The countdown is on! You’ve purchased your next home and maybe even sold the current place you are in today, but the big move is still a work in progress. There are a couple essential notes to take to make your moving day as stress free and streamlined as possible.

1. Hiring a moving company or doing it yourself?

Do you call in all your favours and get your friends to help you move or spend the money and hire a moving company? A couple factors will probably play into your decision such as the time of year. Let’s face it, Calgary’s weather is a bit temperamental and if you’re moving the second week of January you might find out who your friends really are. You might need to sweeten the deal with eggnog lattes and take-out to swing the pendulum in your favour.

Moving to Calgary

The type of place you’re needing to pack up and move will also likely impact the decision to hire movers. The task of moving belongings from a smaller condo or apartment is much less daunting than packing up a 3,000 square foot house.

Most moving companies offer a range of options to help make your move more manageable, from do-it-yourself packing to complete packing and unpacking services. If you decide you want an all-inclusive moving experience, your move is made easy. Packers pack up everything in your home from under your bathroom sink to your all-in-one exercise unit. They get everything ready for the movers, who then haul your things to your new place of into storage.

2. Moving to a new home is a great time to purge!

Moving makes you go through everything you’ve ever accumulated since your last move. It’s a great time to decide what’s coming with you, what you no longer need or isn’t worth moving. Donate items you no longer need but still have good use to Thrift Stores, Women in Need or Goodwill. Different organizations take different items, from electronics to bikes, clothing and furniture.

Just a reminder that all items that are dropped off need to be washed (if clothing or household items) and in working condition (electronics and furniture) before you drop them off. For items that have been well loved or worn out, it might be time to trash them, or recycle if possible.

There are also programs that let you find a drop off bin, a shop or warehouse or an office to take your gently used items to. 

Donate clothes

8 ways to get rid of stuff

  • Take items to local charities like Women in Need, Goodwill or Thrift Stores
  • Put a post on Facebook telling friends you have items to give away
  • Ask your Realtor if the people buying your home want larger items
  • Find out what can be recycled in your city
  • Hold a garage or yard sale
  • Register in a community wide parade of garage sales
  • Contact your local church or community centre to see if they are hosting any second hand sales where you can rent a table for the afternoon
  • Post larger items on Kijiji (it’s free)

3. Where to store all that stuff?

When buying and selling property, there’s always the possibility that you’ll need to move out of your current home before taking possession of your new place. Sometimes this can be just a couple of days difference or it could mean you might need to find temporary accommodations for a few weeks or months. In those circumstance, you might want to consider putting some of your bigger items and those that are seasonal or less used in storage.

Storage suggestions

  • Ask your parents or a friend for a corner of their basement or garage
  • Rent a storage unit in a storage building
  • Rent a portable storage unit that can stay on site with you, if your temporary accommodations allow it (the PODS fit perfectly on a parking pad!!)

4. Time to start packing.

You’ve donated a pile of items to different organizations, held a garage sale or sold some of your larger items on Kijiji, now it’s time to take a look at what you’ve decided to keep and the best way to pack it up.

Start with your seasonal items, get them all in the same place so they get moved out and into your new place together. Those less essential items, like all your books, board games, and DVD’s, pack them up early and get them out of the way.

Packing for a Calgary move

Heavy duty boxes can be purchased from different moving companies or you can visit your local supermarket produce section to see if they have any apple or banana boxes that you can have (for free!). If you’re looking for a more organized packing system, you can purchase Rubbermade or Tupperware boxes that will serve you for years to come as storage solutions.

Great tips for labeling your boxes

  • Write down all the items you put in the box on a sheet of paper
  • Put the sheet of paper with items in a page protector and tape it to each SIDE of the box
  • Don’t tape the sheet to the top of the box because once you stack them you’ll never know what’s in them

5. Open the windows and doors, get your disinfected and start cleaning

If you’ve recently sold your place, you’ll have done enough cleaning and tidying to last you a life time. Making sure your home was ready at a moment’s notice when you were selling has made you seriously consider a twice a week cleaning service, but fear not, you’re almost done! There are just a couple more things that need to be scrubbed and changed before you leave the keys.

Take the time to clean before moving day

  • Dust and clean all your top spaces such as high kitchen cabinets that probably never were cleaned before this, because, let’s face it, no one ever looks there…, except the new owners when they want to put their things away in a clean space
  • Get the Windex and paper towel out and wash all windows, glass doors and mirrors.
  • Clean the insides of the cupboards.
  • Turn the self-cleaning on the oven a few days before the move so it’s nice and clean.
  • Your bathroom sinks, bathtubs, showers and yup, the toilet a solid scrub (turn on your fans to avoid the cleaning high).
  • Vacuum and wash the floors.
  • Double check everywhere for personal items so you don’t leave anything behind
  • Remove all garbage

6.  What to do with the kids and pets when moving?

Moving is a big thing, so make it easier on yourself, if you have little kids, pets or less than helpful tweens, by making arrangements for them. Have your kids visit a friend, register them for a day camp or have a spot for them at a drop-in day care centre for the day. Not having those little toes to worry about will make the process faster and less stressful for you.

Moving with a pet

If it’s a dog or cat that keep you company, the same thing goes, arrange a play date, board them for the weekend or find a friend to look after them while your get moved out and into your new place. Take the time and make these arrangements a couple weeks before your big move to give yourself and their care facility the time to prepare.

7. Double check with your moving company or friends before the move.

Call the week before your move and double check that the moving company you’ve booked still has a truck and movers reserved for you. These companies can become very busy and you want to make sure your booking doesn't fall through the cracks.

If you’ve managed to arrange for your friends and family to help you move call them and make sure they’re still on board, then call the company you’re renting the moving van from and make sure they not only have a truck for your day, but also the size of truck you want.

8. Check your insurance.

Give your insurance company a quick call to make sure that they have the correct days that your insurance will stop on your old house and start on your new place. You want to make sure that whichever place all your items are at they are insured.


  • Will I need to hire a moving company or can I do it myself?
  • What can I purge?
  • Where will I store stuff?
  • What will I need to pack all my stuff?
  • Will I clean myself or hire a cleaner when I am moved out?
  • Who can help look after the kids and pets while I move?
  • Which friends can I count on to help me move?
  • Do I have everything covered by insurance?

You’ve made all the arrangements for a successful move, now all you need to do, is well, move! Enjoy your big day!!

Find a Realtor in Calgary to buy a home. Contact Marnie Campbell Realty Team.

The Marnie Campbell Real Estate Team can help you make better real estate decisions, so you have no regrets buying a Calgary home.

Posted by Marnie Campbell on


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