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5 Ways to Deal With Packing Stress


Enduring the moving process is something that most people dread. Having to pack up your entire life and haul it to your new home can be quite the process. But with a good head start and some strategic organizing, you can make that process much more comfortable on yourself when the day finally rolls around. And when the idea of packing really makes you want to cry, hiring a moving company can alleviate that stress altogether! To help you master the art of moving day, here are a few helpful ways to deal with packing stress and all of the commotion that can come along with the big move.

Make a Plan

It can be easy enough to avoid and procrastinate getting started with your packing process, but the sooner you can get started, the better. So get a jump-start as soon as you set your moving date by creating a plan. Grab a piece of paper and pen and write down your to-do list of what you need to get done and dusted before the big day. It’s always helpful to have a list available to keep you on track when you’re feeling overwhelmed and flustered and don’t know where to start.


One of the first items on that to-do list should be dejunking your home. There is never a better time to sort through all of your belongings (since you have to anyway) and finally donate or get rid of what you will never use again. Start off with one room at a time and create an area where you can place items that are designated for ‘Out.’

Pick Up Supplies

Once you have the excess clutter out of the way, you’ll have less to pack and haul and more room to organize your stuff. Head down to your nearest home supply store and pick up your moving essentials, including an assortment of moving boxes, bubble wrap and newspapers, packing tape, and a good permanent marker for labelling. Again, the earlier you can get on this, the easier it will be to deal with packing stress.

Organize Items By Room

When it’s time to start placing stuff into boxes, try to keep your boxes organized by room.  So if you’re focusing on the bathroom, keep these items together, dispersing by weight and labelling them well to make unpacking a breeze. Since you’ll be starting this well in advance of your moving date, make sure that you keep your everyday essentials to the side and organized so you can just toss them into a box the night before your move.

Hire a Packing Service

If all of this sounds great, but you’re still feeling overwhelmed trying to find the time to pack while juggling your hectic schedule, then leave it to the professionals! Hiring a reputable moving and packing service like First Rate Movers can literally take the stress out of the equation and handle it all for you.

When you need a reputable moving and packing service that you can count on, give us a call at First Rate Movers. We are one of Ottawa’s most respected moving services, thanks to our attention to detail, our professionalism, and our level of customer service. Contact us today to learn how we can help you deal with packing stress and any of your moving-related needs.

What Should I Do Directly Following My Move?


Once all of your stuff has been hauled over to your new place, you may find yourself unsure of what to do next. That’s why it’s always helpful to have a plan so you know exactly what essentials should be tackled and what should be left for the following few days after. So when you find yourself asking “What should I do directly following my move?” here are a few key steps to remember.

Take a Breather

First and foremost — take a break! You’ve been working hard and getting things organized so take some time to sit down, recuperate, and maybe eat a snack and rehydrate before moving on to your next steps. That way you can rest a little and regain some energy to tackle those boxes.

Organize boxes

Once you feel refreshed and ready to get back to it, start by organizing your boxes according to each room. And, thanks to your handy labelling on each box, you’ll be able to simply glance at them and determine what should be placed where. This will make the unpacking process much easier for you.

Dress Furniture

Most moving companies will place your furniture where you’d like it to go, so you generally will not need to do anything else following the move. Instead, consider getting things right back to the way you like them. Dig out your throw pillows, blankets, and accents to make things feel a bit more like home.

Set Up Your Bed

Since you probably have been up and at it since the early morning, the only other thing you should really do directly following the move is to set up your bed. Set up the mattress and throw on some clean sheets so when your exhausted body is ready for some serious snoozing, you’ll have your bed ready and waiting.

Relax and Leave it to the Pros!

You read that correctly! You can just sit back and relax while we take care of the unloading process for you! At First Rate Movers, our professional and experienced team can handle all of your moving-related needs.

So when you prefer to make your moving process as simple as possible, allow us to help! Contact us today to learn more about our rates and services that can help make your life a whole lot easier during your big move.

There are Items You Shouldn’t Pack!


When you’re getting ready to move, you should be aware of the items that you shouldn’t pack if you have a moving company transport your belongings. Many household items that may seem harmless can easily lead to dangerous situations under the right conditions. And, while it may be hard to part with some items, these rules are created for everyone’s safety and to also protect your belongings. To get a better idea of what you should leave behind, here are a few of the items that are on the ‘what not to pack’ list.

Hazardous Materials

Packing any hazardous materials can be dangerous. Anything that is considered to be flammable, corrosive or explosive should stay behind to prevent any potential injuries from occurring. Items such as fertilizer and pesticides, cleaning solvents, gasoline, pool chemicals, motor oil, paint and paint thinners, propane tanks, and kerosene are common items that moving companies will not allow.


There are a number of items that you may be surprised to see on the list. Liquid detergent, soaps, and nail polish, for instance, are often banned from being packed onto the moving truck. Many of these substances are dangerous when exposed to high temperatures and can also ruin your belongings if they tip over or spill. We suggest leaving these items with family or friends.


Although not hazardous, moving companies rarely transport things that may spoil in a long-distance move. This may seem like a big inconvenience at first, but this rule can help protect your belongings from rodents and insects when in transit or storage. Items to exclude are frozen and refrigerated foods, produce, open food containers, and plants. If your move, however, is planned to be delivered and complete on the same day, some companies may allow perishables that are adequately packaged to be transported.

Personal Items

With everyone’s best interests at heart, moving companies prefer not to transfer personal and sentimental items that are both confidential and difficult to replace. This would include things like your valuable jewellery, family photographs, titles and wills, and any private documentation like your medical records or tax returns. Everyone, including the moving company, will be much happier if these items are kept safe and in your control during the move.

If you’re not certain if something is allowed to be transported, it’s always best to ask. At First Rate Movers, we always ensure that our clients are provided with a detailed list well ahead of time. That way you have all the information you need before you start packing. It’s our goal to make your move stress free and as efficient as possible. Check out our site to learn more about our services and why we’re the top moving company in Ottawa!

Ways to Make Your Move Less Stressful

Ways to Make Your Move Less Stressful

The trees are budding, the flowers are in bloom, and spring is finally in full throttle, which means it’s the season for one of those inevitable life events – moving! While many people find moving to be a dreaded and chaotic hassle, we believe it doesn’t have to be such a stressful endeavour. Here we share some helpful tips that will reduce your level of stress and allow you to actually enjoy and embrace the move, along with all the exciting changes that lay ahead of you.

Start Today!

You’ve probably heard this before, and you’ll hear it again – start packing as early as possible! Getting a good head start is one of those crucial steps that can really make your move less stressful. Leaving packing until the last minute is a sure-fire recipe for chaos when it’s time to go. So get started today by organizing your things that can be packed away now.


As you begin nice and early sifting through your belongings, it’s also helpful to declutter your stuff as you move throughout your home. Any items that you can toss out or donate, now’s the time to do it. This will lessen the load and even help keep your moving rate lower as you eliminate the amount of stuff that needs to be handled.

Lock Down Your Moving Date

Relying on your friends and family to help move your stuff isn’t always a wise decision. Aside from finding the time out of their busy schedules to help, it can lead to injury without the experience and capability of maneuvering heavy, bulky items down and up flights of stairs. So spare them the risk and hassle by booking with a professional moving company instead. Since spring is a busy month for moving, be sure to lock down your moving date and details as soon as possible. And always be sure to get a quote and ask about any hidden fees.

Set An Alarm For Important Reminders

During the moving process, with everything scattered and hectic, it can be tough to remember to complete specific tasks, like notifying the necessary parties about your change of address. To help you stay on top of these tasks, create reminders in your smartphone to give a nudge when it’s time to get these tasks done. Notifying your utility company, bank, subscriptions and any other relevant party should be done at least a week before your moving date.

The moving process is always complicated for anyone to endure because it feels like you’re uprooting your life. But there are many ways to make your move less stressful, so you can have everything ready and waiting to go on your moving date.

When you’re ready to secure a professional moving company that you can rely on in the Ottawa area, contact First Rate Movers. We’re here to help simplify your moving process.

5 Things That Professional Movers do Different than Amateurs

5 Things That Professional Movers do Different than Amateurs

When faced with choosing between professional movers and amateur movers, the price really shouldn’t be the primary factor. This is especially true if you’re doing a large move, cross-border relocation, or need special assistance. A professional mover provides all the services you could possibly need, including protective measures to keep your belongings safe. They also have the experience and expertise that will ensure your move goes smoothly. To find out why we recommend hiring a pro, check out these 5 things that professional movers do differently than amateurs.

Pack and Unpack For You

If the price looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Amateurs charge low rates because they only focus on three activities – putting your boxes in the truck, driving to your new place, and then dropping them off. There is little regard for keeping your belongings safe or sorting them according to what rooms they should be placed in. Getting the job done as quickly as possible is usually the main objective.

Professional movers, on the other hand, have an entirely different approach and an actual formula for each and every move. They’ll take their time to ensure your belongings are packed properly in the boxes, stored and transported safely in the truck, and will organize the boxes in the appropriate rooms. And if you need help packing or unpacking, they can take care of that too.

Use Detailed Checklists and Programs

When you hire a professional, you’re also be acquiring an organized move coordinator. They’ll use checklists and other strategies to make sure your move is perfectly planned from beginning to end. And if you arrange for packing services, you’ll notice how neatly organized and categorized every item is. Amateurs don’t usually use checklists or have coordinators.

Storage Options

Professional movers also have a number of storage options available for you. That way if you have to move out before you move in, you have somewhere to safely store your belongings. They have exclusive contracts with the most reliable and trusted storage companies, so you get the best price and security. Amateurs rarely have any option regarding storage services.

Provide Special Services

Have a grand piano that needs to get moved? Good luck having an amateur move it! You’d have to call a specialty service, which could cost you an arm and a leg. With an expert moving company, they’ll have all the special tools to move your valuables and fragile belongings safely and affordably.

Insure Your Belongings

Professional movers also follow strict industry standards. This includes insuring their employees and offering comprehensive insurance for your belongings. So if anything happens to break during the move, you will get a return for your loss. With an amateur company, most of their employees are part-time and contracted. Their insurance rarely covers all their employees, and the plans they offer are not usually from respected insurance providers nor do they cover everything that could go wrong.

A professional mover has your best interests in mind and can provide everything you need to ensure your belongings are safely transported and dealt with as you wish. Don’t get stuck with second-class service. Contact us at First Rate Movers today.

How to Prepare for Your Move

How to Prepare for Your Move

The list of to-do items in preparing for the big moving day can seem overwhelming. The secret to overcoming the related stress is to start as early as possible. By tackling your move well in advance, bit by bit, you can chip away at those important tasks and have everything ready to go without having to worry or stress when the big day finally arrives.

To help you get focused on where to start and how to prepare for your move, use these tips as a guide.

Sort and Purge

There’s no better time to start sorting through your items and purging than before a move. So start now before you begin packing by tossing out or donating any old items that you no longer use or need. This will make packing and the entire move much easier and cost-effective since there will be fewer boxes to deal with.

Create a Plan of Action

Before you really get into prepping for your move, it’s helpful to create a plan. Moving can be a complicated process with lots of chaotic steps involved. You can avoid this by writing down the essential tasks such as transferring information regarding utilities, any accounts and mail forwarding. Write down a loose timeframe on when tasks should be complete, along with other essentials like packing and picking up the keys to your new place. This will help you stay focused and on track.

Research and Book Moving Company

Booking a moving company well in advance is also important to ensure you get the date that you need and competent movers. Many of the more reputable moving companies can book up a month or two in advance. References from friends and family or helpful but always be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM), and inquire as to the level of insurance provided by the companies.  Always be sure to get an estimate in writing based on an actual list of items to be moved. You should also ask about how your furniture will be protected, whether damage to your home is covered, do the movers handle (dis)assembly of furniture, and other such details to make you sure you feel confident that your items are in good hands. Any reputable moving company should be able to provide answers to all these questions.

Begin Packing Up Your Home

Packing up your items should be well under way at least four weeks before your moving date. We recommend starting packing room by room. This helps keep your items more organized and ensures you do not forget anything. Don’t forget to label all of your boxes. And just remember to keep any essential daily items accessible.

Notify Necessary Parties

Once you hit just under the 3-week mark, it’s a good time to alert the necessary parties about your move and change of address.  This should include the bank, utilities, any subscriptions like newspapers, insurance and even your HR department at work.

Moving is not fun. There’s no denying it. And pretty much every person who has experienced a move can agree to that. But if you prepare for your move well ahead of time, you really can reduce a lot of the stress that’s involved. So give yourself at least six weeks to get started. And when you’re ready to book a reputable, professional moving company that you can feel confident in, contact First Rate Movers. We will be glad to answer all your questions and make you feel confident that you have chosen the right moving company.

Furniture Hoisting – Leave it to the Pros

Furniture Hoisting - Leave it to the Pros

If you have large and heavy items that require hoisting during a move, it’s important that you never attempt to perform this on your own. If there were ever a time to let the professionals handle something – this is it! Whether it’s your china hutch or your extra large sofa, when you have a large piece of furniture and a small, tight staircase to contend with, it’s time to call the pros to handle it. Furniture hoisting without training, experience, and the proper equipment (including safety harnesses) can be dangerous and simply isn’t worth the risks involved.

So if you’ve been contemplating how to get those clunky items out of your home, here are a few good reasons why you should always leave it to the professionals.

Safety First

The process of moving can involve a lot of different obstacles and circumstances that can easily lead to injury if you’re not properly trained and experienced. Having the correct footing, knowing how to position yourself, and being experienced at manoeuvring items through awkward stairwells and windows is so crucial for avoiding injury. Hoisting furniture should never be attempted without using the proper safety harnesses. Balcony railings are not meant to support the combined weight of two people and a large piece of furniture. Railings can give way, causing serious injury and/or death. Always consider your safety first and the benefits of leaving this kind of work to the pros instead.

Damaged Furniture

You want your furniture to arrive in your new home in one piece and without any damage. The likelihood of damage occurring drastically increases once you combine inexperience with the job of furniture hoisting. Professional movers will wrap/pad furniture prior to hoisting it and use professional straps and harness to ensure that you furniture makes it into your home in one piece and without damage.

Damage to Property

As well as the possibility of damaging furniture or injuring yourself or others, hoisting items can also cause significant damage to the home if not done properly. Consider the surroundings in the area where the hoisting will take place. Are there windows nearby or a porch with railing below that balcony you are hoisting to? One wrong move could end with that couch you were hoisting smashing through a window or breaking those porch railings, leaving you with a hefty repair bill.

Insurance Coverage

If an accident does occur, you want to ensure there’s adequate insurance to cover any damages. With a professionally qualified moving company like First Rate Movers, you can rest assured since they have the necessary coverage in case of any related incidents.

When it comes down to it, taking on the heavy burden of furniture hoisting on your own or with inexperienced buddies, just isn’t worth it, for both your safety and the safety of the items and property. Contact the pros at First Rate Movers, and we will gladly take care of it and your entire moving process for you.

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.


5 Ways to Deal With Packing Stress

Enduring the moving process is something that most people dread. Having to pack up your entire life and haul it to your new home can be quite the process. But with a good head start and some strategic organizing, you can make that process much more comfortable on yourself when the day finally rolls around. Read More…

What Should I Do Directly Following My Move?

Once all of your stuff has been hauled over to your new place, you may find yourself unsure of what to do next. That’s why it’s always helpful to have a plan so you know exactly what essentials should be tackled and what should be left for the following few days after. So when you Read More…


5 Ways to Deal With Packing Stress

Enduring the moving process is something that most people dread. Having to pack up your entire life and haul it to your new home can be quite the process. But with a good head start and some strategic organizing, you can make that process much more comfortable on yourself when the day finally rolls around. Read More…

What Should I Do Directly Following My Move?

Once all of your stuff has been hauled over to your new place, you may find yourself unsure of what to do next. That’s why it’s always helpful to have a plan so you know exactly what essentials should be tackled and what should be left for the following few days after. So when you Read More…

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