Top 5: Tips for Moving House

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1. Set a Budget

When it comes to packing up your home and heading off to your new one, you might be surprised at the costs that can add up. A moving company might be at the top of your list of items, but here are a few others you may not have considered…


  • Packing supplies

You’ve booked your movers (or you’re ready to DIY), but what do you need to get everything ready for that stage? Firstly, be sure to utilize as many items in your home as storage vessels, such as large vases for small items, your refrigerator and anything with drawers or cupboards. However, they might not be enough!

Boxes or plastic reusable containers, even though perhaps considered a small price tag in the grand scheme of things, can start to tally up when you add on the cost of other complimentary items such as the following:

  • Tape – shipping, duct, masking, dispensers
  • Bubble wrap or packing paper
  • Labels
  • Scissors/Box cutters
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Rope or tie-downs
  • Protective felt pads


  • Travel costs

Whether you’ve employed help or are moving your belongings yourself, you will still need to go to and from your current home to your new one. Depending on how many trips are needed before you’re all settled in, or the distance between the two, there is the cost of fuel needed to get you from a to b.

Consider also when you’re planning to, or when the timing falls for you to actually be on the move. Is it during the week or on days that you’re otherwise working? Are there days that you’ll be missing out on some income? Just a couple of little things to keep in mind and note down on your moving budget.


  • Storage

Does your move-in day fall after the day that you need to be out of your current home? If so, you might have some very kind friends or family willing to foster some of your boxed contents, but if not, where does it go? It might be that you need to rent storage space for a short time (or possibly long-term depending on where and when you’re moving), which can certainly start to add up over the weeks and/or months.


2. Finding Assistance

People you know that live in the same area might be your first port of call when it comes to reaching out for a helpful pair of hands, but let’s be honest – moving is a pretty big job no matter how big or small your home is. For many of us, a local moving company is our preferred choice – they show up, they load up, they head off and then they drop off. Neatly done. But here’s a few things to keep across when it’s time to get the show on the road…


  • Compare pricing and services

Like most purchases, you weigh up a product or service with a substitute. Be it the gas station you fuel up at, the peanut butter brand you buy or the moving company you choose to help transfer your personal belongings. Take some time to compare local movers in your local area, and take note of the following…

  • What rates do they charge? Are they based on distance or time or is included in the overall rate?
  • What does their insurance/coverage policy include?
  • Do they have site visits to help plan and prepare? Are they in person or virtual?
  • Do they offer services to pack up your home also, as well as the transition into your new home? Note – some even offer content management to catalogue all your items (see third bullet point below), as well as offer rentable boxes or totes
  • Confirm dates! Make sure that any company you’re interested in choosing has availability on the days that you want or need to be out of your current home
  • Check their feedback! Same with any product or service you’re looking to spend money on, it pays to see what type of experience others have had! Referrals from people you know are ideal but reading up on their positive (and negative!) reviews will give you a strong indication on what to expect


  • Accessibility

Keep a thought free for what parking is like at your new home. For example…

  • Does it have a driveway a moving truck can pull into and park?
  • Is there street parking? If so, does it require a permit or what are the keep-clear times for your side of the street?

Perhaps you’re moving into an apartment that’s not on the ground floor.

  • What is the access like – is there an elevator to assist?
  • Is there a balcony if the larger items don’t fit in the elevator or stairwell? If not, do you need additional services to help get your items from ground level up and through your balcony?
  • Is there a loading zone that your movers need to work around and be in and out of by a certain time?

These are the types of things you should confirm and communicate with your moving team prior to your moving day to make sure things go as smoothly as possible without any unforeseen hiccups.


  • Keep an inventory

Things go MIA in our own homes on a weekly basis, let alone when shifting them from one to another. A great idea is to make a list of all your items as you pack them up – even if it’s just the items of most importance. It may seem like a menial task, but it’s one of the best ways to be self-assured that you packed it and can help you with any claims you may need to make with your insurance company. Once written, they’re neatly there to tick off once you start to unpack them again at the other end.

Additionally, for sentimental or items of value, it might be worth taking a photo of them also – the brand, the model, and/or the serial number for reference.


3. Declutter

Who doesn’t love a good clear out! Feel lighter in both mind and contents with a strategy to conquer and divide items into the following categories…

  • Things you can sell;
  • Things you can donate;
  • Those you should bin; and
  • Those to come with

Most of us try to organize our wardrobes, our Tupperware drawer, or our shoe rack at least once a year, but does it really happen? This is the best time for the job because 1) it saves you time and money having to pack and move it, 2) you want your new place to look clear and uncluttered, and 3) other people might love your items more than you do!


4. Packing

Now that you’ve sorted out all the items that have made the cut to join you on your new venture, it’s time to get them packed. Here are a few tips and tricks that might come in handy when it’s time to get wrappin’ and packin’…

  • Pack heavy items into smaller boxes. By limiting how much weight is in each box will make what you have to carry from one point to another easier for you, or your movers.
  • As mentioned earlier, don’t empty what you don’t need to and try to utilize the space you already have. Load up your suitcases, vases, bedside tables, chests even appliances like your microwave or fridge are great bodies of space to fill
  • Instead of folding and packing your linens and towels into boxes, use them to wrap fragile and precious items. Two birds one stone and all that…
  • When it comes to loading up boxes, it’s a great idea to coordinate them before you seal and ship them off. Some tips here are:
    • Colour code or label each of them for which room in your new home they’re going to. That way you or your movers can take them straight to that area and save double handling
    • Label what’s in each box so that if you’re looking for something in particular at any time, it saves you ripping open a few boxes before you track it down
    • Before you unplug your tangle of wires from the back of your TV and stereo system or your computer setup, take a quick photo of them so that it helps when you go to set them back up and see where each wire was originally


5. Get the Word Out

No doubt you’ve already shared news of your departure to your friends and neighbours, but don’t forget about the people that deliver your post or connect your power. Here’s a list of a few important contacts to be sure to update…

  • Gas/electric company
  • Hydro/power supplier
  • Insurance company(s)
  • Post shop
  • Phone and/or internet company(s)
  • Rubbish collection
  • Financial institution(s)
  • Doctor/dentist/optician
  • Any home security company
  • Landlord (if renting prior to moving)
  • Benefits provider e.g., Health Insurance BC
  • Car insurance company e.g., BCAA
  • Schools and/or daycare(s)
  • My Services Canada / Canada Revenue Agency
  • Your workplace


If buying a home is one of the biggest moments in your life, getting ready to move into one is another! There is a lot to think about, but there’s also many people you can reach out to for advice or suggestions.

Our team of Stilhavn REALTORS® have been through the buying and moving process for many of their clients and are filled with information to help you through each of the stages also. Have questions?

Reach out to them today!