The moving guide
You’ve found the condo/roommate/house of your dreams, so the future’s looking bright. But there’s a big challenge: sorting, making boxes, moving and organizing your new place.
So we’ve prepared lots of tips to make your day easier and more enjoyable!
1 to 2 months before the move
Figure out D-Day
Congratulations on your new place! Now you’ll have to pick a moving date.
First, if you live in Quebec, try hard to avoid the infamous July 1. This will save you from having to pay extra because the date is in super high demand.
In addition, in Quebec, it’s usually pretty hot on July 1.
Then, if you’re moving sometime between May 15 and July 15, plan ahead (at least a month and a half before the planned date).
If the date is scheduled outside this period, a month will suffice.
Notify family and friends
If possible, inform your family and friends and ask them to help you move. We suggest not asking too many people as that could be more cumbersome than helpful.
We recommend 2 people per room to be moved. That way there’ll always always be someone to lift the heavy furniture while the someone else will be busy unscrewing the screws or carrying lighter boxes, for example
Find movers, if necessary
After asking your friends for help, assess your needs, compare offers and see if you require professionals. If so, you’re ready to shop for a mover, here are our tips:
The first tip when looking for movers is to avoid weekends and holidays. You’ll find higher prices due to higher demand during this period.
Our second piece of advice: choose a moving company that is registered with the government. This will give you safe, professional service that protects your stuff.
Then ask for a quote (if you have the time) so you can compare offers. You could save big.
Second last piece of advice: let your mover know the distance between your old and new place, if there’s anything special they should know about like as stairs, being on a top floor, lack of parking… The clearer you are, the more the company will be able to guide you in your move.
Finally, before signing the bill at the end of your move, check the condition of your belongings. If you notice any problems, don’t hesitate to inform the company in writing and make sure you’ve photocopied, scanned or taken a photo of your document.
P.-S. – You can also rent a moving truck. If you go this route, make sure you have the proper licence to drive the vehicle and check your insurance, as well as and the moving company’s insurance.
Change your address
Moving is synonymous with changing your address. Remember to change your address for all your contracts (ex. phone, Internet, insurance, bank, driver’s licence).
The government has set up a platform to change your address easily (for income taxes, health care card, licence and registration). See below:
Everything is ready on the admin side, now it’s time to really plan your move and that starts with boxes. But how do you estimate the number of boxes you’ll need? Count about 12 to 15 boxes per room to move.
First, ask your family, your work or your grocery store if they have any boxes in good condition you can take.
Then, if you don’t have enough, there are companies that provide boxes of all sizes. Let them know how much space you have to move.
Our most important advice: to keep your health, choose medium or small boxes. They’re lighter, so easier to move.
A month before the move
Organize your stuff
Before you do your boxes, you have to get organized. But that can be a scary word. Sometimes, it gets tricky to get rid of things that bring back good memories.
Just remember 1 thing: Sorting is also a way to clear your head and leave room to create new memories.
So to learn how to sort, here’s our tip:
- Take 2 different colour sticky notes that you’ll have cut out beforehand to save money. The first colour is for things you’re not sure if you want to keep or not; the second for the items you definitely don’t want anymore. Items or furniture that don’t have a sticky will be the ones that will go with you to your new home.
- Once the colours are arranged, take inventory on a spreadsheet (avoid paper!).
- For items to think about, ask yourself when was the last time you used them. If the answer is several months ago, it’s best to put them on the list of things to get rid of.
- Sell and give away
You’ve organized everything, but how do you sell or give them away? A picture, description and price (to be discussed or not), and you’re ready.
- Sell: post ads on Kijiji, in newspaper classifieds, on Facebook groups or Marketplace, tell your friends, offer your stuff to thrift shops, etc. (use pics if they’re too big to be easily transported).
- Give away: Giving stuff away is also a good alternative to getting rid of what you don’t like anymore. The Salvation Army, Renaissance, The Support, Little Brothers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, etc. Many organizations accept donations. Other organizations such as Certex accept damaged clothes. Some stores also have a textile recycling policy.
- Build a floor plan
The last step before packing your boxes is to build a floor plan. Not everyone finds this useful, but it can make it easier to get organized.
You can work using a list. See below:
Large black closet
Boxes of clothes
Or you can also work using an architect’s plan.
There are some free design software available online. This will also give you an idea of the space available. For this option, we recommend you measure the walls of your new place beforehand.
2 to 3 to weeks before the move
Pack your moving boxes well
It’s time to pack your boxes. Don’t’ worry, you’ll be fine.
First, determine a place or room where you’ll put the boxes before moving. Choose a dry place that won’t take up too much space, away from direct sunlight and far from a source of electricity.
To do this, start with less used rooms like the office or garage.
- Small boxes for heavy and fragile items. Tape the bottom to reinforce it.
- Big boxes for bulky things.
- Large reusable bags for laundry or soft things.
- Hard plastic boxes (ideally) for moving cans, jars, tools.
- Newspaper, paper bags, towels or dishclothes to pack the most fragile items.
To get the right boxes in the right rooms at your new location:
- Identify the room (by colour code or write the room name)
- Let people know if the contents are fragile by indicating on the box
- Write if the box faces up or down
- Indicate whether the box is urgent or not urgent to unpack
- Note whether the boxes are light or heavy so they can be stacked safely
Moving the kitchen
- You should do your last grocery shopping about 2 weeks before the move to have as few things as possible to transport and to avoid breaking the cold chain and defrosting your favourite products.
- Empty, unplug, defrost and wash your fridge at least 24 hours before you move. Leave the door open to ventilate it once it’s washed.
- Reconnect your refrigerator 24 hours after moving it.
Boxes and containers
- Make sure that containers are closed properly.
- To prevent leaks, line the bottoms of your boxes with fabric.
Pour la vaisselle
- Use linens, newspaper and towels to protect them.
- Pack the dishes vertically and not horizontally to avoid breakage.
- You can also use vegetable starch (play-maize), it’s ecological and the children can play with it afterwards.
- Wires are everywhere, and sometimes it’s hard to understand which gets connected to what.
- Take pictures of your power connections before undoing them so you can reassemble them more easily once you’ve moved.
- For items with screws, consider putting them in an envelope in a drawer or taping the envelope to the furniture itself to avoid losing or mixing them up. Plus, you’ll save time!
Finally, provide parking spaces for the moving truck, both on departure and arrival. If necessary, let your current and future neighbours know that you’ll be moving. Ask them to leave their parking spots empty or reserve spots for D-Day!
Create an emergency suitcase
A little hunger pang, a big thirst, an unexpected event or an out of the blue accident. Anything can happen – and fast! Prepare a small suitcase with a few necessary items:
- Lots of water
- A few snacks that can be stored at room temperature like these oat, date and coconut muffins
- Clothes for a day, just in case
- Chargers for devices
- A first aid kit
The day before and on moving day
The day before, call the movers and your relatives to remind them of important info (times and address).
It’s time for a light supper and an early night.
After a good protein breakfast that’ll give you energy for the day, take a shower and always have your suitcase close by.
Make sure you stay hydrated on moving day. Also, when stacking boxes, always put the heaviest and strongest boxes first.
After an emotional day, say goodbye to your old home, remembering to turn off the water, lock the windows and doors, and turn off the lights.
When you get to your new place
Congratulations, it’s a new chapter for you! So where do you start?
Wash your new place on arrival
As soon as you arrive, wash the whole house thoroughly. If you don’t have time to clean everything on moving day, try at least to clean the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.
Disinfect the medicine cabinet, the door handles and the toilet handle.
If you can, replace the toilet seat.
For the bathroom, focus on the joints, tiles, sink and toilet.
For the kitchen, remember to clean door handles, inside drawers and cupboards, as well as the inside the oven and the grills. The place is empty, take advantage.
For the walls, you can clean them with a water and white vinegar solution. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it also disinfects.
If you have carpets, call a professional or vacuum them at least. If you have wood, ceramic, tile or linoleum floors, soap and water is good enough.
Which boxes should be unpacked first?
After you’ve cleaned, but before you unpack, plug in the appliances (wait 24 hours for the fridge) and put away the food. Then make the beds, take out your toiletries and medication, and make sure the smoke detectors are working properly.
To feel more at home, we suggest unpacking the boxes in the bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom first. At least you’ll be well rested, fed and clean.
Then unpack the other boxes, room by room, from the biggest boxes to the smallest.
Settling in perfectly after a move (especially in the kitchen)
Everything’s in order, it all starts with you. But our favourite place in the house is definitely the kitchen.
But do you remember the first time you went grocery shopping, when you were totally lost and it seemed like it took forever because you didn’t know what to buy? The grocery trip where you didn’t really respect your budget very well and the fridge was half empty when you got home? That’s why we created a Grocery 101 guide. From the buying essentials to budgeting, it’s all there.
We wish you lots of happiness in your new place and look forward to seeing everything you’ll create in your new kitchen.
Don’t hesitate to share your best moments after the move with us in the comments section.