Moving into retirement living often comes with a mix of emotions —nostalgia, joy, relief. But for some of us, one of those emotions is unfortunately stress. 

Thankfully there are a few things you can do in advance to ensure your move goes smoothly. This isn’t an exhaustive list because everyone’s situation is different, but here is a checklist of major tasks and approximately when they should be completed. 


3-1 Month(s) Out

After you’ve sold your home or ended your lease and secured your spot in a retirement home, the first step is decluttering. Sort all your belongings into three categories: things you’re taking, things you’re selling or giving away, and junk. Start this process well in advance especially since a lot of your belongings likely have some sentimental value. 

We recommend hiring a junk removal company if you’re planning to get rid of certain furniture, or other heavy items. Arrange to bring valuables you’re not planning on keep (antiques, etc.) for an appraisal before selling them. If you can’t sell them or gift them to family members, consider a charity.

Remember, you’re likely downsizing so by moving day you should be left with your personal items and houseware that makes it feel like home. 

Set Your Move Date

1 Month Out 

Contact either a salesperson or the executive director at Sorrento to notify us of when you intend to arrive. Note that we require 72 hours’ notice if you decide to change your date or time. The concierge will book an elevator and arrange the other ancillary services (see “Moving Day” below). 

If you’re moving into another residence, be sure to check with a manager about their procedures.

Contact Movers

1 Month Out 

If you’re asking family or friends to help, give them as much notice as you can. If you need to reserve a van or truck from a moving company, ensure you’ve done that by about one month out as well, since availability can be limited during busier moving season. 

If you’re hiring, we recommend taking pictures of your furniture and noting damages on an inventory sheet. Ensure you have their contact information and that they have yours.

If you’re moving out of a condo or apartment, book the elevator in advance with the property manager. 

Update Personal Information 

1 Month – 1 Week Out 

There are several people you’ll have to notify of your move. That includes:

  • Your doctor
  • Your pharmacy
  • Banks and/or credit card providers
  • Your home and car insurance provider (note you’ll need to set up new insurance when moving into retirement living)
  • Magazines or other subscriptions

Around the time you move, you’ll also want to update your address on your official documents, 

which you can do online or at Service Ontario:

  • Driver’s Licence 
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Health Card

Cancel Old Home Service, Set Up New Ones

2 Weeks Out

Schedule the shut-off of your home services and utilities for the day after you move out. That includes:

  • Hydro
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Phone
  • Cable

If you’re moving into Sorrento, we will contact you two weeks in advance to offer you a specially priced plan for your new cable and internet package. We take care of the installation. There is free Wi-Fi in various areas of the community if you decline these services.


2 Weeks Out – Moving Day

Organize the belongings that you’ll be taking with you into essential and non-essential categories. Begin packing the least essential first (mementos, books, etc.) and move on to more essential items (clothing, toiletries, towels, linens, etc.) closer to moving day. 

Pack the most essential items the day or evening before the move and keep them in a bag that’ll stay with you so as not to get lost in the shuffle of your other belongings.

Organize Essential Documents and Refill Prescriptions

1 Week Out

Ensure your prescriptions have been filled and that all your key documents have been packed somewhere you can readily find them. That includes, but is not limited to:

  • Identification
  • Wills
  • Other Legal and Tax Documents
  • Medical Records
  • Insurance Documents

Moving Day

We recommend that you spend some time with us before you move in — get to know the people, the town, the place, the amenities, so it all feels a little more familiar once you arrive. You can take advantage of our trial stays, or spend some time with us when you come to sign your lease and arrange your key pickup. 

Here are a few additional services you get on moving day. 

  • Free set up for cable and internet, and technical assistance if necessary
  • Two hours of maintenance support, to hang mirrors, art, etc.; this can be booked within the first 10 days of moving in
  • Lunch and supper for you and whoever is helping you move 
  • Assistance discarding moving materials

We know moving can feel overwhelming. If ever you have any questions during the process, we’re available to support you. Call (647.317.7242) or email us at [email protected].