Secrets to a Stress-Free Move: The Ultimate Moving Guide

After you’ve found your perfect home, you must go through the daunting task of moving there. Moving all your belongings to a new house or apartment can be a big challenge but if you take the proper steps and plan carefully, you can make the move go a lot more smoothly.

After you’ve found your perfect home, you must go through the daunting task of moving there. Moving all your belongings to a new house or apartment can be a big challenge but if you take the proper steps and plan carefully, you can make the move go a lot more smoothly.  

When Should I Start?

The simple answer to this question is as soon as possible. If you are moving from a house or large apartment, you will have a lot of packing to do. Start as early as you can, ideally at least three months before the move in day. Starting early will allow you to take your time and not get overwhelmed by having to pack up everything you own last minute. Take some time each day to organize, declutter or pack some items. Go room by room, decide what you want to keep or give away. The earlier you start the less stressed out you will be.  

Declutter Your Space and Get Rid of What You Don’t Need

A big move can be a great opportunity to get rid of some non-essential items that are just taking up space in your home. If an item is less than $20 and holds no emotional value, get rid of it. Hosting a garage sale or donating to your local thrift store or homeless shelter is a great way of getting rid of stuff you do not need. The less stuff you have the easier the move will be.

Take Inventory of Everything You Own

Making a list of every item that you own is a great way to get a better scope of what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. It is also useful to have a list when you are unpacking all your items in your new home to make sure that nothing gets misplaced.

Decide What Moving Method You Are Going to Use

There are a few different options to choose from when you are moving:

  • Rent a moving truck or van and drive it to your new location yourself
  • Rent a moving container  
  • Hire a full-service moving company

The Do-It-Yourself Method

The cheapest option you can choose is to rent a moving truck, pack up and load all your belongings, and drive the truck to your new home yourself. This might be an appealing option for people living in a smaller apartment with a relatively small amount of furniture. This also might be a good choice for students who are looking to save some money. You might want to consider asking a few friends to help with the heavier items.  

However, there are some major drawbacks to this option. For one, you will have to drive the moving van yourself. Not everyone is comfortable driving a large truck, so it might be a good idea to take the truck around the block a few times before you start the move to get a feel for the weight and handling. You will also have to find a parking spot for the van, this might not be an issue if you are moving to a house with a driveway but if you are moving into a condo in the middle of downtown, finding a parking space becomes infinitely more difficult.  

Portable Moving Container

One step up from driving a moving truck yourself is renting a moving container. These are large containers that the moving company brings to your door, you’ll have a certain amount of time to pack all your things into the container, and then the company will move the container to your new location.  

Advantages to Moving Containers

The major benefit to using a moving container is the flexibility; you can have the moving container show up to your home days before the move and not be in a rush to pack everything away. You will still be packing all your items yourself, giving you full control over how they are placed in the container. It is also important that you pick the right size container. If you pick a container with too much space, you run the risk of some of your items moving around during the move.

Disadvantages to Moving Containers

The drawback to the moving container option is the price; usually, this is a more expensive option than renting a moving truck yourself. It also is not the fastest option available. If you are moving to another city or across the country, moving containers can take up to two weeks to arrive at your new home. This might work out well if you choose to go with a hybrid option, renting a small truck or van for your more fragile items and renting a small moving container for some of the larger furniture. The moving container will arrive at your new place several days after you, giving you some time to situate yourself and unpack the more sensitive items.  

Full Moving Service

The third moving option is to hire a full moving service. A group of movers will come to your home, collect the items, pack them onto their truck, drive the truck to your new location and unpack your stuff there. This is the most expensive option, but also the option that is the least stressful for you. The entire moving process is handled by the moving company; all you have to worry about is getting yourself to your new home.  

The downside to this option is that you are giving up some of your control in the moving process; the movers will pack the items onto the truck themselves. If you pick a reputable moving company, then they should be taking care to make sure all your items are safe, but if you go with a cheaper, less well-known company, you are taking a risk that some of your items might be damaged. If you have a lot of valuable or fragile items, you might want to consider hiring a professional packing company as well. Sometimes moving companies also offer packing services as well, but again, you will be adding to the overall cost of the move.  

Get Quotes From Multiple Companies

Whatever moving option you go with, it’s important that you spread a wide net when looking for moving companies, truck rental services, or moving containers. There are a lot of companies out there, so get quotes from a few different companies to see which one will give you the best price. Also, regardless of the moving option you choose, make sure to take fuel charges into consideration, people often forget to include fuel in their budgets.  

If the reason for your move is a new job, ask your company if they are willing to pay for your relocation. Some companies will cover some, or all, of the cost of their employees moving to a new city. This is not a guarantee, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  

Ordering Moving Supplies and Packing Up Your Home

If you need boxes for packing, you can go to liquor stores, bars, bookstores, pet stores, or big-box retail stores, those stores get most of their inventory shipped to them in strong cardboard boxes and many will give you their unused boxes for a low price or sometimes even free. If you need any other packing supplies like boxes, tape, or bubble wrap you can look at online stores like BoxedInn and have them delivered to your home.

Make Use of Self Storage

Renting out a self storage unit can help in several ways. If you plan on staging your home to make it more appealing to your buyers, you will likely need a place to store your excess furniture or clutter, and self storage can be the perfect solution. If you have some of your items already in storage it will make moving day a lot easier. Currently, Storwell Self Storage is offering our clients an exclusive offer of 4 weeks of free self storage at any of their locations. Storwell has facilities in Etobicoke, Mississauga, and Scarborough with a variety of sizes that can help you during your move. You can call or visit a facility in person to demo a unit.

Storwell Self Storage  

85 Executive Ct, Scarborough, ON M1S 5W9

Phone: (416) 534-5555

Packing Furniture

Furniture can be one of the trickiest things to pack into a truck or moving container. If possible, disassemble the furniture, take the legs off couches, and take apart bookshelves. This will make it easier to fit your furniture into tight spots and make better use of your space.  

If you can’t disassemble the furniture, then try and stand it up length-ways to use up as much vertical space as possible. Buy some moving blankets; these will keep the furniture from getting scratched up as you’re moving it around. It will also protect your floors as you move furniture in and out of your new house.  

Try and pack the furniture at the front and back of the moving truck or container, providing a barrier for the smaller more fragile items.  

Be Careful When Packing Fragile Items

Speaking of fragile items, make sure to pack up any glassware or breakable items using newspaper or bubble wrap. If there are items that have emotional value such as old family heirlooms, it is probably best that you keep those with you and not on the moving truck.  

Packing Clothing

When packing clothing, use the roll-up technique. Rolling up items like shorts, t-shirts, and shorts will let you pack them up tightly into small spaces, if you have luggage that you also need to move, fill it up with clothing and other small items to save space. If you have items like suits, dresses or other clothing that can’t be rolled up, make sure to get clothing bags to keep them safe in the move.

Organizing and Cleaning Your New Home

Moving large pieces of furniture inside your new house can get messy, so after you’ve moved all your items into your new house make sure to give the space a thorough cleaning. One of the best aspects of moving into a new home is being able to organize and decorate your space exactly how you would like it. You can plan out how you want to organize your new home before the move using an online room organizer. While it's useful to have a plan before your move, once you start moving furniture and other items into the space you might find you want to play with a different layout, which is totally fine. Do not be afraid to rearrange items or even put some pieces back into storage until you find a layout that you are happy with.  


Packing up all your earthly belongings can seem like a herculean task but if you take it one step at a time and remain calm, the process will go a lot smoother. The keys to a successful move are a well thought out plan and starting the process as early as possible. There are bound to be challenges along the way but if you have a strong preparation process you will be able to handle any hurdles that may arise.

Suzy Goldstein

July 26, 2021