As Canadians, we tend to move a lot. Statistics show that homeowners in the Canada sell their homes and move, on average, every five to seven years. That’s a lot of moving, and it can be a stressful time for anyone. But by preparing for your next move, you can reduce the stress involved and simplify the entire process.
Here are some tips on how to do that:
1. Gather the Right Materials
Some moving companies will come and pack up your belongings, if you pay for that service. But if you’ll be doing your own packing, you will need to gather the following supplies at a minimum:
Black markers for labeling
Newspaper or newsprint for cushioning
Moving blankets (for high-value furniture items, mirrors, etc.)
A pocketknife or box cutter (they always come in handy)
Plastic storage bins (Rubbermaid, Sterilite, etc.)
* Check Craigslist for free moving boxes. People often give them away for free after they complete a move, just to get rid of them. Check with your local supermarket to see if they have any. You can also buy boxes (including specialty items like wardrobe boxes) from your nearest U-haul rental place.
2. Get Rid of Items You Aren’t Taking
A garage sale is one of the best things you can do before moving. It’s a way to purge your home of unwanted items you don’t plan to take with you. You can also donate unwanted items to your local Goodwill drop-off. Do this early — the sooner the better. It will make the packing process much easier.
3. Label Boxes Appropriately
Some people think they can remember which items are in which boxes after completing a move. Those people are wrong. It’s nearly impossible. On the outside, a box is a box. So you should label each box with its contents, being as specific and thorough as possible. It’s also a good idea to put the room in big letters at the top (kitchen, master bedroom, etc.). That way, you or your movers will know where to put things on move-in day. This makes unpacking much easier.
4. Back Up Computer Files
Before shutting down and packing up your computer, it’s a good idea to back up your files. In the unfortunate event that your computer gets damaged during transit, you would at least have all of your important files.
5. Make Use of Luggage Items
Don’t just throw those suitcases into the car or moving truck empty. Fill them with as many clothes as you possibly can. The same goes for duffel bags and other luggage items you might have. It will save space and reduce the number of trips when loading and unloading.
6. Segment Your Most Needed Items
Make a list of things you’ll need during your move — clothes, toiletries, medications, pet foods, etc. Pack these items separately into an “Open First” box (if you’re only moving locally). If you’re moving long distance, keep these items with you (as opposed to putting them onto the moving truck).
7. Choose a Reputable Mover
When researching moving companies, ask friends or family if they can refer a mover they’ve used in the past. Check to see if the mover is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Look them up on Yelp.com. Ask the moving company if they have any complaints filed against them, or just check their BBB record online. Google the company’s name to see what you can find.
8. Conduct a Room-by-Room Check
Before leaving the home, give each room a final once-over for forgotten items. This is especially important for out-of-the-way areas like basements, tool sheds, attics, etc.
9. Unpack in Room-by-Room Fashion
Before you begin unpacking in your new home, be sure to move all of the boxes to their destination rooms (kitchen, master bedroom, etc.). You did label those boxes, right? Properly positioning boxes prior to unpacking will reduce confusion as well as clutter.