Pack up. We’re moving!

Chances are if you ask anyone what the most daunting task of moving is, they will say packing up. No matter how long you have lived in your home, you probably have a lot of “stuff”. Plus, as military we invariably have much more with uniforms, kit, issued items that accumulate?! So, where do you start?

It’ll depend on how much time you have before your move. Ideally, you want to start as early as possible, say six months before your move. This gives you ample time to sort each room, set up garage sales, make runs to charities like Goodwill and put bags out to the curb.

If time is not on your side, then it is time to get serious. Although you will very probably by enlisting the help of a moving company, especially if it’s a distance move for you, you can still get a head start. Start by packing items that you don’t need on a daily basis, like books, out of season clothing, photo albums and any other non-essential items. Label boxes with the location that they are to be delivered to in the new home (i.e.. bedroom, kitchen, basement, etc.). A short description of the contents will help you to decide what needs to be unpacked right away, or can wait till you are settled in. It may be that you’re physically still moving packed boxes from your last posting, or the time before that?

Consider renting a portable storage unit like a “Pod”. They can be delivered several weeks before you move. This gives you a place to store your boxes so that they don’t get in the way. The pod is then picked up on or before your moving day and delivered to your destination, whether that is down the road or across the country. The great thing about PODS is that they do the driving, so that you can spend time taking care of your family. Since you decide how long you would like to have the POD, you have time to unpack your boxes on the other end, at your pace. For more information about PODS check out their website @

If you are looking to hire a moving company, don’t go with the first mover on the list. Brookfield has a list of moving companies they use, but if you’re going independently, do your research.. Have them come to your home to have a look at what you will be moving. Ask for a written estimate that outlines your expectations and theirs. Ask them if they use their own trucks and workers, or if they sub-contract to other companies. Find out what their policy is on lost or damaged items and don’t assume that they offer replacement value. You may need to invest in added insurance coverage. If you only have a small amount of furniture to move, they may add it to the end of a truck. If so, find out whose belongings will be dropped off first and how many stops they will be making. You don’t need any unpleasant surprises. For more tips on what to look for in a mover, check out

Make sure you pack a suitcase for each member of the family. They will need to contain essentials (toiletries, socks, undies, pjs, etc.) to get you through the first week. You want to make sure that you have clothing in case your belongings get delayed. There is nothing worse than having just the clothes on your back while you are waiting for your things to arrive.

Before you say goodbye to your home, make calls to your utility companies to have your accounts settled. Don’t forget to call you municipality to have the water and sewer bill updated as well. Give your insurance company a call to let them know that you will be changing your address. This is a great time to speak with them about the move and any added coverage you may need on your belongings.

Now that all the details have been taken care of, it is time to look forward to settling in and making memories in your new home!


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