Preparing to Move

Category Moving
This page is about preparing to move. Being well organized and knowing what you will need first, can make moving much easier.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 27, 2011

My husband and I are planning on moving to Burnaby, BC this July from Saskatchewan in hopes that he will be able to go to the Art Institute for Game Design. We are only 20 years old and I have never been so far from home before and I'm not sure what our first steps should be to plan a big move like this. Any suggestions?

By heather-harte from Regina, Saskatchewan


January 28, 20110 found this helpful

We moved 6 times in the first 5 years we were married. These are tricks I learned. First of all, take with you in a trash bag all you need to make the bed, everything, including pillows. Include a set of bath towels. When you arrive, make the bed first! Label every container on the end and side or top or all three. Label boxes, etc. also by the room they belong in. Pack one box with one set of plates, glasses, tableware, and basic cooking pots and pans.


Keep it simple. This will get you in and settled. Same with clothes, pack by a days worth, not his and hers, or all of a type, but what you will need for a day. You can unpack as needed and will have everything you need, no hunting and moving is very stressful. Good luck.
Trash bags are great for packing soft things, and give you a place to throw trash when you get there, but label what is in each one.

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January 29, 20110 found this helpful

My suggestion if you are moving the contents of an apartment, get rid of everything you do not really really want to keep. The less you move, the less stress there will be. Label every bag and box. Do not forget to change your address. Make a list of everyone including all bills and call them with the new information, address and phone number, or pay the outrageous amount of money that Canada Post wants.

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January 29, 20110 found this helpful

First question: Has he applied and been accepted to the Art Institute? If not, do that first before you take such a big step as moving to another province only on hopes. I am assuming you don't know anyone there. Get in touch with the Burnaby Chamber of Commerce and get some info about the town. You could also see what the job market is like there and maybe apply for jobs just in case he doesn't get in at the Art Institute.


The advice from those above me is all great, but I do think you need to be sure about his acceptance at the Institute before you up stakes and move so far away. Perhaps he should go alone and get enrolled and a place to live. You with family's help could maybe pack and join him later.

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January 29, 20110 found this helpful

My suggestions are, for what they are worth. Pack, like one said, for easy unpacking of daily needs, not everything of one type in one big box or bag. Beyond that, and trimming down to the necessities, remember this, home is wherever you and your husband are, and if you think that way, and stay relaxed about the move, it will not be a "big deal". I do speak from experience. I was a United States Air Force wife, and our moves were done by us, for the most part, along with the first few children we had.


At 72, I can look back and say it was all good. Memories are what our lives are all about anyway. Just don't make any one thing so important that it stresses either one of you to the point of fighting. That never helps. Hope you have a good move, and success in your efforts. This from Loretta, who grew up in western Washington state, now lives on the gulf coast of Alabama.

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January 29, 20110 found this helpful

It's a big step, but can be divided up, first, do you know Burnaby at all? I Googled it and see that it is large and on the outskirts of Vancouver, so, lots or rental housing. You need to pick an affordable and safe neighborhood and look there to find an apartment. Near the Games Institute is good (if he's been admitted and you know what the fees {inc. books/media supplies}. Leases for the year may start right before school starts.


Further out might be cheaper, but students aren't looked on as great tenants, so try to line up a job quickly. That should keep you busy for a while. You're welcome to contact me for more details, this is getting long very quickly. I've moved several times to areas I didn't know. It can be scary looking at it as a whole, but the more little bits and big bits you have in place before you get there the better. Best of luck.

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March 6, 2012

The challenge of moving a household can be streamlined with a good plan. This page is about moving tips and tricks.

moving tips and tricks

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November 11, 2011

This page is about tips for organizing your move. Moving can be very stressful. Being organized will not only help speed up packing, it will also help when it comes time to unpack.

Tips for Organizing Your Move, A woman labeling moving boxes.

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October 31, 2011

This is a page about packing for a move. Moving is a big job and packing is a large part of the process. Packing properly will help your move go as smoothly as possible.

Young Couple Packing for A Move

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 14, 2010

You are all so creative and great on this website. I am wanting to know if anyone has suggestions on how to prepare for a home move. We will be moving in a few months and I am just overwhelmed with the idea of packing all this stuff. I have already thrown out all the stuff we don't need. I am not a pack rat at all, but am still overwhelmed with the amount of stuff to pack (especially the garage area). Any ideas would be appreciated.


Marianne from Trenton, OH


Preparing for a Move

When I was getting ready to move, I got a bunch of colored markers and used a color code on the boxes so I could tell whose/which room the stuff should end up in at the new house. I put a mark on top and sides of the box so it was easy to see. I didn't buy them I just borrowed from the kids school/craft supplies and packed them last. (01/08/2006)

By Kathy J.

Preparing for a Move

I have moved 14 times, and believe me, it never got any easier. I wrapped all breakables with newspaper end rolls. Go to your local newspaper and ask for the end rolls, they are the newspaper without all the print so you don't have to worry about the ink transferring to your things.

Also, pack a suitcase or backpack with your night things and clothes for the next day in case you can't find the boxes with your clothes in them. On the boxes write the room that the box belongs in and make sure to write what you put in the box. When you have all of those boxes piled up, and they all say kitchen on them, exactly which box has your pots and pans, and which has your dishes? It helps to know what is in each box in case you want something unpacked first.

I also recommend having plenty of paper plates, cups, and napkins, and buying quick to eat food like pizza or a bucket of chicken. You won't want to cook because you will be too busy and it will take a while to have the kitchen set up to cook in. Most of all, the most important thing, is to not let the stress get to you. When you feel like you are getting overwhelmed put a great big smile on your face and yell, "I just love my new house". It makes it all worth it. (01/09/2006)

By Paula

Preparing for a Move

All of the suggestions are good and I've used all of them.

When I know I am going to be moving, I start getting organized by look at my belongings as to how often I use them.

Pack up as much of your least used items first, extra linens, extra cookware, summer (or winter) clothes, pictures, and decorations on the walls, etc. Keep working your way through it by asking yourself, "Will I need this before I move?" If not, pack it up. Make sure to pack your boxes with items that go together or will be put away in the same place as much as possible and mark them well. Find a place to put your packed boxes so you don't have to trip over them and feel like you are making progress. If you have an extra room, use that.

As it gets nearer to moving day, make a box your last out, first in box that contains all of your most important items. This would include medications, extra checks, bills that will need to be paid, address book, cash, keys, simple tools like a hammer, screwdrivers, and pliers so they will be easy to find if you need them. Make sure this is easily recognizable and make sure it doesn't get put in the moving truck, but stays with you. You will need to do everything in reverse when you get to your new home.

Also have another box or tub with cleaning supplies for cleaning up as you go.

Best wishes for an easy and stress free move.

Susan from ThriftyFun (01/09/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Preparing for a Move

Excellent ideas so far. My only suggestion is to watch how you label the boxes. On one move, all boxes made it except the one labeled "bedroom-quilts" and "livingroom-collectibles". Needless to say, on the next move we labeled important boxes with "cleaning rags, etc.". Only we knew what it really was. Good luck. (01/10/2006)

By Carla P

Preparing for a Move

Time to discipline yourself. You say you are not a pack rat. Wow. That is a big step already. Go to your fast food chains and ask when their delivery day is. Ask if you can have their boxes when they are done unpacking their foods. Most just throw them out, and will gladly give them to you for free. I have yet to be charged for a box and I have moved a lot.

When you go through more of your things, label the boxes: keep, seasonal (Christmas things, or summer things, etc.) donate, trash and one for "not sure". Do one room a day. Also, when you get to the bathroom, go through your medicine chest. Toss the meds that have expired. Don't forget to remove labels with your name, address, and sometimes medicaid # or SS#. I would get one big box and put each category of meds in a Ziploc bag (pain reliever in one, cough meds in another, prescriptions in yet another.)

After you are done going room by room if there is a lot of stuff in your garage, why not rent a locker for a month or so. A small one isn't too much and it is out of your way until moving day. Maybe find a locker near where you are moving? Every big chore can be broken down into smaller tasks. Be methodical, slow and steady wins the race, and such. (01/17/2006)

By KLS8800

Preparing for a Move

I had to wait four weeks for all my stuff to come to my new place, so I spent that extra time planning where everything would go. Each cabinet had sticky notes so if my hubby unpacked, he knew were everything went. Did the same with pictures, too. (01/20/2006)

By Kelly

Preparing for a Move

Especially if you pack your own boxes, make an itemized list, both for insurance and just to know where things are if you need them right away. (01/20/2006)

By Kelly

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January 27, 2011

I'm really stressing right now. My husband and I got married and moved to GA in Aug 2005. We are having to move for the 5th time in under 5 years.

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