantage of them by acquiring a dolly or cart to move big items.
- Ripping your old Batman posters off the walls of your former home may leave some marks. Plan ahead to take care of these by preparing plaster and paint. While you are at it, get some cleaning supplies ready for the rest of the house – brooms, mops, and bags are a good place to start.
Part 4 – The Part Where You Pack And Prepare
- Most of us don’t truly enjoy cleaning. If you are moving out of a rented home, you will want to ensure the place is as spotless as when you first settled in. If you are trying to sell the home, prospective buyers are probably not going to be too impressed by those mustard stains…. So get to work!
- If you have items that you plan on selling, take advantage of this de-constructive phase to snap some photos of them to post online.
- Marking your boxes is a key component of any successful move. Pro tip – label the boxes that carry items that correspond with specific rooms in your house.
- Pack yourself a survival kit. This should ideally contain some toiletry essentials, snacks, and possibly some first aid accoutrements. There is nothing worse than rummaging around mid move trying to find your toothbrush.
- Make sure you keep important documents such as passports and insurance papers in a clearly marked area. This is doubly important if you are moving into another country. Common sense always wins at the end of the day.
- An ancient wise man once said that a ‘fridge is a window to one’s soul’. If this is indeed the truth, make sure that your soul is nice and clean! Remember to empty everything out of it at least 24 hours prior to moving. You may want to put some cloths or rags in the bottom of it as well to account for moisture accumulation. Just like your soul, you’ll want to ensure that your fridge is empty on moving day.
Part 5 – Time To Get Your Bearings
- Moving is a process that will allow you to re-evaluate your needs. If you are open to change, it can promote some small alterations that will make your life better and easier. Take advantage of this time to explore new Internet providers, look at home security systems, and potentially cancel that magazine subscription that you have kept for some unknown reason.
- There are quite a few stakeholders that you should inform of your move: your children’s school, doctor, dentist, librarian, veterinarian, bank, investment broker, employer, and the government are the most common. While there are a lot of groups that should be informed of the changes, you can start the proceedings by looking through emails, mail, and your wallet – clues regarding who to update will be contained within!
- Let Canada Post know of your new move. They do have an option for ‘Mail Forwarding’ that can be quite handy and will ideally save you trips back to your old place to pick up your bills and out-dated newspapers.
- See what your new neighbourhood has to offer! If you are a gym-goer, it’s time to find a new place to hit the treadmill. The most wise movers are those who check out local grocery stores, libraries, and shopping areas prior to picking their new home.
Part 6 – The Little Things
It can be too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of determining exactly how you are going to get that couch through your kitchen door. This extreme focus may lead to you neglecting some of the little things. Consider the following:
- Leave your keys with your landlord (if you are renting).
- Keep a supply of snacks and drinks (preferably water, save the rum and cokes for afterwards) handy. Moving is appetite inducing work.
- Make sure you have a designated area at both of your homes where you can park your moving truck.
- Remember that book you took out from the library months ago, but never opened? Yup, probably time to return it.
Part 7 – The Part Where You Actually Move
- The big day has arrived! You’ve made it this far, now it is time to see all of that preparation pay off. Start your day off right by beginning your moving adventure early in the morning (but not too early). Coffee may be mandatory.
- Renters should always take make a mental note to return their keys to their landlord. Doing this promptly shows goodwill, which can translate into a good reference in the future.
- Moving is not something you want to stress about (too much) on the day of. Drink some tea, take a couple deep breaths, and possibly consider doing a little exercise to unwind and alleviate your anxiety.
Part 8 – Some Final Notes
- We do not generally recommend taking your sweet time unpacking. While it may seem like a good idea to take a rest after moving everything, it can be too easy to procrastinate. The next thing you know, it’s Thanksgiving a year later and you are scrambling to put away boxes that have been serving as footrests in your living room.
- If you are considering painting the walls of your new home, plan strategically and try to do this prior to unpacking. The ideal situation is one where you are able to complete your painting project prior to moving at all.
With hundreds of thousands of cumulative hours moving under our belts, we here at Action Moving & Storage consider ourselves pretty well versed in the fascinating world of moving house. Although this list may be fairly extensive, our talented team holds on to a veritable treasure trove of knowledge that we are happy to share with our clients. Give us a call and let’s chat about how we can make your move easier!