Thursday, April 1, 2021 / by Earl Gaddi
Is everything worth moving?
Think outside the box
Should I DIY or hire a moving company?
It can be more expensive to hire a moving company than to rent a truck and pay friends in pizza and beer. So, why should you hire a professional? It's straightforward. They're professionals who do this every day, are covered by insurance in case of damage or injury, and have the benefit of experience. Friends and family may be willing to help when called upon, but is putting them in danger and expecting them to take responsibility for the safety of your most valuable possessions a fair test of your relationship?
Downsizing presents a unique challenge, whether you're an empty-nester who no longer requires a three-bedroom home or find yourself unexpectedly moving into a smaller space. If there's one thing life teaches us, it's that challenges are actually opportunities disguised. In this case, it's an opportunity to take stock of your most valuable possessions and get rid of anything that isn't necessary or doesn't contribute to your happiness.
Strategy is everything
- Start 90 days prior to your move date if you need to purge for a downsize. Otherwise, begin two months ahead of time.
- Make a to-do list: Make a list of everything that needs to be done, including packing, moving, switching, renting or hiring, and cleaning.
- Stock up on supplies: Make sure you have enough boxes, packing tape, packing paper, tissue paper for fragile items, and a Sharpie pack.
- Get a dolly, a hand truck, and/or moving straps: These items are essential if you plan to move on your own and are lifesavers when it comes to moving heavy or bulky objects over long distances.
- Select a reputable mover: The Office of Consumer Affairs recommends getting quotes from at least three licenced movers. Read their reviews, but make sure to get references and read their documentation thoroughly.
- Obtain written quotations: Although many movers have detailed estimate forms you can fill out on their websites, movers should provide an in-house assessment with a detailed written estimate.
- Insurance is usually sufficient to cover any incidentals, as is your home insurance and that of your movers. Extremely valuable items may not be covered, so check with your mover and your broker on moving day to see if additional insurance is required.
Distribute your weight: Once you've packed your belongings, it's easy to underestimate the total weight. Weighty items should be distributed, with the smallest boxes being used for books and dinnerware and the largest being used for lighter bulky items like duvets, comforters, and pillows.
Labeling and inventory: Keep track of your inventory as you pack and label boxes. When it's time to cook, nothing is more frustrating than rummaging through 20 kitchen boxes to find a spatula.
Remember to pack your moving day essentials: These are the last items to pack and should include everything you'll need to cook, eat, clean, bathe, dress, and sleep for a few days. To keep these items close at hand, it's best to move them yourself.
- Important valuables should be kept separate: Keep your most valuable possessions together as you pack so you can pack and move them yourself. This is the best place to keep your safe or lock box if you have one.
- Change your address: It's easy to forget about this until it's too late. Make sure all of your service providers and accounts have your current address, and request a service change for utilities, internet, and telephone. Set up mail forwarding through Canada Post if necessary.
What was once a stressful situation can easily become a smooth-running operation. Taking the time and effort to implement these strategies can help alleviate a lot of stress when moving into a new home—especially if it's your first—so you can enjoy rather than fear the process. Good luck with your packing!