Given the stress and the minute logistical details involved in the process, relocation can be difficult to manage. Moving long-distance comes with its own challenges, and it is best to start preparing for the shift well in advance, at least 6 weeks beforehand. Planning and organization are key in order to ensure that the process of relocation goes smoothly.

In addition to hiring the services of a moving company, you need to start planning the move. Decide which appliances and furniture you will be shipping, and what items you will be leaving behind. Chalk out the travel plans for moving day, and get your car serviced, so that it doesn’t break down during the move. If you have children, look for schools in the new area, arrange for their admissions and the transfer of credits and school records. If you have any club memberships in the current area, look into getting a refund for the advance money you paid, return any items you borrowed (including library books and video rentals), notify Canada Post of your impending change in address, and provide your new address to the companies of all the publications you have subscribed to. You will also need to look for a new doctor in the new location, and arrange for the transfer of medical records. Finally, you will also need to look into getting the telephone and the utilities cut.

In addition to planning out all these details, you will also have to work on gradually getting yourself and your family used to the new area. A week or two before the move, consider driving your family down to the new location. Drive around the neighborhood to get your bearings (this will help you find transport links) and get a feel of the area. If the children are reluctant about the move, point out areas of interest to them, and look for social activities they can get involved in. Take the entire family (including pets) to the new house, and let everyone look around and get used to it (make sure you notify the present owners that you will be dropping by). While your family explores the house, speak to the current owner – ask him/her to reserve recent editions of local newspapers, so you can look through them for information on local events and venues. You can also ask him/her for recommendations for dentists and doctors, and even request good takeaway menus, since you are unlikely to be cooking for the first couple of days after your move.

On the day of the move, make sure you are there to foresee everything, and continue to compare the movers’ inventory with your own. It is also a good idea to keep the receipts and records of all moving expenses – if you are moving to a location that is farther than 40km, the Canada Revenue Agency may let you claim these on your income tax.

After you have managed to relocate successfully, focus on settling into the new area. Register to vote, and work on getting all your necessary IDs, like health cards and driver’s licenses (you will also need to get your car registered at the new address – most provinces require you to get this done within 90 days). Arrange for any newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and any other services you might require for home delivery. You can also take walks through the new neighborhood, to accustom yourself to the new area, make friends with neighbors, and make sure that you and your family take part in local activities, so you can get to know people and settle in.

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