PLANNING AHEAD, CHOOSING THE RIGHT FIT HELPS HOMEOWNERS COPE
We’ve all done it. Wobble out of the liquor store, arms full of empty boxes, cozy up to even a vague acquaintance who’s got a truck, and start wrapping our possessions in newspaper with the hapless aplomb of someone clearly in over their head. Moving is one of the top ten most stressful life events. Gather your wits in advance and make moving easier.
Spread the Word
Express Address.com is a free online treasure that lets you tell multiple businesses and organizations all in one shot that you’re about to move.This service is provided at no charge to you with organizations and businesses paying a membership fee to be included as an option on the site. You as the user can then choose to have your information updated to that specific business or not.
Angie Rhodes at Express Address says the self-serve site has 14 participating organizations. The user just needs the particular identification listed on the site.
«I like to think of it as moving made easier online,» says Angie. «Express Address allows Saskatchewan residents to connect, transfer or disconnect residential services for telephone, electricity, natural gas and water, all in one place.
Users can also update their address for driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, health cards, library cards, city services such as pet licenses and more»
In The Beginning
The storage industry didn’t really exist until the 1960s. It grew exponentially in the 90s and today it’s booming. The irony of living in a throwaway subtraction side. A multitude of moving and storage companies offers small containers to big units, and a variety of storage solutions. Some offer a green incentive, some donate a portion of their profits to charities and foundations. Research the many options before you make that trip to the liquor store.
Anson Liski is the Mobile Sales Leader with Modular Storage Systems. He suggests clients determine their needs to see what company is the best match. His company offers a range of reusable containers, called MODs, from small totes all the way up to giant storage containers (up 320 cubic feet containers).They drop them off at your home, you pack them with your property and either keep the container at your home or Modular will pick it up and store it for you. Another great option if you are moving homes is to pack up the MOD and have it delivered directly to your moving destination.
Store it? Sell it? Donate it?
«If you can make the time at the beginning, evaluate your investment,» Anson advises. «There are some things you could possibly give away to your children or relatives who need things. Charities are always open for donations. We think it is important to give back and $1 from every unit we have goes towards our MSS Children’s Fund.»
John Smith, the owner of The S.A.F. E. (Store Anything Fast & Easy) Company agrees that one of the best investments is time at the very beginning of the move.
«People need to purge. Use the opportunity,» John encourages. «If you’re moving to Calgary, it might be cheaper to sell or donate and buy new when you settle in. Of course it’s different if you have high- end furniture, antiques or sentimental items. But you need to ask whether storing old computers and the kids’ old hockey sticks and skates they’ve outgrown is worth it»
The S.A.F. E. Company has container options in a number of sizes and you can choose to rent or purchase them. These units are great for storing items in preparation for a move, getting things out of the way while renovating, or pulling some things out of your home that are cluttering your space but need to be held on to.
S.A.F. E. also sells a line of units that come flat and that can be carried in and assembled on site in five minutes by two people without tools, and will hold up to six tons. This is a handy option if you plan to move the large container to different places from time to time. There is a video on their website that demonstrates this set up and is quite interesting to see if this is an option you are looking at.
Determine Your Needs
«My best advice is to explore your options as much as you can» says Anson. Most storage companies rent containers or space by the day, week, month and year. Modular’s reusable boxes appeal to cost-saving environmentalists who don’t like buying cardboard that ultimately gets thrown away, and also to those who don’t have the resources to transport their things into storage.
«Once you decide what you need to move or store, some people prefer to pack, have us store the totes or units, and then unpack once at the end to reduce how many times they actually have to handle their things» Anson says. «Their time is a big consideration, too.»
Frogbox is a moving box company built on the green concept; their lightweight durable packing boxes have a long life-span. The company delivers your order and picks up the empties.
«The majority of our customers are interested in convenience first with the ‘green’ factor a bonus,» says
Catherine McQueen, Frogbox owner. «Boxes are dropped off, ready to pack. There’s no need to drive around picking up boxes and then taping them once you get them packed. Frogboxes are sturdy, water resistant, stackable with handles so they’re easier to use over cardboard. When you’re finished, you don’t need to deconstruct the boxes and recycle them.»
John at S.A.F E. Co. urges his customers to take extra effort to protect their possessions, even if they’re going into moving containers and storage units. «Over protect your things. Anything that you can’t lose, don’t put it in storage. Ask a relative to hold on to priceless artwork or family photos» John advises. «Shrink-wrap your furniture, protect your big screen TV and electronics. Don’t just throw things in a box and hope for the best»
Frogbox donates a percentage of profits to protect frog habitat; they’re not so crazy about another critter that should worry people who are moving.
«Reused cardboard boxes are soft and retain moisture,» says Catherine. «That’s an appealing home for bedbugs. Frogboxes are cleaned each time between customers and are made from high-density polyethylene. Very dense and strong, great for moving but doesn’t attract bedbugs.»
OUT ON THE STREET
If you don’t relish the idea of keeping a storage unit on your lawn (ouch, the grass) or driveway (ouch, in the way), the City of Saskatoon offers a free permit to temporarily put a container on the street until you’re ready to move or move back in when your reno is done. Contact the City Permit Office at 306-975-2645.
Enjoy the Adventure
Sometimes emergencies can’t be helped; packing and moving is a frenzied affair. But by figuring out what needs to go and how best to get it there, moving can be exciting and relatively stress free.