Packing and Reinstalling Tech Items

There is nothing worse than taking down your techie items. Right? Wrong! In fact there is… trying to hook them all up after a long moving day. No matter how small is your home and how many boxes you have, you probably have lots of cables, entertainment systems, gaming consoles and more.  If you know anyone who is moving and going to face this techie nightmare all alone, this blog is for them.

How to get unwired:

1. Shut everything down.

2. Create a “map” by labelling the cords:

After shutting down your equipment take a label maker, or masking tape and a pen and label the cables before you remove them. Not sure what a certain item is called? Doesn’t matter! The labels have to guide you when putting things together again, so choose names that make sense to you.

3.Roll’em up!

Don’t just throw the cables into the box. After removing a cable, roll it up and tie it together. Use a cable tie or masking tape. Avoid packing tape as it will leave a sticky residue on your cable after pulling it off. Place the cables together with the equipment that you removed it from (all TV cords together, all receiver cords together and so on). That way you can’t get confused by which cord goes with which piece of equipment.

4. Mr. Swiffer

Let’s be honest, who cleans behind their TV, computer or any other equipment as often as we probably should? I’m guilty myself. Here is your opportunity to correct this shortfall! After your equipment is shut down, take a dry cloth or Swiffer and wipe it off. Pay special attention to any vents or air intake. If a piece of equipment is too dusty on the inside it can overheat and get damaged.

How to rewire

Congratulations! You just moved in to your new place. Now it’s time to unpack the boxes and reassemble your computer and entertainment system.

First, get in your equipment into the right place. Put the TV in its designated spot and place all related TV cords beside it.  You labeled every cord, remember? How easy is it to plug it all in now? This techie stuff is not half as scary anymore.

But if you still don’t want to deal with all that, we understand! That’s why we offer you the IT Package as part of the packing for your move. Leave it to the pros. Vancouver in the Box and WhiteWay IT Solutions will come to the rescue, helping you to unplug from moving stress.

How to get the right Christmas gift

  1. It could be a vase, nutcracker or a pasta bowl. The story is the same. What do you do if you receive an unwanted gift for Christmas?  You can’t get rid of it  in case your aunt/friend/sister-in-law  visits and asks where the beautiful bowl she gave you has been displayed. So you keep it. But the years go by and the gift is still there. The only problem is that this isn’t the only gift you have a life-time contract with.

If an item you don’t like takes too much of your valuable space, you need to consider how to free that space to use for something  you really love.

Here are 5 steps you to get what you really want this year!

  1. First, make a list of your friends and family you want to give a gift to, as well as a list of the gifts you wish to get.
  2. Set a budget for your holiday  gifts.
  3. Make a list of possible options. Include some of the gifts you never used and can be reuse. Take a picture of these items.
  4. Send an email to all the people on your list telling them that this year you want to give them something that they really want. Ask for their ideas. Include pictures of the gifts you want to re-gift and make suggestions. Gift cards for stores /restaurant/ spa /coffee shops are always good choices.   You’ll be surprised how happy friends will be to have choices.
  5. A gift doesn’t have to be an object. You can suggest doing something helpful. In many homes there are family photos packed in containers and shoe boxes. If your parents downsize or someone you know is moving offer to scan the photos and upload them to a digital frame.

My guess is that most of your friends and family members will respond in kind, and ask you what you would like for your gift.  This is the moment when you spill your list and wait happily for this year’s gifts –  because this time you will get what you want.

Happy Holidays!

Moving your business? Renovating the office?

As a business owner, hiring  professional packing services for commercial moves or pre-renovation will  save you a lot of money and time without losing customers.

Recently we were called to pack an office. It had everything you would expect to see – desks, book cases, files cabinets, reception, storage and a printer room. 12 cubicles that each employee could have packed on their own.  Sounds simple? Well, it’s not that easy if the office needs to keep working. Not only that, but you, as a manager would be paying your employees to do a job they were not hired to do and you lose productivity.

Another thing everyone tends to forget is that while employees are able to pack their own desks,  no -one takes responsibility for the storage, kitchen and printer room. These are usually full of supplies.

Two days before the renovation started, we got a call to pack the business pre-renovation. Our team arrived with 110 plastic rental boxes, labels and supplies. That day in the office, everyone finished working on time and left for home. We started packing. The entire office was completed in less than 4 hours.  Our labeling system allowed for easy unpacking.  When they came back to work the next day, the office was ready for business as usual.

The Benefits :

  • No need to shut down the office and lose money, time and customers.
  • Everything was professionally packed and labeled for easy unpacking, including the common rooms ( such as storage).
  • Employees are happier.

If you are thinking of moving or renovating, professional packing services is the best  option for you.

Choosing a solution for long term storage and packing

Packing for long term storage requires a different procedure than when packing for moving.

It can be a ”transition storage”, when you’re in between homes and you prefer to store your belongings for a while.  In the case that storage can be a small locker in your building. You will need to store items that are infrequently used, like seasonal and holiday items. These too need to be packed with extra care in order to keep them in good condition.

Things to consider when choosing a storage facility:

  • How secure is the storage facility? Are my things safe?
  • How sanitary is the storage facility? Are the lockers cleaned after each tenant?
  • Is the storage facility temperature controlled? Think about your oil painting and leather sofa when the temperature rises in summer!

Once a suitable storage facility has been chosen, there are 7 important things to remember when packing for long term storage:

1. Stop mould before it starts: Before you start packing, make sure all your belongings are clean and dry!  Mould can develop in 24 hours. Even if you have just a few drops of water in one box, mould can easily spread from cardboard to cardboard and affect the entire storage facility.

2. Don’t pack things you may need in an emergency: Health cards, passports, medication. Once these items have been stored it may be difficult to access them when you need them.

3. Remove all batteries:  It’s important to remove batteries from all electronics in your storage facility. The batteries may leak when left unattended, which can destroy your equipment.

4. Leather needs to ‘breathe’:  Do not wrap your leathers with plastic shrink wrap. This can damage them. However, if you want extra protection from dust, cover them with blankets.

5. Maximise efficiency:  Storage space is limited, make sure most of your belongings are packed in boxes and stack them well. A tip is to pack pillows and large soft items inside dressers and drawers. It won’t affect the weight but it will save you space and boxes.

6. Keep track: Make an inventory list of all items and boxes in the storage facility. After a few months you may forget what you stored.

7. Remain accessible: It’s always a good idea to rent a locker that will leave you some space to move things around in case you need to access any of the boxes. If a box is frequently used, be sure to store it  in an easily reachable place.

Moving Mistakes

Vancouver is well known as a “short notice move out ” city. It can happen to you if you are renting a downtown condo that got sold or when you sell your home and the buyer wants to take possession sooner.

Most people forget how their last move was or have had many changes in their life since then. Families grow and in general we accumulate more stuff, which can lead to many problems with moving.

Here are the top 7 issues that lead to big moving mistakes:

1. “I don’t have a lot.”

Don’t underestimate how much you have. Open all the cupboards and closets, and take a look under the bed. Add 20% on top your estimate. Packing is the most time consuming part of every move. We at Vancouver In The Box will pack a full house in only one day, but most people need a month. There are many things to do prior to the move, so pack just a little bit every day.

2. “There is nothing in the garage.”

So how come your car doesn’t fit in? Get out there and have a look. Yes, there are many large items, but are any of your belongings fit into boxes? Loose items can tremendously slow down the move.

3. “I am taking everything.”

If you’ve lived in your current home for a while, you will have some stuff that shouldn’t come with you. De-clutter that box with the “extra” cables and cords. Donate and recycle things you haven’t use for a long time. Leave room for new things in the new home.

4. “I got a bunch of boxes for free.”

Do you know where did they came from? If you have allergies, you could be introducing allergens into your home. Or how about bedbugs and silver fish? these live in cardboard and can hide until they arrive to the new destination – will that be your new place? We rent plastic rental boxes for our clients in Metro Vancouver. We will use new cardboard boxes for those who are moving long distance, but we never transfer them from client to client.

4. “My friends will help me pack a day before the move.”

Would you choose to come home from a long day at work and go do more work?

5. “I will know what’s in every box.”

Do not skip the labeling. In the new house things will be placed differently and it will be hard to prioritize the unpacking.

6. “I’m only moving two blocks, so I’ll send everything with the trucks.”

All your boxes will make it to the destination eventually, but that can be a very long day. Get organised and carry with you a backpack with a change of clothes, toiletries, a towel and a snack.

7. “I’m getting a truck and I have some friends to help me load.”

If your friends are professional movers you are lucky. Otherwise they can cause a lot of damage not only to your belongings but also to the homes you are leaving or moving into.

Plan ahead and hire professional packers and movers for a stress-free move.

5 Tips for Winter Moves

5 important things to consider when you move in the winter around Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the North shore.
These 5 tips are the difference between a messy move and a smooth one. If you move in the winter, you definitely want to add them to your to-do list.

1. Plastic containers

Our first recommendation is to pack your belongings in plastic reusable containers. On a rainy or snowy day, when movers load a truck and often have a few minutes walking between the house and the truck, you clothes, dry food, books or linens can easily get wet. The best way to protect them is to use plastic boxes. Please look at our “helpful links” page to find our partners who rent plastic moving bins.

2. Mattress bag cover

Your mattress is an expensive and essential item you’ll want to protect when you move. It takes only few drops of rain to get it wet and develop mould. We recommend purchasing a plastic cover for all the mattresses in the house, as well as other upholstered furniture. These covers are available in a variety of sizes and shapes and are inexpensive compared to the price of a new sofa or mattress (around $10 each). If you are getting rid of an old mattress, the easy way will be to contact Canadian Mattress Recycling. They will pick up not only mattresses but headboards, bed frames, cribs and chairs for only few dollars.

3. Have a plan B in case of a snow storms

Winter around Vancouver and Vancouver Island has a few snow storms every season. If the forecast is showing a snow storm on your scheduled moving day, try to reschedule to a day before if possible. Think about your options: are you able to get the key to your new location a day before the original date? Will you be able to stay at a hotel or with family over night if the moving company needs to store your belongings until the weather conditions improve?

4. Clear the snow and ice from the walkways and driveways

What can be worse than a mover slipping in front of your house? A mover who is losing balance while holding your most expensive china. Make sure your entrance the path to the truck is clear. Do it a night before or in the early morning prior to the move. When the movers arrive at your house, you need to spend your time directing them around your belongings, not shoveling snow.

5. Protect your new floor and carpet

Finally on the other side, in your new home. Movers will be in and out frequently, as well as other people. Their boots are wet and sometimes muddy. You can imagine how long is it going to take to move all your belongings in if they have to remove their shoes every time they enter your new house and put them back when they go back out to the truck. Moving companies will usually have one or two movers inside taking the boxes from the movers who are outside, but this rule isn’t always respected. We strongly suggest you protect your new floor and carpet with plastic sheets or mats (like yoga mats). Large pieces of cardboard will work as well to protect from water, mud and snow.

A planned move is a smooth move.