July 1 may be Canada Day in the rest of the country, but in Montreal and across Quebec, the holiday is also known as Moving Day.
Many Quebecers’ leases expire and begin on that day of the year, making it a stressful and often overwhelming day.
Professional organizer Allison Weigensberg dropped by Global News Morning to share some of her moving tips to ensure smooth sailing on the big day.
Hire a professional
Weigensberg recommends hiring a professional to do the job to help you save time, and maybe a few headaches, down the road.
“There are movers who are are insured, who do this day in and day out,” she said.
“So, when that TV breaks, your friend John isn’t going to pay for it.”
Weigensberg also noted that professional organizers can help coordinate your move and recommends searching the Professional Organizers in Canada website to find one specialized in moving.
“Find someone that clicks with you and can help you manage the whole situation,” she said.
According to Weigensberg, it only makes sense to lighten the load before moving – if not for a fresh start, to at least avoid paying to move items you don’t need.
“Don’t pay someone or waste your time moving your stuff from one place to the next,” she said.
It’s important to start sorting through your belongings a few weeks ahead of time, taking the time to assess the contents.
“It can be difficult to realize how much useless stuff we have accumulated over time until we actually have to go through it and pack it up,” she said.
Label your boxes
Another time-saving tip is to label your boxes, but there’s a right way to do it.
“Let’s say you’re in the living room and you’re packing everything up. Maybe it’s not going to the living room in your new home, so label it with the destination room that it’s going to,” she said.
In that same vein, to make it easier for those helping you out, whether they’re professional movers or friends, Weigensberg recommends colour-coding.
“You can put some different-coloured label tape, painters tape on the box and you can put it on the doorway of the destination room as well. It really helps with movers, or if you decide to have friends come and help you out for them to know exactly where it goes,” she said.
Other tips? Don’t be stingy with your labels.
“Boxes get stacked, so make sure you do the sides, the top, everywhere and it’s really clear,” she said.
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And finally, don’t label anything miscellaneous.
“That’s not a category, that’s just a headache waiting to happen,” Weigensberg said, adding you should try to label the contents of the box to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
“Like in the kitchen, you might not need the muffin tins and baking pans the first day you get there, but the coffeemaker might be necessary.”
To avoid frustration at both ends of your move, Weigensberg suggested having a little bin with your packing/unpacking essentials ready to go.
Items to put in your caddy can include packing tape, scissors, markers, post it notes and a few cleaning supplies too.
“Sometimes, you didn’t get a chance to wipe things down — a little cleaning spray, bags for all the recycling,” she said.
Many people might not think about packing an overnight bag, but Weigensberg said it’s something she tells all her clients to do.
Obvious items to pack include a change of clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste and medication.
Weigensberg also suggested packing some sheets to have a place to sleep on your first night.
But more than anything, Weigensberg recommended keeping important documents close at hand.
“Your passport, the contract you signed with the movers, notes you made about when the internet or cable guy is going to show up and anything else that you wouldn’t want to lose or is directly related to your move,” she said.
In addition, having an “open-me-first” box is useful for anything you would want to have on hand, without having to sort through your boxes.
That box can include items such as toiletries, toilet paper, shower curtain, towels and hand soap.
As for Weigensberg — a mother of three — she said her box would have coffee and a coffee maker.
“I am fueled by coffee,” she laughed.
All joking aside, Weigensberg also told Global News that for those with small children, it’s important to have their comfort items such as blankets and stuffed animals readily available, especially if your move involves long travel times.