Moving into a new home is a major undertaking, but the earlier you start planning and preparing, the more smoothly the process will go. The reason the process is complicated is that you need to deal with home buying, moving your physical goods, and doing substantial amounts of paperwork all at the same time. To make the process less chaotic, having a written checklist on a large whiteboard which your family can update regularly will make a substantial difference. A key tactic is to break the moving tasks down into phases.
While House Hunting
The best time to start planning a move is when you start house hunting. A key first step is creating a complete list of all your furniture and measuring it carefully in all three dimensions. This will help in your house-hunting as it will enable you to see if you current furniture will fit in property you are considering and it is also something that will be very useful during your actual move. At this stage, it is also useful to start pruning your possessions, throwing away anything that is not worth moving, and cutting back on unnecessary expenditures to save up some extra money for moving and new-house decorating expenses.
Once You Make an Offer
At this point, your time frame become tighter. If you plan to use a moving company, you should get bids from two or three different firms. If you intend to save money by packing all or some of your own goods, as you do your ordinary shopping, see if you can collect free empty boxes from stores. Most liquor stores give away large numbers of clean empty boxes every day. Continuing pruning your possessions, recycling, selling, or donating to charity anything you have not used in the past year or two. While the Canada Revenue Agency requires that you keep tax records for six years, older records should be shredded.
Once your offer is accepted and any contingencies are cleared, you should schedule a closing date and a move-in date. Work closely with your moving company to set a precise date as soon as possible as you may be able to save money by selecting an off-peak date or even a less expensive day of the week. Start packing seasonal or other infrequently used items and separating the things you will need immediately in your new home from those which you will entrust to your movers.
After You Close
Once you have closed on your new home, start address-change paperwork. Especially if you are moving between provinces, apply for a new health card and driver's license as quickly as possible. Submit change of address information and sign up for mail forwarding with the post office and inform banks, credit card companies, and other relevant organizations of your new address and contact information. You should also arrange for the utilities in your new house, including internet, water, sewer, and electricity to be turned on in your name and the utilities in your old home to be turned over to the new occupants.
Create a detailed floor plan of your new home and mark the positions of where each piece of your furniture should go. Careful measurements are crucial so you can avoid last minute adjustments. Schedule a professional cleaning service for your old home the day after you move to ensure it is ready for the new occupants. Once the move is done, order takeout and enjoy your new home.
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