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The Holidays: The Season You’ll Discover If You Have Enough Living Space

The Holidays: The Season You’ll Discover if You Have Enough Living Space

If it’s your turn to play host this holiday season, squeezing your friends and family in your home can create a very noticeable reminder that it might be time to upgrade your living space. Scrambling to move furniture around to make room for your guests is a hassle that shouldn’t be necessary each and every time. So if you’ve finally decided to play host for Christmas dinner, this might just be the season that you’ll discover if you have enough living space to accommodate the lifestyle you enjoy.

Here are a few tell-tale signs to watch out for that are shouting for you to finally make a move.

Your Bedroom Becomes Storage Central

Moving furniture around is one thing, but if you have to physically remove and tuck it away in your bedroom or other spare room when your family is coming over, this is a pretty significant amount of effort to endure for hosting a get-together. If this is a scenario that you frequently face, it’s a tell-tale sign that you’ve simply outgrown your current living space.

You Can’t Accommodate A Dinner Table

Do you have to resort to buffet style with guests and family eating dinner on their knees? This may have been doable when you first moved into your place, but eventually, you reach a point where the discomfort of your current space simply outweighs the idea of finally making a move. Imagine being able to fit and accommodate your entire family around a single table and finally feeling like you’re mastering ‘adulting’!

Your Entranceway Gets Buried In Coats

Does your entranceway or a portion of your living space get buried in winter gear as your guests arrive? Imagine being able to tuck every coat, hat, and scarf neatly away in available closet space. Well, you don’t have to! Biting the bullet and finally committing to moving means you can increase your storage capacity and free up even more space for your friends and family to move around.

Too Many Cooks In A Tiny Kitchen

When your friends and family start to gather around your tiny kitchen space inevitably, are you internally wishing they’d just mingle elsewhere to free up some much-needed elbow room to cook? When overcrowding in the kitchen really just equates to one or two extra people, it’s time to take a good look at your living space and ask yourself whether it’s really worth sticking with it.

During the holiday season, it’s a time when you’ll truly discover if you have enough living space, whether you want to face reality or not. So do yourself a favour and listen to those voices of frustration that arise each time you’re playing host at home. If they’re telling you it’s time to move, it might be worthwhile to listen.

When you’re ready to make a move during winter, or any time of the year, First Rate Movers can help make the process smooth and easy. Contact us when you’re ready to finally upgrade your living space to something that’s more conducive to your needs.

Moving Fragile Items During the Winter

Moving Fragile Items During The Winter

Packing up your items correctly is important and can make all the difference for having them arrive undamaged. Whether you decide to pack all on your own or hire a company for assistance, take extra caution when moving fragile items during the winter. Here are some essential packing tips to remember to keep your delicates safe and damage-free.

Don’t Over Pack Boxes

Always avoid over packing your boxes. Ending up with boxes that are excessively heavy to lift only makes it more precarious and difficult when being transported during the moving process. So save your back, the back of your movers and of course, your precious china by being mindful of the weight when packing.

Pack Similar Items Together

If you’re packing up your antiques or your china, don’t toss in your iron, pans, or any bulky, awkward items that don’t belong. Always keep similar items packed together, especially fragile ones so they can be tightly tucked away together without the risk of something rolling around during transport and crushing other items.

Wrap Items Thoroughly

Moving fragile items during the winter is always more of a challenge, especially when you have to contend with slippery surfaces. So go through each fragile item and carefully wrap them individually using paper, bubble wrap, or even towels. You want that barrier of protection in case the roads are slippery, and they end up being slightly shaken during the moving process.

Create Cushioned Layer Inside Box

Having items individually wrapped isn’t quite enough. Before you place them inside of boxes, add some crushed paper, bubble wrap or towels to the bottom. There should be at least two layers to provide enough buffering between any potential impacts along the way.

Pack Heaviest to Lightest

Of course, you want to place any fragile items that are heaviest on the bottom and work your way up with medium and lightest items on the top layers. Again, if the box is already getting heavy, then don’t continue to pile in the items. Instead, try adding in other lighter, ‘non-threating’ ones like sheets or towels that can fill up space and still provide more protection without much weight.

Seal Boxes & Label Well

Don’t skimp on the tape – when you’re ready to seal up the boxes, add enough tape to close them up tightly. Then finish each box off with a big and clear ‘Fragile’ label on each side so that you and the movers can distinguish between boxes that require more care.

Keep your fragile items and valuables safe and sound during your winter move by going through each of these steps to ensure they’re safeguarded against any unforeseen slippery winter weather. For all of your moving needs, First Rate Movers are here to help. Call us today!

Moving from a Recently-Infested Home? Follow These Preventative Steps

Moving From A Recently Infested Home?

If you’re moving from a recently-infested home, the last thing you want to happen is for those little critters to find their way into your new home. Whether it’s bed bugs, cockroaches or anything else, it’s imperative that you take the right precautionary steps to avoid transporting pests along with your belongings. Follow these preventative steps to avoid any infestation from following you along during your moving process.

Before Packing

Before you pack up, go through and launder all of your fabrics – sheets, blankets, towels, rugs, if possible – throughout your home. If you have been dealing with a bed-bug infestation, be sure to wash and dry your items on the hottest setting for your machines. Then, once they have been cleaned and dried, placed them into clear plastic bags that can be sealed up – vacuum bags can be a good option for this. Mark each bag as ‘clean.’

During Packing

As you begin packing up your items, keep all of your recently washed and cleaned items away from anything that hasn’t been or can’t really be washed. Place anything that you are unsure of into a separate bin, box or bag. Also, when dealing with an infestation, using plastic bins with lids that can be sealed, is also recommended.

Dealing with Items That Can’t be Disinfected

Items like your electronics, books, appliances, among others, can be more of a challenge to deal with since they can’t really be washed and sanitized. But you can treat these with heating units that are designed for treating bed bug-infested items. If bed bugs aren’t your issue and it’s more along the lines of roaches, just be sure to give your items a really good shake out – without damaging anything – and wipe with disinfectant if possible before placing them into another bin with a lid.

Throwing Items Away

When moving from a recently-infested home, sometimes, you just have to sacrifice some things that can’t be saved or simply aren’t worth the risk of taking. If your couch, mattress or anything else gets tossed to the curb, always wrap them in plastic and place a clearly written note secured to the items that stipulate they are “Infested with bed bugs.” Furniture on the curb is always attractive for neighbours to scoop up, so make it extra clear that these are not usable – you can even create a few slashes in them to avoid having others mistakenly take them home.

Shower & Change Clothing on Moving Day

On moving day, anyone involved in the move should shower and change clothing and then seal up the clothes until they can be washed. You don’t want to take any chances.

It is recommended not to move until the infestation has been dealt with. If there are any signs of bugs, most movers (including First Rate), will refuse to place any belongings on the moving truck. If a customer knowingly places bug-infested belongings on a moving truck, they could end up with a legal claim against them for damages. If moving is imperative, it is best to relocate the items into a mobile storage unit where it can be treated and quarantined until the problem is solved. In the case of bedbugs, this could be as long as 3-5 months but should be well worth it when considering the alternative.

Remember, it may be a pain to deal with now, but spending the extra time and effort to be diligent can end up saving you so much more aggravation if you have to endure yet another infestation in your new place. So if you’re making a move from a previously infested home, use these preventative steps to help you stay bug-free when you move.

Preparing Household Appliances for a Move

Preparing Household Appliances for a Move

When it comes to packing for a move, the last items that normally get packed are your appliances. Since these are not only the most used, but also usually the most expensive items you will be moving, you want to ensure they are well protected during transportation. You also want to avoid any mold or mildew build up that commonly occurs when appliances are not properly drained or cleaned out before being packed up. So, before moving day arrives, plan accordingly and follow these quick tips on how to prepare your household appliances for the move.


The week before the move you should stop using the dishwasher and cut the electricity source to the machine. This will allow you time to drain the hoses, clean it out, and allow it to completely dry out. Once it has dried, you should wrap the hoses in packing paper and place them inside the dishwasher. Your moving company can then help you with the necessary wrapping, packing and securing of your dishwasher.

Fridge and Freezer

The fridge and freezer will first need to be unplugged and disconnected from the water line. Once unplugged, the machine will need to be cleaned, defrosted, and dried out before getting ready for the move. The loose parts inside should also be cleaned, wrapped, and packed in a container or box. Proceed to vacuum out the condenser or compressor parts, along with emptying the water reservoir and cleaning out the evaporator pan.

Your professional mover can help you determine if anything further will need to be bolted down or secured before moving. Once moved into your new home leave the fridge unplugged for at least six hours before installing to avoid damaging the compressor.


Your oven comes with lots of removable parts. Remove and clean these parts and then wrap and pack them securely into a box. If you own an electric range, you only need to unplug the machine before packing. If you own a gas range, it will need to be disconnected from the gas line and capped properly by a service technician. To set up the oven at your new home you will also need a service technician. Ensure to schedule these before the moving date and also for when you arrive at your new destination.

Washing Machine

Just like with your dishwasher, your washing machine will need to be cleaned and dried thoroughly before packing. You will need to unplug the machine and turn off the water valve before dismantling. Drain the hoses and remove, wrap, and place them inside the washing machine. To prevent swaying during the move that can damage the machine, read the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to properly secure the tub portion inside. Your moving coordinator can help you with these details if you need assistance.


If you own an electrical dryer, first ensure that the lint screen is cleaned out and then unplug the machine before wrapping and packing. For a gas dryer, the gas line will need to be disconnected and capped – this can only be done by a professional technician and not by the moving crew. Your moving coordinator can help with any arrangements that you need to make.

Talk to our moving professionals at First Rate Movers about the best practices for moving appliances. They will help ensure that your appliances are properly stowed to prevent damage during the moving process.

Helping Your Teen Move into a Dorm

Helping Your Teen Move into a Dorm

Getting ready to move your teen into their new school dorm? If so, make sure you know about these helpful tips that can make the moving process a whole lot easier for everyone.

Review the Registration Information

Most residences will have set times and drop off locations for moving in. Make sure to read up on all the paperwork so you have a clear idea on where you will need to unload and register your teen. The forms will also indicate everything they will need to bring for the registration – photo requirements, student numbers, health information, etc. The more you know in advance, the easier the process will be.

Keep it Simple

Not all college brochures display the dorm room sizes accurately, so try not to let your teen overpack. Also, check with the school beforehand on what is provided regarding furniture and bedding to avoid packing items that are already supplied. Bringing only the essentials and a couple of treasured items is best for the first move. You can always make a separate trip in the future or mail them items once they have settled in and have a better idea of what they need.

Sort Boxes

Don’t let your teen just stuff things into boxes. Help them sort their boxes out well – school supplies, utensils/appliances, clothing, electronics, and food/snacks, for example. This will help make the unpacking process much easier, giving you more precious one-on-one time before you leave. To make it easier for transporting and carrying, avoid using garbage bags or large boxes. Instead, opt for storage bins that can be easily lifted, transported, and stored away for future use (you know they’ll be needed again).  

Also, write the name of your teen, the dorm name, and the room number on the bins/boxes. Many residences will have assistants to help move boxes into the dorms for you, so this will help avoid any mix-up.

Pack a Toolkit

You may need some tools on hand to make some minor adjustments, like hanging shelves, curtains, or figuring out how to put together that IKEA dresser when you arrive. Pack a well-stocked toolkit to take along with you, and don’t forget to pack a grounded extension chord as many schools don’t provide them for you, which can be very helpful for your teen.

Leave a Little Emergency Cash

Just in case you forget something important, like the bedding or towels, leave your teen a little money so they can buy any of the necessities they need on campus.

Hire a Mover

No matter how hard you try to fit all of your teen’s belongings into your car, it might just not work out. Instead, hire a moving company or rent a moving van for the day. This way your car will stay in mint condition, and you can easily transport all their belongings in one, easy trip.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to pack the Kleenex. Move-in day usually stirs up lots of emotions, as you’re leaving your teen to start their new college adventure. For all your moving needs, contact First Rate Movers – it’s the company that you can rely on to help make your move a breeze.

Saying Goodbye to Your Family Home

Saying Goodbye to Your Family Home

Downsizing has become a very common and necessary step these days as our parents grow older and the house that once served well for the family has now become more cumbersome to maintain. Living in a home for years and then having to part with it can be an extremely difficult moment to face when moving day finally arrives, but it’s important to help your parents remember that all of those fond and sentimental memories will be going along with them.

When it comes to saying goodbye to your family home, packing up and moving, here are some ways to help ease this transition – for you or your parents – to get excited for a new chapter.


Create Documented Memories You Can Look Back On

Whether it’s a scrapbook, random sentimental items, or a video series of your favourite home movies, having some form of documented memories is a great way to really capture those moments that were made in your family home. You can sift through old photographs and put together that photo album you’ve been meaning to do for so long. It’s the perfect way to bring along the best moments and keep them close to you no matter where you’re moving.


Throw A Big Goodbye Bash

What better way to say goodbye than by celebrating all of the wonderful moments in your family home, while embracing the new chapter of your life? Throwing a big bash in your home to say farewell to it and your neighbours is one of the best ways to part. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy; you can fire up the barbeque, send out a BYOB invitation and get everyone to bring along a dish. Going out with a bang is always the best way!


Focus On Your New Move And All Of The Benefits

Feeling sad is perfectly normal when undergoing a move like this, but just keep focus on the reasons why this was initiated in the first place. Think about all of the benefits about moving to your new home – no more lawn maintenance, no more shovelling through endless piles of snow, no more empty rooms to dust or waste electricity on. Plus, you’ll get to be closer to great amenities and friends.

Keep your mind focused on the exciting moments that lay ahead and you’ll breeze through this emotional process.

Saying goodbye to your family home is something that is never easy for anyone, but by keeping some documented memories that you can look back on and by focusing on all of the exciting ones that have yet to be made, you can get through it and start looking forward to the future.

Want to make sure your belongings are in good hands during your move? Get in touch with our expert moving crews today!

How to Prep Your Teen for University Move-in Day

How to Prep Your Teen for University Move-in Day

When the day finally arrives to send your not-so-little kid off to university, be prepared for a hectic and potentially overwhelming day. Aside from the emotional rollercoaster and chaos, moving day usually occurs during the summertime, which means you should be mindful of the heat to keep from over-exerting yourself. It’s important to be as calm as you can to help your teen transition as easily as possible to campus life and their newfound freedom. After all, they’ll definitely be feeling the stress and nerves throughout the entire moving process, too.

To help you and your teen cope with all of the woes during the big move, here are some tips to help prep your teen for university move-in day.


Pre-Move-In Day

Before the big day arrives, there are some things to have nailed down to help make it run as smoothly as possible:


Purchase The Dorm Life Essentials

Dorm life is a completely new phase for your teen, so help them cover the basic necessities with a list to have ready for moving day. These types of items include bed sheets, storage containers, desk organizers and more.

For a more thorough list of ideas, Bed, Bath & Beyond has put together a handy list to help:


Dish Out Expectations And The Plan For Moving Day

Of course, your teen will need help transporting items and unloading their stuff into their dorm. Beyond that, it’s important to know when it’s time to let them take care of the rest. Talk to them about expectations for you and your help. If they want you to stay and assist with unpacking, that’s great. If they want you to leave the unpacking to them, take the hint and say goodbye. If you’re eager to meet and connect with the roommate before leaving, tell them ahead of time.

Always discuss the game plan and what they feel comfortable with since it is a pretty big moment in life for them.


Be Practical About What Can And Cannot Fit

Your teen may have seen pictures or have an idea of dorm room size from TV shows, but in reality, you only truly appreciate the tiny size when you’re desperately trying to squeeze all of your furniture in. Dorm rooms are sometimes puzzles, so you’ve got to be very selective about what stays. Help your teen by keeping them in reality with the size of the dorm and assisting them in ways to utilize the space most effectively. IKEA has some great space-saving designs to look at for inspiration and ideas to implement for dorm-style living spaces.

With all of the nervous jitters, excitement and emotions tossed into moving day, your teen is going to need all the help you can give. Just be sure that you’re not dishing out too much love when they’re eager for you to leave. Go over the game plan ahead of time to be ready and prepped for the big day.

Want to make sure your belongings are in good hands during your teen’s move into university? Get in touch with our expert moving crews to help with the process!

Why Ottawa is the Best City to Live

View of Parliament Hill at sunset


For those of you who have called Ottawa home for many years, it’s plain to see why Ottawa is a desirable city to live in. And for those contemplating making the move to the nation’s capital, the experience is almost guaranteed to be great. The late summer and early fall can guarantee a surge in moving trucks, particularly near any college or university campus as students flock to their new dwellings eager to start their year. Ottawa has so much to offer residents of all ages, here are a few reasons why Ottawa is the greatest city to live.


Job Opportunities

Ottawa is known as a government town, meaning there are a plethora of government jobs just waiting for the right candidate. In addition to the wealth of governmental employment opportunities there is also a wide range of tech based jobs that are always looking to welcome new talent. Ottawa has been labelled the tech hub of Canada and that is a well substantiated claim. Job opportunities are ripe in Ottawa for those who are willing.


Universities and Colleges

Ottawa is home to many different post-secondary education facilities which gives students diversity in their education options. Carleton University and University of Ottawa are both world renowned universities where students can expect to receive a top-notch education from esteemed professionals. There are also a number of colleges scattered around Ottawa, the largest being Algonquin College. Algonquin offers practical programs from Office Administration to the trades and has long since had a strong history of job placement for its graduates. There are also a number of technical colleges located around the city that offer specialized training in a smaller number of programs. Ottawa is definitely a student’s market for education.


Sports Teams

Ottawa is fortunate to have a number of local sports teams for its residents to come out and support. There is the Ottawa Fury FC for soccer fans, the Ottawa Redblacks for football fans and, of course, the Ottawa Senators for hockey fans. Spring, summer, winter, or fall there is always a sport available for sports fans to enjoy.


Incredible Sights

Being the nation’s capital city there are bound to be some beautiful and historic sites to see. These sights are not simply for tourist’s enjoyment! Many locals are seen jogging around Parliament Hill, biking along the beautiful Rideau Canal, paddling along the Ottawa River or taking a hike through Gatineau Hills. There is no shortage of natural beauty in this great city, which is why so many people are proud to call it home.

If you are planning to call Ottawa your home and need movers to get you there, contact First Rate Movers to help you move into this magnificent city. We provide moving services throughout the Ottawa area, including Nepean, Kanata, Barrhaven, and Orleans!


4 Unpacking Tips

Young couple unpacking their belongings in their new home

Moving can be challenging in many ways, but with a little organization, certain parts of it can be quite smooth and even exciting! Moving into a new home provides you with the opportunity to start over with your organization systems and purge those items that you don’t really need. Here are some unpacking tips that are sure to make your moving transition as smooth and easy as possible.




Organize Boxes on Move-In Day

Whether you have a moving company lugging your boxes into your new place or you are doing it yourself, be certain to direct where specific boxes are to be set down. A benefit of hiring movers is that they will put all of your boxes go in the rooms you wish them to be in which will make unpacking so much more organized. This step goes back to the initial packing phase where you hopefully remembered to properly label your boxes.


Build Essential Furniture First

Although you may have the desire to set up your kitchen just the way you like it, it’s important to think ahead. You will need somewhere to sit down and take a break, maybe have a snack, and you will need somewhere to sleep. Make setting up your bed a priority for unpacking, including sheets blankets and pillows, while you still have energy. Meticulously folding your shirts and pants can come later, but having a place to sleep should be your first task.


Take Help if It’s Offered

Some people are more particular about their unpacking rituals than others, but the fact still remains that moving is chaos no matter how you approach it. If you are offered help with your unpacking then it’s wise to accept it. Even if you relocate everything that your helpers unpack, at least the stuff is out of the box and the box is broken down and set aside. You will have plenty of time to set up your cupboards and shelves just the way you want them once everything is out of boxes, but in the early stages eliminating the clutter of moving materials should be your number one goal.


Unpack Certain Essentials Before the Real Unpacking Journey Begins

No one wants to be stranded in a bathroom with no soap or worse, no toilet paper. If you don’t know where your bathroom supplies ended up in the mess of boxes labelled “bathroom,” be proactive and buy a pack of toilet paper and a new soap dispenser to have available for both yourself and whoever else you have at your place on moving day.

Moving is an adventure, and how you choose to approach your adventure will dictate how fun or miserable your experience is! Try to have fun with your unpacking experience and relish the fact that you are finally in your new home.


Help Your Parents Move by Hiring Ottawa Movers


As your parents age, it becomes increasingly challenging for them to pack up and move all their belongings on their own. Plus, as part of running a family, they probably have collected a large quantity of items over the years, which can be incredibly overwhelming to organize. With your busy schedule, you may not have the time you need to support them as much as you would like. So why not make everyone’s life easier and hire Ottawa movers?

They have the expertise and services to tackle every type of move. Here we explore all the ways Ottawa movers can help your parents move go both smooth and effortless as possible.

Customized Service

When it comes to your parents, they will need lots of support and hands-on service from a reputable mover. At First Rate Movers, we understand that each family’s needs are different and each move is unique. That is why they offer customized service to help you get the best service for your family’s needs.

Packing Services

Your parents won’t have to lift a finger. First Rate Movers offer various packing services for moves within Ottawa, from partial packing, full packing, crating services, unpacking, and special packing designed for high-end art and other delicate belongings.

Storage Potential

Sometimes you need to store your items if your closing date doesn’t match with your move date. First Rate Movers offers short-term storage options, so your belongings aren’t left out in the cold.

Safety-Conscious Environment

Safety is your biggest concerns when it comes to moving your parents. And Ottawa Movers places safety at the top of their priority list. All precautions are taken during the move to ensure your items are carefully transported from point A to B. Plus, all of our employees are insured by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario.

Reliable Experts with A+ Rating

First Rate Movers are a Certified Canadian Mover with the Canadian Association of Movers and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We also have 23 years of direct moving experience to execute a flawless move. You can rest assured your parents are in good hands.

Why not do your entire family a favour and contact First Rate Movers to help your parents with their move? We can take care of all of the planning, packing, and unpacking while keeping your parents and their belongings safe and in pristine condition.


Preparing Household Appliances for a Move
Preparing Household Appliances for a Move

When it comes to packing for a move, the last items that normally get packed are your appliances. Since these are not only the most used, but also usually the most expensive items you will be moving, you want to ensure they are well protected during transportation. You also want to avoid any mold or Read More…

Helping Your Teen Move into a Dorm
Helping Your Teen Move into a Dorm

Getting ready to move your teen into their new school dorm? If so, make sure you know about these helpful tips that can make the moving process a whole lot easier for everyone. Review the Registration Information Most residences will have set times and drop off locations for moving in. Make sure to read up Read More…


Preparing Household Appliances for a Move
Preparing Household Appliances for a Move

When it comes to packing for a move, the last items that normally get packed are your appliances. Since these are not only the most used, but also usually the most expensive items you will be moving, you want to ensure they are well protected during transportation. You also want to avoid any mold or Read More…

Helping Your Teen Move into a Dorm
Helping Your Teen Move into a Dorm

Getting ready to move your teen into their new school dorm? If so, make sure you know about these helpful tips that can make the moving process a whole lot easier for everyone. Review the Registration Information Most residences will have set times and drop off locations for moving in. Make sure to read up Read More…

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