Like a lot of things in life “planning” makes the difference between success or failure. This is particularly true when it comes to planning a move. Moving by its very nature (especially a long-distance move) from Edmonton, Alberta or another Canadian city can be complex. If you have moved before, you know how many details must be attended to. And if you have never moved, you should be prepared for all the things involved.

Planning a move is best done in stages to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Doing it this way will help you stay organized, which in turn will reduce stress on you and your family. We at Premiere Van Lines would like to provide you with the following guide to planning your move:

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Planning Your Move

1. If possible, start planning your move at least six to eight weeks (or more) in advance of moving day. Having this much time will make it easier for you to handle all the tasks that must be done to ensure that your move goes smoothly.

2. Start by deciding what to move. This is the ideal time to purge your home of items you no longer need or want or items that are broken beyond repair. Divide your possessions into three categories:

  • to keep and move
  • to sell or donate
  • to send to recycle centre or landfill

3. Contact two or three reputable movers to arrange for an in-home survey in order to obtain a cost estimate for the move. Beware of companies who refuse to send a representative to your home. This may be an indication that they are not a full-service mover or even worse, a rogue mover. A good way to choose potential movers is to only contact those who are members of the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM). These companies are pre-vetted and are obligated to adhere to specific quality standards. Go to for more information.

4. Discuss your specific needs with the moving companies’ representatives (ie. High value items of concern; scheduling; full or partial packing service; short or long-term storage requirements; automobile transport; appliance disconnection/reconnection; housecleaning; pet relocation etc. Listen carefully to the representatives’ responses and options presented for your needs.

5. Request that the moving company representatives provide you with comprehensive, written estimates detailing the cost of all services. Be cautious of companies who only send a brief email with a total cost but without a breakdown of costs including taxes.

6. Compare cost estimates on an “apple to apple” basis. Be cautious of an estimate that is significantly lower than the others. Ask for an explanation to ensure that the services are identical.

7. Ask for written confirmation of any guarantees or special agreements or commitments.

8. Choose your moving company and have them confirm dates for packing, loading and delivery schedules. Confirm with the mover whether you want them to pack all, part or none of your possessions.

9. If you have chosen to some or all of your own packing, then decide what packing materials you need. You can purchase these from your mover or from a mover’s supply depot or a big box store like Home Depot. You will need to determine:

  • Quantity of specific type of cartons for various types of goods including 2, 4, 5, 6 cube cartons; china cartons; picture/mirror cartons; wardrobe cartons
  • Packing paper/ bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Labels / markers

10. Start packing in stages. Start with items that you don’t need for day to day living and then as moving day approaches pack the balance of goods. Packing is exhausting work so setting aside a few hours each day over a longer period will make it easier for you.

11. Pack an “essentials” box with supplies for the first night in the new home. Mark the box as “last on…first off” to make it easier to find.

12. Contact utility companies at origin to arrange for disconnection of services and at destination for connection of services.

13. Contact schools, doctor, dentist, veterinarian etc. to obtain family records.

14. Make a list then contact companies or organizations that need to be aware of your upcoming move. (Banks, insurance companies, investment firms, subscription services, etc.)

15. Cancel home services (lawn or pool care, water delivery, snow removal, house cleaning etc.)

16. Complete a change of address with the post office so mail can be forwarded. This can be done online.

17. Make child care and pet care arrangements for moving day. It will be less chaotic without them present.

18. Plan to be present when movers arrive and stay until initial walk-through and inventory process is completed by the van operator. Then plan to be present before movers leave. Make sure movers have your cell number.

Taking the time to plan your move and then work your plan will go a long way towards making your move a positive experience. For more information call our Premiere Van Lines Edmonton Branch at 780-455-4502 or contact your local Premiere Van Lines office.