Bought your first house? Congratulations! Now it’s time to get planning! Things get hectic the closer you are to taking possession of your home, so the more you get done in the front end, the less stressed you’ll be in the home stretch. Here’s your pre-move to-do list.

3 MONTHS BEFORE CLOSING

  • Get quotes from professional movers. Schedule in-home estimates with potential movers. You could cut it closer (two months out), but if you’re moving cross-country or during a peak time like summer, the extra four weeks gives you time to comparison shop.

2 MONTHS BEFORE CLOSING 

  • Book the movers.
  • Book the freight elevator at your condo. If you’ve firmed up a time and date with your mover, get first crack at securing your preferred time slot for this in-demand resource.
  • Edit your belongings. Tackle each room, one at a time. Put everything into four piles: Keep (things you are taking with you), Donate, Yard Sale (good stuff you can share or sell) and Trash (damaged goods).
  • Host a yard sale and drop off any donations.

1 MONTH BEFORE CLOSING

  • Share your change of address. Notify friends, relatives and service providers of the pending move. Don’t forget the following: your bank, credit card companies, insurance providers, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, doctor, dentist, lawyer and government offices (health card, driver’s licence, Canada Revenue Agency).
  • Get your mail forwarded. Canada Post’s mail forwarding service will redirect any mail sent to your old address to your new one.
  • Return any cable or Internet equipment.
  • Prep kids. Schedule in farewell playdates, exchange new address info and arrange child care for young kids on moving day (less stress for you, safer for them!).
  • Notify schools. Inform old and new schools of the move.
  • Transfer utilities. Arrange for disconnection at your old home and set-up at your new home.
  • Start packing. Tackle out-of-season and non-everyday items first. Pack kitchen, bath and everyday items in the final week or two before the move.
  • Make travel plans. If you’ll be staying in a hotel, book it now.
  • Make pet plans. Book your boarder or pet sitter, so pets are safely out of the way on moving day.
  • Cancel gym membership. Or notify them of the address change.
  • Use up fridge and pantry items. Keep new groceries to a minimum.

 1 WEEK BEFORE CLOSING

  • Pack and label your “last load” bins. These contain everyday items for immediate access in your new home (toilet paper, paper towel).
  • Return any borrowed items. And pick up anything you’ve loaned out.
  • Clean the house. Avoid using appliances afterwards.

1 DAY BEFORE CLOSING

  • Fill up your vehicle with gas.
  • Drop pets off at kennels or sitters.
  • Shut and lock all windows.
  • Gather all house keys and garage door openers.
  • Do a final cleaning and fridge clear-out.
  • Do a final walk-through. Is everything packed? Check closets and cabinets.
  • Get set! One more sleep till “go time!”

This article is part of our Guide for Millennial Homebuyers.

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