Canada’s busiest moving day of the year is June 30 – so we can expect a lot of stressed-out people this Canada Day weekend.
Moving home is identified by more British Columbians as one of their most stressful life experiences (25.6%) than those who say getting a divorce, changing jobs, starting a family or planning a wedding is the most stressful, according to a survey by moving and mobile storage company BigSteelBox.
Overall, 66% of BC respondents to the national survey said that moving house is a stressful life experience. Only a slightly smaller proportion, 62.1%, of British Columbians said the stress of moving lasts anywhere from one to six months.
So what’s bugging residents most about moving? When it comes to hiring a third-party moving company, two-thirds (67.7%) of BC respondents said having items lost or broken during the move, as well as the unpredictable cost, were their biggest concerns.
The survey also revealed some habits of British Columbians when it comes to moving home. Just shy of 40% of British Columbians admitted to leaving their packing to the week of the move, and more than half (50.7%) of BC respondents take at least a month – and up to several months – to finish unpacking.
Across Canada, the survey found that women (70.2%) experience more stress than men when it comes to moving to a new home.
And a surprisingly high 14% of Canadians put off their packing until the night before the big day, with men (16%) more likely than women (11.7%) to do so.
Jason Siebenga, president of BigSteelBox, said, “While moving to a new home can be an exciting time, proper planning will help to minimize stress and mitigate unforeseen costs.”
Tips for a Stress-Free Move
• Book an appropriately sized moving vehicle or professional moving service, as well as any necessary storage space or mobile storage solutions, at least six weeks in advance of the Big Day. If booking a moving company, make sure you know upfront what the costs will be, and ensure you are using a reputable service.
• Write a list of all the places and companies you’ll need to notify of your move, and all the services you’ll need to book before the big day (final appointments, cleaners, etc), and check them off so that you stay organized.
• For packing, make sure you have boxes/crates and any mobile storage containers delivered to your home at least one month before moving day, so that you can start packing lesser-used items.
• Order lots of different sized boxes/crates for different items – small ones for heavy items such as books, larger ones for lighter items – and order more than you think you’ll need. Make sure you have all the other packing materials you need too, such as bubble wrap, sticky labels and marker pens.
• Label boxes as you go so that you know where everything will land in the new place. Wrap fragile items even more carefully than you think you will need to, to avoid worry over breakages.
• As you near moving day, start packing everyday items but keep the containers open. Make sure you keep important documentation, cellphone, wallet/purse etc on hand.
• Ensure you notify your old and new building managers and neighbours, if applicable, and book elevators and parking spots at both ends for the moving truck.
• Ensure your containers are safe and secure at all times, and keep an eye on any movers and helpers at both ends of the move – just in case.
• Once you’re in the new home, reward movers and helpers with tips, smiles and treats! Now let the unpacking begin…
Joannah Connolly is the editor and content manager of REW.ca and Real Estate Weekly newspaper, and editor-in-chief of Western Investor and West Coast Condominium.