Making the decision to move homes can be exciting and stressful at the same time. This guide is intended to help your move go smoothly, so you can focus on the excitement of finding a new home and community. Not only do you have to think about packing up all your belongings and cleaning your current home, but you then have to consider new neighbourhoods, moving costs, timelines and security deposits. So, we've created this step-by-step guide to simplify and prepare you for your next move. Follow along for 8 steps to help you prepare for a move.
8 Steps on How to Prepare for a Move
1. Set Your Budget
First, consider how much of your monthly earnings you want to spend on rent. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) (2018) considers housing affordable if it costs less than 30 per cent of a household's before-tax income. So, look at factors like whether you have a one- or two-income household, you work part-time or full-time, you have savings or debt to pay off, to come up with a reasonable number for you to pay each month in rent. Make sure you factor in other household expenses such as renters insurance and utilities. This step can be done any time, but it should be completed before you start looking for your new home.
2. Find the Perfect New Home
Now comes the fun part: house hunting! At this stage of your move, you've probably already started thinking about where you want to live. Perhaps you've narrowed it down to a province, city or neighbourhood so far. You also want to consider factors like accessibility, transit routes, major roads, nearby amenities, walkability, noise levels, etc. Finally, you need to decide what type of home you want to live in, whether that's a house, townhome, apartment, or studio. Your budget may dictate this as well. Now, it's time to start browsing online and see what's out there.
We recommend you start looking for your new home 2-3 months ahead of when you want to move in. Often places are listed early if residents know their lease is ending, plus you get to see a wide variety of prices and housing options before you decide. You can also browse popular rental sites like:
3. Book Movers
Once you've secured a new home, it's time to give your current property owner notice of your move out day and book your movers or moving truck right away. Do your research and hire a good moving company in your area. Most moving companies recommend booking their services 4+ weeks ahead of time to ensure they are available on your date. Last minute moves are sometimes unavoidable, but you can end up paying more or spend hours on the phone attempting to find a company that is available on your moving day. If you choose to go to the friends and family route, make sure they have a vehicle large enough to transport all your belongings, or else consider renting a truck or trailer for the day.
4. Start Organizing & Decluttering
Now that you'll be moving in a few weeks, it's time to start envisioning the move and where all your belongings will go in the new place. If you're downsizing, you could have a garage sale or sell items online, so you have less to move. Start looking in all those hard-to-see places for items you can sell, donate or throw away. If you're upgrading, wait to buy new items until you've moved into the new place, or else have them delivered the day after you move in. Now would also be a great time to secure boxes from local businesses as a cost-friendly packing option and start sorting items that you don't use daily — make sure you label everything.
5. Move Your Utilities
Consider transferring or setting up a cancellation date for all your utilities 3-4 weeks before you move. Start by making a list of all the monthly services you pay for, like gas, heat, electricity, water and sewer, internet, satellite, home phone, etc. Depending on what services your new home comes equipped with, you can then decide which of these services you need to transfer to your new address or cancel all together. Don't leave this to the last minute or you may end up being without services at your new place. With some rental properties, utilities will be included in your rent, like with our hassle-free Utilities Program. This can be a convenient option, so you don't have to worry about paying multiple bills.
6. Update Your Address
Next, you will need to update your mailing address 2-3 weeks before moving. You have already given your new address to your service providers listed above, and now you need to consider who else requires this information: current place of employment, credit card company, bank, health care providers, and anywhere you receive regular mail from. Your driver's licence will also need updating, along with your family and friends so those birthday cards and wedding invitations go to the right address.
7. Schedule Your Move in Date & Walk-through
About 1-2 weeks before you move, reconnect with your property manager and confirm what day you're moving in. Often the previous residents will move out a day or two early depending on their new accommodations, so it's a good idea to ask in the event you can move in early. Once this is decided, you and your property manager can set up a walk-through of the new place once, so you are both aware of its current condition before moving day. At this meeting, you will also get the keys to your new home.
8. The Final Push
One week before your move, it's time to get serious. Start packing everything that you won't need for the next few days and label your boxes in case you need to find them. Some people pack an overnight bag so they can simply change into comfy clothes when they arrive at their new home and start the unpacking process the following day. A few days before the big move, confirm both of your addresses with your moving company and set a time for their arrival.
That's it, following these 8 steps will have you prepared for your move in no time. Ready to start looking for your new home? Head over to our home page to browse homes by city and budget. We have a great selection of apartments and townhomes for rent across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.