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You’ve probably heard that moving is considered among one of life’s most stressful events – along with death, divorce, illness and being fired. And unless you are one of the few people who will be born and die in the same house, you’re going to have to do deal with it at some point.

Don't forget to Pack the Dog

Don’t forget to Pack the Dog

As REALTORS, we hear moving horror stories all the time: the husband who didn’t start packing until the day before moving day; the wife who spent days looking through her boxes of memorabilia; the father who spent hours developing a schematic of how his daughter’s furniture would fit in the truck (confession: this was Mel’s dad); the wife who spent hours building Excel spreadsheets of what had to be done rather than packing (confession: this was Mel – is it genetic?) and of course, the husband who conveniently put out his back the day before the move.

So how do you get through the inevitable move without losing your cool?

  1. Have a Plan and Stick to It. So maybe you don’t have to go to the Excel spreadsheet/van schematic level, but knowing what you have to do and when you have to do it will lessen the stress that you forgot to schedule the cable guy. There are plenty of great move checklists online (We like this one from HGTV)
  2. You Can Never Have Too Many Supplies. Yes, stealing boxes from the LCBO and Price Chopper can be satisfying, but for a few bucks, you can buy enough boxes to move Celine Dion’s shoes. And for a few more dollars, arm yourself with bubble wrap, duct tape, wardrobe boxes, craft paper and the like.
  3. When in Doubt, Hire it Out.  Outsourcing can save a marriage – seriously.  And not just the guy with the truck – there are people who’ll de-clutter your stuff, pack your stuff, unpack your stuff; companies who’ll haul away your junk, sell your junk; store your junk (who knew your new place had so few closets?);  cleaners who’ll clean your new place and cleaners who’ll clean your old place. While friends who work for beer are divine, and people who seem friendly on Craigslist may actually show up, you can’t beat hiring reliable help when it comes to moving.
  4. Don’t Pack Your Important Papers: We see this all the time. Eager movers pack up their office first – and with it, all the important documents they’ll need during a move. If you’ve sold the place you’re living in now, you’ll still need access to utility bills, tax assessments, rental agreements, mortgage info and condo documents. And don’t forget to keep your ID in a safe place for closing day.
  5. Protect Kids and Pets and Valuables: Nothing’s worse than settling in for your first sleep in your new home and realizing you’ve forgotten something. Of course, when it comes to moving day, it’s always best to protect what you love most: the cat, the dog, the diamonds, and of course the kids. With all the insanity that comes with a move, board the pets, drop the kids off at Grandma’s and take advantage of that safety deposit box you pay for!

Happy moving!


  1. Monica Stone says:

    Very useful article, thank you so much! Me and my boyfriend are moving together next month and although we’re both so excited I’m also very stressed out. Thanks again for sharing!

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