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5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move

5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move

Moving can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Here are just 5 ways a moving company will take the stress out of your move. 

Moving Large, Bulky Items So You Don’t Have To

Have you ever tried to lift a big screen TV, sofa or piano? It’s not an easy task, even with a few friends by your side. Large and heavy items can be dangerous to move without the right equipment and training. If dropped or mishandled, these items can damage your flooring, the item itself, and even others. A professional moving company will have all the right equipment and lifting techniques to move any large items safely so you don’t have to risk it.

Packing and Unpacking for You

Packing and unpacking can be more stressful than the actual move itself. To make matters worse, poor packing is the number one cause of broken items. Fortunately, full-service movers can pack and unpack for you. They are trained to pack the right way and can do it in a fraction of the time.

Safely Transporting the Items

Not all of us are cut out for driving a large moving van. They are long, tall, wide, and filled with thousands of pounds of your belongings – what could possibly go wrong? In Canada, there are hundreds of rental truck accidents every year caused by people who are not skilled enough to drive these vehicles. If you want your items to arrive safely in one piece, your best bet is to hire a moving company with professionally trained drivers with the right licenses for the truck size.  

Time Management

Moving can take weeks to plan and months to prepare, and once the moving day arrives, you’re on the clock to get everything done on time. It’s not only stressful to properly plan and execute a move, but it’s also costly if things don’t go as planned. Save yourself the hassle and let the moving company plan everything for you.

If you want to have an easy, hassle-free move, contact us at First Rate Movers!


Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move

Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move

If you’re planning to relocate in the near future, chances are you may be starting to feel those flutters of stress that often come along with this process. But even though moving is a relatively big undertaking, with a little prep and organization ahead of time, you can eliminate your stress for a completely hassle-free move. Here’s everything you need to prepare for your Ottawa move so you can be well prepared for the big day:

Step 1 – Early Prep and Dejunking

The sooner you can jump on the preparation process, the easier it will be for you since you can gradually scratch off one or two things on your to-do list every day. This early prep stage should include:

  • Dejunking your home, room by room– discard, recycle or donate anything you haven’t used in the past year or will never realistically use again. 
  • Create a master checklist to keep on track and organized. 
  • Take inventory of the items that will be coming to your new home so you can book the appropriate movers and trucks. Specifically, list out your large appliances and furniture to get a proper estimate once you book.
  • Notify your employer to take the time off that’s needed. 
  • Make a plan for your kids or pets so they won’t be in the way.

Step 2 – Book Your Movers

Once you have an idea of all the belongings you’ll be taking with you, it’s time to book your movers. When you’re doing your research, here are some key points to look out for the ensure you’re choosing a good, reputable company:

  • Look at their ratings from previous clients on Google and especially on the BBB
  • Get a comprehensive estimate that includes the estimated cost, minimum charge, insurance coverage details, and make sure that the estimate includes the list that it is based on. If the estimate does not include the list, it means nothing.
  • Ask what insurance coverage is included and ask for proof of insurance. Any legitimate company should be able to provide a Certificate of insurance on request.
  • Ask if the movers are bonded and WSIB covered.
  • Check to see if they are certified by the Canadian Association of Movers
  • Once you’re comfortable with the selected movers, lock in your date.

Step 3 – Supplies and Packing

  • Order necessary supplies, including boxes, a tape gun, tape, markers, bubble wrap, blankets, and a dolly.
  • Pick up cleaning supplies – perform a deep clean before leaving and unpacking in the new home.
  • Start packing up your home, leaving only the essentials on hand until the move. 
  • Take note of delicate or fragile items and prep them for the move. Keep electronics together with taped up wires. Take pictures to remember how to hook up properly.
  • Carefully store away important documents and files so you can take them with you in your vehicle.

Step 4 – Switch Over Home Services to Your New Address

Don’t forget to cancel/change home services such as:

  • Cable, internet, TV, phone
  • Utility provider
  • Gym membership
  • Address for the bank, credit cards, driver’s license etc.

Moving Day!

Once the day finally rolls around, pack up and seal any remaining boxes. Clear the hallways and stairways in preparation for the movers. Have some water and snacks on hand to keep hydrated and fueled up too. 

First Rate Movers is here when you need professional movers that you can depend on. Our moving crews have been impressing clients since 2003 and have rightly earned our reputation as Ottawa’s best moving company. Get in touch with us today to book your move or to learn more.


5 Things to Remember If You’re Moving This Spring

5 Things to Remember If You’re Moving This Spring

Spring is one of the best times of the year to move. However, there are a few things you need to know to help prepare for both the weather and the moving rush that happens during this time of year. Here are 5 things to remember if you’re moving this spring.

Book Early

May through September are the busiest times of the year to move and also the most expensive. If you can move in the early spring, you can snag lower rates and more flexibility in your dates. If your closing date is later in the season, be sure to book well in advance to lock in a moving company and date. If you wait too long, you could be limited on what company you can move with, and you might even have to pay more or change your dates. 

Weather is Unreliable

Most of us associate spring with milder weather, but that’s not always the case here in Canada. Spring is also notorious for surprise snowfalls, torrential downpours and heavy winds. So, it’s important to prepare for unfavourable conditions during your move by keeping some salt and a shovel on hand, wrapping all your belongings in plastic and keeping your coat and gloves on hand, just in case.

Mud and Muck is Likely

Spring showers bring May flowers and also a lot of mud. To ensure you don’t turn your current and new home into a major mess, be sure to put down drop cloths and other mats throughout to protect the flooring and carpeting during the move. 

It’s the Perfect Time for a Garage Sale

Moving unnecessary items will cost you more, especially when your move is based on shipment weight. Fortunately, spring is the best time to declutter and throw a garage sale. This will allow you to get rid of those items you don’t really need quickly and easily, saving you money not only on moving costs but also on junk removal fees.

Seal All Boxes to Keep Out Pollen

May flowers also bring along pollen which can get into your boxes during the move if you don’t seal them up properly. If you or a family member has allergies, make sure you have enough packing tape to cover all box openings. And remember to keep any allergy meds on hand in case a flare-up happens.

When you want your spring move to go smoothly, contact us at First Rate Movers. You’ll get an exceptional rate, professional support, and full-replacement value insurance coverage for an easy move. We also offer packing and storage services and can move specialty items including upright pianos. Contact us today and lock in your spring move.


How to Avoid Moving-Related Stress

How to Avoid Moving-Related Stress

You don’t have to let the thoughts of your moving day stress you out. With a little planning and preparation, you can have everything organized and sorted for a simple, hassle-free move that goes smoothly. To guide you in preparing for the move, here are some tips to consider when you want to avoid moving-related stress.

Start Now

The best way to avoid moving-related stress is by starting early. It’s the most important step for ensuring everything gets done on time without feeling like you have a mound of tasks to do. Starting now will let you slowly chip away at your to-do list one step at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed. So start today by going over your to-do list and committing to knocking off one or a few tasks every day.

Book Your Movers as Soon as Possible

One of the first tasks to cross off your to-do list should be booking (in) your preferred moving company. You can start by doing a little research online and asking around for recommendations from friends and family. Once you’ve found a reputable moving company with good references, give them a call to discuss your moving needs, obtain a detailed quote, and lock in your date once you’re satisfied with the estimate and details. Doing this now will eliminate any risk of not being able to book the date that you need to move once the season gets busier.

Ask for Help

Packing up and moving all of your belongings isn’t a simple task. Even if you’re moving from a small apartment, there’s still a surprising amount of work involved. That’s why we always recommend asking for help. Whether it’s a family member or a few good friends, offer some pizza and beverages in exchange for an afternoon of help. It’ll make the process much quicker and easier when you have an extra set of hands to assist you.

First Rate Movers offers professional and reliable services for all of your moving needs throughout Ottawa. Our experienced team is trained to handle every move with respect and care to ensure your belongings arrive at your new destination safely. We’re proud to be locally owned and operated, serving residents throughout eastern Ontario since 2003. Get the quality moving services you can count on. Contact us today for a quote!


Everything You Need to Know About Moving Insurance

Everything You Need to Know About Moving Insurance

Most people believe that moving insurance will cover all damages that may occur during a move. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Some items won’t be covered if the moving company doesn’t carry enough insurance. To ensure you hire a company that has the proper protections in place to safeguard your belongings, learn everything you need to know about moving insurance right here.

What’s Required by Law?

According to the law, Ontario movers must carry a minimum liability of loss or damage insurance for $0.60/lb per item. This “Basic” or “Released Value Insurance” will rarely provide enough coverage for anything of value. For example, this would mean a $3000 leather couch might be valued at $120 if it weighs 200 pounds. Given that most companies have a deductible of between $200 and $500 to make a claim, you will rarely see a dime of this type of coverage unless the entire shipment is lost. This type of insurance coverage is not for protecting household goods during transport.  It is just the bare minimum under the Transport Act for any company shipping anything under contract. For example, Canada Post must insure your mail for $0.60 per pound.  Most movers offering anything more than basic coverage, will offer “protection” (fake insurance). A very few of the higher end moving companies will off actual replacement value insurance (the best coverage available). Read more about the different types of insurance coverage

What Items Are Typically Covered?

With most moving companies, damage will only be covered for items that were packed/unpacked and/or wrapped/unwrapped by the moving company. The reason for this is that the company must be able to assess the condition of the items before moving it. If the customer packs items into a box or wraps a piece of furniture, there is no way for the moving company to verify that those contents were in good condition or even existent prior to being moved. 

What Does Fully Insured Mean?

The term “fully insured” means that the moving company has vehicle insurance, liability insurance, and basic cargo insurance required by law. While it sounds good, it actually means very little for the customer as their belongings are essentially uninsured against damage unless the moving company specifically states otherwise.  

Won’t My Homeowners Policy Cover Damages?

You should never assume that your homeowner’s policy will cover damages to your property or belongings during the move. In most cases, the loss needs to be related to a peril that is listed in your policy, such as theft. In order for damages during a move to be covered under a homeowners insurance policy, the home owner often has to request and pay for a “goods in transit” rider.  In either case, it’s important to find out what is covered and what the coverage limits and deductibles for each include. If the limits are low and the deductibles are high, you might have to pay out of pocket for any damaged items. Also consider that, your premiums may increase if you make claims through your own insurance. For this reason, it is always best to choose movers who include “replacement value” insurance in their rates.

Are There Additional Insurance Options?

If the company only covers the minimum and you would like more coverage for your valuables, you’ll need to ask your insurance company to purchase additional coverage for you. However, some companies already offer better coverage options. Here at First Rate Movers, for instance, we offer Full Replacement Value Insurance included in our rates, which is the most comprehensive insurance that is limited only by the maximum dollar value of the policy – giving you complete protection. 

What Should I Ask Before Hiring A Mover?

You should never assume that a moving company has the proper insurance coverage in place. Some companies are not “fully insured” and most of the ones that are will only cover the bare minimum amount which is useless for any valuable items. You should always ask the movers what their insurance policy covers specifically and only agree to ones that offer replacement value insurance (not “protection”). 

At First Rate Movers, we include $1,000,000 of full value insurance in our rates for all full-service moves. Only companies that are 100% confident in their employees can afford to offer this type of coverage as it makes them liable for far more than most movers. Our employees are also bonded and insured through WSIB to provide you with the ultimate protection during your move. Contact us today!


How to Move Your Pets

How to Move Your Pets

With all the tasks that you need to complete before moving day, it’s easy to forget about your pet. But if you leave the planning process for your pets until the last minute, you could end up with some unpleasant surprises. The secret to moving with ease is to plan well in advance so you have everything sorted and ready to go – including Fluffy. Here are a few tips on how to move your pets.

Locally

For short local trips, you can easily transport your pet by taking them with you in your vehicle. When transporting your pets in your car, make sure to take sufficient supplies with you to have on hand, especially water. You should also have an ID tag for your pet or microchip that includes their name and the destination of your new address in the event that they bolt when you open the car door.

Across the Country

It’s always important to check the rules when moving a pet across Canada as each province will have its own laws and regulations. For example, pit bulls are banned across all of Ontario but are only restricted in certain locations in other provinces.  When travelling long distances, it’s important to put smaller animals in a carrier in the backseat and larger pets in a kennel crate. This will help keep them calm and prevent them from moving around which could distract you when driving.  When moving your pet across the country, it’s also wise to contact your vet before you leave so they can provide you with any medications you may need and also hand over your pet’s records for your new vet.

Across Borders

If you’re planning to move down south or vice versa, you may want to consider flying rather than driving when you have a pet. Not only will this be easier on your pet, but it will also be easier for you. But regardless of the method you choose, you should always check the rules and regulations with the airlines, moving companies, trains or buses as well as the country’s customs department regarding importing your pet. In most cases, you may be required to obtain vaccinations and health certificates from a veterinarian before entry. If you plan to take other animals such as guinea pigs, reptiles, or exotic animals, there may be further procedures and permits required. Some countries also have certain limitations on how many pets you can import. To avoid being refused at the border, it’s essential for you to do some preparatory research and to talk to your Moving Coordinator who can help you get all your paperwork in order.

Ask our Moving Coordinator at First Rate Movers for their recommendation when moving your pet. Our team is highly trained and experienced to provide the professional advice you need to safely transport your furry loved ones from one location to the next.  Contact us today! 


5 Things to Prepare Before Your First Move

5 Things to Prepare Before Your First Move

From ordering packing supplies to checking room measurements to closing your accounts – there’s a lot to get ready for a move. Do you have everything included on your To-Do checklist? Find out here. We’ve put together a list of the most overlooked things that you should remember to prepare before your first move.

Parking Permits

Some cities and municipalities require that you get a parking permit for the moving trucks. Otherwise you might get a ticket or have to park the truck down the street or in a nearby lot. Researching and checking what permits you need may seem like a bother, but it’s entirely worth it once the time comes.

Notify Important Parties / Set-Up Services

Don’t forget to contact your utility company, phone company, bank, government offices, and subscription services to notify them about your move. For services like your hydro and internet, you might be able to transfer these if you’re moving within the same area or province. But in some cases, you’ll need to cancel your account and set up new ones with the providers in your new location. This is especially true if you have an email account that is part of a telephone and home phones provider like Cogeco or Rogers. They don’t operate in all areas, so you could lose all your emails if you move and they cancel your account.

Garbage Collection / Junk Removal Services

If you’ve lived in your home for decades or if you’re downsizing, there will likely be items that you’ll have to leave behind for garbage removal. Check your city’s calendar for the collection dates for oversized and metallic items. This will help eliminate the need to take them to a depot yourself. If you have a lot to get rid of, it’s best to arrange for a bulk garbage pickup or hire a junk removal service who will come and haul out your large household items.

School Registration

If you have kids, you’ll also need to remember to register them in their new school. You may have to go to your children’s current school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new one.

The Movers

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to learn how many people put this step off until the last minute. Moving companies often book up months in advance, especially during the busiest times of the year – spring and summer. If you don’t want to be left moving all your belongings yourself, it’s important to arrange for a moving company as soon as you know your closing date.

There’s a lot to do and remember before your move. Fortunately, when you hire a team like ours, we’ll help you keep organized. At First Rate Movers, we go the extra mile to ensure your move goes smoothly from beginning to end. Contact us today to learn more about our services and rates.


What to Include in Your Moving Essentials Box

What to Include in Your Moving Essentials Box

There’s nothing worse than arriving in your new home, finally getting everything unpacked, sitting down, and then realizing you have no idea where anything is. This is the hard reality for most movers on day one. Fortunately, you can avoid this by packing an essentials box ahead of time.  Here we’ll outline everything that should go inside this box that you’ll likely need.

Garbage Bags

A box of garbage bags can come in mighty handy when you do your final clean up at your old home and start unpacking at your new one. You can bet there will be a lot of paper, bubble wrap, and other packing materials to clean up.

Cleaning Materials

Even if your new home has been cleaned, you might need some materials on hand to wipe things down before you start using them, like the cupboards and bathroom fixtures. A bottle of all-purpose cleaner, dish soap, kitchen and bathroom cleaner, and sponges should be kept in your essentials box to use.

Toiletries 

All your grooming and (hygiene) personal care items should also go into your essentials box. This will include toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, toothbrush, toothpaste, razors, shampoo, conditioner, cleansers, and moisturizers.

Bed Sheets, Comforters, and Towels

After a hard day’s work of moving, you’ll definitely want to take a soothing shower. Though you’ve already packed up your personal care products, you’ll also need a towel to dry off. So be sure to add a few of these to your essentials box. Also, don’t forget to pack your bedding – bed sheets, pillowcases, and comforters.

Medications

You should never pack away any medications that you take on a daily basis – these should always be kept on you in a purse or travel case. However, you might want to add a few extras in your essentials box to have on hand just in case, like pain relievers, disinfectant, petroleum jelly as well as bandages, gauze pads and adhesive tape. If you have a First Aid Kit – even better. Just add it in the box.

Closing Up

Once you’re done packing up your essentials, don’t forget to label the boxes clearly and use a different colour marker to easily distinguish them from the rest.

We hope these tips will help make your move go a little more smoothly. Want even more convenience during your moving process? Contact us at First Rate Movers and we’ll pack, unpack, and put away your items for you. Reach out today to find out what we offer and what we can do to make your life a little easier during your move.


5 Tasks That Should Wait to be Done on Moving Day

5 Tasks That Should Wait to be Done on Moving Day

Do you have everything ready for moving day? There’s a lot to prepare, and it’s imperative to have everything ready to go for an easy, smooth process. But not everything can be done before the movers arrive. There are some important tasks that should wait to be done on moving day. To ensure you’re prepared, here are 5 tasks to remember for your move out date.

Packing Your Car

Any valuable and irreplaceable items like expensive jewelry, your passports, laptop, and liquor should be transported with you in your car. And while it may seem like a good idea to put these in your vehicle the night before, it’s best to wait until you are ready to leave to ensure these items are safe from theft.

Throwing Out All of Your Food and Disposables

Moving day can be rather hectic, so it’s best to keep some food on hand to get you through the day. Muffins, dried snacks, or pre-packed sandwiches will help keep you fueled. You’ll also need plenty of water on moving day, so don’t forget to leave out a few glasses or a reusable water bottle to keep on hand.

Checking Appliances

Before you leave, don’t forget to check inside all of the appliances that you’re leaving behind. There could be some clothes left in the washer/dryer or dishes in the dishwasher that need to be packed up and brought along.

The Walkthrough

A final walkthrough is a must. Even if a room has been cleaned out earlier in the day, it’s important to check each room to ensure nothing gets left behind.

The Final Clean

Don’t forget to keep some of your cleaning supplies available – broom, all-purpose cleaner, rags – as you’ll need to do a final sweep and clean once each room is cleared out. If there’s a ton of cleaning to be done, it might be a good idea to hire a cleaning company who can come in after and give it a deep clean.

Looking for a hassle-free move? At First Rate Movers, you’ll get a moving checklist with detailed information to help you prepare for your move. Our friendly and professional team will also make sure you know exactly what you need to do on moving day. Contact us today to get a free estimate for your local or international move.


5 Items That Your Professional Moving Company Won’t Move

5 Items That Your Professional Moving Company Won’t Move

Did you know that there are prohibited items that your movers can’t take on the moving truck? To ensure you don’t have to leave anything behind on moving day, find out here what items your professional moving company won’t allow in transport.

Hazardous Materials

For safety reasons, anything deemed as hazardous will not be allowed in the moving truck. This includes anything corrosive or flammable like paints, acid-based batteries, varnish, paint thinner, certain cleaning products, propane, charcoal or other items that could potentially explode when under pressure or when exposed to heat. Believe it or not, even nail polish and nail polish remover are considered a risk. Other dangerous items that are on the “do not move list” include ammunition, weapons, and explosives. If you’re not sure how to transport these items, talk to your moving company for advice.

Perishable Goods

Moving trucks do not have refrigeration units, so perishable food items, frozen goods, dairy products, produce, and meats cannot be moved in the truck. Anything that could spoil if not refrigerated should be thrown out, taken in your personal vehicle or given away.

Liquids

Any liquids, be they food-related (olive oil, ketchup, or balsamic vinegar, etc.) or other (cleaning solvents, liquid detergents) must be transported separately by the customer to prevent spills and messes during the move. In the heat of summer and/or the cold of winter, containers of liquids can explode and cause damage to your furniture and other belongings.  If this happens with cleaning supplies, it can also release fumes that are hazardous to the movers’ health.

Valuables

Valuables and important private documents are best packed in your own vehicle, not the moving truck. This includes items like expensive jewelry, currency, your laptop, medical records, tax filings, and your passport. To keep these items safe, pack them in a locked box and transport them in the trunk of your car.

Medications and Medical Devices

If there are medications that you rely on, don’t pack these in a box. Any medications or medical devices that you regularly use, should be kept with you at all times.

Equipment with Fuel

You can’t load up your lawnmower or snowblower into the moving truck without draining out the fuel first. For safety reasons, all liquids need to be drained from the gas and oil tank and stored in appropriate containers. Professional movers cannot and will not transport dangerous items like fuel or oil of any kind.

Not sure if you have packed items that won’t be allowed on the moving truck? Don’t be afraid to ask us if you’re unsure of what items are prohibited. At First Rate Movers, we can even pack for you so you don’t have to worry! Contact us today to learn more about our packing services and to set up a free consultation!


MOVING TIPS  |  DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM.


5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move
5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move

Moving can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Here are just 5 ways a moving company will take the stress out of your move.  Moving Large, Bulky Items So You Don’t Have To Have you ever tried to lift a big screen TV, sofa or piano? It’s not an easy task, even with Read More…

Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move
Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move

If you’re planning to relocate in the near future, chances are you may be starting to feel those flutters of stress that often come along with this process. But even though moving is a relatively big undertaking, with a little prep and organization ahead of time, you can eliminate your stress for a completely hassle-free Read More…

MOVING TIPS  |  DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM!


5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move
5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move

Moving can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Here are just 5 ways a moving company will take the stress out of your move.  Moving Large, Bulky Items So You Don’t Have To Have you ever tried to lift a big screen TV, sofa or piano? It’s not an easy task, even with Read More…

Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move
Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move

If you’re planning to relocate in the near future, chances are you may be starting to feel those flutters of stress that often come along with this process. But even though moving is a relatively big undertaking, with a little prep and organization ahead of time, you can eliminate your stress for a completely hassle-free Read More…

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