For many Canadians moving is madness.
Ask any Quebecer and they will tell you that the traditional July 1st moving day is complete mayhem, especially downtown Montreal.
A summer moving date was originally assigned for humanitarian reasons, to disallow renters from being evicted during the province’s harsh winters. Many years later the date was even further moved to let children complete their grade in the same class.
Whether you are moving on the same day as Canada Day or not, transitioning from a downtown apartment to a townhouse in the burbs, or from a bungalow on the river’s edge to a penthouse on top, moving annoyances are the same. Avoid them with this guide.
Before calling for the end of the day celebratory pizza and popping of a cold one, here are some tips to leave and arrive as a good tenant or owner.
Get rid of what no longer serves or pleases you. Don’t leave them behind.
• Hold a garage sale.
• Post on your social media accounts.
• Sell on classified ad websites.
• Recycle, modify, embellish or give a new life to favourites.
• Make a donation to charity stores, the library, a day care or school.
Please, if your pet is not welcome in your new home, be sure to bring it to the SPCA or find a suitable home.
Be organized, grateful and most of all safe.
• To avoid unnecessary back and forth confusion, assign a leader and refer all helpers to this person for instructions.
• Keep your first aid kit well in sight like in the kitchen.
• Clear hallways, staircases and entries.
• Follow all road, parking and access regulations.
• Make sure your insurance is up to date and that it will cover all members of your moving team: professionals and volunteers.
• Offer refreshing drinks and energizing treats.
• Say thank you in person and follow-up with a sincere email or text message on the next day.
Greet the next person that will be moving in your ex-home with the following courtesies:
• a roll of toilet paper,
• local restaurant menus,
• instruction manuals for systems, appliances and gadgets, including the master code for the alarm system,
• functioning light bulbs for fixed fixtures,
• all your keys and
• a list of your favourite local service providers.
Introduce yourself to your neighbours.
Whether you are the newly arrived, the neighbour across the street or next door, reach out and introduce yourself when you cross paths or mirror activities, like taking our the trash at the same time.
If you haven’t seen anyone for days, walk over, knock and introduce yourself. This quick visit is the only time you have permission to show up uninvited.
Welcoming a neighbour is a great way to give your neighbourhood a friendly tone and to positively start this new relationship. Great welcome gifts are usually handmade, like a jar of jam, a favourite spice mixture or a freshly made pie.
If you are planning a housewarming party, invite your new neighbours or at least inform them of possible inconvenience.
Should you have a sticky neighbour situation follow the recommendations from this previous blog, Dealing with nasty neighbours.
Tipping is not an obligation but a common tradition.
Since moving your goods is a service, if your movers did a good job, it is still common practice to offer a tip to each professional mover.
According to Lise Panneton, Le Clan Panneton’s Director of operations, unlike in the hospitality industry, there is no magical formula, a set number or a specific percentage for this practice.
Since tipping your movers is not a contractual obligation, the amount offered is at the customer’s discretion. The team’s efficiency, their respect for your property, their behaviour and even humour are factors. The gap is wide and varies from a cup of coffee to $50 per mover.
If you really loved your service, also take the time to write an email to your moving company. With the advent of email, this feedback is easier than ever and is highly valued by employers to evaluate their staff, whom they rarely have a chance to observe in action.
Happy moving day!