Tips & FAQs

Moving

How do I prepare for my move?

You can prepare for your move by planning carefully, working out a realistic time line, and if necessary, hiring expert help. Use our handy Moving Checklist to keep your move on track.

How do I find a good mover?

Follow this checklist to find a reputable, ethical and professional mover.

  • Does the company provide you with information regarding mover liability for loss or damage, optional programs available, limitations on liability and additional costs associated with each level of liability?
  • Is the company insured? Ask them to provide you with the insurance company’s name and policy number.
  • Does the company have their own equipment, or will a sub-contractor or another company be providing the service? Which company? What is their record like? Get references.
  • Who will be providing services at the end of the move, such as unpacking, claims settlement and storage? Is it the same as the original company, an affiliate van line, or someone else?
  • If your belongings will be left overnight in a moving van, will the van be kept in a secure facility? Be sure to use a company that uses vehicles designed for household goods moving and storage.
  • Whose storage facilities will be used – the company’s or a third party’s? It’s a good idea to visit and check out the company’s offices, storage facilities and vehicles before you move.
  • What are the terms and conditions of protecting your goods under the mover's Replacement Value Protection policy, including coverage for those goods you packed yourself? Is there a deductible, and if so, how much is it?
  • Does the mover have a Workers’ Compensation Board certificate? If not you may end up paying for any employee injuries during the move.

(Reprinted with permission of Industry Canada. This reproduction is not represented as an official version of the information reproduced, nor has it been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, Industry Canada.)

What should I be aware of when requesting an estimate?

Use these guidelines to help you when requesting an estimate.

  • For a long distance move, a reputable mover will want to inspect your belongings to help prepare a comprehensive quote. If a company says the inspection isn't necessary or wants to provide a quote over the telephone, you're probably better off dealing with someone else. Make sure that everything that needs to be moved is shown to the movers during the estimate, and find out how much it will cost if you need to add any items on the day of the move.
  • When asking for an estimate, be sure to give the mover precise information about the location of your old and new residence. Notify the movers of obstacles such as stairs or escalators that will require special navigation. To avoid being charged more later on, give the movers as much information as possible.
  • It is helpful to make an inventory of everything you want moved, from the basement to the attic, and ensure that special arrangements are made for goods requiring special attention (e.g. electronics, appliances, pianos).
  • Be sure to get estimates and all other assurances in writing, including the delivery date, as well as the full name of the person you spoke with.
  • The estimate should be on company letterhead and state the name, telephone number and address of the company, as well as a full estimate of the number of boxes to be moved, the size and value of items, the cost per hour or flat rate and terms of payment, and timing of services to be provided. If items are being moved out of the country, be sure to obtain the name and address of the moving agents who will be handling your move at the destination.
  • For a local move, the estimate should provide the number of hours the move will take to complete. Make sure the estimate is dated and includes the date of the move. Don't sign a contract unless these options are spelled out in writing.
  • Don't be afraid to negotiate. Beware of a price that is much lower than others. This could be an indicator of sub-standard service or higher charges to come later.
  • Are there special seasonal rates or any other factors that may affect the cost of the move? It can be less expensive to move between October and June, or at mid-month.
  • If a deposit is required, will the money be put in trust, as is required in some provinces and territories? Is it refundable? Clarify methods of payment at the outset.
  • Beware of movers who offer to forego the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or who only accept cash payments. These are often indicators of an unscrupulous mover and one who is unlikely to pay claims or even deliver your goods.

(Reprinted with permission of Industry Canada. This reproduction is not represented as an official version of the information reproduced, nor has it been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, Industry Canada.)

How can I save money on moving and be well prepared for move day?

There are many ways to reduce your moving costs. The key is advance preparation. If you do not have time to prepare, consider hiring a move manager. You will still come out ahead, and with much less stress during the process.

  1. Label top and 1 side of every box with its destination room so movers can bring box directly to its desired location.
  2. Make sure all boxes have lids and are taped shut. Open boxes cannot be stacked and have to be handled individually whereas closed boxes can be stacked on dollies and in the truck.
  3. Pack boxes squarely, not bulging as they don't stack well if rounded.
  4. Take all lamps apart, shades can go in armoires or be ready to pop into a wardrobe. Secure cord to lamp. Remove bulbs.
  5. If you have a garage, as you pack, bring the boxes and stack in there prior to move day. Or choose a staging area in your house that is close to the door the movers will use. You reduce the steps the movers have to take resulting in less time to move your boxes.
  6. For safety reasons, pets and small children are best if not present on move day. If movers have to be on the lookout for small ones, they will have to work much slower.
  7. Upon arrival, the movers go directly to the large furniture. Make sure they have a clear path for removing it from the house.
  8. Always be available for questions so the movers don't have to search for you. Time spent looking is time wasted.
  9. Tag furniture with the destination room so when unloading the movers don't have to search for you to ask. Items padded by movers will not be tagged, so make sure you park someone right at the door to advise movers where each piece goes. And don't leave that spot until everything has been unloaded.
  10. Have a good idea of furniture placement in rooms before moving. The more you have the movers adjust the placement, the more time it will take for your move.
  11. And the obvious one is to be fully and totally packed up before the movers arrive. It is very easy to underestimate the amount of time it takes to pack a household. Set as your goal to be packed (except for the very basics) one week before your move date. If you have underestimated your packing time, this gives you a time buffer. Consider hiring professional packers if you can’t meet the deadline. Packing on move day is the worst scenario for moving and results in a stressful and costly move.

Good moves are all about advance preparation. The more prepared you are, the more you will save on your move.

How do I make the best of my moving day?

Being well prepared on move day will have a positive impact on your move. Follow these suggestions for a good move:

  • Be ready when the movers arrive. Have everything ready to go, as you will be charged an hourly rate for the time the movers wait.
  • Make sure both your origin and destination locations are ready. If you are moving to an apartment, book the elevator in the apartment building and notify your landlord or building manager of the arrival time of your movers. Arrange for street parking if needed.
  • For long distance moves, the Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers stipulate that all items must be tagged and listed by the mover and a copy of the inventory supplied to you for your records. Be sure to keep a copy of this inventory. When you arrive at your new destination, check off each piece, and note any changes to the inventory prior to signing it. Otherwise, your mover may decline your claim for lost or damaged items.
  • For a local move, you should make an inventory of goods to be moved and supervise the loading and unloading or arrange for someone else to supervise. If goods are damaged or lost, make sure it's noted on the inventory, and notify the mover quickly. Normally, claims must be made within 30 days for local moves and within 60 days for long distance moves.
  • When the loading has been completed, do a walk-through of your premises to ensure that everything has been loaded and nothing is left in closets, behind doors, in attics or garages.
  • Take any personal, important documents with you. Back up your computer data and take the data and the computer with you.
  • Take all of your valuables (e.g. jewellery, prescriptions, artwork) with you, and make special arrangements for perishables (e.g. food, plants) that may be affected by heat or cold.
  • Make appropriate arrangements for your pets.
  • When the unloading has been completed, do a walk-through of your premises and all hallways and pathways into your premises as well as the moving vehicle to ensure that everything has been unloaded.
  • Enjoy your new home

(Reprinted with permission of Industry Canada. This reproduction is not represented as an official version of the information reproduced, nor has it been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, Industry Canada.)

Senior Move Managers

What is a Senior Move Manager and how can one help me?

Senior Move Managers are dedicated to assisting older adults and their families with the physical and emotional demands of downsizing, relocating, or modifying their homes to age in place.

Advocacy/Loyalty

Our first duty is loyalty to the individual in transition. We will always provide services and recommendations based on his or her needs and concerns, with respect for our client’s belongings and life expectations.

Self-Determination

We will honour our clients’ feelings and perspectives and respect their right to determine their futures. If we determine to end service to our client, we will recommend other providers from whom he or she may receive assistance.

Confidentiality

We will keep confidential any confidence that we are given or that we may learn. We will disclose information to others only with our client’s permission or if we are compelled to do so by a belief that our client or other individuals will be seriously harmed by our silence. We not use confidential information to benefit our company our ourselves.

Cooperation

We will strive to ensure cooperation among all individuals involved in providing services to our clients.

Qualifications

We will offer services only in those areas for which we are qualifies and will accurately represent those qualifications both verbally and in written communication. When unable or unqualified to fulfill requests for services, we will recommend other qualified professionals.

Referrals

We will refer our client only to services and organizations we believe to be competent and appropriate to address their needs.

Respect

We will treat our clients with respect and compassion. We will respect our clients’ belongings, whatever their condition or material value, and will value their life experiences.

Responsibility

We will take responsibility and be accountable for our actions and for the actions or our employees or individuals presented as part of our company. We will assume responsibility to learn about and comply with all laws that pertain to our business.

Integrity

We will serve our clients with integrity, competence and objectivity. We will accurately represent our services, both verbally and in writing. We will communicate our fees in advance and will provide a written contract that describes the services to be provided and our charging methodology.

Discrimination

We will not promote or sanction any form of discrimination.

Profession

We will further our knowledge through continuing education. We will support our profession by active participation in NASMM and by encouraging the ethical behaviour of colleagues.

Is there a Senior Move Manager in my area?

If you live in the Tri-Cities, Vancouver or the Fraser Valley, then the answer is yes.

Lambert’s Moving Services helps seniors and their families through the often overwhelming process of downsizing and moving. Our team steps in like family to help you sort, move, and get settled in to your new home.

If you are moving long distance, you can have a senior move manager help you prepare, pack and ensure your possessions are safely on the truck, and you can enjoy the same quality of service during your unloading and unpacking with a certified senior move manager at your destination.

Packing

What questions should I ask my mover about packing and liability?

Your mover should be able to answer the following questions about packing and liability. Our answers follow each question.

  1. Who is responsible for packing? - It is your choice. You may pack or we can pack for you. Go to our FAQ “How do I pack properly?” for tips and to our website page “Packing” for the pros and cons of professional vs packing yourself.
  2. What about liability? - Items packed by owner are not covered. For complete information go to our FAQ “What insurance do I need for moving?"

  3. Can boxes from other places like a grocery store be used? - Yes you can use any box that is clean, strong, and has a lid. We recommend moving boxes due to their uniform sizing which makes it easier for the movers to handle and saves time on your move.
  4. Should all owner-packed boxes be sealed and labelled? - Boxes packed by owner should be taped shut and labelled with the destination room on the top and one side of the box.
  5. Are any licences or customs documents required, e.g., at border crossings? Who will prepare them? - We will assist with all paperwork for cross-border moves.
  6. Are there special seasonal rates or any other factors that may affect the cost of the move? - Some mover’s rates fluctuate. Our rates are consistent throughout the month and year.
  7. If a deposit is required, is it refundable? Clarify methods of payment at the outset. - A deposit is required to secure your move date. Lambert’s deposits are fully refundable up to one week prior to your move.
  8. What are the terms and conditions of protecting your goods under the mover's Replacement Value Protection policy, including coverage for those goods you packed yourself? Is there a deductible, and if so, how much is it? - For complete information on our Replacement Value Protection policy, go to our FAQ “What insurance do I need for moving?” There is no deductible on our Replacement Value Protection.

How do I pack properly?

Three guidelines to packing are:

  1. Pack carefully
  2. Use proper packing materials
  3. Don’t scrimp on paper

When packing, consider that your boxes are going to be handled at least 4 times after you have packed them. Consider also that they may be turned on their sides or end out at the bottom of a stack of boxes.

Always pack with the idea that that box is going to be on the bottom of the pile.

Supplies

  • Boxes – Clean and strong, with lids
  • Packing Paper – Avoid newspaper as the print comes off on hands and items
  • Packing Tape
  • Permanent Markers
  • Coloured Tags – For tagging the destination room by colours
  • Exacto Knife
  • Step Stool

Getting Started

Set up neat stacks of packaging supplies in an area away from the flow of traffic. For the duration of your packing, maintain a tidy work area.

Packing Station

If you have access to a clear counter or table that is the right height for you, use that for your packing station.

If you do not, you need to build your packing station. Use 1 to 2 boxes with 2 large un-made boxes laid flat on top (4 or 5 cube) to make a sturdy table.

Safety

Safety is very important. Do not block doorways with supplies or leave any tripping hazards on the floor. Handle your materials safely. Exacto knives and tape guns are very sharp. Cut away from yourself. Boxes and paper can cut also.

When packing knives, do so carefully and mark all sharps. Point the sharp end to the inside of the box so movers are not at risk.

Use proper step ladders to reach high objects. Do not climb onto swivel chairs or unsteady furniture.

Avoid Fatigue

Packing is very physical work. Set up your work station at the proper height for you so you are not bending over the boxes. Backs tire quickly if you are constantly bending over and you will have difficulty lasting the day.

Use your legs to lower yourself rather than bending your back.

Proper lifting technique is back straight and using your legs to lift you up. Do not lift an item if it is too heavy for you. Pack boxes with weight in mind. Heavier items are packed into smaller boxes. For example, books are best packed into 1.5 cube boxes. In larger boxes, make sure the heavy items are at the bottom so the boxes are not top-heavy.

Making Boxes

If the box lids are tabbed together, fold both sides down, then make your box. This keeps the lids out of the way until you want to close the box.

Tape boxes 2 to 3 times underneath, depending on the weight of the future contents of the box.

Marking Boxes

Use permanent marker and write clearly. Mark top and one side with the destination of the box. For boxes going into storage record the box contents on the side. If using coloured tags for destination rooms, put a tag on the edge of the top and side so it shows both from above and from the side.

Packaging

Paper is the best packing material for local moves. For very fragile items you can use bubble wrap as an overwrap.

Technique

You want firm, well cushioned bundles and boxes with no airspace. For specific items, we are happy to give you suggestions.

There are many packing videos available. Check out YouTube and learn to pack like a pro. If you don’t have enough time or it is physically too much, call Lambert’s to get it done for you.

Sorting

How do I get rid of my stuff?

You have many choices of places to send items that are no longer useful for you. Plan your sorting according to where your items are going.

  1. Family and Friends – Check first with family and friends to find out what they would like. Have them pick items up as soon as possible. For larger items, Lambert’s will deliver them for you on move day. For long distance items, we will help you find the most cost effective and safe way to ship.
  2. Auction – Choose an in-house auction or we will help you select the best auction house for the items you want to sell. We deliver. Most auction houses require submission of photos prior to accepting items. If you need a hand, Lambert’s will help you with this process.
  3. Selling Online – Craigslist and other online sites are useful for selling a wide range of items. You will need plenty of time and patience for the process. There are risks involved in having strangers come to your home. We do not recommend online selling for individuals who live alone.
  4. Consignment – Local consignment stores are a good option for antiques and items less than 5 years old. Always call first before dropping off. Often the stores require that you submit photos of all items for approval.
  5. Charity – For small household items, clothing, and housewares, charities are a good option. Some charities offer free pick-up or Lambert’s will deliver to the charity of your choice. Very few charities will accept larger items.
  6. Recycling – For paper, metal, electronics, some paint, glass, some plastics.
  7. Garbage Dump – For items that cannot be sent to any of the above locations. Dump fees are charged by weight. Mattresses and box springs are $20 each.

Is there a system to sorting?

Yes! We call it the Lambert’s 6 Steps for Successful Sorting!

  1. Collect your sorting equipment. - You will need a variety of bins, boxes and bags to sort into. You will need tape to close the boxes and markers to mark their destination. Packing paper is useful for fragile items. An exacto knife always comes in handy.
  2. Decide on the destinations before you start. - Set up your boxes and bins according to where they are going. As you sort you simply place the items into their designated containers.
  3. Break the job into manageable chunks. - If you are downsizing, you have an entire house to go through. Start by ignoring the whole and select a small part that is a reasonable place to start. Outlying areas of the house such as the garage or a rec room cupboard are good places to get rolling. Work for the amount of time that suits you. Don’t overdo it. When you’ve completed your task, pat yourself on the back and select your next area to sort.
  4. When in doubt, throw it out. - This is where you really get to free yourself of excess “stuff”. If you are on the fence regarding its value or usefulness to you, then you can live without it. To keep the process rolling, you can make a “maybe” pile for dealing with at the end of your session. Be ruthless, it pays.
  5. Don’t put off until “later” what you can do now. - Sorting sessions can be short. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in one hour. Focus on small goals rather than letting yourself get overwhelmed when you look at having to sort through the contents of your entire house. Your small successes will quickly add up.
  6. Once it is sorted, get it out. - Remove and deliver your sorted items to their destinations (family, charity, auction etc). You will feel great knowing your possessions will be used and appreciated by others.

We understand how overwhelming this process can be. It can be emotionally and physically challenging. Our team at Lambert’s is happy to assist you with sorting and removals. We go at your pace and help you get the job done.

Downsizing

What are the steps to downsizing?

Downsizing can be challenging, both emotionally and physically. It requires looking to the future and planning. It involves making many decisions and letting go of treasured possessions. It means moving. Lambert’s crew makes your downsizing worry-free by providing all-inclusive services tailored to your needs.

Pre-Move Services

  • Sorting & Distribution – We help you sort through your possessions so you move only what you want. Then we deliver to family, charity and auction.
  • Rubbish Removal – We bring a bin. You load or we load.
  • Prepare Home for Selling – With one call to Lambert’s you get a versatile crew who will help you prepare your home for showing. From pressure washing and handyman services to light yard work and cleaning services, your home will show in its best light.

Moving Services

  • Floor Planning - Avoid unexpected surprises on move day. We help you plan furniture placement for your new home prior to your move.
  • Packing Services – We bring the boxes and do it all for you. Boxes packed by professionals are covered under basic moving insurance and if you choose it, Replacement Value Protection.
  • Moving - Our reliable and experienced team of professionals ensure your possessions are handled carefully from beginning to end.

Unpacking & Settle In Services

  • Unpacking - We unpack your possessions and place your furniture where desired. We remove and recyle all boxes and packing paper.
  • Settle In Services – Our team helps you get settled in to your new home so you can enjoy it right away. From making your beds to hanging your pictures, we help make your transition easier.

Pets

Should I keep my pet at home during our move?

Cats and dogs are very sensitive. They pick up on the stress you may be feeling during your move. Unfamiliar people including movers may cause them to become aggressive or agitated. They also pose a tripping hazard if they are loose in the house.

We recommend that you find a safe and quiet place for them away from your home during your move. If they must remain at home, they will be safest in their crates or in the yard away from the movers.

Insurance

What insurance do I need for moving?

With regards to coverage for moving, please refer to the following:

  • Like all movers in B.C., Lambert’s Moving is liable up to 60 cents per pound of any article that may be destroyed or lost (for a typical television set, that is about $15). This is standard moving insurance that all movers must carry. This is your first level of coverage.
  • Your next level of coverage is Household Insurance. Check with your insurance agent/broker to find out if your existing household policy provides coverage during the move, and if so, what is the deductible. Make sure that your policy provides you with no less than "All Risks" coverage, because any less coverage leaves you exposed.
  • The third level of coverage is Replacement Value Protection. This means that Lambert’s Moving agrees to be legally liable up to an amount that represents your estimate of the value of your property being moved. Often that amount is arrived at by multiplying each pound of weight of your shipment by $10.00 – but that is just a rule of thumb. Make sure that the total amount of declared valuation is enough to replace all of your furniture and personal effects. We offer Replacement Value Protection and NOT depreciated value protection.
  • The cost of Replacement Value Protection is $9.50 per $1000 declared valuation.
  • There is no deductible on our Replacement Value Protection.
  • The way Replacement Value Protection works is, during the move a descriptive inventory is taken by Lambert’s Moving during your move. This means every item is checked over and any existing damage is noted on the form prior to loading. Following unloading, the items are checked again. This adds to the overall cost of the move due to the additional time to check each item twice so it is a matter of weighing out the cost vs the risk.
  • If you have a claim, then we provide you with a claim form to complete, and based on the item, we either have it professionally fixed or replaced.
  • Note that for boxes packed by owner, the standard moving insurance of $.60/lb and Replacement Value Protection do not apply. If items are improperly packed and get damaged during the move, we are not liable for fixing or replacing the contents.

Coverage for moving is complicated. However, we can assure you that the team at Lambert’s Moving takes our responsibilities very seriously. Our top priority is to move you well. This means we make every effort to ensure your possessions arrive safely at your new home.

How do we do this?

  • All our movers are trained professionals, experienced in safe moving techniques.
  • We take care to fully pad, protect and prepare your possessions prior to moving.
  • We pay attention to your walls and doorways, protecting them where necessary.

How can you ensure the contents of your boxes arrive intact?

  • Request packing services from your mover and let the professionals handle all your packing. Boxes packed by movers are covered under the basic moving insurance of $.60/lb or Replacement Value Protection if you choose to purchase it.
  • If you want to pack your own boxes, learn to pack like a professional. Watch packing videos before you start packing. Visit YouTube and search “Gentle Giant Moving Company”.
  • Call us for packing advice. We are happy to help.

For additional information about protecting your possessions please give us a call at 604-552-1921.

Seniors Professional Services
Professional Organizers in Canada
Tri-Cities Chamber
Better Business Bureau