From colour-coded boxes to last-minute reminders, we’ve compiled a few expert tips and strategies for getting through moving day with all your stuff – and your sanity – intact.
At the old place
Pack a moving day “survival kit"
Have a box or backpack with everything you’ll need the day of the move, and the night and morning after, and bring it with you in the car or as checked luggage on the plane. Include items like toiletries, a change of clothes, sheets, towels, shampoo, soap, paper towels, coffee mugs and paper plates. Include important papers like insurance policies, birth certificates, etc. And don’t forget a big blanket or sheet to sit on so you can have a “picnic” and not worry about dirty floors.
Set aside special boxes for your kids’ important stuff, too.
Clothes, special toys and blankets, books, photos, toothbrushes and pyjamas – ensure they have easy access to everything they need to feel at home in their new space.
Colour code boxes
Assign each room in your new place a colour. (Red for the kitchen, blue for the master bedroom, etc.) Put a sticker of the appropriate colour on each box – and a corresponding sticker on the door of each room. It’s a great way to avoid confusion, especially if movers can’t tell which is “Max’s room” and which is “Emily’s room.”
Assign boxes “load last”
Vital kitchen stuff, linens, kids’ items and other things you’ll need right away should be loaded last and unloaded first. Mark them clearly.
Get a sitter
Have someone you trust take care of kids and/or pets for the day. That way they won’t get stressed out by the upheaval, and you won’t have to worry about them getting underfoot.
Clear a path
Make sure there’s a spot for the moving truck to park, and that there are no plants, boxes or furniture blocking doorways and walkways. Remove rugs, disconnect the spring from the screen door and prop open doors than swing shut.
Get rid of last-minute garbage
Ask your neighbours if you can use their containers to toss any remaining trash. Make sure any hazardous or flammable waste is disposed of properly.
Check the meters
Take note of your utility meter readings so you don’t end up paying for someone else’s use.
Do a final check
Do one last walk-through to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Don’t forget closets, cupboards and crawl spaces.
Turn the furnace/AC off
Turn off all the lights, shut all the windows and lock the doors.
Hand over the keys
Leave them with the landlord or new owner.
At your new home
Unload the “load last/unload first” boxes
Make sure they can be easily accessed once they’re inside.
Supervise the rest of the unloading
See that the right boxes are going to the right rooms.
Set up beds first
Before unpacking or setting up anything else, ensure everyone has a comfortable place to sleep.
Kitchen essentials next
After sleep comes food. Pull out the coffee maker, the toaster and maybe a frying pan for scrambled eggs so you can have breakfast in the AM.
Enjoy your new home!