Your Complete Moving Checklist

November 28, 2022

Your Complete Moving Checklist - Featured Image

You’ve found your perfect home in the right location, navigated the home-buying journey successfully and now all that’s left is the big moving day itself!  To help make your move as smooth as possible, we’ve compiled a handy moving checklist of things to do before, during and after your big day.

With careful planning, organizing and some packing tips (and maybe a little bit of help from friends or professional movers) you’ll be sitting pretty in your new home before you know it. You might even save some money along the way!

So… what exactly do you need to do to get prepared for moving day? 

In this guide, we’ll take a thorough look at which tasks need to be completed before, during and after your big moving day. To make things easier, we’ve broken down our checklist into bite-sized chunks for every stage of your move so you can better focus on each task at hand.

If you’d like to download a PDF of this checklist to take with you to keep handy for reference, simply fill out the form below and we’ll send it to your inbox:

Related article: A Checklist For Moving Into Your Newly Built Home

Two Months Before Your Move

  • First things first – create a ‘moving folder’ to keep all your important documents in. Print out this list and add it to the folder, as well as any receipts, contact information, estimates from moving companies and anything else that you think might be relevant. 
  • Once you have a place to keep your documents, start researching movers and moving truck rental companies and get some quotes. Be sure they’re available for the date of your move and don’t be afraid to ask around or get recommendations from friends. 
  • Go through each room of your house and decide what you’re going to keep and what’s best to throw out. The less you have to move, the better, so now is a great time to purge all your old and unwanted things and really start to declutter.
  • Start packing up any non-essential items, such as out-of-season clothes or knick-knacks that you won’t need any time soon.
  • Begin looking around for cardboard boxes and other things (such as extra packing supplies, bubble wrap etc.) you can use for the move. If you get any big Amazon deliveries, keep the boxes!

Your Complete Moving Checklist - Couple Image

Six Weeks Before Your Move

  • Start making a packing plan and timetable. Decide which rooms you want to pack first and make sure you leave any essential household items until last.
  • Purchase all the packing supplies you’ll need for your move. As well as cardboard boxes in a variety of sizes, you’ll need markers, packing tape, packing paper and bubble wrap. If you have a lot of dishes and china, look at specialty boxes and packing materials.
  • Contact your home insurance provider and make sure you’ll have insurance on your new home for the date of the move. 
  • Arrange for drapes/curtains to be installed in the new location.
  • If you have kids in school, contact their old school and make arrangements with their new one. 
  • If you need to change your doctor or dentist offices, get copies of all your records. 
  • If you’re donating any old clothes (e.g.: to the Salvation Army or Goodwill) call and arrange for a pickup. If that service isn’t available in your area, take them down to the donation centre early to avoid a rush later. 

Four Weeks Before Your Move

  • If you haven’t done so already, reserve the moving truck and make sure it’ll be available on your moving day. 
  • Notify Canada Post of your new address. Find your new postal code and send out change of address cards as needed. 
  • Once you’ve received your possession date/letter, clear up any outstanding documents with your bank and lawyer. 
  • Call your internet/phone/cable provider to arrange installation dates for as soon as possible after you move. 
  • Do the same with your utilities (such as water, gas, and electricity.)
  • Start using up the stuff in your freezer so you don’t have to move it. 
  • You can now start packing! Keep in mind to only pack the things you think you won’t need for the next few weeks. Start with the out-of-season stuff. You don’t want to be packing and unpacking again a day or two later. And don’t forget to label those boxes! 

Your Complete Moving Checklist - Checklist Image

Two Weeks Before Your Move

  • Pack a suitcase with all the things you’ll need for the first few days after your move: clothes, toiletries, a phone charger and important documents. This way, even if the rest of your moving boxes get lost in transit, you’ll have everything you need to get by.
  • Make sure any final payments on rent or mortgage are up to date, as well as any other bills. 
  • Start using up those perishable food items in your fridge and cupboards. You don’t want to have to move them, and you can always buy new ones when you get to your new home. 
  • Begin preparing and cleaning all appliances, such as your fridge, oven, and washer and dryer. 
  • Confirm and book your moving company. 
  • Get the floor plan for your new home. This will come in very handy when planning the actual move. Make extra copies you can hand out to any professional movers and friends who are helping. 
  • Continue packing more of the less essential things (pack glasses, hanging clothes etc.) 
  • Make arrangements to take care of your pets on moving day. While you could move them with the rest of the house, you may find it easier to board them for a day or two and bring them in once everything’s settled down. 
  • Chase down any items you have out being repaired, cleaned, or loaned out. Also return anything you’ve borrowed, such as library books. 
  • If you have any subscriptions, such as newspapers or magazines, update your address now. 
  • Notify your employer of your address change.
  • Get your mailbox key from Canada Post and set up mail forwarding.
  • Back up anything important on your computer, just in case anything goes wrong. 
  • Book time off from work to deal with the move. 
  • If you have area rugs, send them to get cleaned. You can have them delivered to your new home, fresh and ready. 

One Week Before Your Move

  • Prepare a list of things you’ll need immediately upon moving in: toilet paper, light bulbs, garbage bags, cleaning supplies, etc. 
  • Take down any curtains, blinds or shelves you’re planning to take with you.
  • Pack everything except for the plates, food and utensils you’ll be needing for the last few days. Ensure your moving boxes are at least labelled for which room they are in. 
  • Make sure to confirm your moving company and go over the details (e.g.: time, address, parking, etc.) 
  • Drain fuel from lawnmowers and other machinery. Be sure to safely dispose of this. 
  • Take photos of all electronics before you unplug them. This will make it easier to remember how to set them up after the move. 
  • Get the keys to your new home! 

Packing Day

  • Make a final check of closets, cupboards and other storage areas for stray items, including unused moving supplies. 
  • If you’re not moving the pets straight in, take them to the boarding kennels. 
  • Pack the last few remaining items. Verify the number of packed boxes with the moving company and label them “fragile” if needed.
  • Ensure your appliances are unplugged and ready to go. This includes your fridge, oven, washer and dryer, etc.

Putting Together An Essentials Box

The Essentials Box is one of the most important things you can pack for your move. This box should contain everything you’ll need for the first few days in your new home, including: 

  • A change of clothes for each household member – the kids could also pack their own backpacks so they make sure their favourite stuffed toy is with them on the first night
  • Toilet paper/Paper towels
  • Snacks and water
  • Flashlight/Light bulbs
  • Tools and a tape measure – anything you need to put together furniture, hang pictures, etc.
  • Garbage bags/Cleaning supplies
  • Bath towels/SheetsShampoo/Soap
  • Pet food (if applicable)
  • Any medication you might need

Your Complete Moving Checklist - Boxes Image

Moving Day!

  • Get an early start. The day will go more smoothly if you get started as early as possible. 
  • Turn off all the appliances and lights, and lock up your old home. 
  • Once the movers have loaded up the truck, do a final check to make sure nothing was left behind. 
  • Make sure you advise your movers of the things you’ll need immediately once you move in, so these can be loaded onto the truck last (AKA: unloaded first). 
  • Keep an inventory of the boxes in your ‘moving folder’ so you can verify that everything has been delivered to the new home. 
  • Make sure you’re ready at the new house or arrange for someone else to be there to take delivery. Otherwise, you could be charged for waiting time. 
  • Attach a floor plan to the entrance of your new home to make it easier for the movers to position boxes correctly. 
  • Check everything for damage as soon as it’s unpacked, and be sure to document any damage that occurs. 
  • Get unpacking! Start with the essentials boxes first, then move on to the rest of your things. 

Make Sure You Keep These Items With You During The Move: 

  • Your moving folder – this should include your inventory, floor plan, and contact information for the moving company
  • Important documents – passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, and anything that has banking information 
  • Your Essentials Box
  • Credit cards/Checkbooks
  • Phone and Laptops
  • Chargers (phone, laptop, etc.)
  • Valuables (jewelry, etc.)
  • Cash
  • Snacks and Water bottles

After The Move

Now that you’re all moved in, it’s time to start making your new house a home! Consider the following after you’re all moved in: 

  • Ensure your appliances are properly installed and functioning. 
  • Change your locks if you didn’t get the keys from the previous owner. 
  • Introduce yourself to your new neighbours! 
  • Get involved in your community – check out local events and activities to get to know the area better. 
  • Check with Canada Post for any extra mail being held for you. 
  • Update your change of address with Revenue Canada, your banks/credit unions, insurance companies, voter registration, and on your driving license and other forms of ID. 
  • Find out which area you’re in for collection and on which days it’s collected.
  • Take the kids to their new school to take a look around and meet the principal and teachers. 
  • If you’ve moved to a different province, research any differences in local laws or anything that might affect your taxes. 

Congratulations – you’ve made it through your move! Although the moving process can be stressful, remember it’s just a temporary inconvenience. Soon enough, you’ll be settled in and making new memories in your new home. Now you have time to start planning any renovation projects you might want to tackle…

Related article: Edmonton versus Calgary: Where Should You Choose to Live?

Click here to download Your Complete Moving Checklist now!

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About the Author:

At Sterling Homes, our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable homeownership without compromise. Over the last 70 years, Sterling Edmonton has quickly become one of Edmonton’s most popular builders. We bring more than seven decades worth of exceptional customer service, superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship to the greater Edmonton area. As a member of the Qualico Group, Sterling Homes focuses on greater Edmonton’s finest family communities, while being able to offer some of the region’s most family friendly prices thanks to volume purchasing power for materials, trades and land. This has not only made Sterling one of Edmonton’s bestselling, move-up builders, but also one of the industry’s most respected home providers. It is through our uncompromising commitment to our customers that we proudly deliver the Sterling Advantage – that’s why each and every home we build includes a 10-year home warranty, a completion guarantee and new home warranty excellence rating. Our Advantage is our pledge that, when you build your dream home with Sterling, we will deliver a timely, well-built home you’re sure to enjoy for years to come.

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