So you’ve bought a home. Don’t sit back and relax just yet. The real work is about to begin!

Here are some practical tips to help prepare for a stress-free moving day:

1. Create a checklist

List the things you have to do as moving day approaches, in chronological order.

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2. File paperwork

Use an accordion folder to file all your records and receipts in one place. Keep an online folder on your computer for electronic records, including email messages.

3. Manage expenses

Create a budget and determine what services you can afford: movers, moving van, storage container, etc. Shop around for the best deal and book well in advance.

4. Label

Map out where your furniture will go in your new home and label accordingly so it gets put in the right rooms from the start. Also create labels for all your moving boxes and pack items by room. Keep a record of your list of labels so you can track every item on moving day and make sure nothing goes missing.

5. Change of address

Notify personal contacts of your change of address and of the effective date. Also file a change of address notice with Canada Post.

6. Purge

Now is the time to go through each room and discard/donate/sell or give away whatever you don’t need.

7. Pack

About five weeks before moving day, collect boxes and start packing items that are not used often, such as photo albums, books and mementos.

8. Meal planning

Two weeks before moving plan your meals for the last week to help empty the refrigerator and avoid using any appliances that have already been packed.

9. Final lap

With one week to go, finish packing essential items. Drain all gas from your mowers and other motors and dispose of appropriately. Drain your garden hose. Empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator. If necessary, make childcare arrangements for moving day.

10. Moving day

Do a final check of all rooms and leave a note with your new address for the future residents so they can forward any stray mail.

Achieve the homeownership dream sooner