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Moving Checklist – Preparing for a Move

We can all agree that moving is one of the worst chores ever. However, like taxes, it is an unavoidable part of adulthood. Here is a checklist and some tips in preparing for a move – making moving less painful.

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Moving Checklist:

Before You Move

  • Review your current lease 

Read your current lease for specific instructions for vacating. Most landlords require one month’s notice in writing. Prepare a letter and deliver it in a timely fashion or risk paying a penalty.

Check out our blog post for tips surrounding lease negotiations.

  • Set up mail forwarding

Begin informing people about your move (i.e. schools, banks etc.) and set up mail forwarding. You can simply do this online through Canada Post.

  • Switch your utility payments

Schedule cancellation or transfer of tenant’s insurance, utilities, internet, cable etc. Do this ahead of time to ensure you have internet access the first day in your new home.

  • Hire movers or do it yourself

Decide whether this will be a DIY move or whether you’ll hire movers. Research movers, elicit quotes and select and book a mover as soon as possible. You can use websites like Moving24 to compare quotes.

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  • Apply for parking permits for moving equipment

Apply for the necessary parking permits for your moving truck. This is your responsibility, not the movers.

  • Reserve building elevators for your move in advance
  • Begin collecting boxes and packing materials

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Grocery stores and office supply stores will often give away boxes but you can also rent boxes from Frog Box, or purchase through your moving company or from ULine.

Packing Your Things

  • Start packing miscellaneous items first

Pack up all non-essentials first since you will be using your essentials until your moving day. Closer to move day, finish packing, labeling every box clearly for contents and the room in which it belongs. Pack room by room and keep an inventory of the boxes.

  • Create an organized system for all your boxes.

Consider numbering them. For example, boxes 1-8 are for the kitchen. Or, consider using different coloured tape.

  • Don’t have time? Hire someone.

If your time is limited and budget unlimited, consider using a packing service like Vancouver in the Box. They pack up your household in hours, enabling you to keep your life intact until moving day.

Moving Out

  • Review lease for cleaning expectations

Know what your property maintenance responsibilities are as a tenant, and hold yourself accountable to the agreements. Consider hiring professional cleaners if necessary.

Check out our post about Property Maintenance – Someone’s Gotta Do It, for all the details.

  • Set aside cleaning supplies for a final clean up
  • Confirm dates and times with movers

Double check the date and time with your movers a few days before the big move. And if you have children or pets, make sure you set up arrangements for them before the big moving day.

Schedule Your Move - Move Day Illustration

  • Schedule a walk-through of the apartment with your landlord

If you don’t you could forfeit your ability to claim the return of your security deposit. If you encounter any damages, and unsure who is responsible for it, make sure to read our Rental Repairs post.

  • Note down all moving expenses, as you may be eligible for tax deductions.

For all available tax deductions, check out our post, Did You know your Moving Expenses are Tax Deductible?

Going through this moving checklist will set you up for a smooth move. Good luck!


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