The Ultimate Printable Moving Checklist for Canadians

Moving has the ultimate longest list of “to dos.” It’s one of the most important sources of stress for Canadians and we understand you! In this moving checklist, we gather all the information you should know when moving, from a curated list of movers in every major city to tips on how to make friends with your new neighbours. In this particular instance, we wanted to provide you with a complete checklist that you can refer to throughout your moving experience. Here is what we have learned from the hundreds of thousands of moves we’ve participated in. Happy moving!

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Before you jump in the moving checklist, plan your new home.

For most of us, this is the fun part. Planning your new home is a great project full of dreams and possibilities. Are you getting a big  TV, your dream kitchen or a baby room? Are you planning on painting or doing renovation at the new place to make it your own? This is the first thing you need to plan since it will impact your moving date, the furniture you need to buy or sell, the professionals you want to hire and the logistics do it all. If possible, try to do all renovation and painting prior to moving in, otherwise you’ll have to live in your boxes for a few days or weeks. Once the planning is done, moving preparation starts.

STEP 1 - Early preparation - Thinking ahead of Moving Day.

  1. As soon as you find time, do a complete cleaning of your home. Use that opportunity to throw away any accumulated junk and pack a few items that you rarely use. It’ll make it easier for you when the packing really starts. Packing a little bit every day is key to success. That’s number one on the move checklist.

  2. Create a folder on your computer to store all the checklists, spreadsheets, estimates and such that you will work with during the preparation of your move. Being organized rules! Also, create a digital copy of all important documentations you have at home and save it there.

  3. Make a list of large appliances and furniture you will need to move. You will need this to decide on a moving truck size or get a proper estimate for movers. It will also give you a better idea of the scope of the work. Make an inventory of your belongings!

  4. Identify any items that need special care such as firearms, paintings and fine art, glass or fragile cabinets, pool tables and pianos. You’ll need to gather adequate wrapping for these and inform your mover.

  5. If possible, take measurements of the dimensions at your new address. It will help you plan your furniture placement.

  6. Make a list of major pieces to give away or sell.

  7. If you plan on renting storage space for some items you do not want to sell or give away, here’s a list of storage companies you can trust in Canada.

  8. Inform your boss in advance. In Canada, your employer is obliged to let you take the day off if you need it to move, but you have to tell him/her first!

  9. Have a plan on how to make this day fun for the kids. They can be useful when it comes to packing their toys and moving small boxes.

  10. Find someone to take care of your animal(s) on moving day. It is a stressful experience for your best friend!

STEP 2 - Booking your moving team - How to choose the best mover.

  1. Book your movers or your truck in advance. When choosing a mover, evaluate the following:
  2. BBB ratings, Google and Facebook reviews. Make sure the mover is an actual pro!
  3. Compare at least three prices. You may be surprised by the difference from one company to another.
  4. Make sure the estimate is comprehensive and realistic considering what you need to move. Some movers may quote a cheap price and charge extra on the moving date. Ask how many movers will assist you.
  5. Validate that a moving insurance is included and that the moving company guarantees any items that may be broken during the move.
  6. Here’s a list of movers you can trust. You’ll find all the information necessary to make a good decision.
  7. Have a backup plan. It may sound alarmist, but what happens if the mover does not show up or cannot complete the job the same day? Make sure you have someone to call.
boites de déménagement

STEP 3 - Checklist of supplies for packing and more

At this stage, you already know WHAT you will be moving (step 1 of the move checklist) and HOW you will be moving (step 2 of the move checklist). Hence, your should be able to evaluate the quantity required for each of the following items. It is now time to take an hour to gather all the supplies you will need for your move.

Don’t wait until the last minute only to find the stores have already closed.

  1. Blankets for safe packing.
  2. Order boxes online or get them used from groceries and stores. You can rent plastic boxes as well and get them delivered to your home!
  3. Get some tape, bubble wrap and markers for your boxes.
  4. Moving straps are essential if you plan on moving appliances with friends. Don’t break your back over ten bucks.
  5. Get a dolly or rolling platform to move heavy items.
  6. Cleaning products, broom, Swiffer and garbage and recycling bags
  7. Get everything you need for painting if necessary.
  8. Pizza and beer (but that’s for later!)

STEP 4 - Packing and preparing the house

Step four of the move checklist is a HUGE step to reach your final destination. Plan some time in advance to make sure you do not do this in too much hurry. 

  1. Clean and take pictures of your stuff to sell. You can do this in minutes with Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji/Craiglists apps. Do not underestimate that people WILL buy a twenty-year-old fridge that works! In the end, selling all this old furniture can add up! Just make sure you set the pickup date close to your moving date.

  2. Mark your boxes. This one is part of every moving checklist and sounds like a given, but do not underestimate its importance. 

  3. Take photos or videos of every complex electronic connection, such as your stereo, TV and home computer. Do the same for your washing machine, dishwasher, and other appliances. It will avoid headaches and uncertainties when reconnecting them.

  4. It is easy to mislead documents such as passports, optical records, insurance coverage and such when moving. Place everything at risk in the same box and scan important documents if possible. You can do so easily for free with the Dropbox app (which can also help you store all your moving-related documents).

  5. Pack a bag containing some clothes and toiletries so that they’re easily accessible.

  6. Clean the house for the new occupants — it’s common courtesy.

  7. Empty your fridge and disconnect it at least 24 hours before you move it. Place all clothes at the bottom in case there is an accumulation of water. Cook food for moving day!

STEP 5 - Moving home services and all address changes

Moving is a great time to reevaluate your needs. Before transferring your current internet plan, have a look at what’s available on the market. You may be surprised at how much you can save. The same is true for home insurance and security systems.

Yes, we might be biased! That said, MovingWaldo really is Canada’s go-to moving app to set up home services, transfer insurance premium, update your address and get an idea of things you’ll need to do.

  1. Compare internet, TV and home phone offers and book installation in advance.

  2. Cancel your old account if you switch provider. Schedule a time to return the TV box if you rent it.

  3. Inform your utility provider of your move.

  4. Get a few quotes for home insurance. You may want to bundle it with your car insurance if you aren’t already doing this.

  5. Compare prices for security systems and book an installation.

  6. Cancel your gym membership or find a local branch.

  7. Inform any worker on your property, such as the lawn mower, pool cleaner, etc.

  8. Ask your pharmacist to send your prescriptions to your new local branch.

  9. Update your address with your magazine and subscription box providers.

  10. Update your address with your rewards programs.

  11. Inform your kid’s school of your move.

  12. Tell your dentist, the librarian and your pet shop.

  13. Inform your employer or the HR department at work. They’ll adjust it on your file and work insurance. Do the same with your union rep.

  14. Inform your bank, credit cards and investment brokers.

  15. Change your address on your driver’s license, government insurance program ARC, CPP and such. For additional help, read our complete guides and checklists for changes of address.

  16. Worried you are still forgetting something? Forward your mail with Canada Post. If you don’t buy the mail forwarding service from Canada Post, you don’t have to inform the post office of your new address.

STEP 6 - Do not forget when moving

  1. Return movie rentals and books to the library.

  2. Get your clothes from the dry cleaner.

  3. If you are a tenant, make arrangements to leave the key with your landlord.

  4. Don’t leave your curtains behind! The shower mat is also yours, don’t leave anything behind.

  5. Have cash on hand to tip the movers.

  6. Water bottles and snacks for everyone.

  7. The day before, reserve a parking spot for the truck at your current and new address.

STEP 7 - Moving Day, it's time!

  1. Start early. It’s best to allow time for unplanned events.

  2. Leave the key as planned with your previous landlord. (See third point of step six of the moving checklist.)

  3. Tip the movers.

  4. If you are stressed – here are some good tips to deal wih the stress of moving!

déménagement : éviter le stress

STEP 8 - Setting up your new home

  1. Do not postpone, now is the best time to set up your curtains, paintings and furniture. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to do it.

  2. If you plan on painting, don’t unpack yet. Paint first.

  3. Follow this guideline on how to improve the brightness of your new home.

STEP 9 - Exploring the neighbourhood

Moving is also a great way to discover the ins and outs of a new neighbourhood. Go out and see for yourself now that you actually live there. If you like going out for dinner, make sure you try a few restaurants before you start sticking to that same one that you like — you miss everything you don’t try! One last thing: Introduce yourself to the neighbours. Go now!

Special Mention!

Moving is often synonymous of stress, long administrative tasks and a significant waste of time and money. MovingWaldo helps you solve all these problems in just a few clicks! After some shameless self-promotion, we invite you to discover our free moving tools available to all.

  • Update accounts
  • Connect Internet, TV and Phone.
  • Secure home and auto insurance
  • Transfer utility
  • Find resources, checklists and more.

We brings together more than 700 organizations across Canada with a single and simplified form.

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