Making a Smooth Move

Hiring the Movers

There's no shortage of moving companies out there.  Assuming you'll be the one living in your new home (as opposed to a tenant) the question is whether to move yourself, or to hire a company to do it for you.  If you're doing it yourself, there are plenty of truck rental options such as UHaul that make moving easy – provided you aren't planning a cross-country move to the Calgary area, or moving a ton of stuff (in both of these scenarios, you'll want to hire professionals to help it go smoothly).  Truck rental companies may even provide additional services, such as packing supplies, for a fee.

Photo by Let Ideas Compete
Photo by Let Ideas Compete

If you're hiring movers, here's what you need to do and know:

  • Ask for references and a written estimate of fees
  • Find out whether the fee structure is flat rate or hourly
  • Ensure that your valuable possessions are insured during the move; your home or property insurance may already cover goods in transit
  • It's best to move small valuable personal items like important papers and money, in the car with you as opposed to in the moving truck
  • Weekends are busy times for movers and truck rental companies; book far in advance to ensure you get movers for the day you want

A Hassle-Free Move

The secret to moving, like most things in life, is preparation.  Start gearing up for your move as soon as you have that closing date set.  If you work backwards, there will be plenty of time to do all that needs to be done.  Use the following checklist to make sure you've covered all bases!

  • Think about holding a garage sale or donating unwanted items to a charity; many charities pick up for free
  • Make travel arrangements for your animals and plants
  • Register your child(ren) at the schools they will be attending, if moving out of your current school district
  • Change your address with banks, credit card companies, your I.D., magazine subscriptions, etc.  You can fill out a change of address online or in person at Canada Post which will ensure that all your mail is forwarded to you – buying you some time to complete the change of address process with each individual company you have a relationship with
  • Make sure that your utilities, cable, internet and phone are enabled at your new place.  Consider donating your plants to friends and family, or plant them back into the garden if possible, rather than travelling with them
  • Back up your hard drive as computers can act funny in transit
  • Drain the fuel out of your lawnmower and edgers before you move them.  Try and avoid moving any other chemicals (including that propane tank!) in the truck as well.  Get rid of them if possible before you move; the City of Calgary website has tips for safe disposal of hazardous materials.
  • If you will be changing gyms or rec centres, ensure your locker is cleaned out and they key has been returned.

Packing Tips

Sometimes it can seem like you'll never get all your stuff packed and prepared to move.  Slow and steady wins the race…again, start early, with rarely-used items, and soon you'll see the tipping point where you are more ready to move than not!  Here are some more tips to get you packed and ready to go:

  • Order boxes and moving supplies or begin collecting these items from grocery stores.  Make sure you save the sturdiest boxes for the items in your home that need extra attention while moving, like electronics and fine china.
  • When packing, mark all boxes that contain fragile items, and also put instructions on the boxes as needed, outlining which room the contents belong in.
  • Keep a box with essentials, such as toothbrushes, bathroom tissue, medications, soap, and even a kettle, easily accessible for your first night in your new home.

Moving Day

A couple of weeks before moving day, it's a good idea to call the movers just to re-confirm that you're all booked in, and confirm the arrival time of your truck or trucks.  Make sure the company has the new address you'll be going to, as well as your current address and a cell phone number where you can be reached on moving day.

If you don't think you'll be completely done packing by the time the truck arrives, get some help in the form of family, friends and neighbours who can help you do last minute things, like taking apart beds and other furniture that might not fit through the doors!

On moving day, go through your house with the movers and give them any special instructions.  When the van arrives at your new home, you may wish to be watching as the truck is unloaded, to make sure your goods are in the same condition as when you left your house!  Make a note of any items that seem to be damaged in any way.

If you paid for the movers to unpack boxes and take away the packing materials for you, remember that they will not put dishes or linens into cupboards, but should put these items near where you want them to ultimately go.

After taking care of the immediate needs of any pets and children, make sure that you prepare your bedroom next - as you will definitely want to relax later on!  The kitchen is the next room suggested to set up; you'll have to cook sometime.

After-Closing Checkup

You survived the move!  Now you just have to get settled in your new home and get to know your new neighbourhood.  But just because you've moved in, that doesn't mean that David and the team at Calgary Real Estate™ have forgotten about you.  They are always there to help, whether it's to recommend renovation specialists, help you find local amenities, or provide you with expert financing and real estate information in the future.  You may be curious about what the house down the street is going for:  call David!  And if the team doesn't hear from you, we'll periodically be in touch to acknowledge you, the new homeowner, and make sure you have everything you need.

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