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12 Tips to Help your Move Go Smoothly

moving day sofa

Summer is a popular season to move, not only because the weather is nice, but it’s also convenient for families as most kids are out of school, or headed off to university. This makes it an ideal time to transition to a new home and neighbourhood.

No matter the timing, moving can be an overwhelming experience. When I moved last summer, I found that being prepared really helped me stay organized and stress-free throughout the process. Here are some things I learned that I hope will help you as you prepare to move.

1. Plan how you’re going to move your belongings. If you’re thinking of using a friend’s van or pick-up truck, you’ll want to arrange this in advance. If you’re planning to rent a truck or use a moving service, start doing your research early, solicit referrals, and get quotes in writing. In either case, review your insurance coverage options both with the rental company and your personal insurance provider.

2. Gather moving supplies early. Estimate how many cardboard boxes you’ll need (then add 10 because it’s easy to underestimate how much stuff you have!) and start collecting them several weeks in advance. Check with local retail and grocery stores that may have some to give away.

open drawers

3. Use existing furniture and storage items to pack your belongings. Why not make use of all your suitcases, baskets, hampers, grocery bins, and coolers?  If you’re moving a whole chest of drawers, consider leaving all contents inside and taping the drawers shut.  If the chest can be moved while fully loaded, this will save you a lot of time and space from folding and packing items into new boxes – and then out again.

4. Prioritize your clothing by season. If moving in the summer, pack your winter items first since you know they won’t be needed any time soon. This includes all boots, jackets, and accessories. If you find yourself overwhelmed when you get to your new home, you can rest assured that some of the boxes won’t need to be unpacked right away.

5. Pack like-items together. Books, DVDs, CDs, and video games should be packed together as they’re similar in shape and size and will probably end up in the same place.

6. Keep your breakables safe. Place delicate items such as dishes and glassware in clothing, towels, or sheets in order to save on bubble wrap.

labelled moving boxes

7. Label by room. With a thick permanent maker, label all boxes with the contents and the name of the room that they will be going into at your new home. Make sure you label your boxes on the sides as they’ll likely be stacked on top of each other.

8. Create an “open first” kit. In a clear plastic bin, pack items that you’ll need right away (such as kitchen utensils, scissors, phone chargers, toiletries, and medications). The clear bin will stand out among all of the cardboard boxes so that you can easily find your essentials.

9. Purge what you don’t need. Use moving as an opportunity to get rid all the things you don’t need anymore.  Create a “keep” pile for the items you want and have to pack, a “donate” pile for gently-used items you don’t need, and a “toss” pile for items that have seen a better day. Recycle old magazines, but make sure any documents with personal information are shredded and disposed of appropriately.

Toys Donation

10. Get the kids involved. If you have children, allow them to take charge of packing their own things so they’ll feel like they have some control and gain confidence about the move. Review your packing tips and strategy with them and let them at it. Provide supervision, if and when necessary.

11. Book a sitter for smaller children and pets. If children are too young to help carry boxes or organize them, then both of you will be happier if they’re enjoying a day at Grandma’s.  Similarly, a moving zone is no place for a pet.

12. Be prepared for your movers (regardless if you know them). Make sure everything is organized, packed, labelled, and ready for your movers’ arrival so all they have to do is pick up and carry things.  Also be sure to have plenty of snacks and drinks available, especially on warm summer days.

Have any moving tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!