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.

7 Efficient Tips for Downsizing When Moving to a Smaller Home

Your parents are downsizing. They’re moving out of your family home and into a much smaller condo or senior’s home. What are they going to do with all their stuff?
Many people underestimate how much stuff they have until they are forced to downsize and get rid of it.
Here are 7 important tips to get the best result from your downsizing process.

1. Catalogue Storage Space in Your New Home.

Take pictures and measure out all the storage space in your new home. This includes kitchen cupboards and closets, as well as the pantry, den and living room.

2. How Many Walls Will You Have?

New buildings, especially in Vancouver and North Vancouver, are often built with many large windows to allow for abundant natural lighting and scenic views. While this is a nice feature, it can mean that you may have less wall space to hang pictures and place bookcases. Count, measure, and take pictures of the walls in the new space. Don’t just downsize, right size.

3. Mark with Tape

Now that you have pictures and measurements of the storage space in your new home you can begin the downsizing process. Using green painters tape, mark the amount of storage space available in your new home on your existing storage space (See Below). For example: if your new home has 8 kitchen cupboards, 4 kitchen drawers, 2 closets and a smaller pantry, section off that amount of space in your current home.
Fill up the marked space with items that you would like to keep and play around with different configurations. Not only will this help you visualize life in your new home, it will force you to carefully go through all of your possessions.

4. Art and Picture Frames

Repeat the taping process on your walls. Section off a portion of your wall space to mimic the amount of space in your new home. Then play around with your picture frames, book cases and other items to find the right configuration and determine what to keep and what needs to go.

5. Furniture

Determine which pieces will join you in your new home. Keep in mind that certain pieces are more functional than others. For example: taking a piece such as a china cabinet or bookshelf will also allow you to take all of its contents. Filling furniture with items before you move will allow you to play around with the organization of your possessions.

6.Chunk Tasks

Moving and downsizing can be an overwhelming process. The best way to deal with it is to assign specific tasks to specific people. The best way to get help from friends and family is to give them specific tasks you know they can fulfill as opposed to simply asking them for help.
For example, ask a computer savvy grandkid to scan family photos and upload them to a digital picture frame, ask your brother with the pick up truck to give you a hand bringing those rusty lawn chairs to the dump or ask your accountant friend to sort files and papers.

7. The Giveaway Party

When everything is finally sorted, schedule a VIP giveaway party. Designate particular items to friends and family with sticky notes, then invite them to a small party where they can collect or decline the items. Giveaway parties are also a great way to say goodbye to your old place.
Anything that your friends and family don’t take can be either recycled or donated. Vancouver has a number of charitable organizations and recycling facilities that are more than happy to take items that you no longer have any use for.

The Recycling BC Hotline provides information on donating and recycling your stuff. They can tell you where the closest recycling facilities are located and which charitable organizations will pick up donations directly from your door.
Call or visit them online: 604-732-9253 or
Good luck rightsizing! Once you’ve sorted out all of your stuff, give us a call and we’ll have it packed, transported and unpacked in your new place in a few hours.