Vancouver Moving and Packing Tips – this video explains how long it takes to pack a typical home and gives practical advise on how to set yourself up for packing success. Learn more about Ferguson Moving and Storage at https://ferguson.iwsdesign.ca This moving tips video will answer questions for your moving needs: Average days in advance to prepare for moving day. What to pack and what not to pack first. How many boxes to pack a typical kitchen. How many days to pack…etc.
Agrarian life within the conveniences of the city may seem like a dream. However, if you plan on moving to an urban farm in Metro Vancouver or elsewhere in B.C., there are some things to keep in mind before you make the plunge and leave your apartment life. This especially goes for moving into a home with a yard, or intending to lease city-zoned land for your new farming adventure. There may be other options available to you, which you’ll also want to consider. If you’re new to farming, and the idea of urban farming has tweaked your interest and motivated you to move, read up on some of what we’ve found.
Note: Moving to start an urban farm in the Vancouver area is not quite like moving to a hobby farm. We’ve written about that subject here, and encourage you to take a look there as well.
Urban farming on city properties is on the rise, but might not be totally legal yet
Last year in Vancouver, a move was made to begin the legalization of urban farms in the city. It wasn’t that there weren’t urban farms in Vancouver at the time. But more that that zoning and licensing wasn’t quite clear. Urban farms in Vancouver are already established, which you can see on the list here, by the Vancouver Urban Farming Society. Vancouver’s current urban agriculture policies can be read on its site here and here (they are, essentially, now allowed).
And in 2012, MacLean’s magazine was already writing about the popularity of urban agriculture, and the way of going about it for some.
But we often don’t associate city life with farming. In fact, it would be a sight to see if your neighbour’s front lawn and backyard were covered in crops. A garden, yes, maybe. But an entire lawn?
The idea seems wonderful to some, but we have to expect that neighbours can complain. There are designated agricultural areas set up by city governments. But now, those without big investment dollars are wanting to get into farming life. And running a huge, generational farm may be prohibitive to some. Are we turning back to middle-ages-style agrarian life?
While the City of Vancouver may have opened up the opportunity for its residents to start residential farms, surrounding areas in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley may not be as clear. For example, below is a page from the City of Surrey’s website, which talks about agriculture and zoning, but doesn’t quite define laws for ‘urban farms’ or ‘residential farms’ (at the time of writing):
The same mystery is encountered when viewing the agricultural zoning documents on Delta, B.C.’s website:
Surely, there may be more deeply buried rules that were overlooked in our search. But apparently, someone who wants to move to start an urban farm would need to do some hunting to find out if their operation would be legal, or even just, in the ‘gray zone.’
Googling these subjects also doesn’t often bring many results.
The next place to turn is to learn the experiences of existing urban farmers. One urban farmer in Kelowna is Curtis Stone. His business, Green City Acres, leases residential yards for a sustainable farming operation. His argument for urban farming, stated on his website below, is that there are millions of acres of lawn in North America, which are unproductive by growing mere grass. They can be otherwise turned into economic opportunities.
He was once visited by a bylaw enforcer, and explains his experience in this video:
By that video above, it seems that neighbours can complain, but the enforcement of ‘gray zone’ laws around agriculture is iffy. And that’s just one person’s experience in one city. So it goes without saying that it can be a toss, when it comes time for your local officers to decide if what you’re doing is ok.
In short, urban agriculture is starting a new booming industry, but the governments may not yet be up to speed on the laws that may be needed to regulate it. For example, would you want goats raised in your neighbour’s backyard? Vancouver allows chicken pens in backyards, but not roosters, which can disturb residents. So things like this will likely come up in your quest to start an urban farm. Before you move, remember that you may need to be adaptable. You might also need to be available to lobby for your rights with governments, if need be.
Consider other options before moving to start an urban farm
If you want to start an urban farm, and are willing to move to do it, there may be other options, or even interim solutions for you.
Move to land in the agricultural land reserve that is close to the city
There are some pre-zoned spots near cities, and not necessarily in cities, where you could buy or lease a farm. If you read about this Burnaby farmer’s story, you’ll see that space was available in Burnaby under the agricultural land reserve.
Farms are also available for leasing if a current farm owner can’t upkeep the land, or for other reasons. These can be found at the following site:
Some may be nearer to cities than you’d imagine.
Lease your lot to an urban farmer and enjoy the vegetation
Some urban farmers, like Curtis Stone, look for yards they can farm. If you moved to start an urban farm, and feel the task is too daunting, or if you just want exposure to urban farming, you can consider leasing your front and back yard to a local farmer.
Now, we should mention that you might be exposed to the same legal vulnerabilities mentioned above!
See if you’re eligible for government help or subsidies to move to a farm
The Government of Canada, and perhaps other governing bodies, may have incentives to get farmers (especially young ones) involved in the industry. Whether or not this turns out to be for urban farming, you should learn more about what is available, in case it becomes an option for your farming dreams:
Consider indoor vertical farming as another route
Urban farms are now seen not just as residential farms, but as vertical farms in building structures too. For example, one vertical farm tried to operate in a Downtown Vancouver parking lot (but failed).
If your city allows, you may be able to find a way to grow food indoors through aquaponics, or other methods. Some companies are going full force on this idea, which you can read about in this article by Vox news. Of course, this would require more investment, since you wouldn’t just be moving to a residence to start an urban farm, but you’d be looking at leasing commercial space.
Join a community farm
There are many community-based farms where neighbours can volunteer to start a bed and care for it.
There are also community supported agriculture (CSA) programs you could support to get local fresh vegetables. It’s not the same as owning your own farm, but it can be a gateway into the healthy lifestyle of farm table eating.
Start small with a personal garden and grow your operation from there
If you live on a lot currently, you could still start a small-scale garden. As you learn more about farming, you may start acquiring equipment to make your gardening or future farming life easier. This can be a slow way to get into the business, where you learn most of your mistakes and perform your trials in advance of going ‘all in.’
For example, you’ll learn about rainwater harvesting and composting, which you could start at your current home.
Learn about farming before moving an urban farm
If you are really a green thumb at farming, it would also be wise to take the time to get to know more about the industry. It can be a lot more than planting seeds in the ground.
For example, Kwantlen has a farm school. Or, you could take courses by someone like Curtis Stone (mentioned above).
Keep up to date with urban farming news
As you wait on your decision to start an urban farm, keep up to date with the developments in urban farming.
This search on City Farmer will tell you about the legalities of urban agriculture throughout North America, or even the world:
Hey, who knows, you might use those cases to present to your local authorities, for policy change, if need be.
To conclude: moving to an urban farm in B.C. cities is not an impossibility (we think)
The trend for farming near cities seems to be growing. People are more aware of the environmental impact of farming in large scale fields. Plus, there is a market for local food. So it makes sense that farms can grow in cities (pun intended). It may be a matter of time before more local governments change bylaws to allow for urban farms – or at least to make those bylaws clearer.
For now, if you’re willing to try it, you might set an example for the cities to consider. But we strongly urge you to learn more about the matter, and consider it a business: get as much professional help as you can before beginning.
Not only that, wherever you move, your lot should be suitable for farming. Don’t run into a situation where you haven’t inspected the yard for crop viability!
See related on our blog:
While one may not think of Vancouver’s climate as being a hotspot for homeowners with swimming pools, they do exist. Vancouver homes with pools are also on the market, if you want to move from one home to another, and keep your swimming pool lifestyle (whether outdoor or indoor). An MLS search such as this one can help you find Vancouver homes with swimming pools.
But when you move from one swimming pool home to another, you may want to bring some accessories with you. Yes, it’s true you might negotiate the swimming pool accessories and equipment along with the sale of the house. However, depending on the value and quantity of your pool accessories, it may be a cost savings to bring them along with you.
Plus, if you have kids, and the new buyers don’t, you might be able to get away with bringing your pool slide and paddleboards with you. Also, your buyers may not care for the coloured lights you’ve chosen, or they may plan on using a different heating type for their pool, and so on.
All of these items have value, plus varying costs to operate or maintain. So, pools do come with buyer preferences. And that’s where you may end up deciding to bring some pool equipment or accessories with you.
Below are some tips for handling the relocation, or moving, of your pool equipment and accessories:
Take an inventory of your pool parts, understand what they are, and what they’re worth
Before you jump to include your pool and all its equipment or accessories into the sale price of your home, it would be good to know what they’re worth. This is especially if you bought the pool along with the house, and aren’t aware of the installation values, product values and so on.
To start, you can learn about used pool equipment through this eBay article:
There are also pool accessories listed for sale on eBay here:
And, as this article states, a professional pool inspection as part of house inspection services can help with this stage. This will also let you know the condition that the pool equipment is in, and if anything needs replacing, or updating.
At this point, you can decide whether to sell your pool equipment and accessories as one-off pieces, bring them with you or add them to the value of your home. Speak to your realtor about these options as well.
Pool equipment, whether for inground or above-ground pools, can refer to:
- Heaters (an optional part)
- Plumbing & electricity lines (see this article for more info)
- LED lights (though these can be considered an accessory)
- Electricity breakers
- Chemical dispensers
Pool accessories can refer to:
- Diving boards
- Steps or ladders
- Pool covers (including automated ones)
- Life jackets and lifesaver buoys
- Leaf skimmers or nets
- Pool thermometers or testers
- Pool machine cleaners (various kinds) or vacuums
- Complimentary deck furniture
- Pool noodles, inflatables, paddle boards, etc.
- Chemicals, salts or cleaning products
- Alarm systems
- Drain covers and other small parts
A store website like this one can give even more examples of the categories of items you will need to keep, or sell, if you are a pool owner.
Disassemble and photograph complex pool equipment you plan on moving
Whether you want to move your pool equipment a few feet away, or to a new location entirely, keep in mind this will involve complex work. A typical house mover that moves your furniture may not be the person to call. Specialized pool service people would need to come in, as well as qualified electricians, and perhaps plumbers. Plus, in some cases, you may need certain building permits, or assurances that you are complying with legal safety codes when implementing the changes. So, moving pool equipment is also not a cheap thing to do. This article explains more about the process.
This video explains a little bit about moving just a pump and filter.
When you do any part of the pool equipment move yourself, you will definitely want to take an inventory of parts. You also should be taking photographs of the finished products before you disassemble them. And, record the steps you’re taking, from even before the point of drainage, so you can do them in reverse later, if possible. That way, you can have a reference for how things were set up originally. This goes especially for older equipment where you may not be able to search online for instruction manuals!
Preparing and moving pool accessories
While underground or specialized pool equipment would need servicemen, some of your pool accessories could be moved on your own, of course. Still, if you are unscrewing anything (such as slides or diving boards that are bolted down), you will want to follow the above procedures.
And, make sure kids are not trying to use the slide while it’s not secured! If you are taking down gates or barriers while children are around, you may also want to drain the pool for safety too.
It goes without saying that any lighter, portable accessories should be dried, cleaned and deflated (if applicable) before moving. Of course, you’ll also want to contain the items in bins or bags (perhaps mesh bags?). Don’t let them sit wet in tightly closed conditions for too long, to avoid mould growth.
Remember also that you can’t bring chemicals into moving trucks! They will need to go into your own car, or safely disposed of according to your local bylaws.
To conclude: moving pool accessories equipment involves many services and costs, which may not be worth the hassle
As you can see from the information above, moving pool equipment can be so complex, you may decide not to go for it. The procedure could only be done partially on your own, if you are not a qualified electrician, plumber or swimming pool specialist. And, there will be costs for transport too, even if you could detach and bring pool machinery with you.
So the hassle alone can be a deterrent. This is especially so if you’re planning the move apart from a bigger renovation project. In that case, pool equipment would only be moving a short distance, on the same property. Or, other solutions (such as replacements or cover-ups) can come into play.
It is more likely that you may end up moving your pool ‘toys’ and accessories with you. Movers in Vancouver can help with this, as these items usually don’t involve specialized training or legalities (minus the chemicals, which can’t go in moving trucks).
Plus, if you move into a new home which also has a pool, you may find that you have everything you need built in already.
See related articles:
Moving sports balls and toy balls can be tricky. While you’ve probably already thought of the basics, like cardboard boxes, tape and labels, some things always. For example, if you’ve acquired a lot of bouncy, rolly items, those might be a bit of a question mark on top of your head (an imaginary one, of course). Especially if you’re not a sports coach or athlete yourself, you may not be aware of the methods available for transporting these items (and you probably won’t want to be buying new basketballs, soccer balls or bouncy balls all over again!).
Here are ideas on moving sports balls and toy balls–and storing them:
Moving Sports Balls: Deflating and Storage
Deflating sports balls can be a good solution. This method is not just for saving space, but also to prevent the ball from rolling around all over the place during the move (if it goes into a vehicle without being packed, that is). And, if you are bringing your ball on a plane, this article says that not deflating it can destroy it. So definitely look into deflation for that scenario!
This article explains how to deflate a larger style of sports ball. You will need a special needle to do this. Though, there are likely plenty of internet hacks to explain how to deflate a ball without that special needle.
For tennis balls, golf balls, ping pong balls and the like, you’ll need to look for other solutions.
Use a mesh bag to move sports balls to your new home
There are mesh nets with ties on them specifically made for carrying sports balls. Amazing, we know. They can be called mesh ball carriers (in case you want another google term to find them online). They can be small or big. Sometimes they can be square and zippered too!
Here are some resources to check out, if you’re interested in buying them:
https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/products/soccer-ball-bags.jsp (this resource also shows single-ball bags, which can be handy for carrying soccer balls and basketballs to the park in the future)
Bowling balls can go in bowling bags. But if you’re a bowler or own a bowling ball, you probably already knew that.
Use a ball locker on wheels to move and store sports balls
If you have a lot of balls, such as for a sports gym or a team, you might also want to invest in a ball locker or cart. These are closable, box-like structures usually made of metal bars. For moving day (and for future recreational transport), you’ll want one with wheels. Sometimes, they can be made of nylon, like this one, meant for volleyballs.
Below is a link to a search for ball lockers on Amazon, to give you an idea of the models available:
Build a ball corral to move balls, or create easy-access ball storage
To keep bigger balls collected into one place, but still easy to access without having to reach down into a box, you can make a ball corral. You may have seen these as toy holders too. They use flexible bungee cords as ‘bars.’ But since the bungee cords can stretch, you can easily grab a ball out and stuff it in.
Here are plenty of examples of ball corrals on Pinterest (mostly they are attached to walls):
Now, if you build one of these on wheels, or even just as a detached box structure, it could work similarly to the ball lockers noted above. The only downside here is that if the bungee cords aren’t stiff enough, the balls may still fall out of their place when moving. We’ll leave this one up to your judgement!
Use a laundry basket to store balls
As this blogger notes, you can use a cheap, tall and upright laundry basket for holding all those toy balls in your home. When you move, however, you’ll need to find a way to prevent the balls from falling out if the laundry basket were to tip over.
Use good ol’ garbage bags and boxes when moving sports balls
Of course we could have thought of this earlier: just use a large garbage bag or box to move your collection of sports balls. Of course, in this scenario, you wouldn’t want to put too much weight on the garbage bag, in case it rips, and your balls go a rollin’.
If you only have one or two balls, they could probably also fit easily into a box where you are packing other lighter, sports-like equipment.
And let’s not forget pillowcases, gym bags, reusable grocery bags or anything that can reasonably contain the amount of balls you have.
This solution would also work for smaller balls, like the tennis balls, baseballs or even hockey pucks. Though, for tennis balls, you may want to also consider a specialized holder like this one, which helps tennis balls last longer. Or, you might want to use a tennis ball dryer, like this one.
Use ball racks to organize at home
When you settle into your new home after moving, it may be time to think about ball storage. There are ball wall hangers and racks for this purpose, if the DIY ball corral above wouldn’t suit your fancy. Or if a ball locker sounds like too big of an investment.
This article gives some tips on how to organize your balls.
Worried about moving autographed balls with value?
If you’ve come to this page wondering about how to move balls that are on display in your home (and perhaps have some value due to being autographed), then you’ll want to check out this article. A blogger there explains how to keep your display-and-trade-only sports equipment in-tact and free from damage during a move. Mesh bags will not work here, and you’ll need to be much more careful.
We also recommend letting your movers know about these special collectibles. They may require careful handling. Or, you may want them covered by insurance, which should be established in advance of your move.
See related: Protecting valuable collection when moving in Vancouver
To conclude: balls be not a worry when moving!
Moving sports balls and toy balls can be your chance to get organized, and invest in a long-term solution for your home ball storage. Unlike other moving tools, these are items you can probably make use of even when you’re not moving to a new home. And, by getting them now, you can make your move easier too. But if not, it’s ok! Your home supplies like plastic bags, boxes or even pillow cases might work for you! Then you can dump and play once you get to your new home! (But be sure to do so after you’re settled in, in case anyone trips while moving furniture around!).
Moving a rug. It might sound like the simplest thing to not write about, but the topic may surprise you in its detail. Well, not that much detail. But enough for us to share a few tips that might be helpful!
Let’s get into it!
Before you moving a rug, measure their sizes and your new floor space
You may have rugs at your current home, which you plan to bring to your new home. We’ll call these your ‘old’ rugs, even though you may continue to use them.
The first thing to assess is the size of existing rugs, and the comparison to the floor space at your new home. It has been said that rugs can change the feeling of a room’s spaciousness. Furniture should overlap a rug to a degree.
When moving a rug to your new home, you will want to know if you will get the same visual effect, or if the room’s size will determine that you need new rugs for certain rooms. Of course, this applies mostly to larger spaces you may move into. Though in some cases, your rugs may also be too big to fit into your new space.
Resize your rug?
Another option is to resize your rug. Yes, it’s possible! Rug repair persons or makers like this one can cut down rugs, or even enlarge them. If you can’t find a rug resizer through a google search, try checking if carpet cleaners can do it, as alluded to by Apartment Therapy here.
Determine the cost and value of your existing rugs, or new rugs
There are cheap rugs, and there are expensive ones. If you have a rug that is an imperfect size, but was imported from an exotic country where rug weaving is a deep-rooted tradition, then you might have more incentive to keep it anyway. Whether it stays rolled up in storage, or used regardless of its size, sometimes keeping the rug of value has its longer-term benefits.
If you’ve got cheap rugs, consider selling or donating them. The cost of new ones to fit your new space will probably be well worth the investment. And hey, this time around you might be able to splurge on the fancy ones!
Some rugs can be worth a lot, especially if they are antiques. This article explains more about determining the value of your old rug.
Clean your rugs before moving
Before you move your rug, you will want to give it a good clean. You can hire carpet cleaners to do this, or do it yourself. To clean a rug yourself, you will need a space to get it wet, and to hang dry it. Depending on the type of rug you have, the method you use for cleaning can vary. This article explains more, including a tip to check for colour loss before you go overboard on cleaning products!
Some rugs can go in the washing machine (with no guarantees!). And, nowadays you can also buy washable rugs. For example, Ruggable (not a sponsor) has made a product specifically to avoid this hassle of toilsome rug washing!
Prep and protect your rugs for moving
When moving rugs you will no doubt need to roll them up (when they are dry after cleaning of course!).
To keep them in rolled position, and to avoid the roll from loosening, you can tie them with string. Even better, if you have carrying straps, moving straps or something like a yoga mat strap your lifting and transporting will be so much easier. Moving straps can be quite cheap, and can be useful for other items you may want to move yourself on moving day.
Wrap your rug in some large plastic (for example, painter’s plastic sheeting) for protection. You wouldn’t want your hard work of cleaning that rug to go to waste on the move!
If you have a rubber underlay, padding or sticky strips under your rug, of course you’ll want to properly shake those off, clean them and pack them too.
It’s time to transport your rugs in the moving truck! Be careful, they can be heavier than they look!
After moving a rug, restyle your new home
If you’ve followed our tips above, you’ve already got measurements in mind for your new rug.
But if you’re one of those people that believes rugs can make or break a room’s style, there will be more to consider. For example, colour and material. This article on Apartment Therapy goes into more detail on how to choose a rug that’s right for your new home.
And, don’t forget that rugs don’t just have to lay flat! You can hang them on the wall for a bohemian look. This article explains how.
See our related articles: