Planning a long distance move from a city like Vancouver to another city or province? If so, you’ve probably already realized it’s more complex than moving locally. To make your move as problem free as possible, you’ll naturally have more logistics, budgeting and strategic planning to do as you relocate.

Moving across Canada is the type of move best done with the help of a professional moving company like Premiere Van Lines. Trying to move on your own would mean having to rent a truck from a company that allows pickup of equipment from one city and drop off in another. Then you’ll have to load and unload the truck on your own while also driving it hundreds of miles to your new location. This can be a lot of stress for people who aren’t in the moving business.

Budget is also a main factor to consider when making moving decisions. When you look at the cost of a truck rental for more than one day, the cost of fuel, long distance drop-off surcharges and perhaps a hotel and meal costs, you might find renting a truck to be far more expensive than you expected.

However, once your decision’s been made to use a professional moving company, the question becomes: “where do I start to ensure that my move goes smoothly?” Here are 6 tips that will help make your move across Canada a success:

1. Beware of Rogue Movers

Choosing the right moving company is critical, especially when you’re moving across Canada. When you’re entrusting your possessions to someone else, you want to be certain the moving company is reputable. That’s why you should be cautious about “move brokers” who advertise moving services, but don’t actually own the equipment, employ the drivers and crews or own/rent their warehouses. These are not real moving companies and are often referred to as rogue movers simply because it’s easy to find customers, only to turn them over to any company who agrees to do the move. Rouge movers take no responsibilities for the quality of the service, nor will they assist you if there are any problems.

2. Vetting a Moving Company’s Qualifications

If you go on the internet and you’ll find hundreds of moving companies. Most will have attractive websites and everyone will claim to be the best. So how do you decide which ones to contact?  Getting a first-person recommendation from friends, family, co-workers or your realtor is probably the best way. If that isn’t an option, consider contacting the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) or go to their website at Members of this association are already vetted and abide by the high quality and ethical standards set by CAM. Another option is to check out potential companies with the Better Business Bureau. Always choose movers who have a physical location (with their own trucks, equipment and personnel) that you can visit if you wish. This is especially important if you require storage. You’ll want to know how and where your goods will be stored. When moving across Canada always choose a company that has a branch office at your destination location, or has membership with a national van line, with an affiliated agent who can help you get settled in your new city.

3. Start Purging to Help Reduce Costs

Moving is the ideal opportunity to declutter by getting rid of items you no longer need/want or that are broken and worn out. As soon as you know you’ll be moving, go through your home and identify things that can be sold, donated or disposed of rather than move them. This helps save you money since the cost for long distance moving is based on the weight of your shipment. Reducing the weight automatically reduces your transportation costs.

4. Book Your Move Early

The earlier you start planning your move across Canada the better. This is especially important if your move is to take place over the summer months, which is peak season for the moving industry. Start by contacting one to three reputable moving companies as far as advance as possible and obtain cost estimates. Once you’ve decided on who will move you, confirm your order with them so that a truck and crew are reserved for the day. That way you can be assured your preferred moving schedule will be adhered to. Make sure your mover sends you a confirmation letter with all of the pertinent details. If there are any significant changes in your requirements before the move (i.e. new furniture added or major furniture deleted) make sure your representative is contacted so you can revise your cost estimate.

5. Get a Comprehensive Cost Estimate in Writing

Beware of a moving company who refuses to send a representative to your home to view what items are to be moved and to discuss various service options. Unless you’re only moving a few items, this is the only way to get an accurate cost estimate and guarantee. Your written estimate should include a breakdown of all costs including transportation, surcharges, fuel costs, packing by type and quantity of cartons, taxes etc. Be very suspicious of companies who simply provide a “per pound” cost or a one line total in an email without any substantiating documentation. Often estimates of this kind results in a demand for double the cost of the original estimate before the company will deliver your furniture.

6. Handling the Task of Packing

One of the hardest parts of moving is packing up all your household items including dishes, small appliances, linens, clothing, books, DVD’s, pots and pans, pictures and paintings, collectibles, toys and many other possessions. The easiest way to do this is to have a moving company handle this for you. However, for many people budget considerations do not allow for a complete packing service. If this is your situation you may want to consider a partial pack option. Since packing breakable items requires the most care and expertise it makes a lot of sense to have professional packers handle this part of the job for you. From there, you can pack non-breakables on your own.

For more information on moving across Canada from Vancouver, British Columbia call our Premiere Van Lines Vancouver office at 604-530-2221 or contact your local Premiere Van Lines office.