Six to Eight Weeks Before

Organization is the key for a smooth move and this is the time to start working on the details of your move. Decide what items you wish to transport to your new home and what you may want to dispose of. If you decide to dispose of items that you don’t need you should either donate them to a charity or consider having a garage sale. Contact a local charity or pick a date at least two weeks before the moving date for the garage sale. Advertise the garage sale locally. Team up with your neighbors who may want to sell some of their old belongings and plan a large neighborhood “sale”.

Boxes Start collecting suitable moving and packing supplies if you plan to do your own packing or partial packing. You can purchase all these materials from any van line agent or a moving supply company. All boxes that you purchase from a van line agent or a moving supply company are specially designed for the moving industry to prevent any damages to your belongings. Getting boxes from other sources may create some difficulties when packed in the van. These boxes may be unusually sized and may not be strong enough to prevent damages to items packed inside.

Think about your new home layout and start thinking about where you’ll place the furniture. Create a floor plan of your new home and this will help reduce the stress of making decisions when your furniture arrives at your new home.

Plan on taking all important documents, such as wills, stock certificates, and other one of a kind items (jewelry, coin collection, photos etc.) with you. Place the items in one easily identifiable and easy to locate folder. All medical and dental records should be placed in a safe and accessible place. Be sure to include prescription and vaccination records. Contact your insurance agent to transfer medical, property, fire and auto insurance. Notify schools in your old and new location and arrange for the transfer of school records and begin the process of registering in new schools.

Get familiar with your new community. Request information from the local Chamber of Commerce on schools, community programs, parks and recreation facilities.

All travel arrangements (hotel, flights, car rental, etc.) for your family should be made at this time. Try to keep your plan as flexible as possible to accommodate any schedule changes or delays.

Other To Do items:

  • Finalize all real estate and rental needs.
  • Check with your movers to ensure your move is scheduled.
  • Return Things you have borrowed from friends, family and neighbours.

Four to Five Weeks Before

Contact or visit your local Post Office to obtain a Change of Address form. You can also obtain this form online at the Canada Post website by visiting

You can make copies of this change of address form or make up your own change of address notice to give to the following people and businesses:

  • Friends and family
  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Credit card companies
  • Doctors, dentists and any other service providers
  • Clubs or Associations
  • Magazine and Newspaper subscriptions

This is a good time to take a look at what you own, and decide what must go and what can be left behind. All items such as old books, magazines, broken items and old toys can be left behind. Remember, adding more weight to your shipment will cost you more money.

Ask your mover further details about handling unusual and delicate items and begin preparing those items that are not frequently used.

Get your kids involved in the moving process. Allow your kids to do some supervised packing. Let them suggest a layout for their new room. Make it fun and exciting for them to move.

Contact utility providers at new and old locations with your moving date to make arrangements for connection and disconnection.

Complete banking arrangements in old and new location and transfer any funds to your new bank if necessary.

If you are moving out of Province, you may want to check requirements for driver licensing and and vehicle registration in your new Province.

Three Weeks Before

Notify your moving agent if there are any changes in the dates of your move. If you will need any additional services such as piano moving, packing and unpacking, or storage you should ask your moving agent for pricing information. Also let the moving agent know if you have made any additions to or subtractions from the original list of items outlined in your quote.

Decide how much packing you will handle yourself. You should inform your moving agent of any items that you have decided to let them pack for you.

If you have decided to move your vehicle with the moving agent or a car carrier, you should make your final reservation for a car pick up at this time.

Consider giving your houseplants to friends, family or charity if you are moving from one Province to another.

Make transportation arrangements for your pets. Take your pets to the Vet to ensure proper up to date health certificates and rabies inoculations. Ask your Vet for advice if you have any concerns about how well your pet will travel.

You will need to carry all valuable jewelry with you. If you have any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving.

Return any borrowed items such as library books. Also collect all items that are being repaired, stored, or cleaned (clothing, furs, shoes etc.)

If you are moving to a building with an elevator make sure the elevator will be available on your intended day and time of arrival at your destination.

Two Weeks Before

Transfer all prescriptions to a drugstore in your new city.

Clear out your safety deposit box.

Disconnect and disassemble your computer system before your move. Back up all your computer files on a disk. Consider taking all back up files and disks with you in the car or whatever mode of transportation you will be using to get to your new home. Remember, exposure to extreme temperatures can damage your software.

Make final packing decisions. Clean and clear your home including closets, basement and attic.

Dispose of items that represent a hazard and are not allowed to be shipped. Ask your moving agent for a list of items they will not ship.

Tape and seal all cleaning fluids that are non-toxic and non-flammable in plastic bags.

Drain your lawn mower, snow blower and power tools of all the oil and gasoline to ensure safe transportation.

Schedule appliance disconnection and preparation with a service provider.

If you will require temporary or additional storage, ask your moving agent about storage options.

Have your vehicle serviced and cleaned if you plan to travel by car.

Cancel newspapers and other regular deliveries.

Clean out gym and school lockers.

One Week Before

Separate any items you’ll be taking with you from those that your moving agent will be handling, and mark your boxes with “Fragile”, “Do Not Load” and “Load Last” stickers.

Make sure you haven’t overlooked anything in the house including minor repairs and make sure that any chattels included in your buyer’s offer are in good condition.

Settle any outstanding bills with local merchants, return videos and library books.

Give your kitchen appliances a final cleaning – if you are leaving them behind, place a box of baking soda inside once they’re emptied to clear out any lingering odors.

Mow your lawn and weed the gardens one last time before your move, and sweep out the shed/garage.

Prepare items you will need while your belongings are in transit. Pack your suitcases and confirm travel arrangements for you and your family. Try to keep plans as flexible as possible in the event of unexpected delays or schedule changes.

Make sure your your REALTOR knows your new contact information. You should also provide an address and phone number of where you can be reached until you will get to your new home.

Make payment arrangements with your moving agent, and verify insurance for your shipment.

Gather keys, alarm codes, garage door openers and make arrangements to give them to your REALTOR or Lawyer.

If your house will be vacant for a period of time while sale arrangements are finalized, notify a local security company and have them keep an eye on the house.

Moving Day!

Clean your house as much as you can before the moving van arrives. Search every room, closet and around the house before the moving van arrives for any forgotten items.

Work with the movers and be on hand when the movers arrive. If you are not able to be present while the movers are there, designate a friend or family member to help out and make decisions in your absence. Let your moving agent know to whom you have given the authority. Be sure that your chosen representative knows the details of the moving plans and quote, as they may be asked to sign for charges.

Provide your moving agent with your new phone number and all other phone numbers where you can be reached while shipment is in transit. Make sure to take along the destination agent’s name, address and telephone number.

Provide the van driver with clear directions to your new home.

Review all paper work and details when the van operator arrives. Accompany the driver as he or she inspects each piece of furniture with tags of identifying number. These numbers along with a detailed description of your goods at the time of loading will appear on the inventory.

Stay home until the last item is packed into the van. Make a final inspection before the van operator leaves. Check the mover’s inventory and make sure you agree with any notations about the condition of your furnishings. Take pictures if necessary. Leave your phone connected throughout moving day. After the movers leave, pack your phone in one of your suitcases for easy access when you arrive to your new home.

After the Move

Locate your local post office, police station, fire station and hospitals as well as gas stations near your home.

Get familiar with your neighborhood shopping areas. You may need housewares, tools or other items for your new home unexpectedly.

Call the department of sanitation in your new home to find out which day the trash is collected and what type of recycling programs are available in your community.

Find new service providers – pharmacist, dry-cleaners, housekeeping, cable television etc., if you have not already done so.

Contact your local Ministry of Transportation office if you have moved to a different Province to renew your driver’s license and register your vehicle.

Provide your new doctor and dentist with your medical history.

Transfer insurance policies to your new agent. You may also wish to make a detailed list of your belongings, their value, and your coverage.

Obtain local library cards, video rental accounts etc.

Register to vote in your new city.