Moving and Packing Tips

According to the experts over 60% of people experience high stress levels during their move.  There are some proven steps you can take to reduce the stress levels and make your transition more enjoyable.  The key is prioritize your tasks and to get started early.

Organizing Documents and Papers

Create a file for all the documents related to your move.  These papers will include receipts, estimates, legal documents, notes and any checklists.   Take folder with you when dealing with Realtor, Lawyer, Insurance company or bank.  On your computer create a digital folder for documents and also an Email Folder specifically for any move related correspondence.  ( Create a Local Folder for emails and move copies there for safe keeping )   Collect any appliance manuals, keys, security codes etc and arrange to leave for new owners.  Having an inventory of all your house hold items is also a good idea,  even a video taken of each room and storage area prior to move may come in handy in event of a claim or loss of item.  Make a list of any items of value that exceed the standard moving companies insurance of dollar value per pound.

Planning the Move

Start investigating moving company options. Do not rely on a quote over the phone; request an on-site estimate. Get an estimate in writing from each company.  Whether renting a truck or hiring a moving company it would be wise to book as far in advance as possible, especially if moving in between April and September.   These summer months are considered to the peak moving time with over 80% of moves occurring during this time.   Whatever method you choose try and have a deposit and signed contract for the dates your require.   If possible try and avoid moving on the first or the last day of the month.

If you have a freezer start using the stored food as you can’t take it with you.


Get an overnight bag ready for your trip to your new home.  Ensure all you essentials are included, change of clothes, toiletries, medications and laptop if you have one.

Fill a clear plastic shipping container with all the items you  will need when you first arrive to start unpacking.  Some examples are; box cutter, paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, select cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, tools, etc.

If you are packing your contents yourself then you will need to buy boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, custom boxes for clothes etc and tape and marking pens.  You might also want to list the individual items in each box for ease of access and to ensure item is there when unpacking at your new home.

Book your accommodations at your new location as early as possible.   You will get a better price and avoid the risk of all rentals taken due to a conference, baseball tournament or other event tying up all the local accommodations.

Communicate and Notify

Contact all your Service Providers and Utility Companies of the date you are moving to cancel your accounts.  Some utility companies require that the actual account holder do this and will not accept notification from your lawyer, it is better to be safe than sorry.  If you have a national cell phone and cable company then you can transfer your service or just supply change of address.

Remember to update your address change with banks, insurance companies, CRA, health care providers and any subscription services you may have.  Contact your children’s schools to make arrangement for their documentation to be forwarded to their new school. 


If you’re planning a move, you might want to consider taking the plunge to pare down your belongings. Not only can a large declutter before moving save you time and energy on both ends of your move; it can also help save you money. Why? The more stuff you have, the more it costs to move it. Plus, if you donate or host a garage or estate sale while downsizing, you can even pad your pockets with a little extra cash in the process. 

If possible start your decluttering process 6 months before you move. Depending on the size of your home or apartment, you want to allow enough time to prevent the process from being time sensitive and stressful.

New Home Purchase

If you are just taking possession of your new home it is important to check any appliances that came with the home to ensure that they are in good working order.  Also check your air conditioner, furnace, hot water heater, water softener, sump pump and any other mechanical device included with your home.   As part of your Real Estate Agreement all items are to be in working condition.  If you find a problem contact your Realtor and Lawyer right away to notify them of any deficiencies you have found.  The more time that passes will just make it that much harder to have problems rectified.

Read about items in your new home that are covered as part of the Plumbing Inspection.

The Orillia Home Inspector is a Certified Building Code Official and a Certified Master Inspector