Scott McGillivray’s moving strategy: purge, pack, prepare

Ten tips to make the transition from one house to another less daunting

Moving is one of the most stressful and time-consuming chores that homeowners come across. Here are my tips for making it easier.

Purge while you pack 
Moving is the time to clear out, and ideally not everything will come with you! Take the opportunity to de-clutter and get rid of anything you no longer need or use. Sell what you can and donate the rest.

Separate rooms
Do your “newly moved” self a big favour by packing one room at a time and keeping all the items from specific rooms together. Label them carefully so the movers know exactly where to put them. This will make your life a lot easier when it comes time to unpack. I also recommend packing up the kitchen first. People often want to leave it till last, but the kitchen is the most complicated room and full of oddly shaped, tough-to-pack items. Just be sure to leave out a few dishes and other essentials you’ll need to use right up until moving day.

Protect your valuables
Insuring valuables and breakables is always a good idea when using a moving company. Check the policy and find out who should be packing items and how, in order to make sure things have the proper coverage.

Cord control
I cannot stress this enough. When you’re unplugging your electronics wrap and label all of the cords. It’s a tedious job but so worth it. It’s also not a bad idea to take photos of your electronics before you unplug everything so you can see how to put everything back together. 

Back up your files
One more tip I highly recommend when it comes to technology — back up your computer before you move, just in case something happens in transit.

Introduce yourself to the movers
Sounds obvious, right? A lot of people get so stressed on moving day that they forget the common niceties. These are people you are trusting with all of your worldly possessions — and they’re working hard! Take the time to introduce yourself and make friends. It will make the process smoother for everyone involved. Anything you can do to limit stress on moving day is a good thing.

Pack an overnight bag
When you arrive in your new house, chances are you’ll feel totally disorganized and out of sorts. Make your first night easier by packing an overnight bag with all your essentials. Clothes for the next day, toothbrush, toiletries and anything else you need to get you through the night should be easy to access. And make sure you’ve got one for every member of the family. This includes pets! Don’t let the dog bowls and food get lost among all the boxes. 

Prepare for the first day
It’s also a good idea to have a “first day” box complete with coffee maker, a few dishes and any other things you might need to get you through your first day.

Unpack strategically
Unpacking should be just as strategic as packing. I recommend unpacking the bedroom first because chances are you’ll be exhausted and want to be able to get a good night’s sleep. Next, tackle the kitchen and main bathroom.

Keep your receipts
Some moving expenses are tax deductible. Hang on to any receipts in case you’re able to claim them on your income tax the following year.

Catch Scott McGillivray on his new show, Moving the McGillivrays, airing Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on HGTV Canada. 

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