Moving Tips

A stress-free move? It is possible.

Nobody likes moving. Stress-wise, it’s been compared to divorce or the death of a loved one. But it really doesn’t have to be that bad. Some careful planning can help smooth things out and make your move an easier experience. Here are a few ideas to help you plan:


The less stuff you have to pack and transport, the simpler your move will be. Clear out the basement, the attic, closets, the junk drawer and the shed. Have a yard sale, sell it on Kijiji, take it to Goodwill, or throw it away. If you’re moving far away, consider getting rid of furniture too. Unless you’ve got really high-end or heirloom pieces, it could actually be more expensive to transport them than to buy new ones.

Start packing early

Pack books, off-season clothes and unused items, starting a couple of months before you move. That way, you can collect boxes and packing materials gradually without having to scramble for them at the last minute. It also gives you time to go through all your stuff and decide what to purge. Leave essentials like kitchen dishes, your kids’ favourite toys, and key home office items for the last few days.

Show what’s inside

As you pack each box, write a detailed list of the contents. Don’t just write “kitchen.” Be more specific; a box labeled “coffee maker, toaster, bread maker” will save you from rooting around in six or seven boxes to find what you need. Put the list right on each box and make a master list in a notebook or on your computer. 

Hire movers

Yes, they’re more expensive than a DIY move, but if you’re looking to reduce stress, hiring pros is the way to go. Just make sure you hire a reputable company and always ask for a written estimate. Need help finding someone you can trust? I would be happy to provide you with recommendations for movers.

Plan, plan, plan

If you Google “Moving checklist,” you’ll find plenty of printable lists of things to do before a move. Use one, or make your own, then check off items as you complete them. Lists should include big things like hiring movers and packing, of course, but don’t forget to include small stuff like booking elevators, dealing with the bank, sending out change of address cards, planning meals for the week of the move, and canceling your newspaper subscription..

Enlist help

Get babysitters for the kids, pet care for your fluffy friends, and if people offer to help with packing, take them up on it. If you’re getting friends to help with the actual move, give them lots of notice. And, of course, be prepared to return the favour when it’s their turn to relocate.

Be zen

Accept ahead of time that the day will be stressful. When things start to get overwhelming, take a deep breath and keep in mind that the move will soon be over and a great new place is waiting for you to make it your own.

Trademarks owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association. Used under licence.