Timing your household move: Key questions & a countdown

Timing your move is everything when it comes to ensuring success. And even if it’s not everything, careful planning and forethought helps everything happen efficiently.

As soon as you decide to move, start your thinking process, explore your options and take action.

There are three key questions to ask to start.


Are you moving yourself, or will you hire movers?

It’s wise to book the moving company or truck at least a month ahead, and preferably more. Keep in mind that because the weather is more favourable, late spring, early summer and early fall are the most popular times of the year for moves. If you wait too long to book, you may have trouble getting someone during those seasons.

Something else to keep in mind: June 30 is the busiest moving day of the year.

Are you going to pack your own or take advantage of professional packing services?

If you are thinking DIY, start collecting/buying boxes and packing material. Professional movers usually sell standard-sized boxes that are sturdy and easy to stack, as well as paper that can protect your items without leaving newsprint ink behind.


What do you want/need to move?

Now is the time to purge all of those unnecessary items that have been at the back of closets and basement corners for often years. The less “stuff” you move, the easier and less expensive the transfer.

Timing your move countdown

Here’s a handy reference for what to do when.

A month before the move:

  • De-clutter, sort, pitch, give away, donate to charity, host a yard sale — whatever — but pare down your goods.
  • Get change-of-address cards from your local post office.
  • Notify newspapers/magazines, insurance companies, banks, credit card companies, schools, employers, etc., of your change of address.
  • Start using up food and perishables to minimize what you throw out on moving day.
  • If you are moving to a new home or condo that includes appliances, ask for the owner’s manuals ahead of time.

Two weeks to one week in advance:

  • Make a “survival closet” of items you will need to clean the place once furniture is moved (broom, dustpan, cleansers, etc.). Include snacks that you can grab quickly during the process.
  • Either start packing or make sure your mover begins. Label boxes as you pack with both the contents AND which room each will go into at your new digs. Write the destination room on the top and sides of each box.
  • Schedule disconnects for utilities and phone, but make sure you still have the use of your phone line on moving day. At the same time, arrange for hook-ups at the other end.
  • Cancel cable TV, security system monitoring and any companies you use for services such as cleaning and lawn maintenance.
  • Send change-of-address cards.

The day before the move:

  • Clean out, defrost and dry the fridge and freezer.
  • Get to a bank or bank machine and take out enough cash to tide you over.
  • Pack a last-minute essentials bag/box.
  • Arrange for children and pets to be looked after elsewhere on moving day.

On moving day:

  • Double and triple check rooms, closets, the garage, basement, etc., to ensure you have all of your things and the areas are left clean.
  • Don’t forget to carry your own family valuables, cash and important documents, including paperwork relevant to the move.

About the Author

Chuck Resnick

Chuck Resnick is vice-president marketing & operations for Two Men And A Truck – Canada.



Join our mailing list and GET YOUR FREE Homeowner’s Mini-Guide
Whether searching for your first home, preparing to upsize or downsize, or mulling over a renovation, this guide provides valuable resources and tips.