Unless you’re hopping from furnished apartment to furnished apartment moving is going to take planning, patience and planning. In that order. In an effort then to help you take the moving bull by the horns we’ve compiled a detailed moving checklist that you should print and keep handy.

2 Months Out

  • Take Stock and Purge Excess – Go through your home room by room and determine what’s going with you and what’s not. Divide the things that aren’t into the following categories: ‘yard sale’, ‘charitable donations’ and ‘trash’.
  • Research Moving Companies – Insist on site visits and written estimates. Before signing any contracts check them out with the BBB.
  • Keep records of everything – It’s a good idea to purchase a binder and use it to store all things move-related including your house moving checklist, receipts, written estimates and an inventory of all those items you think are going to need special attention.
  • Notify any Schools – If you have children and they’ll be transferring out of their current school district pay a visit to their current school and arrange to have their academic records transferred.

6 Weeks Out

  • Hold the Yard Sale – Sell as many things as possible. Ask friends and relatives if they’d like any of the remaining items. Whatever is left gets separated into ‘charitable donations’ or ‘trash’.
  • Toss all Unwanted Items – Self-explanatory. Do it and check if off your moving list.
  • Make a Trip to the Salvation Army – Or whatever happens to be your charity of choice. The Salvation Army provides a list of valuations for a slew of different items. Make sure you take note of them so you can claim the deductions at tax time.
  • Nail Down the Moving Company – Next on your moving checklist is deciding which moving company you’re going to use. Sign any necessary contracts. That contract should specify the date and time, ALL costs, manpower they’ll bring to the job and more.
  • Use up food inventories – Stop adding to your supply of perishable and frozen goods and start planning your meals around them so there’s little or nothing to toss on moving day.

One Month Out

  • Review – Before proceeding review the above entries on your moving checklist to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
  • Purchase Boxes Etc – The moving company may provide the moving supplies you’ll need. If not now’s the time to purchase boxes, bubble wrap, tape and such.
  • Start Packing – Little used things first. Note the value of every item and make sure you have coverage for any that are particularly valuable. This is the time to pack art objects as well.
  • Label Everything Clearly – That means also writing clearly on each box which room the item is going into in the new house.
  • Protect the Family Jewels – If you have valuable jewellery make sure it doesn’t get packed away with everything else. Keep it and any crucial documents with you in a strong box during the move.
  • File a Change of Address Notice – While the Post Office mostly delivers junk mail these days fill out a change of address form with them anyway since you just never know.
  • Notify Banks and Creditors – Now’s the time to review your ‘who to notify when moving’ checklist. That should include your bank or banks along with credit card companies, whoever is holding your car loan and all utility and insurance companies.

Two Weeks Out

  • Take Your Car in to be Checked – The last thing you want on moving day is car trouble. Take the car in two weeks before moving and make sure everything is hunky dory.
  • Take Moving Day Off – If moving day is a work day notify your place of employment you won’t be in that day.
  • Sweep the House Again – Make another pass through the entire house with your moving checklist in hand just as you did earlier to ensure there’s nothing you missed in the back of a closet or under a bed.
  • Clean up Loose Ends – Return any borrowed items and make sure you retrieve anything you lent out to the neighbours. This is particularly important if you’re moving out of state.
  • Keep an Eye on the Kids – While moving can be an adventure for kids it can also be nerve wracking for them. Keep an eye out for signs of anxiety and be ready to talk whenever they need to talk.

One Week Out

  • Review – Review all the above steps on your moving checklist once more before proceeding.
  • Pack a “Day One” Box – Put everything you’ll need as soon as you get into the new house including toiletries, towels and anything else you can think of.
  • Inform the Pharmacy – Visit your pharmacy to refill any necessary prescriptions and arrange to have prescriptions transferred to a pharmacy near your new home.
  • Spend Some Time With Your Neighbours – Make sure the special ones know how much they meant to you and make sure they have your new address and contact info.

The Day Before

  • Defrost the Fridge – If you’re taking it with you make sure defrosting the fridge is on your moving list and that it is clean and clear 24-48 hours prior to moving.
  • Call the Mover – Call the moving company and confirm their arrival time and staffing levels. Ask any questions that may have come to mind since you last spoke with them.
  • Withdraw Cash for Emergencies – There’s no substitute for having some cash on hand just in case. Even if there are no emergencies you’ll want some cash for food, refreshments and to tip the movers if they do a good job (i.e. nothing gets broken).

The Big Day

Final Walk Through – If there’s a landlord involved make sure you do the final walkthrough with them and your apartment moving checklist. Even if you owned the home take one final swing through with your house moving checklist to make sure nothing’s been left behind. Keep your moving contract handy and don’t let the strong box with your jewelry etc leave your sight. Check the mail box one last time, lock the door behind you and go start your new life.

Here’s a moving checklist from our American Partners. Simply change anything like the IRS to Canadian lingo:

Moving Checklist

Moving Checklist Lower Mainland