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Need to Make a Move? Declutter First

Need to Make a Move? Declutter First

One of the biggest mistakes people make before their move is not to declutter first. They often find themselves stressed days before the move with a houseful of things that are scattered all over the place. To save yourself from the pain associated with last minute packing, here we show you how to declutter first to save your time and energy once moving day arrives.

Go Room By Room

It’s easiest to work your way through each room looking for items you no longer use, don’t need, and no longer love. Place these items into a labelled ‘junk’ box and ensure each one of your family members gets to look through it before deciding whether to donate or toss the belongings away.

Start With Items Still In Boxes Or Stored Away

Start with going through all the items you still have left in boxes from your previous move, or in tucked away in storage. Consolidate boxes down to things you will still be keeping and throw out anything you haven’t missed or needed in the past year.

Throw Out Things That Don’t Fit

Keeping your children’s snowsuits that no longer fit probably isn’t a smart use of space. Go through all the drawers and closets and donate anything that no longer fits.

Shred Old Paperwork

Any old papers lying around that you don’t need, like last year’s paid utility bills, filled up notebooks, or scribbled notes, should be shredded and recycled.

Get Rid Of Old Books And Magazines

If you have old books and/or magazines that you will probably never read again and are just collecting dust, now is the time to donate or recycle them. There are many organizations and literacy programs that would probably love to have them.

Decide What Toys To Keep

It’s not uncommon to keep your children’s old toys as keepsakes. But often, these items really just end up taking up space. Make today the day you finally sift through and decide which keepsakes are worth keeping and which are worth getting rid of.

Pack As You Go

As you go through each room, any items that you don’t need until after the move should be packed up. Make sure to label the boxes with the room name and contents for easy identification. You can start placing the boxes in a corner of your home until it’s time to go.

It’s always wise to declutter first before you move. It makes the process faster, easier, and cheaper for you, especially if you’re paying a moving company by the hour. So get a head start and begin removing any old, unnecessary items well in advance to make your moving day a breeze.

Move Now Before the Spring Rush

Move Now Before the Spring Rush

If you have the luxury of choosing your moving date, we recommend you move now before the spring rush. Yes, that’s right! We believe moving in the winter is much better than moving once the weather heats up. Here are five reasons why a winter move is the best time to pack up and go.

Miss The End of Term Rush

In Ottawa, the college and university students normally finish their last exams by April. If they’re not staying in their current rental or in the dorms, they will be moving.  Considering there are over 50,000 students at Carlton and University of Ottawa alone, you may want to try to plan your move ahead of the spring rush.

Avoid The Busiest Time For Sales

As soon as the weather warms up, the “For Sale” signs start popping up all over. People start listing their homes, and potential buyers start their feverish hunt. In some markets, those homes will close fast, especially if the market is hot. In other cases, people will have dragged out their closings dates over the winter to avoid having to move in the colder weather, which means many of those closings will happen in the springtime. If you wait to move when everyone else does, you may not get the price and dates you desire.

Receive Better Rates

With fewer people moving in the winter, you are often likely to find a better rate from your local moving company. Many companies offer discounts or promotions for moving in the off-season. You can really take advantage of some amazing savings this time of year.

Get More Help

You can get as much help as you need in the winter. With more moving staff available, you might be able to get the help of three movers instead of two. And if you need help packing or unpacking there will likely be extra staff on hand to help, which isn’t always the case come springtime.

Dates Can Be Flexible

When moving during the “off-season,” you can be more flexible with your moving dates and times. There should be more availability, which means you can pick the schedule you want without having to rush.

Avoid all the competition and move now before the spring rush. Our team at First Rate Movers are ready to accommodate your winter move. We have all the equipment, materials, and staff needed to ensure that you have a safe, reliable and affordable moving process. Call us today for more details!

What’s a Consolidated Move?

What’s a Consolidated Move?

Professional moving services can be expensive, especially for long distance or inter-city relocations. When moving to another city or province, the largest part of the cost is usually travel-related. The moving company has to pay the crew to drive between locations, and cover expenses such as fuel, meals, hotel, and other costs associated with out-of-town moves. Whether charging the customer by weight, by the hour, or by flat rate, these addional costs are going to be incorporated into the price. However, there is way that customer’s can save substantial money on long distance moves if they can be flexible on timing. If you’re willing to share the truck with another person moving to the same area, some of the travel costs can be deferred to that customer.

To find out more read on, as we outline how a consolidated move works to save you money.

What’s A Consolidated Move?

A consolidated move is when the moving company places the belongings of more than one customer on the truck. By sharing the cost of travel expenses with another customer who is heading in the same direction as your new location, you can gain considerable savings on your travel expense.

How Does It Work?

When the moving company charges a flat fee for travel time, it’s based on the distance and estimated time that the move will take. The cost isn’t likely to change unless the location changes. So if there is another moving customer going in the same direction, the moving company can offer a better rate because they can save time, fuel, and labour costs by making both moves with the same truck and staff in one trip instead of in two.

Are There Conditions?

You can request a consolidated move from a moving company but there first needs to be another customer who is leaving from your area or heading along the same route in order for it to work. This can often require flexibility on the datre or time in order to line up with the other move. It will also depend on the number of items you have to move and whether it will fit on the truck with the other person’s cargo.

What Are The Other Benefits?

By sharing a move, not only are you saving money, but you’re also helping someone else take advantage of the cost savings, fuel savings, and time savings.

A consolidated move also helps the environment. By reducing the drive times, you can lower your ecological footprint and do a little good for the environment by saving on emissions.

When you don’t have a lot of stuff to move and need a professional moving company to transport your belongings, consider using our consolidated move option. At First Rate Movers, we put our customers first and will try our best to find an option that is best suited to your needs and budget.

The Keys to Moving a Piano Safely

The Keys to Moving a Piano Safely

Your piano is a timeless keepsake. So of course, it has to be included in your move. But moving your piano can be quite a challenging mission. After all, it is a heavy and bulky beast. But there are ways to get it safely moved from point A to point B without damaging it or yourself.

Here are the keys to moving a piano safely!

Know The Weight

Some pianos are considerably heavy and they can all range differently in weight. A grand piano, for instance, can weigh more than 1000 pounds alone! And moving the piano will require a lot of tipping and adjusting to make it fit around corners and through doorways. So make sure you research the weight so you can get the necessary number of people to help you. If the weight is more than your helpers can handle, you should call a moving company for assistance to ensure that no one gets hurt.

Plan The Path

Prior to moving, you’ll need to measure the dimensions of the piano and any doorways it will have to pass through. This includes the width and height of each door to ensure it’ll fit when you place it on its side. When the path is set, do a full walk around of both your old and new home to look for any objects that might be in the way. Removing obstacles in advance will help to prevent any tripping hazards during the move.

Secure The Parts

All parts need to be secured before moving a piano safely. The lid of the piano should be locked tight, and if there are any parts that need to be disassembled, you should remove them now and wrap them in towels so they won’t be damaged during transportation.

Use Blanket And Cords To Steady It

Once the piano is lifted and balanced on the dolly, you will then need to steady it. Throw blankets over top of the piano to protect the finish and then tie it down with some jumper cables or cords, so it doesn’t shift when moving.

Slide The Piano, Don’t Push

You should have at least one person at each end, along with another in the middle for added support when moving the piano safely. The team will work together to slide the dolly slowly across the floor. The piano should never be pushed from the back as the piano can be forced off the dolly.

Use A Teetering Motion For Steps

If you have stairs to navigate, you should always use two people at the front of the piano and two in the back for support. The back movers will need to push down on the piano to raise the front wheels. Then roll carefully until the front wheels clear the step and gently push the backend up until the front wheels come to rest safely on the next step. This teetering motion should be continued carefully and slowly to ensure the piano doesn’t lose control or tip to the side.

Guide The Piano On & Off The Truck

When loading and unloading the moving truck, you will need people to push, stabilize, and to guide the piano, so it doesn’t fall over the sides.

As you can see, moving a piano safely takes more skill than you may have thought. And large pianos also require a little extra care. So it’s best to leave it to the professional piano movers to ensure your piano gets out of your home, onto the truck and safely into your new home without damage.

How the Economy Affects Your Moving Bill

How the Economy Affects Your Moving Bill

When gas prices start to soar, the economy takes a hit. Everything from commuting, to food costs, to your utility bills are impacted. And if you’re getting ready to move, you should be prepared to also feel the squeeze on your moving costs. To get an idea of how the economy affects your moving bill and what you can do to reduce the impact on your budget, read on.

Distribution Costs

The price at the pump is impacted by a variety of economic factors. For instance, the local market conditions are influenced by the location, distribution costs, the number of competitors, whether it’s owned by a refinery, and the cost of doing business. Even stations next to each other can have different operating costs and traffic patterns that affect their pump prices. That’s why the gas stations you choose can make a big difference in your moving bill, especially if you’re moving long distances. To reduce the impact on your moving bill, you either need to research the most affordable pumps on your route or hire a moving company who has a history of moving to your future destination – they’ll already know all the best gas stations.

Mileage Costs

When gas prices rise, the cost to ship your goods from your old home to your new home is going to go up. The moving company needs to make a profit, and when the cost of gas rises, they need to increase the mileage costs to cover the amount needed to operate the truck. Your best defense against paying higher gas prices is to hire a company that includes the mileage into the quote. Even if it’s the first thousand miles covered for free, having a mileage discount can help you save significantly.

Equipment Costs

The size of the truck will also matter when the gas prices increase. You may be able to calculate how much your car would spend on gas, but a truck can be between 3 and 4 times more expensive, depending on the size. It’s a big difference that can impact your budget. So what you need to do is properly size your move, so you’re not paying for space you don’t need. A professional move coordinator can help you choose the right truck size and in turn, reduce your overall moving bill.

Pricing a move is complex, and without a professional on your side, you could end up spending thousands more in gas-related costs. Don’t let the economy impact your move, talk to a moving specialist today!

January is the Cheapest Month to Move

January is the Cheapest Month to Move

If you have the flexibility to choose what time of year you can plan your move, January will get you the best bang for your buck. Although the timeframe is usually the last thing that enters your mind when moving, this one detail can end up saving you a lot of money.  And even though there may be winter weather to contend with, if money is your motivating factor then January is really the cheapest month to move. So before you book those necessary appointments with movers, here are some reasons why you should always aim for the month of January whenever possible.

Save Money

The number one reason why renters choose to wait and move during January is to save money. With the cost of first and last due for your new rental, along with expenses for bills and new purchases, the added cost for movers can really cut into your budget. But if you are flexible and can hold off until January, you can take advantage of more affordable rates.

Winter Weather Means Off-Peak Moving Time

Of course, the idea of moving during January and all the potential winter weather that comes with it can be enough to deter most people moving then. But it’s a much less competitive time for moving companies. And like with most businesses, off-peak times with low competition always equates to better rates.

Avoid Student Frenzy

During September when students are entering college and moving into residency, it can be a very hectic time for many movers. And when business is booming, it becomes increasingly challenging to book the necessary dates you need. During these popular timeframes, you can expect moving rates to skyrocket as well.

Easier To Book On Short Notice

The month of January is a time to recuperate after the holidays and hunker down. There’s not much happening during this time, and that includes moving. So when you need to book movers on short notice, you’re almost guaranteed to get the date you need since their schedules are much more flexible.

When money is a significant motivating factor, it’s worth paying attention to the time of year you’re planning to move. The entire process of moving can be stressful and expensive enough, and being able to minimize those moving expenses can really help out your budget. So before you plan out your moving date, consider why January is the cheapest month and how it can be worth enduring potential nasty weather.

When you’re ready to book your move, give First Rate Movers a call! We can provide you with all the necessary details and services you need, at an affordable rate to make your move as smooth as possible.

Need to Make your Move During the Winter?

Need to Make your Move During the Winter?

When you need to move, you often don’t get to pick the time of year or the type of weather conditions that you’re faced with. Sometimes you get rain, other times snow, and sometimes a mixture of everything all at once. That’s why you should always contact a professional moving service when you need to move – especially during the winter. An expert moving company is trained to safely combat all the extreme weather conditions to ensure you have a successful move. If you’ve been contemplating doing a winter move yourself, read this article first, as we point out some of the ways professional movers can help save you time, money, and aggravation.

Protecting Your Belongings

The extreme weather can easily end up damaging your possessions if you’re not extra careful. Boxes can get wet from the weather, the temperature can cause your glassware to crack and break, and slippery pathways can place you and your belongings in harm’s way. So if you’re not familiar with how to properly pack and store your boxes to avoid damage in the winter, contact a moving service that knows how to take care of your belongings in these wintry conditions properly.

Safely Packing The Truck

The last thing you need is a slip and fall when you’re carrying a box full of heavy and expensive items. Not everyone has the right boots or gloves needed for moving in icy conditions. A professional is well equipped as they do this every day. Plus, they have insurance that will cover them and your belongings in case an accident happens.

Timing It Right

It gets dark much earlier in the winter. And if you don’t time your move right you could end up doing some of it in the freezing cold dark, doubling your chances of an accident. Moving companies take the timing and conditions into consideration. They are also properly trained so if items do need to be transported in the dark; they will have the expertise and skills to execute it safely.

Driving In The Snow

Moving trucks are nothing like your car or rental vehicle that you’re not entirely comfortable driving car. Professional movers are experienced in handling the conditions of the road and driving a large truck to transport your belongings safely. If you’re using your regular car to transport items, or if you’re renting out a truck, the snowy and icy conditions – along with inexperience – can become a hazard.

When you need to make your move during the winter, you don’t have to try and tackle it alone. Call us at First Rate Movers – we have the expertise and experience to get your belongings safely to your new location at the best rate possible.

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.


Move Now Before the Spring Rush
Move Now Before the Spring Rush

If you have the luxury of choosing your moving date, we recommend you move now before the spring rush. Yes, that’s right! We believe moving in the winter is much better than moving once the weather heats up. Here are five reasons why a winter move is the best time to pack up and go. Read More…

What’s a Consolidated Move?
What’s a Consolidated Move?

Professional moving services can be expensive, especially for long distance or inter-city relocations. When moving to another city or province, the largest part of the cost is usually travel-related. The moving company has to pay the crew to drive between locations, and cover expenses such as fuel, meals, hotel, and other costs associated with out-of-town Read More…


Move Now Before the Spring Rush
Move Now Before the Spring Rush

If you have the luxury of choosing your moving date, we recommend you move now before the spring rush. Yes, that’s right! We believe moving in the winter is much better than moving once the weather heats up. Here are five reasons why a winter move is the best time to pack up and go. Read More…

What’s a Consolidated Move?
What’s a Consolidated Move?

Professional moving services can be expensive, especially for long distance or inter-city relocations. When moving to another city or province, the largest part of the cost is usually travel-related. The moving company has to pay the crew to drive between locations, and cover expenses such as fuel, meals, hotel, and other costs associated with out-of-town Read More…

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