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It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving across the street or across the country, moving to a new home is stressful. Make it less stressful by making these five moves before you move.

1. Calculate the cost  Your first move is to build an accurate moving budget. Write down all the costs you think you’ll incur – including such obvious expenses as paying the movers or renting a van (if you’re doing it yourself) and such not-so-obvious expenses as the cost of a hotel room or rental house if yours isn’t ready yet, the cost of meals out until you get your kitchen up and running, the cost to store some or all of your belongings for a period of time, the cost of insurance to keep your stuff safe. And don’t forget the cost of boxes and other packing supplies.

2. Choose a mover  This can be difficult. You may want to begin by asking friends who they used when they moved and check out online reviews — they aren’t fool-proof but they can help. As well, the Government of Canada has a great consumer checklist* that will help you find a good mover.

When you’ve selected a few, call up each mover to get a quote and be sure to ask these questions: Do you contract work to a third party? How am I protected if any of my belongings are damaged or lost? What is your claim process? Do you guarantee the delivery date?

In addition to ‘traditional’ movers, consider other options such as do-it-yourself truck rentals and moveable storage units. Assess costs, suitability and the “stress quotient” of each.

3. Downsize your stuff  Moving time is the time to get rid of the stuff you’ve squirreled away but never use. As you’re packing, ask yourself this simple question: Should I pack this or discard it?

4. Protect your stuff  Moves can result in broken or lost goods – so make sure you’ll be compensated if that happens. Moving companies offer basic coverage but it’s not insurance and typically pays about 60 cents per pound per item. You may be able to purchase additional coverage for a fee and you should also consider coverage through an insurance broker – but first, ask your agent if your current policy includes goods-in-transit insurance. And, to be doubly safe, consider transporting small, valuable pieces, like jewelry, yourself.

5. Rest up for the big day  No matter how well you plan for it, moving day will still be stressful. Schedule “time-outs” during the day to recharge your batteries.

* https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca02967.html

This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact your Investors Group Consultant.