“Mom, stop yelling”: A move-out day blog

That’s right folks, it’s back. The second most wonderful time of the year is here on campus: move-out day.

*Spoiler Alert!!!*      It sucks.

For all the first years reading this, let me just tell you at the outset that this is going to be a rough day. Move-out day is already a tricky day notwithstanding all the new “junk” you’ve stockpiled in your room over your first year. What were you thinking, keeping that inflatable palm tree and all of your empties?

Move-out day is one of those days where everyone kind of feels like their personal space is being violated; it’s a careful balance between when the old tenants move out and when you get to move in.

This time, I’ve added a bit of a twist to the usual “top 10” list. I’ve instead created two “top 5” lists, one for tenants moving in to a new house and one for old tenants moving out of their house. Regardless of your situation, I suggest you read both so you have an understanding of what those evil other people are thinking when they’re in your house.

Top 5 things to be thinking about while moving into a house:

1) Chillax, you’re going to get all of your things moved in
Ok so people have a huge tendency to freak out about getting all their stuff moved in. Relax, it’s going to work out. Do not rush the current tenants out of there because they are still the legal renters of the house (most people move in on the last day of April). Let them get out, then you can get in. There is enough space for everyone’s stuff so just be patient. Don’t plan to be out of there till 7pm at the earliest. I cannot stress this enough.

2) Tell your famjam to relax. Please.
This ties in pretty well with the point 1; parents (especially mine) have a tendency to be pretty high stress during move in. Try your best to control your family; do not let them rush, pressure, or otherwise intimidate the old tenants currently in the house. It leads to an even more stressful situation where you’re pitting yourself against the old tenants and their families. They’re doing their best to get out, and you technically have no right to move your items in before May 1st. Be happy that they’re letting you in the house!

3) Have you spoken to the current tenants?
It’s crucial that you coordinate with the old tenants in the house to minimize the traffic in the hallways of the house. Ask them if you can move in some of the small items like lamps, computers, small appliances. Don’t even try to move in beds, TVs, or other large items at the same time; they need to get their big stuff out first. If you move in the big stuff first, you’re basically screwing up the entire move out of the current tenants. Don’t be “those guys”.

4) Have you set up the utilities and cable/internet?
You need to get your utilities figured out 2 weeks prior to move in (i.e. April 17th). For cable and internet, you don’t have to rush but if someone is living in the house over the summer, they’re going to want internet. There are lots of internet providers, so make the choice that works best. As a general rule for internet, you want to get the most bandwidth that you can afford. Nothing hurts more than having watched the first 45 minutes of episode 1 of season 5 of Mad Men only to have your internet explode. I had literally just learned that one of the new characters was French Canadian. Gah.

5) Have you signed up for Summer House Check?
This may appear to be a shameless plug – and it is. But it is nevertheless useful for you! If you’re not going to be in your house, then you should definitely sign up for Summer House Check. We’ll check on your property over the summer to make sure it isn’t broken into or otherwise damaged. We also collect your mail, which is always a good thing. The deadline to sign up your house is April 27. 

Top 5 things to be thinking about while moving out of a house:

1) Chillax, they don’t know they’re being intrusive
Oh man, I got SO MAD last year when I moved out of my place. The new tenants were (or at least it felt like they were) all over us. Try to keep your cool and gently remind them that a) you have to get your stuff out first anyway, and b) you are still the legal tenants of the house. The new tenants in my old house were sleeping in the property on April 30th – that’s garbage. They were squatting on my property but I just didn’t want to start a fight over it. Set the ground rules with the new tenants and their families well before move in day so you can avoid what happened to me.

2) Do you have moving materials (boxes, tape)?
Everyone always forgets about this. Make sure you have some containers or boxes to pack your things. Get extra containers, as you’re always shocked how much junk you have. Boxes are sold in the JDUC during move out and you can also drop off unwanted clothing and books there. A one stop shop!

3) Have you donated/eaten all of your food?
This is also a common mistake – a lot of people forget to stop buying groceries near the end of their tenancy. Have a big potluck dinner with your friends and housemates and make sure all that food is eaten! The last thing anyone wants to do is waste a fridge full of food. If you can’t eat it all (or don’t want to) you can also donate the food to the AMS Food Centre.

4) Have you shut down your utilities and cable/internet?
Make sure you shut those badboys down or you’ll be paying for an extra month of utilities and cable/internet. Make the phone calls two weeks in advance and save yourself a lot of time and money! 

5) You finished exams? Great. Stay for a day or two, help your buddies pack and clean, and then get outta there!
Ok, so you or a housemate might be done early or have no exams. That’s great, congratulations on being done! Feel free to kick around for a bit but please, please move out before move out day. You save everyone (including yourself) a ton of trouble by getting your things out of the way. Help your housemates clean common areas and get ahead of packing their things. The last thing your house wants to do is pack the small things during move out weekend. Get ahead of this!


Have a great April and a safe move-out!

David Sinkinson
Municipal Affairs Commissioner (2011-12)


Effective May 1 2022 our new address is (Lasalle) 146 Stuart Street, Kingston, ON K7L 2V8

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