Let’s face it: moving can be one of the more significant stressors we experience in life. There’s just so much to do, from racing to fix and clean up your existing home, selling or donating the items you no longer need, changing mailing addresses including utilities and insurance, booking movers and packing all your stuff (whew).
Fortunately, BCAA is here to help with a detailed moving checklist to ensure nothing gets missed. And if you're moving within BC, our BCAA Home Insurance can provide you with peace of mind during your move, knowing that your property and personal items are protected. Follow this six-week countdown to keep calm, organized and ensure your moving day goes smoothly.
Six weeks out: book your movers
You’ve signed the papers on your new home. Congrats! Now it’s time to get planning. The first step is to book a moving company (if you don’t plan to tackle the move yourself):
- Do some research or ask for recommendations from friends who’ve recently moved, and make sure you check reviews. Tip: you can use your BCAA Membership to earn up to 200 CAA Dollars® on moving services at AMJ Campbell.
- Make a list of all your big items and how many rooms full of stuff you have to move. Share that list and relevant photos with the movers so they can provide you an estimate/quote. Ideally, you want quotes from 3+ licensed moving companies.
- Book the elevator if you're moving to or from a building.
- Booking tip: If you can, avoid moving on weekends or the last and first days of the month—these are the busiest moving days which means it’s tougher to reserve the trucks and your building’s elevator (if you’re moving to or from a condo).
Start a system for tracking all your moving expenses (keep paper receipts in an envelope and digital receipts in a computer file), as these moving expenses can help with your year-end tax deductions.
Insurance tip: Did you know BCAA Home Insurance coverage may extend to personal property in transit within BC, like while moving? It’s always a good idea to double check that there are no gaps in your policy, and that coverage is in place before, during and after you move. For all your home insurance questions, you can connect with our expert advisors by chat (by clicking on the ‘chat now’ icon on the bottom right of your screen) or by phone at 1.888.268.2222.
Five weeks out: declutter and donate
Up next, it’s time to declutter. Walk around your home — basements, closets, storage locker, shed — and decide what you won’t be bringing with you to your new abode. This important step will make your move so much easier.
- Create a designated area for things you plan to donate or recycle, then, starting with your closets and storage spaces, move through each room, one by one.
- Divide these items into the categories of sell, recycle or donate. Here’s a great resource for recycling anything in BC, including a Recycling Home Tour to help you identify items for recycling. Need a hand getting rid of what you no longer need in a responsible way? BCAA Members save up to 10% on junk removal with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
It’s also time to get organized by gathering the necessary packing supplies. Make your move eco-friendlier by renting reusable moving boxes from a company like Bungobox, Frogbox or Uhaul. When you’re stocking up on moving essentials, source recycled boxes and paper for wrapping up your items.
Some other pro packing pointers:
- Create a box-labelling system that’s numbered or colour-coded by room.
- Get smart about your move and use an app to make a To-Do list, book tasks and organize your move.
- Use your BCAA Membership to save on supplies. Shop online at Staples and earn 3% back in CAA Dollars® or earn 2% back on online purchases at Home Depot.
Now you’re ready to start packing. Start with the stuff you don’t use that often, including seasonal items (you’re probably done with skis for the year), and items from your attic, basement, or shed.
Insurance tip: If you’re putting some (or all) of your belongings in a storage facility while moving, they could be covered for several days. Again, ensure to check with your insurance provider to confirm how long that may be.
Four weeks out: insurance and address changes
It’s one month until you move! Use this checklist to keep track of important tasks:
- Fill out a change-of-address form with Canada Post.
- Change your address with Revenue Canada and Canada Pension Plan.
- Change your address with ICBC and your driver’s license/BC Services Card.
- Change your address with your employer, healthcare providers (including your veterinarian), banks/credit unions, credit card companies, insurance companies, schools, daycares, subscription services etc.
- Move over your utilities, including phone, internet, BC Hydro and FortisBC gas and schedule any necessary in-home set up appointments.
- Transfer or set up your home insurance. As long as you have your new address and moving date set up, you can call us to schedule the switch to your policy ahead of time. And if your coverage needs will be changing at your new home, we can help create a new policy for you. Considering switching your home insurance to BCAA? Here’s some tips for how to shop for the best home insurance to meet your needs.
- Confirm key details with your moving company, including arrival times, parking/elevator access and insurance coverage.
- Schedule a cleaning company.
- Book vacation time off your job for the days around your move.
Insurance tip: If you’ve purchased your new home, it’s crucial to ensure that you have home insurance starting on the completion date when the property officially transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer (you!). Even if you have yet to take possession of your home, it is now legally your responsibility. It’s key to know your completion and possession dates and share them with your insurer to ensure there’s no gap in coverage.
Two-to-three weeks out: pack, pack, pack
It’s time to get serious about packing! Do a little bit every day, so you don’t leave it to the last minute and add unnecessary stress. As you pack each box, label it with what room it will end up in and a bullet-point list of the contents. Label fragile items ‘Fragile.’ If something needs to be ‘This End Up,’ write that down too. Use felt pens and paper stickers to label all your electronic cables. This will save you a ton of hassles when you plug everything back in again.
A nice touch to welcome new homeowners or tenants moving into your place is a helpful ‘welcome packet.’ Include items like warranties on appliances, vendors or contractors you recommend, local restaurants and businesses you adore, and a note with your contact info if they have any questions or need to forward important mail.
At last, it’s moving week! Time to tie up any loose ends before you move into your awesome new home.
- Take one last look at all your packed possessions. Is there anything that doesn’t spark joy? Anything you haven’t used or thought of in a year? Schedule a pickup for those items or drop them off at a chosen charity. In Vancouver, for example, you can donate clothes to the Vancouver Firefighters — here’s a map of all their donation bins.
- Confirm details with your movers, including their arrival time, parking details, entrance buzzer, elevator instructions, everyone’s phone numbers, last-minute details, and the route into your new home.
- Walk the route. If you can, visit your new home so you can plan the most efficient moving route, track how long it should take, and check out the parking there, so there’s room for your moving truck.
- Get some cash from the ATM to tip your movers and for any unexpected expenses.
- Ensure your phone is fully charged for the day of the move.
- Ensure important phone numbers (movers, landlord or building contact) and paperwork are accessible.
And just like that, you’re ready for moving day. Keep calm, wave goodbye to your old home and order plenty of pizza as a reward for yourself and anyone who helped – you did it!
BCAA is here to help
Having proper home insurance to safeguard your home and belongings is essential throughout your move: before, during and after. To provide you peace of mind, BCAA Home Insurance offers protection for various scenarios such as fire, break-ins and water damage, to name a few.
Visit bcaa.com/home to learn more and get a quote on home insurance today. Plus, you’ll save 5% when you buy online, and BCAA Members can save up to 20% on BCAA Home Insurance.