Whether you’re moving a block away or a province away and whether it be an upgrade because you’re expanding your family or you’re downsizing once all your kids have moved out — the process of moving is exciting and sometimes stressful. Here are a few simple steps on how to make the process as streamlined as possible — whether you’re hiring a mover or grabbing some friends and moving yourself.

how to move yourselfBefore you even consider packing a box, take inventory of what you have in your home. Are there things you want to pack up and take to your local Goodwill? Are you going to buy new furniture so will be sending the old away to donate or to your local landfill? Ehow.com recommends taking inventory of your possessions, which in turn allows you to determine the number and size of boxes you’ll need.

Once you’ve organized what will be heading to your new home with you, take inventory of items that will be helpful to the move. What time of year is it? Will you need plastic sheeting or tarps to place on carpeted areas to prevent muddy footprints in the home? Rent or buy a dolly in order to move heavier items or stack boxes on. You’ll need packing tape and a packing knife as well as a good marker to label your boxes.

When packing, organization is key. Keep like with like, re. kitchen items together, in order to make unpacking a breeze. Use newspaper or packing bubbles to wrap fragile items and make sure to mark “fragile” on the box if there’s particularly important or breakable things inside. Heavier items like books or some kitchen products can be packed in smaller boxes making them easier to carry. As well as boxes, plastic totes come in handy for packing larger, heavier things.

Are you going to get a rental truck or enlisting the aid of friends’ pickups or vans? Do your research on different rental companies seeing what services and insurance they offer as well as how much it will cost you to get from point A to point B. Whether or not you go with a rental vehicle, now’s the time to call in those favours from friends you’ve helped move before. The more people involved with a move, the faster it can go. Offering them pizza and cold beverages doesn’t hurt either.

How to move hiring a moverDo your research. Check out various moving companies and remember the cheapest deal isn’t always the best deal. “Often people are rushed because they’re trying to get here for school and they’ve sold their house … there’s a lot of pressure around these things,” said Sandra Crozier- McKee president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Southern Alberta and East Kootenay’s. “(Consumers) need to take a moment and research the company and one of the things that they can do certainly is to come to BBB and we’ve got business reviews across North America on about 17,000 movers so there’s certainly information they can get from us or other websites as well.”

Be aware of any extra fees the movers might have. The Canadian BBB recommends getting three written estimates from movers before making a final decision. Questions to ask the company include, ‘Can the movers provide copies of licensing for the province in which you’re moving?’, ‘Are they members of a movers association?’ and ‘Will the movers do the packing or will I?