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How To Prepare And Pack For A Move : The Ultimate Guide (Free Printable Checklist)

moving and packing tips

Things You Should Know About Moving BEFORE you Move And How To Make Your Move Efficient And Cost-Effective

I’ve had to pack for a move a few times in my years so I know how stressful it can be and costly as I’ve experienced the good and bad.

When I was 21 I bought my first house and moved out of my parents when I was 17 to go to University and lived with roommates.

It was then in school where I realized that I didn’t want to rent any longer and wanted to own my own place.

I had all of my stuff with me at University which I don’t recommend because you don’t need it. 

If your parents will allow you to keep furniture or other important items at their house then do yourself a favour and store it.

However, if that is not the case perhaps a storage rental is a better option than carting around stuff you don’t need but may when you move into a more permanent place.

After the purchase of my first flat, I bought my second property at the age of 24 and lived in it until I sold it to move to Canada.

One of the most important things I’ve learned about moving to a new place is to start your packing journey early and plan everything.

The last thing you want on moving day is for everything to collapse because you didn’t put the effort into moving like a pro.

It really does make a world of difference and takes a load of stress off your shoulders if you move the right way.

How To Plan For Your Move

Below are some questions you will want to consider before you move at least 1 to 6 months in advance if possible. 

The idea is to make the transition from one place to another go as smooth as possible and without added costs.

Depending on how big your space is planning for a move can take weeks, days or even months.

  1. How much time do you have before you move? What is your moving date?
  2. What utilities and services do you need to contact for your move? Write them in your moving binder.
  3. How much money do you have set aside in your budget for your move? Create a moving budget as soon as possible so you can save up for moving expenses.
  4. Have you found a new place to move to yet? Hire a realtor, search Realtor.ca, Apartment hunting, Facebook Pages, Kijiji
  5. How far will you be moving? 10km, 20km, new city or town
  6. Will you be renting or buying?
  7. Will you be taking your pet?
  8. Can you renovate and paint your new place before the move? If renting, contact your landlord.
  9. What do you want to bring with you when you move?
  10. Have you considered a professional moving or packing company? If so, which one? Call around for quotes.
  11. Source rental moving trucks if you plan to move such as a Uhaul Truck
  12. Get in touch with friends and family and set aside a date so they can consider helping you.
  13. Source Free Cardboard boxes and packing supplies online, grocery, electronic or appliance stores, or buy cardboard locally
  14. Re-direct your mail with Canada Post Mail Forwarding Services
  15. Go meet your neighbours
  16. Shop for new furniture, decor after you move so you don’t bring more than you need

Packing For A Move

If you plan on packing your house or apartment on your own it could take you weeks or months.

Hiring a packing company to assist you with your move will add extra costs but lower your stress.

Not everyone likes people going through their personal belongings but in some instances, it may be the only option.

Consider your move options carefully especially when it comes to packing because this is the time-consuming part of the adventure.

How Do I Start Packing To Move?

Create a Moving Binder

The idea behind the moving binder is similar to a budget binder as it’s a place where you can store all of your moving information.

Keeping organized during a move is essential and a simple 3-hole binder with storage that is perfect.

What should you store in your moving binder?

Store any checklists, phone numbers, addresses, receipts, moving information, emergency contacts in your moving binder.

Arrange Pet and Babysitter

As much as I would love to have our son helping during our move he would likely get in the way and become frustrated.

Kids love to have the attention of their parents especially when they are young and they too will feel the stress of the move.

If you can arrange to send your children to a babysitter or have a sitter come around to keep them busy that’s ideal.

When you have no outside support during a move and have a pet or kids in the house plan ahead activities that your child can do.

You will have to take breaks during the actual moving process so use this time to take your pet for a walk if you haven’t hired a pet sitter.

These are expenses to consider when drafting up your moving budget so consider friends and family first along with pizza bribery.

Source Free Cardboard boxes and packing supplies online

People move every day and the last thing they want to do is break down loads of cardboard boxes.

If you join Facebook groups and online websites such as Kijiji or Varage Sale you will almost always find free cardboard and packing supplies.

You can’t always rely on free so sourcing packing supplies from the dollar store, thrift store or even Amazon may be your cheapest options.

Packing Supplies CheckList For A Move

packing supplies checklist for a moveYou can find the pdf. version on my Free Downloads Page

Pack Like A Pro

KonMari method packing has allowed people to store more in their space due to getting rid of what they don’t need and proper storage teqniques.

Anything you won’t be needing offer to donate, sell or get rid of BEFORE moving day.

As you go along you will find items you don’t need which you can label and put on the curb for FREE and someone will pick it up.

Anything else you can drop off to the second-hand shops or bring to the dump which will cost you a small fee.

Recycling, selling or offering free stuff is the best option before a dump run.

Hire Movers or Rent A Moving Truck

If you plan to hire a professional mover do that in advance so you know they will show up on your moving day.

You could also ask in a local Facebook group for local movers recommendations to see what feedback you get from others who have used moving services.

Making a Uhaul reservation was the smartest thing a friend of ours did because 3 other people showed up on their moving day without a truck in sight.

Do you tip movers? If you want to and the company allows it but I’m sure they won’t be running back to their boss to flash the cash.

If you are happy with what your movers accomplished and want to tip them $20 each then I see no problem with that.

Room Packing Order

Start packing from your storage, garage, outdoors then spare rooms and into main rooms.

This is where creating a moving list on paper will come in handy because you can document what you have stored in boxes for each room in your house.

Getting rid of all the junk you haven’t used in years is going to be a big task so tackle that first with your biggest enemy.

I know our basement and garage stores lots of items so I would probably start there or any closets if you don’t have either of those.

From there start going room to room and leave the kitchen until last since it has food products that may or may not refrigeration.

You also don’t want to store food in boxes that are sitting on the floor as it leaves bugs ample opportunity to make their way in.

Any frozen items will have to be moved on moving day in coolers filled with ice and freezer packs but if you can eliminate frozen even better.

Try to use up what you have on hand leading up to your move date.

Label Moving Boxes

Labelling your boxes when you move is a MUST because if you hire professional movers they need to know where your stuff is going in the new place.

Make sure you have all the proper labelling tools available in doubles because you WILL lose them in the process.

You’ll find them when you’re done. That’s the way it goes so doubles and triples are good especially if you have help with you.

If you hire professional packers they will label all of the boxes for you since that is your job but make sure you let them know where you’d like certain items.

Using Sharpie markers, masking tape and packing tape will allow you to lable your moving boxes clearly.

Empty Kitchen

This is an important step when you move because you most likely will have to defrost a freezer or refrigerator freezer in advance.

Ideally, you will want to clean out your cupboards and donate any food that is not expired that you won’t eat.

If there is time before your move eat what you can from your pantry and stop buying anything unless it is essential from the grocery store.

Pack your cupboards accordingly and label all boxes so you know where they belong in your new kitchen.

Ex: Put all the spices in one box and label it: SPICES

Pack Important Daily Essentials Together For Your Move

What you don’t want to happen after a long day of moving is cutting open boxes to find your daily essentials.

Create a box that has toiletries, cleaning supplies, spare clothes, shoes, hats or anything you think you will need for a day or so after you move.

You can also store some snacks in your essentials box so you can take a break in between unpacking everything.

Create A Packing Checklist

  • Have a Checklist for every room in your house located in your moving binder. Use a pencil so you can erase it as needed.
  • Decide what you want to bring and what you want to sell, donate, recycle or toss to the garbage
  • If selling price what you want to sell when you see it so you don’t have to back-track and waste time.
  • Make sure you have all your moving tools and resources listed above ready before packing begins.

Clean Up Before Leaving

Whether you are moving out for the first time from your parents, into an apartment or new home always clean up your space before leaving.

You wouldn’t want to move into a dirty apartment, room or house so don’t leave yours this way for the next person.

A simple cleaning of walls, floors, windows, bathrooms, kitchen and other spaces will make the new owner or tenant happy.

Imagine what you would feel like walking into a new space that is clean.

Pack Your Pets

Lastly, if you have a furry friend don’t forget to pack them too because they are part of your family.

Often times we hear of a pet being abandoned or forgotten during a move so if you can’t bring your pet then re-home before the big day.

Double-Check everything before you lock up and say good-bye.

Discussion: What other tips can you add for packing and move day? Leave your comments below and I’ll add it to the post.

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