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.
If you’ve invested in good quality material for your kitchen, you’ll probably also be dealing with a countertop that is worth hundreds, if not thousands. If you want to DIY the transport of your countertop, you’ll need to take precautions to avoid your investment going to waste, which can happen easily with these large, heavy items.
Usually, for new countertops, the company that is custom-fitting them will also deliver and install them. But if you want to do the delivery yourself to save money, or are planning to upcycle a used countertop, this added service may not be available.
In this article, we’ll give some tips on how to move a granite, concrete or wood countertop.
Ensure you have the proper equipment, and helping hands, when moving a stone countertop
Most of what will determine your success at moving a heavy stone countertop is going to be your equipment and tools. This is because granite, marble and concrete are prone to breakage and cracks during transport. This is moreso the case if you have sink holes pre-cut into them.
Here is what you are going to need:
An A-frame: this is some wood that is fashioned and bound together in the shape of an ‘A.’ They can be made of metal or wood. They allow for slabs or large panel-type items (even heavy art frames, or glass), to be transported while leaning on its edge. This is necessary because:
Granite and stone countertops can crack if transported flat, or horizontally.
Countertops are usually far too heavy for human strength to carry them a long way.
Here is a google image search for “a frame for transport”, to give you some visuals of what you’re looking for.
Moving straps: Somehow, you’re going to need to tie the countertop slabs to the A-frame so it doesn’t wobble or shift during the move. This page has a diagram showing this. We recommend professional straps, of course. This article says to use “ratchet tie-down straps,” which can be searched on Google images here. Remember: your countertop can be worth thousands, so don’t risk it with cheap rope or material.
Moving blankets or padding: To help alleviate impact, you want to use padding on the granite, making the hits a softer blow to the fragile rock-in-transit. Especially if you are transporting more than one countertop at a time, these are a must. Bubble wrap may work. Ensure you have a way to prevent the padding from falling off while moving the countertop.
Carrying clamps: these nifty items attach a strong grip to the sides of the countertop, giving you a handle from which to carry them from. Here is a google image search for them, to show you some options.
Gloves with grip: don’t trust your hands alone to carry the countertop, especially when carrying it off the A-frame, and onto the cabinets, or through the building around doors. You want a strong, strong grip during this process.
Extra humans: granite and concrete are very, very heavy. Unless you are Thor, please don’t expect this to be a one-person job. Avoid injuries, and take safety precautions (like steel-toed boots) when carrying something this heavy too.
Use the right techniques for moving heavy countertops
When you move a heavy countertop, you want to keep these points in mind:
Always carry the countertop vertically, not flat, as noted above.
Never drag or push the countertop. It can only be carried. Don’t attempt to do it on your own.
If you use a dolly or push cart, watch out for when you roll over rocks or uneven ground. Remember, you want to avoid anything that can crack something fragile through impact. Consider the countertop as fragile as glass.
As an article linked-to above suggests, try to set up ‘rest stops’ on your way to the home when moving a stone countertop from the truck to the building it’s going in (or visa versa). Since they are so heavy, you’ll want to be able to put it down without causing cracks or chips. Going all the way down to the floor multiple times can strain your back. Using workbenches, sawhorses, or other sturdy support structures can be useful for this.
Read up on moving techniques before doing this! Here are some articles on our blog to help you out:
Truly, honestly, consider hiring a professional for moving expensive countertops
Moving a heavy, expensive countertop is hard, and there is a lot of potential for breakage. This goes even if you want to move one from salvage – why waste your day, and end up with junk at the end of it?
How do you move toys and kids’ rooms? You may be surprised to hear this, but there are children in this world who will throw a fit if they lose their toys. And moving day is asking for toy losses.
Take this boy, on the popular blog-turned-book, Reasons My Son Is Crying: He is mad because he threw his toys out of his pen, and now he has no more toys to play with.
Imagine the tantrum and heartbreak that will ensue if, during a move, you lose your child’s favourite bunny or blanket! Disaster! And no, buying a replacement probably won’t work (them little munchkins are so smart!).
But I mean, realistically, toy-moving is going to mean purging at some level, right? You know the clean-up is coming. So there must be some decent and reasonable ways to do this with your kid.
Ok, so, how do parents safely, carefully and with caution move their child’s toys and play rooms?
Before moving day, ask your child to organize their toys and decide what they don’t want anymore
We hear your giggles. You think this won’t work. But you’d be surprised. There are kids who can understand that they don’t want old stuff anymore (like toys that are actually for ‘babies’). And, if you show them that their toys may help another kid be happy, they may want to donate them. There are also children who will help you pack!
If you’re having a hard time with this, you could go the desperate-parent route and incentivize them with newer (but fewer!), better toys after they move. Or a new bunk bed.
But first, you need to organize the toys.
First things first: we are guessing that while toys may be sprawled everywhere around the house, they probably do have a spot. Or so the theory goes.
Try to clean up, so that toys are in their bins and boxes and on their proper shelves.
Next, go through the picks of keeps and throw-aways.
You’re going to find broken pieces and mysterious pieces of toys that look like they belong to other toys. Ask what they are if you’re not sure (in case you render a Transformer or train set useless by accident). But if they’re truly garbage, start a recycling bin.
Bundle the small piece toys – like legos blocks, or beads – into zip lock bags or small plastic containers with lids.
Now, your toy room should be sort-of-good-enough organized for packing.
Ok, now imagine how dirty your child’s other toys. Maybe there is mould on the inside. Maybe there are just gross germs on the outside. Or maybe you’ll be bringing sick germs with you to your new home after you move – and no one wants that. HealthLink BC has an article on cleaning toys, because it’s that important. If you don’t like the idea of using bleach or chemicals, there are natural cleaning solutions available online. The DIY mom bloggers can help you with that.
Now, you could argue that toys will get dirty during the move. That’s fine. You can clean them after you arrive at your new home. But chances are, the kids will want to play with their toys right away, and you’ll have a lot of other things on your mind too.
Try picking up plastic bins with sealable lids that you can place all the clean toys in. Remember to keep the contents of these ‘toy moving bins’ completely dry, to avoid a mould situation like that mentioned above. This is especially so if you are doing a long-distance move.
Identify toys that can sell as antiques before packing them for a move, or throwing them away
We’re not talking about Beanie Babies. There are toys that are actually worth money.
Next, it’s time to read up on how to spot the toys that could be valuable for some extra change in your pocket.
Don’t forget: the kid has to be ok with this. Or you will have bigger problems to deal with. Like a heartbroken child. Recall when Woody accidentally ended up in the garage sale in Toy Story 2? So sad.
If you think you’ve got an old toy that has been passed down, that you don’t have an emotional attachment to, you may want to call some professionals in for an appraisal. Or, you can start of by doing some reading. For example, these articles:
Now, if you’re feeling a bit amused that there are die-hard toy collectors out there. Don’t be. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. People sell antique jeans for thousands of dollars too.
Get the right packing material for toys
Toys can break in transit, especially if they are tossed around a lot. Do not crush Barbie heads due to bad packing. Somebody will get upset.
If you have it, you can use original packing of toys. But you likely won’t have thought to keep these around. It’s ok. You can use bubble wrap, or wrap them in clothes or cloths. Or, pack the plastics with the plush toys.
You also want to avoid toys getting wet – especially stuffed animals. That can be hard to clean. So again – consider plastic bins. The bins can be re-used as toy organizers when you arrive at your new home after your move.
To conclude: packing and moving toys is no small feat!
As you can see, toys need a lot of consideration. They may be meaningless to you, but they have a lot of meaning to your child. Or to an antique collector (let’s hope so, right?!).
When you pack toys to move, be sure to do so in a way that will ensure the longevity of the toys, which will help your wallet in the future. We know that must be motivating to do it right.
When you have large appliances you’ve invested in, you may be taking them with you on your next move. This is more likely with deep freezers as they can be an addition to a home that a family purchased out of need. However, moving large appliances can come with nuances you need to be aware of. They are not as simple as moving boxy furniture. This is because there are inner working parts inside the ‘box’ of the appliance that need to be handled carefully.
Step one: have a safe plan for the food you will be removing from the deep freezer
This is obvious, but keep in mind that when you remove food from a deep freezer, you’ll need an action plan of what you’re going to do with it. In our article on how to pack kitchen food, we gave some tips, and discussed eating as much of your food as possible before moving day.
You can’t move a freezer with food in it. And, freezer food doesn’t have shelf life, of course. So this is going to be a bit tricky. If you are doing a short distance move, you can likely get away with buying coolers, filling them with ice or ice packs, and driving them to your new home yourself. If you can get dry ice, that may last longer. But be careful when handling dry ice!
Movers won’t move food, so don’t expect them to take care of this process.
You also probably don’t want to defrost food in a freezer and then refreeze it, as that can result in freezer burn. Not only that, there are food safety considerations at play when you defrost meats or contaminated foods. You don’t want to end up with food poisoning as a result of leaving your foods out of frozen temperatures too long. Listeria can be found in frozen foods, so this is a real concern.
Some foods are expensive, and if you have a deep freezer full of hunted game meat, or any meat for that matter, you may not want to throw it away as a result of having to move. So this is something you’ll want to plan for in advance.
Step two: unplug, defrost and clean the deep freezer before moving day
Before you move a deep freezer, you’ll want to make sure it is thawed out. Unplug it to get ready for this process. Of course, it will have to remain unplugged when the movers arrive, or when you want to load it up on a moving truck.
How long does it take to defrost a freezer? The internet will give you different advice on this; 6 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours…. We recommend checking the manufacturer’s website, and if you can, read up on the model you bought. Many modern freezers are frost free, but still need to thaw. If you have a freezer with frost around its sides, you might need to do some chipping away at it to help the defrost process…and to prevent a water spill after a few hours!
It’s a good idea to clean out the deep freezer too. You won’t want melted ice causing surprise water spills during the move. You also don’t want to bring bacteria along the way, which will love the warmer climate once the freezer is defrosted and unplugged. So wipe it down thoroughly. You can give it another clean when you get to your new home. This is a good opportunity to take care of this ‘spring cleaning’ chore.
Step three: tie it up and pad it
When moving a deep freezer, you want to keep it safe from damage. Find a way to tie the door down so it doesn’t swing open during the move (especially if it’s on its side – see below). Also, cover with blankets or some badding to prevent scratches, or worse, dents and holes. You’ll want to pack it in a moving truck in a way that it won’t move around too much, avoiding bangs and knocks on the way to your new home.
Step four: when moving a freezer, keep it upright if you can
Keeping a freezer or fridge upright while moving it is usually always recommended. This is because there are liquids pertinent to the operation of the deep freezer that need to stay in place to keep it working.
GE’s website says if you can’t keep it upright, “lay it down on the compressor side of the unit.”
If you move the freezer on its side, make sure it stands upright for a period of time before you plug it in again. How long? Again, best to consult your manual, or call the manufacturer, as different advice exists on this online. One common rule of thumb is to leave it upright for the same amount of time it has been on its side. This is what the GE website says (link above). Others will say 24 hours.
To conclude: call professionals if you need help!
Damaging your deep freezer during a move can be an unnecessary financial loss: even if your deep freezer wasn’t that expensive. Still, why waste money? Professional movers are careful and know what they’re doing when moving a freezer. They also offer insurance to protect your items from damage on moving day.
If you need help moving a deep freezer, give us a call! We offer no-obligation, free in-home estimates for families moving house.
Finding Temporary Accommodation When Doing A Cross Country Move In Canada
When you’re planning a cross country move in Canada, there are going to be multiple factors to consider, no doubt. Balancing the timeline of events will be a little tricky. If you’re selling your home, your closing date may not have the 30-60 day window that will allow you to find a new place to live with ample notice. And even if it does, you might not find the perfect permanent dwelling in that time.
When you’re moving cross country in Canada, even if you’re not selling your home, but plan to move out of a rental, or plan to rent out your existing home, you have get used to your new neighbourhood. Deciding where to move in Toronto, for example, is not the same as deciding where to live in Vancouver. Traffic and distances are different – what took you 30 minutes to commute in Vancouver could take more than an hour in a bigger city. School districts may be organized differently, or come with different rules. Access to amenities could make your life more or less difficult.
And that’s all on top of finding the right space, with the right number of bedrooms, and the right decor style that fits you.
In short, moving is not as cut and dry as packing up one home, and then moving into another on the same day, or even within a few days.
Other times, you need a temporary place to stay while your home is being repaired or renovated.
Here are some options for finding such temporary accommodations:
Oakwood website: This is a site for finding a temporary place to live in Canada, that is not a hotel, but comes with similar services. These types of accommodations are used by business executives, relocators, and the like. They are referred to as serviced apartments.
Corporate Housing Locators: a similar service to the above, except they provide services across Canada, the USA and Europe for all your long distance moves. It also seems that they professionally manage the temporary accommodation places, and are able to provide better rates due to their volume of business (according to their website).
Comfy Suites: another Vancouver-based short-term apartment rental service. This company doesn’t just ‘match make’ like Vancouver Serviced Apartments, but they claim they own and manage their own suites. They also advertise their service is like a hotel stay, but more “flexibility.”
Corporate Housing Provider’s Association: this is an association offering membership, which may be a sign of better quality and regulation by the participating companies who join. Their directory offers a listing of Canadian temporary housing companies.
Airbnb: the DIY site for finding a vacation rental. Keep in mind with Airbnb, there is little regulation and you could be renting from anyone. News stories abound of the troubles of using this service. Then again, many people love it.
Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO): this is a term used in the industry, but also the name of a website. The usefulness of finding a VRBO is that you deal directly with the owner of the property (obvious). This means you can negotiate without the complex ‘rules’ that a large hotel chain may insist upon.
Owner Direct Vacation Rentals: yet another VRBO type of site for searching for a place to stay. You may want to check multiples of these sites to get more options, and perhaps a good deal.
Other options for temporary accommodations while moving long distance
While we have provided a few options for finding temporary living spaces between moving houses, of course, we know there are more out there. Other ‘hits’ to try finding a accommodation for you and your family during a transitional move are:
Craigslist, Kijiji and local classified sites: individual home owners may be looking to have their house rented while they go on an extended vacation. They may not be ‘pros’ at the VRBO game, and may not be listing in all the ‘big’ places. While that comes with some risk, it may also simplify your search and arrangements. Just be sure to get a written contract in place, and take pictures of the condition of the home before you move in, to avoid any disputes.
Ask your realtor: if you have just sold a home, your realtor may have ideas for places to look. They may be listing an unsold home, for instance, or they may be property managing a home that is rarely occupied. Perhaps the owner was not looking for renters, but wouldn’t mind the extra earnings you could offer them. Again, keep conflict resolution in mind, and get a signed agreement between both parties in these instances.
Ask a friend: you’d be surprised how willing your friends may be to offer you a place to stay, or to refer you to friends they know in other cities. People can really enjoy the time together, especially when there are kids involved! Couch surfing is something we think of young people doing for cultural experiences. But it may be fun for families too.
Home exchange sites: there are plenty of home exchange sites that are usually for the adventurous-minded who don’t mind letting people stay in their home, while they stay in other people’s homes. If you join a network like this, you may be able to utilize it for your temporary accommodation needs while moving. Of course, that may mean you need to let someone else stay in your home at another point in time, which you may or may not be comfortable with. But perhaps it’s worth checking out.
Whatever your choice, being able to arrange your temporary accommodations well in advance will likely result in less stress for you and the family. You may need storage solutions while you are in a temporary home, and at Ferguson Moving and Storage, we’re happy to help with that portion! Give us a call, and we’ll get you a quote-in-writing.