Moving made easier

Moving can be incredibly stressful, but with the right approach, you can do a lot to make it as simple and efficient as possible.


Three months out

  • Clean up
    This is a great time to start looking in your closets, storage, basement and attic to see what’s worth taking with you. Cull clothing and footwear, sort through holiday decorations, and comb through bookshelves to determine what can be donated, disposed of, or properly recycled. This is the time to be ruthless. If something has been stored for a while, chances are you won’t miss it. Clear out everything that you’re not taking with you well before the move so that you have a better idea of what you’re dealing with. Many organizations will pick up donations, so take advantage of the time you have to schedule a pick up now.
  • Choose a mover
    If you plan to hire movers, this is a great time to start asking for recommendations and vetting companies online. This is a service you want to book well in advance, especially if you’re planning a move in the peak season between April and September. Find out how the company will manage your move and protect your property. Make sure the mover carries professional civil liability coverage. Ask for a copy of the policy or, at the very least, the insurance provider’s name and policy number so you can check the coverage yourself.


Two months out

  • Start packing
    Now that you’ve sorted the contents of your home, start packing things you won’t be using before the move, like out-of-season clothing, books, non-essential kitchen appliances, art, etc. If possible, designate an area of the house where things can be stored and make sure you label the boxes well. You can mark each box with its contents, or where it should be dropped off in your new home - or both.

    It’s best to avoid buying anything new at this stage, but do start looking for boxes. Liquor stores are a great source and are usually happy to give them away. Keep maneuverability in mind - bigger doesn’t always mean better. Small, compact boxes are best for books, knick-knacks and fragile items. Big boxes are great for transporting things on a dolly - like bags of clothes and oddly shaped items.
  • Change your address
    Canada Post recommends registering an address change four to six weeks before moving. Take this time to compile a list of all other institutions you’ll need to notify such as your bank, credit card company, doctor, workplace, government agencies, insurance broker or insurance company, your children’s school, and friends and family.


One month out

  • Notify utility providers of your upcoming move two to three weeks ahead of time. Some providers like cable and internet may require a specialist to attend your home to connect your service. Schedule an appointment in advance so that you get a date soon after you move in to your new home.
  • Pack everything but the essentials - leave a few clothes and linens out, a small number of dishes and cutlery, and toiletries. Imagine that you’re on a long holiday at an AirBnB - the small inconvenience of not having access to everything you’re used to will pay dividends on moving day.
  • Plan your cooking so that you use up your supplies to a minimum to avoid carrying heavy boxes of canned food or frozen meat.                                                                                                   
  • Arrange babysitting and pet-sitting as necessary.


One week out

  • At this point, your home should be pretty bare. It’s a good time to start on some deep cleaning including your fridge, stove and windows. Wash your clothes as frequently as necessary to avoid moving with dirty laundry
  • Patch holes, touch up paint and make a list of chores you’ll need to complete before handing off the keys.                                                                                                                                               
  • Make a plan for transporting important documents and high-value items like electronics and jewelry.                                                                                                                                                         
  • Confirm timing with your moving company and/or people helping you move. If friends and family are helping out, now is a good time to create a group chat.


Moving day eve

  • Put together your day-of box of easily accessible essentials such as toilet paper, cutlery, paper plates, toothbrushes, water bottles, phone chargers, etc. A clear plastic tote is a great choice.
  • Clean as much as possible to limit your moving activities to just a few areas of the home. Dust, vacuum and mop empty rooms in advance so you don’t have to do a top-to-bottom clean after a long day of moving.


Moving day

  • If possible, split moving supervision duties with your partner or a friend. This way, one person can oversee the loading, and the other can oversee the unloading. Once the truck is loaded, do a last walk through to ensure nothing is left behind.
  • If using movers, inspect your belongings for damage once everything is unloaded. Make sure you take advantage of the extra hands to move heavy items into the right rooms in the house.
  • If you have it in you, get a jump on unpacking at your new home - but only after a well-earned celebratory break for food and drinks with your helpers.



Canada Post – Moving checklist

Government of Canada – Moving advice





The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice. Aviva and the Aviva logo are trademarks of Aviva plc. and are used under licence by Aviva Canada Inc. and its subsidiary companies.