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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Getting the Kids to Help with Packing


Going through the motions of the moving process is challenging and stressful enough. But when you have children it can present some unique challenges that impact your packing process. But kids are more willing to get involved when you allow them. You can designate some specific tasks for your children to keep them busy and free up some time so that you can focus on some important tasks that need to get done. Use these suggestions if you’re wondering how to get the kids to help with packing.

First, Explain What’s Happening

If your children are still quite young, moving can be an overwhelming and confusing experience for them. So take some time to explain what’s happening, and explain all of the benefits that they’ll get to enjoy about their new home. You can even take them to the new neighbourhood to play in a nearby park so they can see that it’s not so bad.

For Children Under 6 Years Old

If your children are below the age of 6, you can still have them participate in simple ways. You can go through their bedroom items and box of toys together. You can explain that what they don’t want to keep can be donated to children who aren’t so lucky and can use their toys and clothing.

For Children 7-11 Years Old

At this stage, you can allow your children to go through their room on their own and sift through what they no longer want to take with them. You can also have them help you collect other belongings, such as toys from the backyard to wash and organize.

For Children 12 Years and Older

Children at this age can take on much more responsibility. They can help you pack up boxes from various rooms throughout the home, as well as go through their own room and belongings. They can help wrap up delicate items in newspaper once you show them how to carefully pack fragile items. You can also get them to help you sort through the garage.

You can really smooth out the packing process and even help calm your children’s nerves by talking to them about the process and allowing them to help. When children are younger, they’re always keen to help out. When they reach 12 years of age and older, you might need to convince them a little more. But getting the whole family involved allows the kids to experience some responsibility and decision making, which is great for their development too.

When it’s time for your Ottawa move, call First Rate Movers. We have been serving the Ottawa area with superior moves since 2003!

Preparing Your House for Moving Day


Beyond the basics of packing and organizing for your big move, there are other tasks that are necessary to perform before saying your final farewell and throwing in the key. Over the years, wear and tear can easily show throughout your home in subtle or not so subtle ways. Maybe it’s the holes in the wall from when you struggled to hang that giant piece of art, or it could be the paint that’s begun to peel throughout the home. Whatever it may be, take the time now before you move to perform some of those basic tasks so that your house can be fully prepared for moving day.

Fix Holes in Walls

Many of us are guilty of not always hanging our pictures and artwork with ease, or on the first attempt. As a result, many of our walls can display those many failed attempts once we take down our precious wall hangings.  And of course, once there’s no way to hide those holes, they end up on full display when potential buyers come to view your home. Take the time before moving day to fill in and patch up any holes along your walls.

Touch-Up Paint

If it’s been years since the paint throughout your home has been touched up, chances are it could use a fresh coat. The bathroom is an important area for this since the constant steam from those hot showers can easily cause the paint to peel away over the years. A touch-up with fresh paint can make a world of difference to the appearance of your home.

Touch-Up your Porch and Entranceway

The entrance way is what buyers notice first, and it’s what gives them that first immediate impression before entering your home. It’s a focal area that needs to look good. If you have a porch or a walkway and steps that look weathered and dilapidated, make the effort to strip away old paint and add a fresh coat to the porch. Also, any weakened or rotten steps, or cracked patio stones that lead up to your home should be repair or replaced.

Consider adding a fresh coat of paint to your doorway as well. By performing a few repairs and adding some finishing touches to the walkway and door that lead into your home, it can help boost the curb appeal of your home.

Clean the Windows

The windows are also a focal point for buyers and one that can really say a lot about how well you’ve maintained your home. Make sure that all windows have been clean thoroughly. Ensure that the window frames have also been washed as well.

Preparing your home for a move takes more than simply packing. In order for your move to be a successful one, you need to have your house presentable to grab the attention of people looking to purchase. So always look over your home with a stern set of eyes and make the effort to tackle any of those minor repairs and tasks throughout it. They can make all the difference!

4 Tips for Packing When You Have Kids


Having to endure a big move is already a huge endeavour to take on. But once you throw a few kids into the moving mix, it becomes a whole new level of anxiety when you’re trying to carve out some down time to pack up the house.

So how do you multi-task as a parent while still maintaining your sanity? Here are a few tips to help you get through the packing for your move when you have kids.

Be Efficient with Your Time

As every parent knows, it’s important to have a schedule and to use that calendar as though your life depends on it. That includes everything – from when to pick up the kids from soccer practice, when to cook dinner, when to exercise, and maybe even when to relax and breathe. Use that same calendar to schedule in time each day to pack. You can squeeze this in during the school day or whenever the kids are out and about to allow you to focus and get things done.

Chip Away at the Packing

The best method for packing when you have a house full of children to take care of is by chipping away at it consistently during those “off peak” times when the kids are not around, or are preoccupied in front of the TV.

Use the Evenings

Packing can actually be therapeutic when you give yourself enough time so you don’t have to rush through it. Why not use some of your evenings once the kids have gone to bed to sift through your items in peace, with a glass of wine in hand. You might actually enjoy it!

Set Aside the Essentials

Knowing what to pack away and what to keep out of the boxes can be difficult to decide on. But just begin by packing away items that you don’t use on a regular basis. Carve out an area of your home to begin storing boxes so that your home can avoid falling into a complete state of chaos for as long as possible. And set aside the essentials to keep for last.

Packing up your home in preparation for a big move can be a challenge when you have children thrown into the mix. But it doesn’t have to be as long as you use your time wisely. You can create a simple schedule to remind yourself when it’s time to use those key moments of calm. And by setting aside your everyday essentials, you can slowly begin to chip away at the packing so that by the time moving day arrives, you’ll be set and ready to go.

When you have kids, it can be a real challenge to organize a DIY move. Hiring professional movers can ease the stress and make for a quick and simple move. Call First Rate Movers today to request an estimate!

How to Be Prepared on Moving Day

A couple moves a chair that their little boy is sitting in

When the big day arrives, you need to have more than just your coffee prepared for the day ahead. In order for the process to go as pain-free as possible, preparation is key. That means no scattered items left lying around to throw in a box last minute. Everything should be signed, sealed, and ready. Here’s what to do in order to be prepped and ready for that big moving day.

Have Items Packed

This seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people leave some items unpacked until the very last minute. Don’t be one of those people. Remember, you most likely will be paying those movers by the hour, so save yourself those extra dollars by having everything ready to go.

Ensure the Destination is Ready

Whether it’s an elevator that needs to be booked, or street parking that needs to be saved, have all of these details figured out and solidified before the big day. If you live in a rental property, be sure to get in touch with the landlord so they are aware of your moving date.


When movers are handling your heirloom China and precious cargo, you have every right to supervise the loading process to ensure that each piece is handled with care and respect. If you feel that items are being handled in a rough manner, don’t be afraid to speak up.

Check Inventory List

For certain moves, particularly long hauls, there should be a detailed, written inventory list. Be ready and waiting at your new destination so that you can go through that checklist as each item arrives. This is a smart way to ensure nothing is missing, and if it is, you can account for it while there is still an opportunity to recover the item.

Take a Sweep

When everything has been loaded, take a sweep through your (former) home to be sure that nothing was missed. Don’t forget to check behind the doors!

Double Check Unloaded Items

After the unloading has been completed, do a walkthrough and scan of the items and furniture. Try to keep an eye out for any signs of damage. The sooner you notice it, the better.

Once you have everything packed and ready for your local move, the rest is in the details. Keep a watchful eye on the moving process between loading and unloading, have your new destination ready and waiting, and take an inventory of your items for those long distance moves. Do all this and you’ll be sure to have smooth sailing to your new home.

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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…

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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…

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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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