Planning for moving day

Planning for moving day checklist



Moving into a new home is an exciting time but it can also be stressful. Don’t despair. Whether you’re doing it yourself, asking friends for a little help or hiring professionals, here is your moving guide to help get you through it.

[spacer height=”20px”]Two Months Before

  • Sort and purge – Go through every room of your house and decide what you’d like to keep and what you can get rid of. Think about whether any items will require special packing or extra insurance coverage.
  • Start investigating moving company options. Consider whether you need an on-site estimate. Get an estimate in writing from each company. Choose your mover and confirm the arrangements.
  • Contact your children’s new school to arrange for enrollment and file transfer.
    Arrange now for any painting, repairs or renovations you hope to have completed before you move in.

Six Weeks Before

  • Buy boxes and other supplies such as packing tape, bubble wrap, and permanent markers. Don’t forget to order specialty containers, such as dish barrels or wardrobe boxes.
  • Start using up things that you don’t want to move, like frozen or perishable foods and cleaning supplies.
  • Take measurements of room dimensions at your new home – make sure larger pieces of furniture will fit through the door or down stairs.

One Month Before

  • Moving day arrangements: book the day off work; arrange for child care; board your pet.
    Start packing the things that you use most infrequently. While packing, note items of special value that might require additional insurance from your moving company.
  • On each box, with a large, permanent marker, write what room it should go in, and the main items in the box. Pack and label “essentials” boxes of items you’ll need right away.
  • Add items such as jewelry and important files to a safe box that you’ll personally transport to your new home. Make sure to put the mover’s estimate in this box, along with other important numbers. You’ll need them for reference on moving day.
  • Do a change of address with, either at a post office or online. If possible, ask a close neighbour to look out for mail after you’ve moved. Check in with them two weeks after the move, and again two weeks after that.
  • Alert the following of your move: banks, brokerage firms, doctor’s offices, your employer’s human resources department, magazine and newspapers, credit card, insurance, and utilities companies.
  • Arrange for home and property insurance at your new home.

Two weeks before

  • Ensure any painting, repairs or renovations are underway and will be completed by moving day.
  • If you’re changing banks, clean out your safety-deposit box and put them in the safe box that you’ll take with you on moving day.
  • Contact the moving company – reconfirm the arrangements.
  • Arrange for utilities and services (gas, electric, phone and cable) – most can be transferred or set up online. Arrange for service at least the day before moving day. Have them do a final reading of the gas, electric and water meters, and provide your new address so they can send final bill.
  • Pay any overdue bills, but also collect any refunds or utility deposits. Check to ensure there isn’t additional rental equipment such as: hot water tank, alarm systems, air conditioning units, and furnace just to name a few. Contact the company directly to transfer any rental agreements.

One Week Before

  • Aim to finish your general packing a few days before your moving date. Then pack suitcases for everyone in the family with enough clothes to wear for a few days.
  • Disassemble furniture or other items.

A Few Days Before

  • Contact the moving company – reconfirm the arrangements. Make sure they have your cell number.
  • Empty, defrost and clean refrigerator; clean the stove.

Moving Day

  • Take down curtains and curtain rods. Strip and dismantle beds.
  • Pack your personal belongings, clothes, jewelry and bedding. Transport these items yourself, along with your safe box (paperwork) and any other valuable or fragile items.
  • Collect all keys; keep them in a safe place.
  • Clean kitchen, bathroom and floors.
  • Final walk-through: check all closets and cabinets.
  • Make sure that the moving truck that shows up is from the company you hired. Before the movers leave, sign the bill /inventory list and keep a copy.

Week of Your Move

  • Check if there are garbage, blue and green bins at your new home. If not, contact your municipal waste management department. Ask about the pickup schedule – you may be able to find it online and download.

Printable version Planning for Moving Day checklist

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at