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Moving Guide

Plan Your Move

Budget Your Move

Before you move, it's important to draft a detailed budget. By identifying required items and outlining their costs, you'll be able to monitor your spending to help you stay on track, leaving a little wiggle room for the unexpected.

DIY move

At first glance, moving yourself may seem like a cost-effective option - and it is if your new home is close to the old one. But if you're moving a longer distance, you'll have to budget for costs over and above the truck rental. Consider the following:

  • Taking time off work
  • Filling up on gas
  • Buying packing blankets
  • Renting hand trucks and dollies
  • Providing food and beverages for your helpers
  • Paying toll fees
  • Renting hotel rooms
  • Getting additional insurance coverage

Hire a professional

When it comes to finding the right mover for the job, word of mouth is certainly a valuable resource. But make sure you do your research by getting estimates from several reputable companies. Ask if the quoted price includes professional packing and if the insurance provided by the company meets your needs. Like so many services, the old saying "You get what you pay for" rings true. Don't just settle for the best deal - make sure the service meets your needs. For more questions to ask your mover, read 20 Questions to Ask Your Moving Company.

Packing essentials

While certain expenses are obvious, it's the little things that often add up. The Home Depot can help you find all of your moving essentials, including tape, wrapping paper, boxes, bubble wrap, labels, markers and furniture padding at the lowest price around. Not sure about quantity? The Home Depot experts will help you figure out how much to buy.

Consider timing

Moving is a family affair and impacts everyone involved. If your children are still in school, the summer is a less disruptive time to relocate. However, make sure you check moving company schedules and prices, since peak periods often mean higher rates. And don't forget to factor in child care. Hiring a babysitter will keep your kids entertained and out of harm's way, leaving you to focus on the tasks at hand.

Safe storage

If you're running out of space, consider buying an outdoor storage unit from The Home Depot or renting one. If you prefer to rent, shop around for the best price since many units require additional insurance and charge for "in and out" privileges. Don't forget to tack on the cost of a rental van to move your items into safekeeping.

Countdown to Moving Day - Checklist

When you're planning for a move, keep in mind that almost everything will take longer to do than you expect. The best way to keep on track is to plan ahead and stay organized. This guide is filled with helpful resources so you can do more—and save more.

Eight weeks before

  • Line up movers.
  • Look into truck rental prices if you're doing the move yourself.
  • Make an inventory, with photographs, of everything you own.
  • Decide what goes in the truck, car or trash.
  • Consider where you want to place furniture in
  • your new home.

Six weeks before

  • Clear out your closets. Be ruthless!
  • Have a yard sale.
  • Transfer your children's academic records to their new school.
  • Transfer medical records to your new doctor.

Four weeks before

  • Confirm booking with your moving company.
  • Reserve a truck or trailer for a DIY move.
  • Arrange to have the movers come over two days before moving day if they're packing for you.
  • Get boxes and packing tape if you're doing it yourself.
  • Start packing out-of-season clothing and other items you won't need right away.
  • Fill out change-of-address cards at the post office.
  • Notify friends, family, the bank and your insurance agent of your new address.
  • Pre-order appliances, furniture, dishes and cutlery.
  • Send a change-of-address email to any magazines you subscribe to.
  • Make copies of important papers, such as birth certificates, passports, medical and dental records.

Three weeks before

  • Arrange to have the utilities disconnected a few days after the move.
  • Get the utilities set up at your new residence.
  • Start packing room by room.
  • Arrange for a babysitter on moving day if you need one.
  • Reserve the freight elevator in your building for moving day if required.

One week before

  • Open your new bank accounts if you're making a long-distance move.
  • Make sure you have enough medication to last through the move.
  • Have your doctor write a new prescription you can fill after you move.
  • Defrost the refrigerator two days before you move.
  • Disconnect any appliances you'll be taking with you.
  • Make arrangements to pay the mover by certified cheque or cash.
  • Drain gas and oil from any power equipment you'll be moving.
  • Finish packing and keep the vacuum handy!

Two weeks before

  • Arrange to move plants and pets.
  • Get rid of items you're not allowed to move, such as gasoline and propane.
  • Keep packing.
  • Line up helpers to assist with loading your rental truck.
  • Consider hiring a plumber or electrician to disconnect appliances you plan to move.

Moving day

  • Supervise the move.
  • Strip beds.
  • Ensure everything gets on the truck.
  • Have the moving company disassemble furniture.
  • Fill out the bill of lading.
  • Pack a bag of first-night essentials, including a broom, dustpan, garbage bags and light bulbs.

Building a Home Inventory

Every article you own is about to be relocated, so it's a smart idea to make an inventory of your personal belongings. Not only will the list be valuable for insurance purposes but it will also help you organize your move, keep track of your home's contents while they're in transit and ensure your stuff is placed in the right rooms on moving day.

Photograph it

  • Take advantage of online inventory software where you can store pictures of your possessions.
  • Group similar items together, such as a pair of lamps or end tables.
  • Photograph all valuable pieces of furniture and any prized possessions.
  • Take a wide shot of the room to help when you begin mapping your new space.

Put it in writing

  • Create a detailed list of your personal belongings for each room, including chandeliers, window treatments and the inside of closets and cupboards. Use descriptive words when identifying each item on your list to avoid confusion later.
  • Start a file of warranties, receipts and owner's manuals in case something goes astray. Record the details, such as manufacturer's name, model, serial number, date of purchase, proof of purchase and current or replacement value.
  • Document the items in your attic and garage.
  • Print out multiple copies of your personal inventory list.
  • Tape lists to boxes to help identify what's inside.

Mapping Rooms

The first rule of moving is to label every box and piece of furniture so it ends up in the right room. But getting it to the proper spot within the room would be even better. By mapping your rooms, you can. The process is simple but should be done systematically and carefully. If a couch is 2 inches wider than the spot it needs to fit into, you'll have a problem on moving day. But with a little care, your new home can come together quickly and easily like well-fitting puzzle pieces.

First measure, then measure again

  • Measure the length and width of each room in your new home using a standard 25-foot retractable measuring tape.
  • Record measurements and draw them to scale on a sheet of graph paper (one per room).
  • Be sure to measure nooks and crannies such as a bay window and add them to your worksheet.

Include anything that needs to open

  • Measure the dimensions of windows and add them to your worksheet. How high a window is placed on a wall will indicate what furniture you'll be able to place under it.
  • Measure door openings and indicate which way the door swings open.

Indicate any other elements that will impact furniture placement

  • Fireplaces
  • Columns
  • Built-in bookshelves
  • Chair rails or wainscoting
  • Bulkheads
  • Radiators
  • Vents

Now, measure your furniture

  • Be accurate when measuring furniture that can be tightly placed, such as bookshelves.
  • Be generous when measuring pieces of furniture that will need a little space around them, such as couches and coffee tables.

Make furniture cut-outs

  • Use sheets of graph paper to make shapes that accurately represent the size of each piece of furniture relative to your room sketches.

Arrange your furniture cut-outs

  • Once you have placed your furniture where you want it, glue-stick it in place.
  • Add the maps to your 'Open-Me-First' box.
  • In your new home on moving day, tape each map to a wall in its room so you and the movers can quickly place pieces of furniture in the right spot as they're unloaded.

Moving Supplies and Truck
Estimation Size Guide

Are you moving and need help planning your supply purchase and truck rental?

This guide should be used as a reference and is not to be taken literal or exact. Moving supply reccomendations are assumptions based on the content of the average home or above mentioned spaces. Truck size recommendations are based on an estimated 150 cu. ft. of truck space for each fully furnished room.

Moving Essentials

Pratt Retail Specialties, LLC - 48 Box Packing Kit - 701167CDA - Home Depot Canada
Pratt Retail Specialties
48 Box Packing Kit
Details »
Pratt Retail Specialties, LLC - 35 Box Packing Kit - 701166CDA - Home Depot Canada
Pratt Retail Specialties
35-Box Packing Kit
Details »
Pratt Retail Specialties, LLC - Wardrobe Box 24 Inch x 24 Inch x 34 Inch - 485118CDA - Home Depot Canada
Pratt Retail Specialties
Wardrobe Box
24 In x 24 In x 34 In
Details »
Pratt Retail Specialties, LLC - OXO Stretch Wrap - 20 Inches x 1000 Feet - 723009CDA - Home Depot Canada
Stretch Wrap
20 In x 1000 Ft
Details »
Pratt Retail Specialties, LLC - 12 Inch x 100 Feet 3/16 Inch Cushioned Wrap - 722877CDA - Home Depot Canada
Pratt Retail Specialties
12 In x 100 Ft x 3/16 In
Cushioned Wrap
Details »
Pratt Retail Specialties, LLC - Moving Blanket 72 Inch x 80 Inch - 115792CDA - Home Depot Canada
Pratt Retail Specialties
Moving Blanket
72 In x 80 In
Details »

Packing and Loading Like a Pro

When it comes to packing up your belongings, it's smart to think ahead. Did you pack that precious family portrait so it won't be damaged? Do you have a home inventory to protect yourself from theft and loss? Make it easier to step through the door of your new home by packing like a pro.

Build a home inventory

The best way to prevent theft and loss during a move is to make an inventory of your possessions. An inventory catalogues all items of value, with a description of the condition and, if desired, a photograph.

Estimate your packing schedule

Allow for one full day to pack each room of the house (except for the basement, garage and kitchen, which often take longer). Make a rough estimate, then add an extra 50 percent to your timeline. It always takes longer to pack than you predict.

Come up with a strategy

Start packing the parts of your home you don't use every day, such as the basement and attic. If you find an item you're unsure about keeping, start a pile of things to review at a later date. Scale down by tossing things out or donating unused items to charity.

Create a packing centre in your home to cut back on the number of times you will have to search for the tape and other supplies. Designate a central location to keep boxes, tape, markers, stickers and bubble wrap.

Pack the perfect box

  • Choose a box

    Consider what you're packing and try to control box weight. If you're packing books, use a small box. If you're working on sweaters, a larger box can be used.

  • Prepare the box

    Tape the bottom then line it with crumpled tissue paper or newspaper. Stack and fill in the box with your stuff, then top it with more tissue.

  • Wrap fragile items

    You'll want to use cardboard dividers, tissue paper or bubble wrap for fragile and breakable objects. To prevent small items from being thrown out accidentally, wrap them in brightly coloured tissue paper or a labelled plastic bag.

  • Seal and label

    Tape the top and mark it with a descriptive label. You can print the name of the room the box belongs to or give more description to help with the unpacking process.

Protecting lamps

Disassemble the lamp and pack items separately. Start by unplugging and removing the light bulb and lampshade. Pack the base separately from the shade to protect both items and be sure to fill all cracks and crannies with plenty of padding.

Transporting electronic items

Even though electronics are heavy, they also have delicate parts that are easily jarred. Plus, you want to prevent rear-input jacks from getting clogged with debris. If you don't have the original box for your electronic item, start with a thick packing pad and wrap each component. Then put it in a box with extra-strong walls, such as a TV or computer box. Consider using plastic bins to protect electronics from moisture.

Prepping furniture for the move

Some furniture can be dismantled, but other pieces must travel as a whole. To protect them, tape all corners and legs of tables and chairs with discarded moving boxes and secure them with plastic wrap. If the wood has a finish that can be easily scratched, using plastic wrap may cause damage. In these cases, use moving pads or clean cardboard instead.

Put together an "Open-Me-First" box

Pack important essentials that you'll need upon arriving at your new home together in one box to avoid having to root through multiple boxes to find what you need. Some items to include are cleaning supplies, your furniture maps, first aid items, bathroom supplies like soap and toilet paper and a telephone.

20 Questions to Help You Find the Best Mover

When it comes to hiring movers, the more research you do early on, the fewer headaches you'll experience on moving day. The best way to find reliable movers is to ask lots of questions and get everything in writing.

The basics

  1. Can you give me references of satisfied customers?
  2. How long has your company been in business?
  3. What do you consider extra services and how much do you charge for them?
  4. Is your company licenced for provincial and interprovincial transport?
  5. How do you determine the weight of my shipment?
  6. For a local move, how does your company charge: by the hour, number of movers or weight?
  7. What kind of liability coverage does your company provide?
  8. Who does the packing and loading?
  9. Are workers covered by workers' compensation and public liability insurance?
  10. Was I given all necessary documentation, including the signed contract?

Dig deeper

  1. Do you charge extra for travel time to and from my house?
  2. What kind of cancellation policy do you have?
  3. How can I pay for the move?
  4. How do you pack items with special requirements, such as electronics, glassfronted furniture, antiques and musical instruments?
  5. Do you guarantee pickup and delivery dates? What happens if you miss one or both?
  6. What kind of inventory system do you use?
  7. How much of the work can I do myself?
  8. If I do the packing myself, are there restrictions on the types of boxes or utility totes I can use? Will this save me money?
  9. What supplies do you provide? What's included? What items do I pay for?
  10. How do you handle disputes and complaints?

Moving Week

Moving Yourself - Tips

Moving yourself can save money, but before you decide to go this route, take some time to read this checklist. It covers all the costs and factors you should consider before taking on the task of DIY moving. Even if you decide to hire pros, you'll have learned what it takes to ensure that your move is efficient, safe and successful.

Assess the job

  • Do I have the stamina? The contents of an average three-bedroom house (two adults and two children) weighs 10,000 pounds.
  • Do I have enough vacation time to get through the whole process, from packing and loading to unloading and unpacking?

Factor in insurance costs

  • Coverage if someone helping you is injured in the process.
  • Coverage for drivers operating a moving van. Car insurance policies usually exclude this.
  • Cargo insurance to cover accidental loss or damage to possessions while in the truck. Most home policies exclude this, but it's available from the rental company.
  • If your old home is damaged while you move out, you may need to compensate the incoming family. You may lose your security deposit if you damage a rental property.

Look out for additional truck rental fees

  • The rental of a truck or trailer includes a deposit that will be refunded when you return the vehicle.
  • Check the contract for extra-mile charges or fees for one-way rentals.
  • You'll pay higher rental fees during the peak summer moving season, as well as on weekends and around the first and last days of the month.
  • Calculate the cost of fuel used for rental vehicles. A fully loaded 26-foot truck will average about 4.25 KM/L (23.53 L/100KM).
  • If you are driving your own vehicle, factor in the cost of wear and tear.

Don't forget about the costs for supplies

  • Boxes cost roughly the same whether you move yourself or use a moving company.
  • You'll probably need to purchase a hand truck and several moving blankets.

Consider these additional expenses

  • Factor in the cost of gas, tolls, meals and lodging if you're driving a long distance.
  • Consider the need to drive slower than you would in your own car and the possible need to modify your route based on clearance or construction issues.
  • Can I round up enough helpers to get the job done at both ends of the move? Are my friends or family up to the challenge?
  • Can I (or one of my friends) drive a large van or truck?
  • Don't forget the expense of hired hands, plus food and beverages for any friends and relatives who are helping with loading and unloading at both ends of the move.
  • If your children are small, you may need to pay for a babysitter while you load and unload the truck.

Find creative ways to save on expert assistance

  • Self-service moving companies will deliver a truck or trailer to you to load up, then a company driver will take it to your new home.
  • Share the expense with another family, or two. Charges are usually assessed based on how much load space you use.
  • Most moving companies provide workers on an hourly basis if you only need a little extra help. Check the fine print for additional charges.

Call the pros for:

  • Disconnecting or installing appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators with icemakers and dishwashers.
  • Moving heirlooms, such as grandfather clocks and china cabinets with curved front glass.
  • Moving recreational equipment, including pool tables, exercise equipment and swing sets.
  • Breaking down or reassembling large items such as waterbeds and wall units.
  • Disconnecting or installing light fixtures and ceiling fans.

Look for specialty transporters for:

  • Cars
  • Motorcycles
  • Boats
  • Pianos

Tools and Techniques for Safe Lifting

Make your move safer and easier by using these techniques and encouraging your family, friends and whoever else is helping you move, to use them as well. A good rule of thumb: a healthy adult male should lift objects no more than 50 pounds, and smaller adults should lift no more than 35 pounds. After all, you don't want a back injury to ruin your enjoyment of your new home.

Using a hand truck

  1. Load the hand truck

    To load boxes onto a hand truck (or dolly), have a helper tilt the box while you slip the truck's platform under it. Set the box down and push it snug against the hand truck.

  2. Strap the load

    Secure the load to the hand truck with a strap and ratchet for tightening.

  3. Brace and lean back

    Place your foot against the bottom of the back of the truck, and tip it back until you do not need to either push or pull to keep it steady.

  4. Moving up and down stairs

    Work with a helper when going up or down stairs. Have the helper lift the bottom of the load while you pull on the cart handles.

Using a hump strap

A hump strap (essentially a 16-foot long nylon strap available at moving equipment stores) is great for one person to more easily lift tall boxes or several boxes at once. Here's how to use it safely and effectively:

  1. Set the box on top

    Try this technique to carry a tall box or several boxes at once. Lay the hump strap on the floor and place the box on top with the strap in the centre. The stack should be near shoulder height; a smaller stack will not work.

  1. Tie a knot

    Wrap the strap around the box and tie a knot just below the top front edge of the box. The knot should be comfortable to hold.

  2. Lift and carry

    Back into the box, bend your knees, and grab the knot behind your neck with one hand. Slowly straighten your legs. Start walking when you feel comfortable, with the load resting on your slightly bent back.

The forearm strap

A forearm strap is a real back saver if you're doing a major move. It extends your grab beyond your reach, effectively giving you another pair of hands for steadying the load. Working with a helper, place the straps under the piece of furniture or an appliance and adjust the straps so they rest at a comfortable height for your forearms. Both you and your helper should lift together, using only your legs. As you climb a ramp, you can raise your lower your arms to keep the load upright. Straps can be bought online from moving equipment suppliers.

Lift with your legs

The adage "lift with your legs, not your back" is oft repeated for a reason. Bending over and picking up even moderately sized boxes can damage your lower back. You may not even feel it at the time, but you can wake up the next day with pain that will take a long time to go away. As much as possible, keep your back straight and use your legs to lower and raise your body. You may choose to wear a waist belt to prevent hernias.

Blanket Drag

This simple technique is especially helpful when moving an appliance through a doorway where there is little clearance on each side. Have a helper tilt the appliance back while you slip a blanket under all the legs. Set the appliance back down and pull on the blanket to move it. This technique also works well for moving items inside the truck.

Your New Home

Familiarize Yourself with Your New Home

The move is over and now the fun part begins—settling into your new home! Unpacking your things is an important part of moving in, but there's more to it than that. It's equally important to consider some basics, such as where to find and how to operate your utilities and how to plan for emergencies that might arise. Here are four steps you can use to get comfortable and better acquainted with your new home:

Step 1: Home heating system

It's important to know where your heating systemis located and whether it uses natural gas or another type of fuel. You should also know where the emergency shutoff valve is located. Prior knowledge of the location and the ability to operate the shutoff can reduce property damage if a disaster occurs.

Step 3: Water shutoff

Water can do a significant amount of damage to structures, furnishings and appliances if it pools on floors and saturates surroundings. Water can also cause electrocution if it is energized by electrical wires. Knowing where the shutoff valve is located inside your home can be invaluable in the event of a leak or damage to the structure. The inside water shutoff also cuts off supply to the home, except for the supply of water for the fire sprinklers if the home is equipped with them. If you have other questions about any of your home systems, an associate at The Home Depot may have the answers.

Step 2: Electrical

Take the time to find out where the main electrical shutoff switch and circuit-breaker box are located in your new home. The main lever or breaker shutoff cuts off the supply of electricity to the entire house. The individual unit shutoff is found in multi-unit buildings and cuts off electricity to the separate units.

Step 4: Know the neighbourhood

It's just as important to familiarize yourself with the inside of your home as it is the outside. When you need a break from unpacking, explore your new neighbourhood by car, foot or public transit. Locate the nearest department and grocery stores, coffee shops, pizza parlours and video stores, plus the police station, a hospital and the post office. Take notes on where everything is so you can remember for next time. Introduce yourself and your family to your neighbours. Figure out the fastest way to get to work and school so you and your children won't be late on your first day. Write down key addresses for your children, like your home, their school and a trusted neighbour or friend.

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Pick up everything you need for an easy move at The Home Depot.


Pack It

Getting ready for the move


Qty Item Department
Small Boxes Organization
Medium Boxes Organization
Large Boxes Organization
Wardrobe Boxes Organization

Packing Supplies

Qty Item Department
Packing Tape Paint
Markers Hardware
Utility Knife Hardware
Dolly Inside Garden Centre
Trash Bags Cleaning
Gloves Hardware


Qty Item Department
Bubble Cushion Organization
Packing Paper Organization
Rope Hardware
Bungee Cord Hardware
Tie Downs Hardware

Clean It

Patch up your old place

Cleaning Supplies

Qty Item Department
Broom Cleaning
Dust Pan Cleaning
Sponges Cleaning
Multi-Use Cleaner Cleaning
Disinfectant Cleaner Cleaning
Paper Towels Cleaning

Patch Ups

Qty Item Department
Spackle Paint
Primer Paint
Paint Paint
Paint Brush Paint
Masking Tape Paint
Wall Mark Erasers Cleaning

Prep It

Moving in

Setup Supplies

Qty Item Department
Tool Box Hardware
Step Stool Building Materials
Ladder Building Materials
Light Bulbs Lighting
Key Copy Key Kiosk
Door Lock Hardware

Get Organized

Qty Item Department
Plastic Bins Organization
Closet Organizers Organization
Hangers Organization
Surge Protectors Electrical