Make Your Move: Five Moving Tips You Need to Know Now

Moving to a new home requires careful planning and preparation. Whether you’re going down the street or across the country, don’t move a muscle until you’ve read these helpful tips.


Some expenses are obvious, like paying the movers or, if you’re doing it yourself, renting a van. But there could be expenses that you may not be thinking about.

If you have ever moved houses, then you know that getting your goods from one place to another can be stressful. There are costs involved, movers who may or may not show up on time and just the act of packing is mind-numbing enough. However, if you know what you’re getting into in advance then many of those headaches can be alleviated.

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    Build a budget

    Before you move, write down all of the costs that you think you’ll incur. Some expenses are obvious, like paying the movers or, if you’re doing it yourself, renting a van. But there could be expenses that you may not be thinking about.

    If the house isn’t ready yet, then you’ll need to pay for a hotel room or a rental house. There could also be meals out until the kitchen is up and running, storage costs if items need to be kept somewhere, and insurance to keep your wares safe. Don’t forget the cost of boxes and packing supplies, which can add up.

    While some of these expenses may be unavoidable, creating a budget will at least give you an idea of what you’re in for. The worst thing is when, after that stress of moving is over, you start sweating over how much the whole thing cost.

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    Choose a mover

    This may be the hardest part of moving. How do you find a reputable mover who will do the job quickly and cost-efficiently?

    The first place to start is with your friends. No, not asking them to move your stuff, but asking them who they used when they moved. Then, call up each place to get a quote and find out exactly how the company can help. Consider traditional movers, do-it-yourself truck rentals, and moveable storage units as each offers its own advantages.

    Some questions to ask your movers or storage suppliers include: Do you contract the work to a third party? How am I protected in case items are damaged or lost? What is the claim process? Do you guarantee the delivery date? What is the best way to reach you?

    Also look online to see which movers have high ratings. Online reviews aren’t fool-proof, but they can be a good starting point. As well, the Government of Canada has a great moving-related consumer checklist that spells out exactly what people need to do to ensure they find a good mover.

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    The great purge

    This is a hard one, but it’s a must: throw stuff out. We all keep years worth of stuff piled away in a closet and while some things may be hard to get rid of, moving time is when you really need to think about whether you need that mug, that old newspaper or even your elementary school report cards.

    It’s not as hard as it may seem. With every single item you pack, ask yourself – keep or discard? When you unpack, question every item one more time.

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    Protect your belongings

    We’ve all heard stories of moves that resulted in broken items and lost goods. While you can’t stop a clumsy mover from ruining something, you can at least make sure you’ll be compensated for all the trouble.

    Most moving and storage companies offer basic coverage for your goods. It’s not insurance, but they will pay about 60 cents per pound per item.

    You may be able to purchase additional coverage for a fee, but you might also want to consider buying coverage through an insurance broker, which can typically pay more for lost or damaged goods than the moving company. Ask your home insurance agent what your current policy covers, and about goods-in-transit insurance.

    Even if you get protected, many items will not be covered by moving companies, such as computer software, and items of extraordinary or sentimental value. Consider transporting small, valuable pieces, like jewellery, yourself.

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    Get a good night’s sleep

    As we said at the outset, moving is stressful. There’s a lot to coordinate, and there may even be some family tensions and good-byes to favourite friends and teachers that can be difficult.

    Be well rested for moving day, and schedule a break for a personal time-out or some family fun. Even though you’ve emptied your fridge in advance of the move, remember to have some healthy snacks on hand – everything will be smoother if everyone has had something to eat.

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