So you’ve searched the apartment listings, found the one you want and signed all the paperwork. The only thing left is to pick up all of your stuff and take it to the new apartment. Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Not quite. A move requires a lot of planning, careful organization and perhaps even a little bit of luck to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned professional, here are seven tips to help make your move a little easier.
A move isn’t something you can simply prepare for over a weekend. Always plan ahead and never, ever, start packing the day before, as you’ll find that you have a lot more stuff than you initially thought. Make sure all of your boxes are labelled appropriately – it will save you a lot of hassle when you’re unpacking if you know what box goes in what room.
In the process of packing, you might discover that you no longer need, like, or have room for old clothes, furniture and knick-knacks. Don’t toss that stuff away, though – donate it to a worthy cause, such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army or the Canadian Diabetes Association. It’s a win-win situation – you’ll have fewer things to haul over to your new apartment and you get to help a charitable organization in the process. Plus, you might get a receipt for your donation, which you can use to lower the amount of taxable income you have to claim on your next tax return.
A nice, empty apartment awaits you, but there’s just one problem – you still have to get all of your stuff over there. Unless you have friends or family with large vans or trucks who are willing to help out, chances are you’re going to have to rent one from a company such as U-Haul. Demand for these vehicles is always high, especially between April and October, so it’s always a good idea to book out a van or truck several weeks in advance. Wait until the last minute and you might discover they don’t have any trucks available, and if they do, they might not be available during the time you had hoped to make the move.
Ideally, you should recruit a personal army of friends and family to help you move, as the only cost you’ll have to pay might be pitching in for a pizza after everything is done. However, what do you do if all of your friends are busy or out of town? Unless your idea of a fun weekend is hauling box after box into your new apartment all by yourself, perhaps it’s best to hire the services of a moving company. Whether you need them to do the entire move for you, or you just need them to help you load up the truck, a moving company has well-trained staff and all of the necessary equipment that will keep your valuables intact and make your move fast and hassle-free. Be sure to check the insurance policies of the moving company you hire – some offer different levels of coverage than others. You may want to invest in some form of moving insurance, especially if you have lots of rare and breakable items that could get damaged during a move.
Regardless of what floor you’re moving into to, getting all of your items up to your new apartment – especially those big pieces of furniture – isn’t going to be easy. Luckily, most apartments have large service elevators that can be used specifically for this purpose. However, during the busy times of the year, a lot of people are going to want to use those elevators at the same time. That’s why it’s wise to get those elevators booked in your name as far in advance as possible – some apartments will let you reserve an elevator a few months in advance. If you don’t, it might be a long night of waiting in the apartment lobby, waiting for an elevator to be free. Be sure to always check with the apartment manager to see when you can use the elevators, as some buildings have restrictions about what times of the day the service elevator can actually be used. Get all of the information you can, as far in advance as you can, and plan your move accordingly.
Try as you might, there’s bound to be somebody that you forgot to tell about your change of address. Luckily, you can register your change of address with Canada Post, and for a small fee ($36 for six months), they can redirect any mail sent to your old address to your new one. That will give you plenty of time to make sure all of your contacts are up-to-date regarding your whereabouts without having to worry about whether an important package will arrive at your new place or on the other side of town.
Apart from your mail, it’s important to have any monthly services, such as existing cable, phone, Internet, gas and hydro accounts, transferred over to your new address (or cancelled at your old place, if you won’t need them anymore). This can be extremely important, especially if you’re the type that depends on things such as the Internet for work or school.
These tips should help your move go as smoothly as possible – but like anything in life, you should always expect for the unexpected. But as long you’ve prepared as much as you can in advance, you should be resting comfortably in your new apartment.
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