Moving to a new apartment or house is exciting. Setting up your new place just how you like it - what's not to love?

Well, there's the fact that moving is a royal pain, both physically and mentally.

It takes a ton of preparation and organization and, let's face it, not all of us have those skills. But to help you out with moving to your Toronto rental, here is a list of the top 7 moving tips and packing advice to get you started.

  1. 1 Be prepared well in advance.

    • The absolute first step is to assess how much stuff you have to move from point A to point B. You'll need to get a clear picture of how big a truck you'll need, or how many trips between your old and new home the process will take. Get a good handle on how much space your stuff takes up, then add a good 10-15% (see Tip #2).
    • Before you start packing up your house, look into how you'll get your stuff to your new apartment or house. That might mean booking a mover - after shopping around for the best price or the moving company that will offer you the best service (check out our Find a Mover advice for more on that topic).
    • Or, you might find that you can handle the move yourself by renting a moving truck or borrowing a vehicle from a friend. These logistics should be pretty much sorted out a good 1-2 months before moving day.
    • Next, you'll want to start collecting boxes of all sizes. Get smaller ones from the liquor store to pack books, and larger ones from the grocery store or the hospital to pack light items like clothes and bedding. You'll need more boxes than you think (see Tip #2), so get lots.
    • Have your mail forwarded to your new address. Canada Post lets you set the date you'll move into your new place and will begin redirecting your mail for you. Very handy.
  2. 2 You have more stuff than you think.

    It's true. It may look like all your picture frames and sports trinkets will fit into 20 big boxes, but once you start opening drawers, you'll realize that you need more like 30 boxes.

  3. 3 Get the house organized

    Honestly, packing up a chaotic house isn't that hard. You throw everything you find on the floor in your living room in a box. But the problem is when you're unpacking in a house that has a different set up than your current one, and all of a sudden you have 18 half-unpacked boxes everywhere with shoes, forks, your brother's baby pictures and that quilt your granny made for your 24th birthday hanging around with no clear place for storage.

    Tidy up your apartment first. Put your things away where they really belong before you pack up. Seems like double the work, but it'll save you a lot of grief when you arrive at your destination.

  4. 4 First, pack things you don't need...

    That aforementioned quilt might not be necessary to your day-to-day survival during the packing process, so things like that can be packed up first. Summer clothes if you're moving in winter, and vice versa, as well as some food from the pantry, the waffle iron and the air mattress with the hole in it that you dragged home from camping last year. These, and similar, are things that should definitely be packed first.

  5. 5 and pack things you do need last.

    That means kitchen utensils, your work clothes, toothbrush and cell phone charger.

  6. 6 Moving in Toronto is expensive enough. Don't wreck your stuff.

    When you're in the heat of hauling furniture down four flights of stairs into the moving truck downstairs, having to pad the corners might seem like an extra chore that you just can't handle. But it's worth it. You're moving to a shiny new apartment and you'll want your furniture looking as shiny and new as possible, too. So take the time to bubble-wrap, drape blankets, lay towels, tape drawers shut and disassemble as much as far in advance as you can.

  7. 7 Have your new digs move-in ready before you move in.

    You'll probably want your new apartment scrubbed down and completely rid of the bathtub stains and funky food smells left by the previous tenant. Cleaning is way easier in an empty space, where you can tackle rooms without obstacles/furniture/boxes in the way. If your timeline allows it, clean your new place completely before the first box makes its way through the door. Also, here are a couple other little-known moving tips that might make your life a whole lot easier:

    • Pack an overnight bag. Include a toothbrush, PJs and a change of clothes for the next day (plus any other essentials). After a 10- or 12-hour day of moving, you're not going to want to go hunting through boxes for this stuff, you're going to want to crash as quickly and easily as possible.
    • Make a sleeping bag and pillow part of the process. Because you might not get your bed set up right away, a sleeping bag is a convenient place to crash for the night. Or, just make sure your mattress makes it in on the first moving day.
    • Order extra pizza. You're going to be (really) hungry. Save yourself from having to run out for food by ordering in – and order enough to get through lunch and dinner. Don't forget the drinks (you might need extra beers, too).
    • Label your boxes. Have a sharpie handy when you're packing. Write on each box what's inside, and be detailed. This makes unpacking much more simple.
    • Unpack the essentials first. Basically, work in reverse of how you packed up. Take out bathroom stuff, clothes, and kitchen utensils and dishes first.
    • Leave clothes inside your dresser and move it as-is. Tape the drawers shut. But beware that this could make your furniture much heavier.
    • Take an inventory of all your furniture and appliances, and how many boxes you have before the move. Check it against what makes it to your new house or apartment.
    • Do a walk through of your place before you lock it and leave it to make sure you don't leave anything behind.