For some, it’s practically an annual tradition. For others, it’s a painful task to be avoided at all costs. No matter which camp you fall into, here are a few tips and tricks for a successful move.
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Don't underestimate the time and effort moving requires, and start the process many weeks ahead of time. Book day of your move off, as well as the next if possible. This will allow you to get set up properly and avoid living in boxes for too long.
Using a professional mover?
That depends on your budget, your will to roll up your sleeves and your ability to pull together a team of family and friends.
If you’re using a moving company, get more than one estimate. It should be as detailed as possible to avoid any confusion. Make sure you know exactly how the hourly rate is calculated. For example, the company could be charging you for the time it takes them from their location to your home.
Outside of the busy season, it can be easier to negotiate. You can also save by moving certain things yourself and leaving the big furniture pieces and appliances to the professionals.
Some fly-by-night moving companies can be found in the classifieds, but use them at your own risk. We recommend dealing with an insured business, registered with the Commission des transports du Québec (CTQ) and the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM). You can also see ratings from former customers online.
Once the move is completed, inspect your possessions immediately. If something is broken, you could submit a claim with the company. This is why it’s important to discuss what kind of coverage they offer ahead of time.
If you must rent a truck, plan ahead and don’t be afraid to shop around. Don’t forget to budget for the cost of gas, as trucks burn up a lot of fuel. Some credit cards offer insurance if you use the card to pay for your rental. Ask your financial institution if you are covered.
Changing your address
Change your address in the month prior to the big day. Start with government organizations (revenue agencies, SAAQ, RAMQ) and ask if the modification will apply elsewhere, so that you don’t waste time contacting other agencies for nothing.
If you’re moving in the busy season, contact your telephone, internet and cable TV provider as soon as possible to get a set-up date that coincides with your move-in date.
Here are other businesses and institutions you shouldn’t forget to contact.:
- Financial institutions and credit card companies
- Gaz Métropolitain
- Home delivery services (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
- Canada Post: you can also request that your mail be redirected.
Preparing for your move
Changing your address is also a good excuse to take inventory of your possessions. To lighten the load, get rid of anything you no longer use. This might be a good time to organize a garage sale, give to charity or put certain items up online that may be worth something to other people.
Start by placing anything you won’t need between now and the move in a box or bag, and label each one. The closer you get to the big day, the more stuff you can pack up.
Reminder: a move is also a good opportunity to back up your digital data.
Make sure you keep these objects readily available, as you will need them in the final moments:
- Basic tools (screwdriver, X-acto knife, hammer, work gloves, wrench, pliers, etc.)
- Adhesive tape and rope
- Cleaning essentials (mop, broom, rags, cleaning products)
- First aid kit in case of emergency
In the final weeks, try to avoid stocking up on food and buy only the bare minimum. A cooler will come in handy to move refrigerated items.
For your first days in your new home, you should buy food that can be prepared and eaten easily. This will avoid having to deal with dirty dishes before you’ve even unpacked your boxes.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, avoid spreading out your boxes and other items. This will allow you to clean without obstructions. You should also apply some of our eco-friendly cleaning tips and tricks.
Lastly, if you’re about to leave the family nest, have you considered becoming an owner right off the bat?
You should also read our practical guide to buying your first home.
Good luck with your move!
- If you’re using a moving company, request more than one estimate. It should be as detailed as possible to avoid any confusion.
- Change your address in the month prior to the big day.
- Changing your address is also a good excuse to take inventory of your possessions. To lighten the load, get rid of anything you no longer use.