Moving Tips

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Ensure Your Move Goes Smooth With These Moving Tips from McWilliams

Packing can be a tedious, time-consuming chore that takes skill and the right materials to prepare household articles for your move. We recommend that you have our professionals pack for you. We’re trained in proper procedures, have the right materials, and can do it in about a quarter of the time.

We strongly recommend that we crate or pack and prepare these items for shipment:

  • marble
  • glass table tops
  • heavy wall ornaments
  • mirrors 40″ x 60″ or larger
  • pool table slates
  • bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statuary, chandeliers and other items that require crating
  • antiques


Some things should stay with you as you move, such as:

  • cash
  • securities
  • jewelry and furs
  • firearms (consult local laws)
  • personal papers and documents (birth certificates, insurance policies and deeds)
  • coin and stamp collections
  • special family photographs
  • moving related documents


If you decide to do the packing yourself, we want to help all we can. Here are some tips we’d like to share with you:

  • Purchase the cartons and packing materials (unprinted newspaper,
    bubble wrap and tape) you’ll need from McWilliams Moving & Storage.
  • Wrap fragile articles the way professionals do; use two layers of
    unprinted newspaper per glass, dish, figurine, etc. Wrap firmly,
    but loosely enough, to provide a cushioning effect.
  • Don’t overcrowd boxes. Professionals pack boxes so articles
    cushion each other. The top of the box should close with slight pressure.
    Don’t mix incompatible items (like books with glasses).
  • Pack clothing in our special wardrobe containers. That way your
    clothes will hang straight and stay clean and virtually wrinkle-free.
  • Pack glasses standing on end, upside down, and not on their sides Stack dishes on edge, and fill empty spaces with wadded unprinted newspaper. Before packing the China Barrel, layer the bottom of the carton with crumpled unprinted newspaper.
  • Pack lampshades, mirrors, pictures, etc., in special cartons
    designed for them. Ask your Mayflower representative for guidance.
  • Tape boxes across tops and edges. Seal every opening tightly. (See Types of Boxes, Tools & Materials You’ll Need below.)
  • Pack your belongings room by room to make unpacking easier. Label each box with your name, Mayflower contract number, the room the box goes to, and a brief description of the contents. Mark items you’ll need right away once you move with “Unpack First,” and mark only truly fragile items
    with “Fragile.”
  • Don’t pack paints, turpentine, pressurized cans, corrosive items like bleach or any flammable liquid. The law forbids movers to carryflammables. Properly dispose of or give away anything that could cause a fire or damage.


Packing Personal Computers

When packing a personal computer, these steps will help you prepare it for safe transport. To pack your computer, we strongly recommend that you use the computer’s original carton and packing materials. If they’re not available, use a box that is both strong and big enough to hold the computer, and pack it with unprinted newspaper. For more advice, your local computer dealer can answer other questions.

  • Back up your software and data files. Take these with you or send to your destination via insured mail.
  • Park the hard drive (if applicable). See your computer’s instruction manual for special steps to take. With newer computers, simply turning the power off initiates this safety feature.
  • Insert cardboard or an old disk into the disk drive(s).
  • Unhook all cables and power cords, indicating their positions for easy set-up. Pack cords separately with manuals and software.
  • Use only static-free packing materials like clean, wadded unprinted newspaper (not standard bubble wrap or packing peanuts).
  • Create a base layer of wadded unprinted newspaper and place your computer on top of that layer. Then surround sides and top with more wadded unprinted newspaper until firmly packed. Then seal carton with packing tape.
  • Remove all ink cartridges from the printer.


Other Important Information

Typically, a move requires the loading and unloading of appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators with ice makers and gas or electric dryers. Important: These items can only be moved if they’re prepared for shipment by an appropriately qualified or specialized service provider, like a plumber, electrician, gas company or carpenter. The same is true for reinstallation at your new home. Your local Mayflower agent can arrange to have these services provided. Our drivers are not qualified to perform these services.

Tools & Materials You’ll Need

  • Unprinted newspaper and tissue paper (newspaper ink can soil and even damage some items)
  • 2″ plastic tape (to assemble and close cartons)
  • Utility Knife
  • Scissors
  • Permanent Markers


Types Of Boxes

2.0 cu. ft
(book box)
Use for heavy or dense items including books, records, shoes, canned goods, kitchen canisters, small appliances and hand or power tools.
4.0 cu. ft. General-purpose size. Good for toys, lampshades, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, etc.
5.0 cu. ft For large, lightweight items such as pillows, bedding and toys. Do not overload.
Wardrobe Boxes Equipped with a bar for hanging clothes, curtains and draperies. The bottom is not designed to support weight; do not pack other items in the bottom of these cartons.
Specially designed with available cell dividers for transporting dishes, glasses, bowls and other kitchenware. Also good for lamps, small pictures, knick-knacks and light appliances.
Telescoping, large and small sizes. Provide extra protection for mirrors, large pictures, and glass tabletops.
Available in standard and queen/king sizes.

The following material has been reproduced to assist you and your family in preparing your household for the shipping of goods when relocating with McWilliams Moving & Storage.

Before the Move :

  • Make moving arrangements as far ahead as possible.
  • Notify the following organization of your change of address: Post Office, Utilities, Vehicle Licensing Office, Banks & Financial Institutions, Doctor, Dentist & School Authorities, Family & Old Age Pension, Allowances, and Magazine Publishers.
  • Whenever possible, try to move at times other than the beginning or end of each month, when all movers are busiest.
  • Before moving, dispose of hazardous materials, as it is illegal to ship such items as flammable, explosive or corrosive liquids, compressed gases such as propane tanks, oily mops & rags.
  • Drain items such as outboard motors and power mowers. Leave approximately 1/4 tank of gas in automobiles.
  • If moving in cold weather, articles subject to freezing should not be shipped on the moving van. For example, plants, perishable foodstuffs, and preserves.
  • Carry with you currency, jewelry, valuable papers and keys to cabinets. Movers cannot take responsibility for articles of extraordinary value.
  • Automatic washers and dryers should be disconnected and serviced before moving.
  • Refrigerators should be defrosted and emptied prior to move day.
  • Don’t leave trays or racks loose in refrigerator and stove.
  • Discuss the moving of your deep freezer and contents with your moving consultant.
  • Advise the moving consultant where you may be contacted at destination.
  • Tie or tape brooms, mop handles and curtain rods in bundles.
  • Make arrangements prior to moving day to have all fixtures removed. Have swing sets, portable tool sheds and power tools dismantled.
  • If required, cages can be obtained from your local pet shop to send pets by air.
  • When an automobile is being shipped on the van during the winter months, store in in a heated garage for at least 24 hours prior to shipment. This will ensure the ice and snow have melted and will not damage goods on board the van.
  • Get estimates and promises in writing. McWilliams Moving & Storage will be pleased to confirm all aspects of our services by letter.



  • If you plan to do your own packing, start well in advance of moving day to avoid the last minute packing rush and strain.
  • Use sturdy containers for packing. It is essential to have lids on containers. McWilliams Moving & Storage will gladly provide the necessary containers at a reasonable cost (for clients who are moving with us).
  • Wardrobes are always supplied at no additional cost. They are used to hang your suits and dresses in transit, allowing them to hang full length as they do in your closet. They are also ideal for moving drapes and curtains.
  • Identify contents of each carton you pack for easy unpacking.
  • Never pack articles above the top of containers.
  • Books and records should be packed on edge in small cartons, not weighing more than 40 or 50 lbs.
  • Remove all fragile or heavy items from dresser drawers. Blankets, towels and pillows may be left in drawers, or packed in large cartons.
  • We suggest large mirrors, glass table tops and valued paintings be crated by movers. We prefer that they are left hanging in place.
  • Table lamps should be packed in cartons. Pack lampshades in cartons by themselves. We have special cartons specifically designed for lamp shades!
  • Use clean towels or tissue to pack lampshades and avoid soiling.
  • Fragile stickers on cartons will alert you and the movers to give special attention and care to these containers.
  • When marking cartons, mark them on the top and the side for easy identification.
  • In packing china, place heavy pieces on the bottom of the container, a ll flat pieces should be placed on edge.
  • Small items, such as salt and pepper shakers, should be packed in a small box, then placed in a larger container.
  • Do not pack irons or heavy kitchenware in the same container with china or crystal.
  • Do not wrap anything in newspaper. The print will rub off. Blank newsprint is available from your mover.
  • Do not wrap the furniture with paper or cloth, or use rope or twine on any articles of furniture.
  • Leave furniture as it presently is in your home. Our trained crews can load your effects faster and easier this way, than if it is all placed in one room.
  • Dismantling and setting up of beds is part of McWilliams service. It does not, however, include waterbeds. This should be handled by a professional and we can arrange for professional service by a third party service.


Moving Day

  • Go through your house with the van foreman when he comes to your home, giving any special instructions you may have. Advise him of a ny articles you may require first in your new home so that they may be loaded accordingly.
  • Any items, such as luggage, that you are not including in the goods to be moved should be kept separate so they will not be moved in error.
  • The van driver will make note of the condition of your goods on an inventory list. Try to accompany him as the list is being prepared to ensure that everything is completely listed.
  • Check all closets, the attic, basement and garage to make sure all items have been taken.
  • Long distance moving rates on shipments over a distance of 50 miles are based on weight and mileage. To protect you, McWilliams will weigh the shipment, and charges will be based on actual weight.
  • Local moving rates are on an hourly basis. McWilliams experienced personnel can reduce the moving time to a minimum.
  • Unless credit has been arranged, your mover will require cash or certified cheque on delivery



  • McWilliams has clean safe storage facilities in three major cities. Our affiliation with Mayflower Van Lines offers us additional storage facilities in over 120 towns and cities across Canada.
  • Household effects are stored indoors in private storage pallets, which are sealed and dust proofed.
  • Rugs are rolled, plastic wrapped and stored separately on racks. Sofas are also plastic wrapped and stored separately to ensure their safe-keeping.
  • When storing, advise our warehouse office of any items you might want access to, in order that these pieces may be kept forward in the storage pallet.

Kids On The Move

Children have several worries about moving, many of which can be helped by talking to them and involving them in the process. Whatever the reason for the move, openness and honesty are essential. Children of all ages are usually capable of dealing with a move when given time, support and understanding.

Before the Move:

  • Maintain a positive outlook. Children pick up on parents’ attitudes.
  • Tell your children about the move as soon as you know, so they have time to adjust to the idea and say good-bye to friends. It is particularly important to explain why the move is taking place, so they understand the reason for the change.
  • Children worry about fitting into the new school/neighborhood. If you travel without your child to the new city, take note of the other children in the neighborhood and talk about them when you return home. Look into any clubs or activities at the new location that fit your child’s interests.
  • Talk about the possibilities for your children in the new city, and if possible have them visit.
  • Let your children be involved in planning for the new home. If feasible, let them go house hunting; if not, get their ideas ahead of time. Take pictures or videos, both inside and out, when you select something.
  • Involve your children in packing their belongings. Allow them to carry special treasures (within reason) when you travel.
  • Check the school schedule and enrollment requirements in your destination city. Each city report shows the local school board telephone number at the bottom of the page.
  • Consider a sitter for moving day.
  • For the trip to your new location, pack a special moving kit for the child, i.e. coloring books, games, special foods. This will help make moving special and enjoyable.


In The New Location

  • Try to keep the family schedule as normal as possible to give your child a sense of security in the new environment. If possible, take family pets along to keep things as stable as possible.
  • Check out child care organizations carefully. Check references, make impromptu visits, and talk to other parents.
  • If the new school curriculum is significantly different, be willing to seek a tutor for your child immediately.
  • Ask school personnel and neighbors about car pools or public transportation for your child’s extra-curricular activities.
  • Younger children have an easier time entering a new school than older children. In either case, you can help by arranging for your children to meet someone they will see on the first day of school (preferably a neighborhood child or the child of a co-worker) so they don’t feel completely estranged. Once done, however step back and let your children make their own friends.
  • Make time for your child to talk about the new school, friends, etc. Children need to share their experiences.
  • Encourage your child to invite new friends home so that you can meet them. Don’t worry if they are not ideal; first contacts are very important and will pave the way for your child to eventually choose a suitable peer group.
  • Allow your child some “quiet time” with no commitments. Relocation takes lots of energy and children need time to internalize changes.
  • Plan excursions to familiarize your child with new places like parks, zoos, ice cream shops or theaters.
  • Be patient. Roots grow slowly.


From Guppies to Great Danes, we’ve moved them all! We offer the following residence to residence pet moving services for people who are relocating with us: residential pickup, airport terminal services, export documentation, live animal cargo routing, way bill preparation, live animal certification, destination services (including import licensing and quarantine where applicable), destination airport terminal service, customs clearance, and residential delivery.

Tips On Shipping By Air

  • A health certificate within 10 days of shipment is required. Some states require proof of rabies vaccination. We recommend that all cats be immunized for FVR and dogs for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Parainfluence. These shots should be administered at lest 20 days prior to shipment.
  • In International Shipping, requirements vary from country to country. Call McWilliams Moving & Storage for the latest information on these requirements.
  • Plan the trip with a minimum of stops and transfers en route.
  • Provide a sturdy crate with a leak-proof bottom. It should be large enough for the pet to stand, lie down or turn around.; We recommend a Vari-Kennel. Some air lines rent these crates for a fee.
  • On the outside of the crate print clearly your name and address and the pets description. Add the pets name so that the attendants can talk to him. This will make the pet feel less lonesome. If he bites, indicate that too. Mark the crate “Live Animal” and indicate with a red arrow which side is up.
  • We recommend you attach a copy of the health certificate to the top of the crate and to also keep a copy for yourself if you are receiving the animal at destination.
  • Attach a tag with the owner’s name and address and the pet’s destination to a collar around the dog’s neck so that if he should escape he can be identified.
  • Exercise a dog before shipment.
  • Feed a light meal six hours before shipping.
  • Don’t give water within two hours of shipping, except on a very hot day.

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