How we are prepared to work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus hasn’t changed how we work, but it has emphasized the standards we have upheld at “Vancouver In The Box” for a decade.

1. Packing with cardboard boxes

Since our first day in the packing business, it’s been our role to bring new cardboard boxes to our clients.

We never transfer boxes from house to house. Not only because of the coronavirus –  but also to avoid bringing bugs or pet hair into a new home. Bugs can live inside cardboard boxes and they can be difficult to discover.

2. Packing with reusable plastic boxes

When using reusable boxes we work with suppliers to make sure that every box is clean and sanitized.

Our suppliers remove any trash left in boxes, spray them with compressed air to get rid of dust, and wipe them down with biodegradable, non-toxic cleaner and sanitizer, both inside and out.

3. Wrapping paper

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve never reused paper between jobs. We don’t think it’s right to re-use paper and potentially spread germs or dust from one house to another.

4. Personal protection

Our professional packers are all provided with disposable gloves for their own protection. These days, it’s mandatory to use disposable gloves. Our packers replace their gloves frequently throughout the workday.

Only healthy employees will enter your home. Because we work in people’s most personal spaces such as bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms, we make sure all of our employees stay home even if they have a simple cold. All sick employees are told to stay home and rest.

We pack – you relax.

Free and green resources to help you declutter

Vancouver is full of free and green resources that can help you declutter before you start packing. 

We always recommend that our clients make sure they take only what they want to a new home. In other words – it’s time to get rid of “stuff”.  

One great thing about Vancouver is that the city has many eco-friendly resources to help you de-clutter for free, or almost free. With many of these services, you don’t even have to leave the house.

Here are our best green resources…

 

1. Throw a party

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Start with a giveaway VIP party! Invite friends and family to pick through items you no longer need. Designate the day and time, and make it a fun event. Whatever is left can be donated or sold at a yard sale. 

2. Donate without leaving the house

Get rid of clothing you haven’t worn for the last two years, extra toys and unwanted furniture. Once you have finished, call the Recycling BC hotline. They can tell you which organization will pick up donations from your door.
RCBC hotline: 604-7329253 

3. Recycle

Have you ever wondering what to do with old electronics such as cell phones, printers, DVDs, batteries or other items you can’t leave in the “Blue Box”? Click here to learn where to recycle different materials.

4. Where to dispose of a mattress

Most organizations do not accept mattresses as a donation – either because of limited storage space or because they are afraid of bedbugs. 

Burnaby will pick up large appliances and mattresses for free, you just need to let them know. Click here to learn more

If you are in another city you can arrange an affordable pick up with a non-profit organization. Click here for more details

5. Consign, auction or sell online

There are some great consignment stores in Vancouver! Before you show-up call to find out what they accept. Some stores only accept seasonal items or have an item minimum. Others may not be accepting new items. The good news is, if you manage to get in, you will get some money back. 

If you choose to sell through an online platform remember to be patient. You will have to invest time talking to people and meeting with them.

Get rid of unwanted items, make room for new things in your new home! 

We pack – you relax. 

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.