Helping a friend move is in about the same category as getting a root canal, looking at pictures from your Great Aunt Doris’ vacation to that nude beach or driving along the 401 at peak rush hour – that is to say, it’s not exactly a sought-after task. But there are a few ways to make the move a little less onerous on yourself and your friends.
That means getting boxes, booking trucks or movers, and starting to pack as soon as possible. Of course, putting daily use items in storage boxes three weeks ahead of your move doesn’t make sense, but some items you can have packed up early (saving last minute stress) are: seasonal items (like holiday décor and serve ware), unused bedrooms, extra books, or rooms that are often empty (say, the basement). If you’re moving out of or into a condo/apartment building, ensure to check about booking an elevator for your move.
Don’t Move What You Won’t Keep
Do a thorough run through of your existing stuff. Now is a great time to Marie Kondo your space. Why bother moving anything from one house to another if you’re not invested in keeping it? Take this move as an opportunity to reduce some clutter and even find some items to donate to a worthy charity.
Small Boxes for Heavy, Large Boxes for Light
Ever lifted a giant box only to realize its way too heavy? That’s why movers always suggest using the smallest boxes for heavy items like books, dishes, and toiletries, and to save the largest boxes for your lighter items, like duvets, other bedding and clothing.
Speaking of Boxes
Just splurge on boxes specifically for moving. Ones you cull together from the grocery store may not be clean, may not stay together (nobody wants to hear the word “Oops!” at any point on moving day) and may be awkward to hold or carry. Boxes made for the purpose of moving are easier to handle and guaranteed clean (who wants to open their bedding box and find mystery stains?). Environment conscious movers can even rent boxes for the move from companies like Frogbox (they deliver moving supplies to your home and even pick them up when you’re done with them). https://www.frogbox.com/toronto/
Notes on Labelling
When you label the boxes, it is helpful to know not only what room they go in, but what’s in the box. You’ll probably have upwards of 5 (depending on its size!) to 10 boxes for your kitchen. Knowing that cutlery is in one will save you having to open the decorative platter boxes first.
Keep A Go Bag
Parents might remember this tidbit from the rush to the hospital: keep a bag of essentials for the first night, filled with some toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.), a few clean clothes and maybe even a book or two, nearby and easy to find, so even if there’s a delay in unpacking everything, you’ll have a few much needed items close by.
Clear Plastic Boxes
You’ll already have clothes and some toiletries handy, thanks to that go bag, but also consider keeping one clear plastic box for day one necessities. That’s things like toilet paper, paper towels/disinfecting wipes, a new shower curtain, some towels, hand soap, paper plates and a few forks, knives and spoons, or anything else you think you might need on your first night when you’re way too exhausted to search through twenty boxes to find a clean towel.
If you have to disassemble any of your stuff for the move and somehow, someway, the manual for assembly went missing (surely that couldn’t happen though, right?), make sure to keep detailed notes for how to remake whatever you’re breaking apart. Our favourite method is taking pictures of every step of the process (and which screws/bolts go where) and keeping all the parts (along with an Allen Key if it’s something from IKEA) in a Ziploc bag that you tape to the item. Ditto for electronics and which wires go where.
Make copies of your most important papers, in case they get lost in transit. Items like your passport, social insurance number, birth certificate and even recent taxes should probably be carried by you and you alone (it’s always best to keep valuable items to yourself) but in case anything happens, having copies of those things will save you a big headache.
Just like it took a delicate hand to create it, your artwork needs the delicate touch when transporting it. Some tips to keep it all in showroom condition: use masking tape to mark an X on any glass covered works (this will help stop the glass from moving around too much or shattering entirely if it breaks), wrap everything with plastic wrap or paper (but oil paintings will stick to paper, so be cautious) and then bubble wrap, use special boxes for transporting the art and if the frame itself is also valuable, use carboard corners to ensure the frame remains intact.
Moving can be a stressful experience, but we aim to make it as seamless as possible. Your transition specialists, James and Chris.