Moving is never an easy feat, but moving with young children is extra stressful and taxing for the entire family. We just completed our first move since becoming parents eight years ago, and it was a crazy amount of work.
We are not entirely unpacked in every single room just yet, but we are getting there. We need to add artwork to the walls, and all those finishing decor touches still, but we are finally feeling more settled into our new home.
Once we found out we were moving, we started to plan for move day, and we followed a couple of steps to ensure everything went smoothly. Below I am sharing some tips to help you plan and stay ahead during your next big move.
Tips to Help Make Your Next Move Extra Smooth
- Purge before the move: This one is critical. Start decluttering and purging your home and your garage BEFORE you move. Start months in advance if you can. Donating things you don’t need and getting rid of unwanted stuff will lighten your load, and it will be a saviour when it comes to what you have to pack/unpack and move to your new home.I had a couple of weeks to declutter, so I ended up booking the free donation pick up from our local Vancouver Big Brother. Their big truck came and took our donations, and it was super easy to do. There are a few charities and organizations in Vancouver that offer free pickup so check to see what’s available in your area. Otherwise, you can drop off your donations at Value Village directly.
- Label all boxes carefully: This one is super important. We were super careful ensuring all of our boxes were clearly labelled, including the room they should go into.When we were moving boxes into the new house, they all went straight into the room they needed to go into, right from the beginning. It was super easy to then just focus on unpacking each room/area, knowing that everything that was meant to be in that room was already there.
- Use a spreadsheet to list tasks or a project management tool: There are many things that need to happen when you are moving and keeping track of the growing list of tasks can easily become overwhelming. Creating an easy to read list of tasks and sharing it with your significant other is super helpful. Using a project management tool allows you both to cross out items in the list that are done and see what’s left to do on the list in real time.My husband uses Trello.com, and he created a board for us to share. We put all of the to-dos in there, and I found it very helpful to keep track of what needed to be done. We tracked things like re-directing our mailing address, ordering new city garbage bins in the new house, booking the movers, etc.
- Load your kid’s iPad with games and favourite T.V. shows/movies: You need to keep little ones safely entertained and away from all the moving commotion. If the kids are going to be with you during moving day then having an iPad loaded with entertainment is a good idea. Even better if you can book childcare for the day or have them stay with friends or family during moving day.
- Unpacking order: Once all the boxes and furniture is moved into your new home you can start the process of unpacking and organizing. You won’t be able to unpack everything right away so you must start with the most important/used rooms in your home. Priorities are things like setting up the kid’s and your beds, closets and the kitchen. Your office can wait for another day. Prioritizing what needs to be unpacked can make the whole process a lot easier for everyone in the family.
- Be prepared for things not being hooked up right away: For our move, I scheduled our internet provider to switch our service to the new house weeks in advance. However, we had an unexpected set back with some cable connections and ended up having no internet for a full week. We were not prepared for that! The lesson is always to be prepared for the unexpected.
- Change your address online: You must give your new address to the Canadian Revenue Agency, MSP and ICBC.You can change your address online for CRA logging into your “My Account”, and you can also use the Adress Change BC website to change your address on your driver’s licence and MSP account. However, you must go in person to change your address on your ICBC car insurance. Remember to call magazines or other subscriptions you have to update your address as well.
- Mail Forwarding Service: Canada Post offers a pretty handy mail forwarding service. For a fee, you can get all your mail being sent to your old address forwarded to your new home address. We signed up for this for six months, and I like knowing that I will get my mail even if I forgot to update my address. Now, when a piece of mail arrives with my old address I know to give the sender a call to update my address.
Finally, make sure to take some extra time for yourself during the move. Even if it is just an hour at the end of the day, make yourself a bath, put your feet up and relax at the end of the day. Moving is exhausting, physically and emotionally, but the rewards of setting up your new home and feeling settled are worth all the hard work.