Countdown to a hassle-free move

It's never too soon to start planning. Start doing small stuff a couple of months before you move. If you continue to do a little bit every week, you'll be surprised at how smoothly everything will go when moving day arrives.

Eight weeks before
-  Contact your mover to make arrangements.
-  Remove items from your attic, basement, storage shed, etc.
-  Start to use up frozen foods and cleaning supplies. Don’t buy any more than is necessary before moving.
-  If you're moving to a new city, contact the Chamber of Commerce or tourism bureau in your new community for area info.


Six weeks before
-  If you're moving at an employer's request, verify what expenses and responsibilities are theirs and which are yours.
-  Contact your accountant to find out if any moving expenses are tax deductible.
-  Start an inventory of your stuff. What haven't you used in the last year? What can be sold or donated?
-  Make a list of everyone you need to notify about your move: friends, professionals, creditors, magazine subscriptions, etc.
-  Make arrangements for storage, if you're planning to store anything.
-  Ask schools, doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants for copies of your personal records. Get referrals.

Four weeks before
-  Get a change of address kit from the post office.
-  Contact utility and related companies for service disconnect/connect at both your old and new addresses.
-  Contact your insurance company to arrange for coverage in your new home.
-  Buy packing boxes and pack items that you won't need in the next month.
-  Have a garage sale or donate unneeded items to charity.

Three weeks before
-  Make travel arrangements and reservations.
-  Collect important papers (insurance, will, deeds, stock, etc.).
-  Arrange to close accounts in your local bank and open accounts in your new city.
-  Arrange to have your pets transported or boarded. Start preparing your plants for the move.
-  Get back any items you have lent (and give back any items you have borrowed). Pick up any items that are being repaired.
-  Dispose of flammable items such as paint, aerosol cans, and cleaning fluids.
-  Send change of address information to the post office and other businesses.

Two weeks before
-  Have your car checked and serviced for the trip.
-  If you're moving out of or into an apartment or condo, contact building management to book an elevator.
-  Contact your moving consultant to review and confirm all arrangements for your move.
-  Schedule a date for a service firm to disconnect and prepare the appliances you are moving.
-  Start packing non-essential items.
-  Arrange for a babysitter for moving day.
-  Start planning to disconnect utilities.
-  Draw up a floor plan for your new home and start planning your furniture arrangement. (It makes moving in twice as easy.)

One week before
-  Settle any outstanding bills with local merchants.
-  Don't forget to withdraw the contents of your safety deposit box, pick up dry cleaning, return library books and movie rentals, etc.
-  Drain garden hose, gas and oil from power equipment (lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc.)
-  Finish packing suitcases and basic essentials. Make sure valuable documents, currency, and jewellery are in a safe and easily accessible place. 
-  Take down items such as curtain rods, shelves, light fixtures, and mirrors that you are taking with you.
-  Dismantle large power tools, such as lathes and grinders. 
-  Make sure all your important papers, keys, medications, and plane tickets are available for the trip.

Two to three days before
-  Defrost your freezer and refrigerator. Don't forget to empty the defrost water pan. Block doors open so they can't accidentally close on pets or children.
-  Have your major appliances disconnected and prepared for the move.
-  Pack a box of personal items that you'll need right away at your new home. Load it last or put it in your car.
-  Call to confirm the arrival time of the moving van.

Packing day
-  Leave a clear workspace for the packers.
-  Identify fragile and valuable items, items you are taking with you, and items being left for the new owners.

Moving-out day
-  Plan to stay home until the moving van has left for any inquiries the van operator may have with respect to your shipment.
-  Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric, water).
-  Tour the house with the van operator during inventory.
-  Read your inventory and bill of lading carefully before you sign them. Keep these in a safe location until all charges have been paid and all claims, if any, have been settled. Confirm your new address and delivery date. Check destination contact phone numbers. 
-  Do a final check for overlooked items. Make certain windows and doors are locked, lights are turned off, utilities are discontinued or turned off, and the keys are transferred.

Moving-in day 
-  Try to get to your new home the day before the moving van arrives. Make sure the utilities are connected. Take another look to see if where you want your furniture to go is correct. 
-  When the mover arrives, check items unloaded against the inventory. Make arrangements for installation of appliances. Confirm unpacking requirements.