Just like home renovations, moving can be both stressful and exciting – it can be a fresh start full of possibilities, and it also requires plenty of planning and a lot of work.
Moving certainly isn’t easy, but you can make it easier on yourself, your family and your pocketbook. In order to make your next move a little smoother, Royal LePage SOLUTIONS offers the following tips, including a Moving Calendar and some contact numbers for Calgary and area Utilities.
Lighten the Load
Naturally, the less you have to move, the easier it will be. Now is a great time to sort through your belongings and decide what you want to keep (and pack & unpack!), what to throw away (recycle what you can first), what to donate to charity and what to sell.
A garage sale is a great way to sell your unwanted items and earn a bit of money. If you have children, involve them in the sale as well. While they may not like the idea of selling their toys at first, earning a bit of money by selling items they no longer use is enticing. Teaming up with your neighbours is a great way to drive more traffic to your sale, so ask if they are interested in having a garage sale or would like to sell a few items at your sale. Book the date, create and post signs for your sale, and make sure you have $100 in small bills and change – you won’t want to run out.
If you only have a few items worth selling, or don’t have time or want to hold a garage sale, considering posting the items on websites such as Kijiji and Craig’s List. Any items that don’t sell can still be donated to charity before you move. Please keep in mind that charities are not interested in trash – items need to be in good working order, and any clothing should be clean and free of any rips or tears.
Reducing the amount of clutter not only improves your living space, but also saves you money – you won’t be paying a moving company to haul items you no longer need, and you may just make some money as well.
Do It Yourself or Hire Movers?
Before you decide, ask for quotes from a few moving companies. There are a number of moving companies in the Calgary area – get at least three quotes, and you can ask for quotes that include packing, packing of breakables only, or no packing, depending on how much you want to do.
To truly compare, add up the costs if you were to move yourself, including the cost of renting a truck, the cost of gas, the time involved in packing, traveling and any lost wages, the cost of packing materials and any meals or accommodation you may require on the road. Also consider if you have the time, are physically able to haul boxes and furniture, and whether you have friends and family to help.
If it's a Corporate Relocation Move....
If your move is part of a corporate relocation, you likely will have packers and movers that have already been selected and paid for by your employer. You will still need to plan for someone who will be do your packing and moving:
- If you don't want it on the truck with your furniture, get it out of the house before the packers arrive. Put it in the trunk of your car or leave it at your neighbours. Otherwise, it will end up in a numbered cardboard box.
- They will not pack or move liquids or explosives. That means all your cleaning supplies cannot go with you or you could void your insurance on your belongings. Give them away to family, friends, your local school or church.
- Packers have been known to pack your garbage - literally. Make sure all your trash cans are empty on packing day and use one central garbage bag for your trash.
- If appliances are going with you, be sure to remove anything not firmly attached and have it packed separately. Some of these items may include: ice cube trays, baking pans, cookie sheets. It is smart to clean appliances before moving them, take a photo to show the condition they were in prior to the move, and take the warranty, owner's manual and bill of sale with you.
- Supervise the packing of key linens such as bedding, towels and facecloths into one box. When your boxes arrive on move-in day, no matter how tired and chaotic things are, you only have one box to open to make beds and get a good night's rest!
1 Month Before
- Decide what you want to take, and what you want to sell, donate, recycle or discard.
- Start using up frozen food and pantry staples. Buy only what is necessary.
- If you are making a long distance move, plan your trip. Make airline reservations, book hotels and rental cars if necessary.
- Arrange for important school, medical, financial and legal records to be transferred, as well as any memberships.
3 Weeks Before
- Return any items you have borrowed (such as library books) and pick up any items that may be out for service or storage (such as drycleaning).
- Properly dispose of flammable items such as paint, aerosol cans, etc. The City of Calgary has several drop-off sites for household chemicals. Call 3-1-1 for more information.
- Send out change of address cards and notify Canada Post of your move.
- Cancel any contracted services and arrange for services at your new address.
2 Weeks Before
- Start packing non-essential items.
- Plan to disconnect utilities, and arrange to have gas, electric and water meters read on moving day and the bill forwarded to your new address.
- Make arrangements for the gas and electric utilities, telephone and cable to be connected at your new house on possession day.
- Schedule a date for a service company to disconnect and prepare the appliances you are moving.
- Arrange for a babysitter for moving day if you have small children.
- Have a floor plan for your new home, making extra copies, and outline where furniture will be arranged (this will make Move In day much easier).
- If you are traveling a long distance by car, have your vehicle serviced.
1 Week Before
- Finish packing all but the essentials you will be taking with you. Keep valuables such as jewelry, cash and important documents with you.
- Make sure important documents, medications, keys, etc. are available for the trip.
- Drain garden hoses and lawnmower.
- Defrost, clean and dry the refrigerator and freezer.
- Do all the laundry.
1 Day Before
- Pack your suitcases.
- Leave a clear workspace for the packers/movers.
- Set aside and label items you are taking with you, and items being left for the new owners.
- Pack the car for the trip.
- Take out the garbage and recycling.
Move Out Day
- Plan to stay in your home until the moving van has left.
- Tour the house with the van operator during inventory. Sign the bill of lading, confirm your new address and delivery date. Check destination phone numbers.
- Make a final check of your home for overlooked items before the van leaves, and ensure windows and doors are locked, and lights are turned off.
Leaving Your Home for the New Owners
As a matter of courtesy, leave your old home as clean as you would like to find it if you were the new owner. Before you leave, complete a final check through every room. If you are leaving appliances in the home, leave behind the manuals that accompany them. Also leave keys, the mail key and mail box number, controls for the garage door opener, and any security codes.
In Your “New” Home
- Pick up the keys to your new home and inspect it. Make sure the appliances work. If something isn’t right, contact Val right away on 403.690.7629.
- Do any cleaning now before the moving van arrives, and make sure your furniture arrangement plan is suitable.
- When the mover arrives, check items unloaded against the inventory. Confirm unpacking requirements.
- Unload cartons in the appropriate room – this makes unpacking easier.
- When unpacking, it helps to focus on one room at a time, starting with the kitchen and the bathroom.
Once you have moved in, you will need to change the address on your driver’s license and Alberta Health Care card. Visit Service Alberta to find an Alberta Registries agent near you. You will also need to notify the Canada Revenue Agency of your new address - a telephone number and link are listed below for your convenience.
If you have any questions about your move, please feel free to contact Val on 403.690.7629.
Some Helpful Contacts for Calgary and Area Utilities
Enmax 310-2010 www.enmax.com
Epcor 310-4300 http://www.epcor.ca
Atco Gas 403-245-7888 www.atcogas.com
Direct Energy 1-866-420-3174 www.directenergy.com
Alberta Health Care 310-0000, then dial 780-427-1432 http://www.health.alberta.ca/AHCIP/Q-moving.html
Shaw Cable 403-716-0000 www.shaw.ca
Bell 310-BELL (2355) www.bell.ca
Rogers 1-877-343-5745 www.rogers.ca
Telus 310-2255 www.telus.net
Canada Revenue Agency 1-800-959-8281 CRA website