Moving Checklist

Moving is a task that most people don’t find enjoyable, but if you plan ahead and feel 100% prepared when moving day comes around, chances are it will feel a lot less stressful. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite moving, packing and organizing tips and tricks from around the web to help you on your way!

Check out these tips from Martha Stewart Living, April 2008:

6 Weeks Before

Hire a Mover

Ask friends for recommendations and get quotes from three licensed companies. On-site estimates tend to be more accurate, whether pricing is by weight and distance or a flat or hourly rate. Decide if the movers or you will pack (regardless, you may want to wrap fragile or costly items yourself). Ask if the quote is binding or nonbinding, what charges could arise and what insurance is included. If necessary, contact your insurance company for additional coverage. Request a copy of the signed contract.

Stay Organized

Dedicate a three-ring binder to move-related paperwork, such as to-do lists, contracts, receipts, checklists and phone numbers.

5 Weeks Before

Organize Your Belongings

Conduct a room-by-room survey to determine what you plan to keep, sell and donate.

Document Valuables

Have items such as artwork and antiques appraised in case they get damaged. Photograph or videotape them and upload the images to your computer. Also save them to a CD and store it with your small valuables (see "1 Week Before," below).

Moving and all its attendant chores, may be inevitable. But the accompanying sense of chaos, while common, isn't necessary. This schedule outlines essential tasks, both large and small, that need to be addressed and allows several weeks for you to tend to the details (although everything can be accomplished in far less time). As you prepare, don't overlook the simplest way to ease your burden: Consider which belongings you really need to keep. A lighter load means not only an easier move, but less to unpack.

4 Weeks Before

Gather Materials

Stock up on moving supplies including boxes, box cutters, tape (packing, masking and blue painters), tape dispensers, wrapping material (bubble, plastic and tissue paper) and labels (see Packing Strategies below). If in doubt, purchase extra; you can return any unused products. Wardrobe boxes, with built-in bars for hangers, can transport clothing as well as light fixtures. Used boxes from bookstores, which are built to carry compact but heavy loads, are excellent for most other items.

3 Weeks Before

Start Packing

Box infrequently used items, including the contents of the garage, the attic and other storage areas, as well as out-of-season clothing, holiday decorations, books and special-occasion dishware. Number the boxes and keep track of the contents on a master inventory list. Try to limit each box's weight to enable easy lifting. Fill large boxes with pillows and other light things and reserve smaller boxes for your heavier possessions. Always reinforce the bottoms with packing tape. Secure fragile objects with cushioned packaging material and painters' tape, which releases easily. Pack electronics and small appliances in their original packaging or in snugly fitting boxes.

Color-Code Rooms

Assign a color to each room and mark boxes and furniture (be mindful of delicate surfaces) with coordinating stickers to ensure the movers will know at a glance where everything should go.

Notify Utility Services

Request that your utilities and phone and Internet service be disconnected the day after you leave and installed in your new home the day before you arrive.

Call a Locksmith

Arrange to have the locks in your new home changed on moving day, or earlier if convenient.

Hire a Cleaning Company

Consider having housekeepers scrub both of the spaces -- so you don't have to -- preparing the new house in the morning before you arrive and tidying up the old one after you have left.

2 Weeks Before

Continue Packing

Before you pack the bulk of your belongings, think about whether you'd like to do so by room, by category (such as sports equipment and formal dinnerware), or by another system that works for you.

Change Your Address

To have your mail forwarded, complete a change-of-address form online or at the post office. Update newspaper and magazine subscriptions and notify banks and credit card companies.

1 Week Before

Prepare Your Moving Papers

Print an information sheet for the movers with the old and new addresses, directions and your cell phone number. Have a cashier's check or a credit card (if accepted) on hand, plus cash for a tip.

Finish Packing

Box your remaining items, setting aside sufficient clothing for the week ahead, as well as a suitcase or two to transport it.

Create a Last-Out, First-In Box

Pack your day-to-day necessities so that they're together in one place, including bedding, towels, toiletries, toilet paper, basic tools, cleaning supplies, medications, a camera (to document anything broken in transit), snacks, a few dishes and utensils and a coffeepot -- plus coffee and mugs. Take the box with you in your car.

Stash Small Valuables

Keep jewelry and important paperwork together. Have a friend hold on to them until you get settled, or lock them in the trunk of your car on moving day.

Moving Day

Moving day can be a stressful time. The key to keeping calm under pressure is being organized and prepared for the chaos that will likely ensue. Following are a few reminders for how to handle the big day with ease.

1. Be on hand when the movers arrive. If you can’t remain personally, authorize someone to take your place and give the mover his/her name. Give this person a list of duties and make sure they understand exactly what to do.

2. Keep children and pets on their daily routine as much as possible and out of the way of the movers and the moving van.

3. Identify the project manager within the group of movers and accompany them through the house as he or she inspects and tags each piece of furniture with an identifying number. These numbers, along with a description of your goods and their condition at the time of loading will appear on the inventory. NOW is the time to come to an agreement with them as to the condition of your furniture.

4. Make movers aware of which items are to be loaded in the van and point out prized or delicate articles.

5. Advise the movers of any items you wish to have as soon as you arrive at your new home – immediate necessities like a baby’s playpen and crib, for example.

6. Make a final tour of the premises with the van operator to be sure that all items have been loaded.

7. Before signing the combination bill of lading and freight bill, check the details. This document states the terms and conditions under which your goods are moved and in your receipt for your goods. Make certain that your Declared Valuation – in the proper amount – is listed on the bill of lading.

8. Leave the house as agreed upon with the new occupants of the house regarding utilities, heating etc.

9. If this is a long distance move, two or three days in advance of reaching your destination, it is advisable to telephone to the mover to check on the progress of your shipment. Bear in mind that delivery can be on or before the agreed upon delivery date.