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5 tips to build your perfect moving checklist

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Photo: Robert Clark

The typical American moves about eleven times throughout the course of their lifetime, and many say moving is nearly as stressful as death and paying taxes.

To avoid devolving into a raging ball of stress when the movers pull into the driveway, it’s important to plan ahead. Most experts agree that you should start preparing for your move four to six weeks in advance, depending on how much “stuff” you’re taking with you to the new place.

Together with Melissa Pollock, PODS lifestyle and organization expert, we’ve come up with five pre-moving tips that will help you build your perfect moving checklist and eliminate stress. Because closing one door and opening another should be an exciting life change, not a dreadful one!

1. Book your move sooner rather than later

Every move is different when it comes to timelines, which depend on various factors such as time of year and moving distance,” says Pollock. “It’s always a good idea to book any necessary deliveries, pick-ups, and shipments as soon as you know the dates you prefer, as calendars for moving companies can fill up quickly, especially during the summer months.”

2. Declutter

“Six weeks from your moving date is when you’ll want to begin organizing your belongings,” says Pollock. “This will give you time to declutter, finding items that you want to donate, toss or sell. Through this process, you’ll have an idea of just how much stuff you’re moving and can determine the right quantity of packing supplies to buy.”

3. Set up or close accounts

About six weeks from your move date, arrange cut-off and activation dates with utility companies to ensure you’re able to receive essential services on move-in day — and night.

Cable television and internet installation spots tend to go quickly and can be booked for weeks in advance. So, if you don’t want to miss that “Game of Thrones” premiere, book your service call as early as possible.

4. Pack with care

Inspect all furniture and fragile items for nicks, cracks and dents, and keep a running list in case you do suspect something was damaged in transit. For insurance purposes, high-value items will need verified values in advance of a move.

Clearly label all your boxes — nothing is more stressful and time-consuming than searching through a mountain of boxes for a misplaced item. You should also pack boxes according to the room their contents belong in. This makes organizing the new pad much easier.

Be fully packed prior to moving day. Otherwise, you risk delaying the movers and causing unnecessary stress.

5. Moving day essentials

As your move looms closer, pack an overnight bag with any toiletries you might need, as well as clean clothes.

Be sure to pack an ‘essentials box’ that includes things like pet food, garbage bags, toilet paper, towels, all-purpose cleaner, first-aid supplies, a flashlight, dish soap and any important documents. And make sure it’s clearly labeled!

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New home? Prepare for the unexpected

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(NC) Buying a house, getting married or having your first baby are all major life events that are likely to affect your finances. But whether you’re in the midst of a major life event or not, it’s important to check in on your finances regularly to maintain good financial health.

Your financial health encompasses things like your spending, savings, borrowing and future financial plans. It also means dedicating a set amount of savings for unexpected future events. It can even include optional credit protection insurance, such as TD protection plans, to help cover your debt balances in case of death, a covered critical illness or total disability.

Even though it can be tough to think about the unexpected, life is unpredictable and it’s important to plan for the unexpected. Find more information at td.com.

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Mortgage pitfalls to avoid

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(NC) Throughout life, you may have moments where you’ll make a large purchase or invest in a costly item, like your family home. But whether you’re in the market for your first new property or already have a mortgage, leaving this asset unprotected can be costly.   

Insuring your housing financial debt, as well as debt for other big-ticket items like a new boat for your lakefront cottage or keepsake jewelry like an engagement ring, is a smart investment in your well-being.

To help protect your debt balances like a mortgage, your bank may have optional credit protection insurance products.

“Your home is one of your biggest assets, yet illness can happen at any stage of life. Worrying about your mortgage when the focus should be on health isn’t a situation anyone would wish for,” explains Shirley Malloy, vice president at TD. “Fortunately, we offer mortgage protection to provide coverage for your outstanding balance should you face a covered critical health event.”

Mortgage protection can be purchased whether you’re in the process of applying for a mortgage or already have a home financing solution. But what about protection options for credit card debt?

“Given the unprecedented circumstances of this year, many Canadians are trying to plan for the unexpected to protect themselves and their finances,” says Malloy. “TD balance protection plus is an optional product designed to help you deal with your credit card payment obligations in the event of a covered event, such as loss of employment.”

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Is your internet too slow? It’s probably not you

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(NC) We all know the aggravation of a school lesson that just won’t stop freezing or the family video call that looks more like a photo montage. And, as we adjust to the impact of COVID-19 on our day-to-day, that slow connection can have frustrating consequences.

Working from home and learning remotely, both need fast, stable internet, something not enough Canadians have yet. Even if you have fast devices in your home, if the infrastructure in your area is not optimal, your connection won’t be either.

Right now, cities have the infrastructure needed to ensure access. But rural and remote communities are hugely underserved, with fewer than half having high-speed internet, and fewer than a third of households on reservations have high-speed connections.

Fortunately, change is coming. The Universal Broadband Fund is backing projects across Canada right now to ensure the reliable, high-speed internet connections families need to work, study, access services online, and safely stay in touch with each other.

The fund existed before COVID, but as a response to the pandemic, its timetable has been moved up by four years to a target of 98 per cent of Canadians with high-speed internet access by 2026. With the faster pace, at least 90 per cent of us should be connected by the end of 2021.

The fund is focused on improvements in rural and remote communities across Canada to fix the disconnect between internet access for urban and rural households.  This means more remote work opportunities, better access to remote learning and safer access to healthcare, no matter where you live.

It’s not just for good connections at home, either. The improvements mean much better access to mobile networks on highways between remote communities. The result is better, safer navigation and access to emergency services for your family, even on the road in the middle of nowhere. Mobile projects will be focused on serving Indigenous communities and the roads leading to them.

The shape these improvements will take in your area will depend on where you live. Canada is huge, and its communities are hugely diverse, with diverse needs. Keep an eye out for local projects — they’re a small part of something much bigger.

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