Get Moving!

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Published on: September 7, 2011

 

Did you know that for most people, the process of moving to a new home ranks as one of the most stressful events to deal with?

It seems everyone knows of a moving horror story – from couches that had to be thrown over the balcony to beds that didn’t actually fit in the room to a lot of other unexpected situations.
I remember thinking, “where did this never ending pile of stuff come from?” I didn’t realize how much I had accumulated through the years. Looking back though, I think a lot of the stress of moving can be alleviated by being organized.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re preparing to move to a new home.

Weeks before the big move:

  1. Take an inventory of the things you’re keeping and getting rid of. If you are getting rid of large items, consider donating them to local thrift stores or booking a junk removal company like 1-800-GOT-JUNK, who will ensure that your junk gets recycled, donated, or disposed of responsibly.
  2. Decide whether you want to move yourself or have professional movers handle the job for you. If you’re trying to save on costs, enlist trusted family and friends to help you out on the day. A nice meal or drinks is a great way to say thank you for their help. If you decide to go with a professional moving company, make sure you schedule in advance. Call several companies for quotes and decide on which one best suit your needs. Ask your Realtor for referrals. Personally I think a good moving company is worth the money spent.
  3. Start collecting moving boxes, getting packing tape and bubble wrap and start packing!  A lot of offices have excess cardboard boxes from shipments that you may be able to use or borrow. Talk to your office manager to see if there are any boxes you can take. Companies such as UPS or U-Haul sell moving boxes as well. For an eco friendly moving option, you can rent reusable moving boxes from companies like Frog Box.
  4. Make sure you keep an inventory of the items and boxes that you are packing
  5. Take note of valuables and call your insurance company to make sure they are insured during the move.
  6. Contact the appropriate service companies to notify them of your move and schedule your disconnections from your old home and connections in your new home.

Day Before your move:

  1. Double check that you’ve marked and separated your fragile items for the movers.
  2. Make sure that you’ve marked boxes for the different rooms of your new home
  3. Unplug non-essential electronics so they can cool to room temperature and pack them for the move. Best Buy’s Geek Squad has tips for moving electronics. Click here for their tip sheet.

Moving Day:

  1. Confirm with your movers that they have the right address to your new home. Provide directions and special parking instructions if necessary.
  2. Stay in the old home until all items have been loaded. Check off your inventory list as each item or box is loaded into the moving van.
  3. Do a final walk through your home. Make sure the utilities are turned off and that you haven’t left anything behind.
  4. Jot down the final utility meter readings to compare against your bills
  5. Have a floor plan in your new place to let your movers know where they are going
    6. When unloading, the boxes, take note of any changes or damage to your items.

Have you moved recently? Do you have any tips to add?

Amazing Markham, the Big Municipality with the Small Town Feel….

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Published on: September 7, 2011

The town of Markham has been around since the 1700’s and has seen many changes over the years.

It is the largest of nine municipalities in the York Region with a population of 298,000, the 16th largest municipality in Canada and the 7th largest in Ontario.

The town of Markham is known as the High-Tech Capital of Canada because it has the greatest concentration of high tech and life science companies in Canada and despite having it’s feet planted very firmly in the 21st Century Markham is dedicated to preserving its natural beauty and historical heritage. In August 2000, the Town of Markham was the first recipient of the prestigious prize, the Prince of Wales Heritage Award, honouring the local government for preserving heritage buildings through bylaws and policies. This award was initiated by the Heritage Canada Foundation under royal decree.

Nothing reflects Markham’s strong tradition with it’s Heritage better than a stroll around the old Village.  There are many buildings that retain their original historic facades, or have been sympathetically renovated in keeping with the neighbourhood.  Old Markham village gives you the feeling of truly stepping back in time, not only with it’s architecture but also with it’s strong community spirit and the feeling of genuine friendship between neighbours and the willingness to help and support each other.

Some of the great features that are to be found in Markham are the Historic Main Street with it’s stunning display of flowers during the Summer Months.  There is a farmers market every Saturday morning, also during the Summer which offers home made cakes and pies and fresh locally grown produce.  The very popular Franklin public School is situated right in the heart of the Village and offers a French Immersion programme and only steps away is the newly built Markham District High School.

Markham Village is a great place to raise a family, it has many parks and sports facilities and also boasts Markham/Stouffville Hospital which is an award-winning state-of-the-art facility and one of the top performing hospitals in Canada.

For more information on Markham or other communities in Canada, check out the Century21.ca community web sites.

Kathy Webster is with CENTURY 21 Percy Fulton Ltd. in Toronto, ON.

Packing For the Big Move

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Published on: September 7, 2011

After the last blog about moving, I thought it would be a good idea to get some expert packing tips from the people who know what they’re talking about. Our Connections partner, United Van Lines is Canada’s largest network of moving companies. With over 5 decades of moving experience, they seemed the best ones to give you tips about how to pack your belongings for the big move.

Packing Tips…Courtesy of United Van Lines

The proper preparation of your possessions is essential to the success of your move. That is why most people prefer to have their household goods professionally packed. Some do choose to pack their own belongings and move the items themselves, or they can have a professional moving company move pre-packed items for them.

If you elect to pack part or all of your goods yourself here are some tips to assist you:

Gather Your Packing Materials:

  • Use rigid heavy-duty boxes of different sizes with good lids
  • Use clean newsprint and tissue paper for wrapping and cushioning
  • Bubble wrap to protect breakable items
  • Use packing tape to seal up your boxes

Start Packing Early:

  • Start packing a few weeks in advance of your move date
  • Work on packing one room at a time. It will keep you focused and organized during your move
  • Pack areas where goods are not used frequently such as: garage, cellar, attic, etc.
  • Stay organized. Record what is being placed in each box and label each box by the room it will be placed when it arrives at the destination location

15 Helpful Packing Tips for Moving:

  1. Posture is important when packing. Pack standing straight. Use a clear table top or counter in each room for packing boxes. You will get more accomplished and your back will hurt less!
  2. Pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top
  3. Pack articles snugly so they will not shift
  4. Wrap small articles in colored paper so they will not be discarded with packing material
  5. Do not over fill or under fill cartons; this will increase the risk of damage
  6. Tops of boxes must close flat and be sealed with tape. Always record what is in the box before taping shut
  7. Boxes should not exceed 50 lbs (max.); heavier boxes lead to injuries, tape may break or the box may be dropped
  8. Cushion every box with clean, crushed paper on the bottom
  9. Use brightly coloured storage boxes, one for each person. Let each family member fill theirs with items they’ll want right away in the new home. These items include: a set of sheets, a towel, a couple of extension cords, a phone, nightlights, pen and paper, toiletries, medications, a flashlight, address book, a favourite toy and pet supplies
  10. Keep your important items and papers with you. Your list of “important” papers may include: birth certificates, school records, new job contacts, utility company numbers, recent bank records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor info, maps, and more. Valuable items such as jewelry should be kept with you
  11. Flowers and plants are shipped at your own risk. To allow your plants the best chance of surviving the trip, we suggest:
    • In winter – water them for the last time two or three days before the move
    • In summer – water the plants well on the morning of packing day and let the excess water drain away, and do not place them in direct sunlight until one or two weeks after the move. Shock can cause the leaves to yellow and drop. This is normal and should not last.
  12. Keep parts together. When taking apart items to be moved, such as tables, securely tape screws and other small parts to the underside of the item. You’ll always know where to look and save time putting things back together.
  13. Small appliances and radios should be wrapped individually before being placed in boxes. Roll, tie, or wrap electrical cords so they will not tangle.
  14. If you must ship liquids, fasten and tape lids, seal in a plastic bag and place upright in a box.
  15. Do not pack hazardous materials. These items are not permitted by the Government of Canada to transport, they include: paint, thinners, solvents, oils, varnishes, firearms and ammunition, bottled glass, propane, lamp oil, anything flammable, explosive or corrosive, motor fuels and oils, nail polish remover, bleach, and aerosol cans. Always keep in mind the safety of yourself, the driver and others on the road.

For more useful tips on how to pack your household items like a professional, see United Van Lines (Canada) Ltd.’s packing videos.

*United Van Lines (Canada) Ltd. would like to thank CENTURY 21 Canada for allowing us to guest blog.

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