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Moving can be stressful, but these tips will help you ensure 'Moving Day' goes as smoothly as possible.

After a long search, many open houses, and possibly even a bidding war, you found the perfect home! Now, all you can do is dream about settling into your new digs. But before you start picking out your wall colours, it’s important to make sure you’re ready for the move. With the stress of all the packing and planning, here are some common tasks people often forget to do.

Scope Out Your Neighbourhood

GPS is a great tool, but navigating in a new area the day you move can add stress. Knowing where a few key locations are, like the nearest bank branch or ATM, can help you on moving day. If your tools are all packed away or if you discover the previous tenants took all the lightbulbs with them you’ll want to know where the closest hardware store is. If you have friends help you move, you’ll want to know where you can order decent pizza or Chinese food on that first night when you’re so exhausted you can barely lift your fingers to dial.

New home. Friends in new apartment after unpacking

Create ‘Open me first’ Boxes

The last thing you want to be doing is searching for your toothbrush amidst a sea of identical cardboard boxes. When it comes to things you use on a daily basis, make sure to put them into boxes clearly marked as essentials. Then move them yourself instead of letting a mover pack them away – that way you’ll know exactly where they are at all times.

Change Your Address

You might remember to forward your mail, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off on changing your address. There are some address changes that can’t wait — like your driver’s license, your car and home insurance, your bank and credit accounts, and your health card. While you’re at it, let your employer and the federal and provincial governments know you’ve got a new place.

Couple sitting on sofa with their pet dog in their new house

Think About Your Pets

The last thing you need on moving day is a family pet getting lost or hurt. The disruption to animals’ routines, like packing and new people in their space (like movers), can agitate your fur babies, making them more likely to run and hide or even run away. Add to that doors left open by movers and your moving day can get severely off-track. If possible, send your pets to a kennel or leave them with a friend on moving day. Then when you arrive at your new home, make sure you have all their stuff unpacked for their return.

Clean Your New Place

The last owners might say they had the house professionally cleaned prior to handing over the keys, but sometimes professionals miss a spot or two. Before hauling in boxes and furniture, open up drawers, appliances and closets to make sure they are clean. If the fridge still has a sticky orange spot near the back, it’s going to be easier to clean when you don’t have a cooler full of food next to you and movers everywhere. Keep cleaning supplies on hand on moving day just in case.

Take the time to plan ahead to ensure that you are able to focus on enjoying your new home.

Young couple unpacking and cleaning during move to new home.