How To: Move

You might be eager to get into a new place, but first you have to pack and transfer all that stuff. A professional mover shares his tips for a smooth move.

September 1, 2017

illustration by Vicki Nerino

For professional movers, every day is moving day. We see the full gamut of preparedness from our customers — from neatly organized, well-packed boxes, to those who only thought they’d booked their moves for next week. It’s always surprising what missteps people make in the chaos and stress of a move. Things that might seem like common sense — you can’t move an aquarium full of fish, for example — often escape otherwise right-thinking people. Moving begins before moving day, with packing and preparation. The better prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be with fewer frantic moments during the move.

Sort Before the Move

Moving is a good time to purge. All that junk in the closets and under the stairs takes time and effort to pack and transport — and that costs money if you’ve hired movers. Organizing a yard sale or donating unwanted items beforehand means you’ll only bring the possessions you actually want to your new home.

The Right Fit

Use smaller boxes for heavy items like books, or you’ll end up with an enormous box that’s impossible to lift. Hit up liquor stores and supermarkets and ask if they have old boxes you can have — buying new ones is costly, wasteful and unnecessary. Plastic totes are a good investment. Garbage bags are great for pillows or anything soft. Label the boxes as specifically as possible. Think what you’ll most likely need before everything is unpacked — such as tools, power cables, bedding etc. — and make them easy to find.

Go Pro

Above all else, the single best thing you can do to make your moving day go smoothly is to hire professional, reputable movers. While moving seems like something anyone can do, it takes years of experience to know how to pack a truck or carry a couch around a tight corner without damage. Ask friends for recommendations, or check Yelp reviews. Be wary of fly-by-night operations with no apparent credibility — no matter how cheap they may seem, poor movers are often bad for your stress levels and your wallet in the end. Like most services, you get what you pay for.

A Tip to Tip

Many people don’t think to tip movers. But if they do their difficult jobs well while being friendly and helpful, consider giving them a little extra, or ordering pizza during the move. For working stiffs who often live paycheque to paycheque, such kindness is greatly appreciated.

This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.


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