Moving any retail space is quite a different job than when moving a home. With a clothing store, there is also more to consider than just moving the clothing (and even that is going to be different than the advice we give to homeowners). Vancouver store movers know that there will be operational equipment, furnishings and fixtures that need to be disassembled with the right tools, or handled with care.
And, retail supplies are not like ordinary furniture. If retail store movers don’t do their job correctly, any broken or missing pieces of a store can affect revenue at worst, and result in a mismanaged, frustrating store to shop in, at best. But, sometimes moving to a new commercial retail space is necessary – either to downsize your costs, or grow the traffic needed in your store.
With that in mind, we’ll give you some tips on how to move a clothing retail shop. Even if you plan on hiring professional store movers to do the job for you, it’s good to be equipped with the knowledge you’ll need to know if they’re doing a good job.
Thoroughly discuss moving rates, ask questions and plan for the unpredictable level of inventory to move
When you get an in-person estimate to move a clothing retail store, one question that will come up is: how much inventory are we moving? Let’s say your store is moving in two months. You’ll be getting deliveries or supplies in that time, to keep the store stocked. Or will you? What if you aim for liquidation, but don’t know how much you’ll realistically sell by moving day?
Since the inventory levels that need to be moved can be hard to predict, it’s crucial you discuss this with your professional movers in advance.
Another MAJOR consideration is for international movement of goods. If you’re planning on moving across borders, there may be customs documentation needed. Bring this up with your mover, especially in case they’re not aware, or forget to ask you about it. This page of the Canadian government’s website has more info: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/comm-eng.html Find out your costs, and what may happen if your movers are delayed or rejected at the border for any reason – who pays in that instance?
The next question to ask is about tear-down. You may have wall racks attached to studs, light fixtures (like chandeliers), cabinetry, wall divisions and other more-or-less ‘permanent’ materials in place for your store’s ‘look and feel.’ The store mover may not be thinking that the ‘semi-permanent’ parts are their job too. But if you need them to be, let them know! Sometimes, these can be thought of as part of renovation or junk removal services.
If this is your first time moving a clothing retail store, remember that movers are not like delivery companies. They are also not moving anything similar to your home. So these differences in your past experiences will need to factor in to your expectations.
On that note, we also recommend checking for moving insurance!
Prepare far in advance of the store movers’ arrival
While technically you could ask Vancouver store movers to handle everything about your move, chances are you’ll want to take care of much of this yourself.
First of all: consider labour costs. Your minimum wage employees may be the perfect cost saving alternative to boxing up your store. This is especially true of your store experiences down time with little traffic, and your store employees would otherwise only be holding down countertops for you.
They’re also trained to use your equipment and know how your store is already organized. So they’re going to be the most knowledgeable when it comes to keeping the right things together in the right boxes.
Some other tips for preparation of your retail move:
Have your packing tape, foam, boxes etc. ready for employees to start packing. Don’t let wasted time go by because they didn’t have the equipment to do the job. When you shop for these, you may also want to get some large paper rolls to hide what’s going on inside your store windows on moving day – though this up to you.
Take down mannequins and disassemble them if they’re not being used. Put them in boxes – either together with their individual parts, or ‘arms with arms, legs with legs,’ etc.
Find all your admin stuff – receipt rolls, price stickers, tagging guns and even your pens. Your extras may be stashed away somewhere that you forgot about. Gather them all together so they’re not loose ends that need to be cleaned up, wasting time, on the day of the move.
Hire your cleaners, or arrange for employees to do this task. Don’t forget to empty the steamer and vacuum. Best to have the dusting done before you pack up shelves and racks.
Check your lease rules to see if moving docks, backdoor access ways, delivery parking spots, or even allowed hours for moving are going to fit in with your store movers’ schedule.
Make sure your moving company will have all the equipment needed for a clothing retail store move. For example, do they have the right types of moving dollies for your needs? What about ramps on their trucks if they can’t use loading docks? Clothing racks and protections? Ask about everything!
If you have an alarm or security equipment managed by a third-party company, schedule them to come in on the same day of the move. They’ll need to re-install your systems and set you up at the new location.
Contact any utility companies to make arrangements for the move. Water hookups, electricity, phone lines, Internet etc. will all need to be operational when you are open for business at the new location. Do your address changes for other services where necessary (such as with credit card companies, banks, etc.)
Clear out personal items such as employee mugs, lockers, and whatever else may be hanging around.
Schedule your bank deposits from your cash register and POS system the night before, so that you’re not carrying large monetary amounts to the new store. You don’t want this to go missing during the commotion of the move.
If you hire a display designer, make sure they’re available to set up your store when you move. And if you’re using their staging supplies, you may want to have them pick that up on moving day, to avoid being responsible for any damages.
Find out how you’re going to take down signage, and if it can fit in your new space. You may need specialists to handle this part of the move. Same goes for vinyl wall or window decals.
We also recommend making it known on your website, and with a store sign, that you are moving, and what the new address will be. See our article linked-to below about how to preserve your SEO when moving a business, for more on this.
Sell whatever clothing inventory you can before moving day
Depending on how far you’re moving, your budget, and the markup on your inventory, it may be worth holding a massive sale before moving. That said, the case here can be different for different clothing stores. You may want to do a bit of math to find out if offloading your inventory is cheaper than paying to move it professionally.
Selling off inventory doesn’t just have to mean putting on a sale. This article by Profitguide.com explains how to move stock that’s not selling:
You can also donate to local charities, as another option for getting rid of inventory. See this article on our blog for options.
Protect your inventory when moving your store to a new location
It goes without saying that you’re going to need to take extra precautions to make sure your inventory is still sellable after you move to a new store location.
You may not have all the original packaging that your store’s clothes came in. But it may be a good idea to start collecting the plastic bags and boxes they’re being delivered in, so they can be re-boxed the same way for the move. You can also ask your suppliers for extras.
When you do pack the clothing, we do not recommend you use for-sale materials to cushion your breakables. We can give this advice to homeowners, but this is a different case. You want to keep your clothes looking as new and unused as possible. If you pack brochure displays or detachable hooks with your clothes, they might tear, and you don’t want that.
And, don’t forget about the breakables, like accessories. Do you sell nail polish and jewelry? How will you keep them from damage during the move?
When everything is boxed up, you may want to also consider humidity and moisture. If you’re moving dresses on rolling racks – even if they’re bagged in plastic – you want to keep the bottom away from puddles. You also want to make sure that the moving truck isn’t packed so that a water-filled steamer or cleaning spray bottle is sitting adjacent to clothing. Best to treat the clothing as fragile in this case, and let your movers know about the concern too.
Moving a clothing retail store doesn’t have to be difficult. But it does help to know the differences from when you’re moving a house. This can prepare you for the smoothest transition to your new space. And, by discussing these considerations in advance with your store movers, you’ll likely save money, or at least come to a more accurate estimate.
Ferguson Moving and Storage can help with your retail moving needs. Give us a call, and we’ll come by for an in-person estimate.
When you’re moving, you’re probably also purging. There may be junk you need to get rid of. You could pay a junk removal company to come and take it all away – and that may be your best bet for various types of junk and a big load.
But did you know that many Metro Vancouver cities offer free pick up or junk clear out? They are limited though, so don’t think you’ve hit the jackpot! There is a reason junk removal companies in Vancouver are so abundant.
In this article, we’ll let you know a few ways you can have your junk removed by city services, which you may already pay taxes for.
Corporation of Delta yearly spring clean up
If you are moving within or out of Delta, and if moving day is in the spring, you could plan to get rid of a lot of your junk for free. While there are limits to what the corporation will take, you can use this opportunity to throw out broken furniture, useless toys, old couches, BBQs and stuff that can be bundled up, as long as it doesn’t violate the ‘not accepted’ terms. Mattresses are not accepted – keep that in mind!
If you are a Burnaby resident, you can ask the city to come to your curb to pick up the ‘big things’ that you need to throw away. Mattresses are eligible, unlike Delta’s spring clean up rules. But, they do require you call them beforehand to make sure they will take your item. If you live in an apartment, you may have to make arrangements to move your large item to a special area, which can involve some heavy lifting.
New Westminster fee-based disposal pick up service
Ok, this one is not free. And there may be some restrictions on what the city could pick up for you. But if you live in New Westminster, this may be worth looking into, especially if you only have one big thing you need to get rid of. Then, compare that fee with the price of having a local junk removal company come to get it.
Like in Burnaby, residents of Richmond can take advantage of the city’s large item pick up service. However, this is clearly limited to only “four large household items per year.” And there are restrictions. But for the most part, your furniture junk should be ok. They do make a note that mattresses have to be kept dry and wrapped in plastic, so keep that in mind. They also have an online form to fill out if you don’t want to call in, so that may be a convenience to try.
Similar to Richmond’s program, the City of Surrey offers residents – seemingly only from Newton – to dispose of up to 4 large items per year. And mattresses are accepted. You do have to call in to schedule a pick up. Also, only some apart buildings are eligible for this service: https://www.surrey.ca/city-services/21317.aspx
Again, this one is limited to 4 large items per year, and the restrictions are similar to the above programs. They don’t mention anything about apartment dwellers, but their phone number is on their site to find out more.
While the City of Vancouver doesn’t advertise large item pick up, they do allow you to upgrade your bin size to accept more garbage on the regular schedule. This could be a way to accommodate your junk needs all year round, if they accumulate for you. That said, be aware of the restrictions!
Some things to keep in mind about municipal junk removal before moving
City junk removal services are not ‘full service’! You will have to sort your waste, and bring it to your curbside. If you can’t do that, it’s best you hire a junk removal company to help you out.
These services are also not likely going to work on your timeline. If you are trying to have junk removed last minute – especially if it’s actually on moving day – you may be in a rut. So this is something you need to plan for.
There may be items that are banned from city waste pick up services. You’ll need to handle these yourself by taking them to the appropriate dumping or recycling facilities.
Most of the time, as you’ll see in your investigations, ‘commercial’ waste is not accepted. So if you’re hoping to use these services for getting rid of your car parts or renovation junk, chances are it won’t work. They’re meant to be residential.
There are fines for illegal dumping, so don’t try it!
If you didn’t see your municipality listed above, you can google its name with “large item pick up” to see what comes up. And also, keep in mind bylaws can change all the time. So by the time you read this – especially if it is years from the date of publishing – the rules may have changed. Be sure to call your city services to find out more!
When you’re moving your entire house, you have a lot of ‘big’ things to worry about. Packing, padding, selling, purging…it’s a lot of work! But logistically, when it comes time to move the big things (and not just the boxes), you’ll find that they can be a lot of work. Having the right tools can make all the difference. And that includes dollies.
But, different dollies do different things (for better or worse!). In this article, we’ll explain what the different types of dollies are, so you can get an idea of which ones you’ll need, depending on what you’re moving.
Upright, hand-truck 2-wheel dollies
These can be as simple as a metal rack with a small base and wheels. It’s up to you to tie things to it that may fall over during transport.
When you get into fancier models, they can also lay down flat and turn into a wagon-style dolly. So that would give them 4 wheels, but they don’t always have to stand on all fours.
And then, the features can include different types of wheels for different strengths you’ll need, plus foldability and so on.
Platform, 4-wheel dollies with handle bars or without
These dollies have 4 wheels and are meant to be used for bigger objects that need more of a base underneath them.
Sometimes, there is a handlebar, and that handlebar can fold down for easy storage. The casters are usually the swivel kind.
These dollies are wider, and that can also mean they are hard to go up and down stairs, or may not fit through typical house-sized doors.
That said, they can come in all types of sizes and materials. Some are good for industrial applications, and some are smaller and clearly made for moving household or office furniture and boxes, or the like.
Frame-style flat dollies on casters, 4-wheel, with or without handle bars
These moving dollies are similar to the above platform-style dollies. However, their base is not ‘filled in’ and consists of a frame bottom with a ‘hole’ in it.
The frame can be made out of steel or wood. Sometimes they are carpeted too. They always have at least 4 wheels, since they lay flat. And the wheels can be made of different materials, which can help to be aware of if you need to move across special types of floor or ground.
This the type of dolly that you may find when shopping at Home Depot or a hardware store (like the platform dollies mentioned above). They are often designed to move long, horizontal objects like rolls of carpet or lumber. In the case of household moving, they can be used for things like mattresses, bed frames and shelving.
These can have a platform-style base, or a ‘frame’ base. But they are built with protection on at least two sides. They push like a cart. And, like the other moving dollies mentioned above, they can be made of various materials. They also can have different names, like “panel cart” or “carpet dolly” and so on.
Some are narrow and tall, some are wide and flat, and some can be made for special uses.
Automotive dollies, also called caster wheel dollies
Depending what you need to move, sometimes automotive dollies come in handy. These are kind of like the platform dollies mentioned above, without handlebars, but they are indented or curved instead of being flat.
Specialty dollies for moving pianos, hot tubs, appliances and more
Aside from the multi-use dollies mentioned above, sometimes special cases require special dollies. For example, there are companies that make dollies specifically for moving pianos or hot tubs.
These will have a specific shape and purpose (of course). They are usually what professional movers will have on hand for carrying out big and careful moving jobs frequently. The investment to buy these things for your one-time move may not be worth it.
Make sure your professional movers have the right dollies for your move
When you hire a professional mover, you’ll know how experienced they are based on the tools they have ready for your job. They’ll also be able to make recommendations on how to move your furniture or appliances, etc. with ease. That may include some specialty dollies.
When you look online for Vancouver hot tub movers, or instructions on how to move a hot tub, you’ll get some confusing information. But if you look a little more, you’ll find out that moving a hot tub is no easy feat. This is why you may want to hire professional movers for this job. But if you want to do it yourself, or make sure your hot tub movers know what they’re doing, we’ll give you some tips in this article.
Moving a hot tub is expensive
The first thing you’ll want to really consider is whether or not it’s worth the payoff to move a hot tub in Vancouver. Sometimes, the cost of moving this large, over-sized luxury is about as much as it would cost to buy a new one. But, that doesn’t consider factors such as installation and delivery fees. And of course, if you invested in a pricey luxury spa for your backyard, moving it might be worth it, if you want to keep that investment.
Keep in mind however that once you move your hot tub, it will need to be re-installed. So you’ll have delivery fees (which can cost hundreds), and then installation fees. Possibly even repair fees if things go awry during the move.
If you read this guy’s story of finding a used hot tub, then transporting it himself (with friends), you’ll see that while yes, he saved money on the big picture. But he also had to do A LOT of work, pay a lot to move it, and already had the know-how in “physics, engineering, plumbing, hydrodynamics, electrical engineering” to make it all worthwhile. A novice – or merely a busy person – would probably not be able to do all this. So there is a reason why professionals need to charge as much as they do for moving something as complex as a hot tub.
Moving a hot tub is risky
A hot tub can break during transport, and it can also cause injuries. These spa pools can weigh between 500-1000 pounds. You will likely need to get the structure on its side, and that will require heavy lifting. Do you want to put your friends through that risk? A professional mover will have the right workers compensation insurance for any potential injuries, not to mention trained staff.
You need proper equipment to move a hot tub
You could try to wing it and move a hot tub with a few small doilies and some reliable, strong friends. But chances are, you’ll find that it’s a heavy, heavy item. It probably won’t fit in a moving truck (depending on size, of course). So you’ll need to get it on a trailer.
There are companies that make equipment specifically for hot tub movers. Here are some to check out, so you get an idea of what you’ll need for this job:
If you don’t have the made-for-hot-tub tools, you’ll need at least 4-wheeled dollies, preferably those with a flat bed of some sort (like skid movers), 4×4 wood or pallets, straps and the right protective gear.
Remember the small details when moving a hot tub
When you move a hot tub, you’ll also need to consider the small details. For example:
How are you going to wheel it to a truck once it’s on dollies? Some videos online will show movers using planks of plywood to create a flat, smooth surface all the way to the vehicle. You’ll need to purchase these as well.
Is it completely drained and dry for the move? You won’t want to move a hot tub that is wet, as that will make the job all the more annoying. In fact, this article mentions that if you’re moving in cold temperatures, water can freeze and damage your pipes in the tub! On that note, you may want to get it well cleaned before you move, or right after it lands in its new spot.
Do you have the padding material to keep it safe? Don’t let it crack or dent! Get the right protection for your hot tub when moving it. And that is not the top cover! Tape cardboard, blankets, whatever it takes to keep it from hard bumps.
What about re-installation? We mentioned this above, but don’t forget you can’t just plop it down on the grass in your hard and fill it with water! It needs proper installation.
Will your warranty cover a self-move? Maybe you want to hire insured movers for this, so that you’re covered if the hot tub breaks during transport.
How will you store all the small parts? We recommend you keep the blowers, pumps, heaters, cords, plugs and caps, wires or anything small and detachable that goes with the tub in a contained, separate bag or box. Don’t let these lie around where you’ll forget about them!
What if you have to get the hot tub through small spaces? Think about the logistics before you try to relocate your hot tub!
Consider recycling an old hot tub
If your hot tub is old or damaged, and you basically want to get rid of it before you have to move, you can consider two options:
Call a junk removal company to come and deal with it for you
And yes, there are fees associated with the above options.
Need a hot tub mover in Vancouver?
As you can tell by the above advice, moving a hot tub is not easy, and we don’t recommend doing it yourself. We have plenty of advice on how to move other items on your own, on our blog. But this one is a bit of a mountain to climb. Give us a call, and we can discuss how to move your hot tub if you need us to, or if it’s a good idea.
But have you ever considered what would happen if your home, business, community centre or church ever caught on fire? How bad would the damage be? How would you recover from a fire? See the story of this historical hotel recently damaged by a fire in B.C.
Chances are, after everyone’s safety is addressed, you’ll go through a lengthy, tedious and specialized process to salvage your belongings (if they can be recovered at all). You’ll also likely need to re-locate after a fire. In between, your things will need to be moved – sometimes to a special facility – and then back to their original spot in your home.
And so, salvaging belongings from a fire, and moving after a fire in B.C. often go together.
In this article, we’ll give some tips on what to expect, and what to do, if you are recovering from fire damage.
Know that fire damage is not just from flames: water and smoke will ruin most belongings not turned to ashes
Fire smoke, soot and the water used to put out the fire can be the biggest determinant of whether or not your belongings can be salvaged at all. This is where fire restoration companies come into play. This restoration specialist explains what the process may be like (though we don’t claim to sponsor or promote any one company). As you’ll see, everything will need to be moved out before it can be salvaged.
If you watch the second video on this news story, you’ll see floods of water coming out of a church building that had been powerfully hosed for hours to put out a fire. Now imagine what would be left after the fire is gone. You can expect that carpeting, flooring, walls and much more will be damaged by water – and resulting mould – alone.
And, as this article explains, smoke damage can be the most detrimental, and hard-to-get-rid-of effect of a fire. The site goes on, in this page, to explain that chemicals from smoke and soot damage can be harmful to humans. This is why you may want to consider a temporary relocation, or moving permanently, after a fire.
Know your first recourse after a fire, to help you resettle or move, while bringing your home back to shape
Your first recourse after a fire is your insurance policy. Insurance should cover the services of a fire restoration company to help you determine what can be salvaged of your belonging after a fire. They will also be able to professionally handle the material that may now be hazardous to your health.
The City of Vancouver publishes a guide on what to do immediately after suffering from a home fire (or other building fire, such as a commercial or community space). If you don’t have insurance, there may be government resources or charities that can help you. This can be as little as shelter for the first few days after a fire, or as extensive as social services and financial help (from the B.C. government), if you have to move out of your home completely.
Of course, it goes without saying that if you live in another city, you should check with your local city hall to find out your similar available options.
You can also see our guide on how to find temporary accommodations in Canada, here.
Learn what work you’ll need to do on your home before you can move in after a fire
There are several guides on how to clean, repair and restore your home and belongings after a fire. Here are some we found that may be useful in your search:
https://prrd.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fire.pdf – this explains the importance of professional de-odourizing. It also explains that you’ll need to make sure your home’s value is adjusted, and that your property is kept safe while restoration is going on (you won’t want trespassers causing even more damage during this process). Also, it brings up the important point that a building structure damaged by fire may not be safe for the untrained to walk into. You don’t want blocks of charred wood falling on your head, so please be careful. Again, we’ll emphasize that a professional may need to do this job for you.
Don’t forget you’ll also need to temporarily cancel your utility services after a fire. As you can see, there is administration to do after a fire, and before you can move in or out of a building damaged by fire. It’s not just cleaning.
To conclude: precaution is the best remedy to fire restoration, and having to move
You knew this piece of advice was coming. As you can see from what we’ve covered above, recovering from a fire is a dreadful process. Not only will you be in shock and recovering personally from the event. And that’s not even assuming there were any fatal life losses (which is more devastating). But the amount of work involved in salvaging your belongings will be a headache. It can take a long time – so don’t expect to be able to move back in within a week or two.
And so, we recommend having a fire safety plan to begin with. Make sure sure your smoke detectors are working, you have the right fire ceiling paint, self-closing doors, and other building fixtures that can help prevent fire damage – not to mention save lives. Also, if you have tenants in a basement suite, make sure it is a legal one, to avoid unnecessary blame if the fire affects their safety.
If you need help moving in from your temporary location, back to your permanent home after a fire, give us a call. We’d be happy to help. The fire restoration specialists may need to handle the careful moving of other damaged items, however.