INSURANCE: A MUST WHEN USING A MOVING COMPANY

One of my most painful growing-up experiences happened 18 years ago. I was pretty young and about to move into my second apartment in Caledon, ON. I had moved once a year prior, with a trailer and the help of a few close friends; I knew I didn’t want to suffer through that again. You see, I lived on the fourth floor and neither the elevator nor the stairwell was helpful when my best friend and I struggled with my furniture.

I decided I was grown enough to hire professional movers. I picked the first option at the top of my Google search and submitted a deposit after a short conversation with the guy on the other end of the phone line. He seemed pretty cool and agreed to the rate I said I could pay.

That should’ve been a red flag.

Over the next few weeks, I packed my bags and played phone-tag with the movers. They gave me a big window timeframe for their arrival: sometime between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on a given Saturday.

That should’ve been another red flag.

They arrived on the correct day but showed up close to 7 p.m. The two guys were pretty disinterested in me and took a lot of smoke breaks. They were also rather rough with my boxes and left a few marks on my walls near the doorway. The front door kept slamming shut and they tracked mud everywhere throughout my apartment. I distinctly remember thinking, shouldn’t they protect my flooring? But, I was too timid to say anything about it.

Red flags everywhere.

As it turned out—most of my belongings made it to the new apartment unscathed. Most. I had some broken dishware and picture frames, but the company refused to reimburse me for this. I was upset, but felt helpless and didn’t feel I had much standing to fight—after all, I did pack my apartment myself.

But, that’s not the life-lesson part. The life-lesson came when my old apartment came after me financially for the damages incurred by the movers. My bill included more than I could afford:

–  Damaged flooring—spot repairs, charged to me.
–  Damaged carpet—they were charging me to replace it, entirely.
–  Damaged walls—they were charging me to fix and re-paint every wall.
–  Damaged walls in the stairwell between the floors—charging me for six

My red flags had turned into a very expensive, very serious expense. But, I had zero recourse with the company I’d chosen to move me from one apartment to another. Why? I had failed to sign a good contract, opt for insurance, or do any real vetting process for good movers. I’ve learned the following: insurance is important. I nearly sank under financial ruin in the year following this experience.

Since then, I have moved many more times, following a meticulous vetting process. Now, I recommend only the best to everyone I know: ABS Movers & Storage. Your belongings could not be handled by a more trustworthy moving company in Caledon, ON. Believe me—I have learned!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499

Why Your Moving Company’s Estimate Is So Important

There are a few “first steps” to take when vetting a moving company to handle your Toronto, ON, move and our team here at ABS Movers & Storage wants you to know exactly what to look for. Most importantly, however, we want you to understand the value of obtaining a moving estimate. For some of you reading this, this may sound like common sense—but there are plenty of new-to-the-moving-thing individuals out there who could use a few pointers.

First and foremost…
Obviously, you want to ask for recommendations from people you know and trust; they’ll steer you in a good direction and have personal stories to share. Further, when you jump online to search moving companies, be sure to check out their website for testimonies as well as sites like Yelp for customer reviews.

Do NOT consider every company…
Know how to weed out the losers from the contenders. For example, a company should be willing and capable of offering you a free on-site moving estimate. If not—do not waste your time! A company which agrees to an on-site estimate is the company that will give you the most accurate assessment—which allows you to plan much more effectively. Here are 4 benefits of an on-site quote:

  1. Mitigating unrealistic expectations: Many do not realize just how much stuff they truly have until the move is well underway. Can you relate?
  2. Pricing the cost of specialty items: For example, a dining room table can become a “specialty item” if it has a glass top. A piano or a valuable antique fall under this description as well…
  3. Additional charges: Extra time, extra distance, extra packing material, extra-large items, extra weight, storage fees, etc.—these can add up. You want to foresee these, together, during your in-home estimate.
  4. Building and land layout: Being on-site gives movers relevant info about the building layout and terrain. This includes long walkways, uphill climbs, elevators, narrow hallways, etc.

Now, for the estimate…
Beyond preliminary research, one of the most vital steps you can take is to receive an estimate from a few different moving companies. Why more than one company? Because unless you have a magical gifting which tells you exactly how much a move should cost, obtaining at least three estimates will give you a baseline from which to work. Your multiple estimates should be used to gauge the approximate cost of your pending move and help you to determine which Toronto, ON moving company you are most comfortable with. Remember the following:

  • The most expensive option is not necessarily the best one—or the worst. Try to find out why they are more expensive. Did they include services in the quote you don’t need?
  • The cheapest option is not necessarily the worst one—or the best. Dig into their services—are they quoting you everything you require? Do they carry very weak insurance? Ask.
  • The flashiest company is not always the most trust-worthy. Do your research. Trust your gut.

No one likes negative financial surprises, right? Stick to these tips and you’re in for a pleasant moving experience. We hope you choose ABS Movers & Storage for your next move!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499

Don’t Trust Just Anyone With Your Move…

Moving is stressful enough without accidentally choosing shady movers. Most of us would agree: moving is one of life’s most trying and least fun events. Logistically speaking, the process of moving all of your stuff from Point A to Point B can easily become a deflating, up-hill battle. Considering that choosing the right neighborhood, the right schools for your children, and the right rent are all very important—choosing a mover can easily become an afterthought. Don’t fall into this oversight! The movers you choose will either make for a smooth move or for a terrible nightmare.

On that note, I’d like to share a story with you about a woman I met a few years back. She came to our team for help, here at ABS Movers & Storage in Toronto, ON, and shared an experience she had with another company that made her a lifetime friend of ABS.

We’ll call this lady “Ann.”

Ann found out the hard way that not all professional movers are created equal. She moved here from Brampton and the crew she hired (with this other company) was a mess. First, the quote she was given on the phone was drastically different than the original. Second, they were late on moving day by five hours (without communication)—which delayed her schedule. The kicker: they needed help unloading her belongings at her new residence in Toronto; an apartment, on the third floor (no elevator). This was her nightmare come true: soliciting assistance from her brand-new neighbors.

Can you imagine? Hopefully, not. Three years later, she was ready to take planning for her next move seriously; thus, she found ABS. Here are the 3 things she learned from her previous, nightmare experience:

  1. Ask to see the company’s licensure
    Believe it or not—the company Ann used was licensed. But, it was expired. Scary, right? Check. Ask. Insist.
  2. Local, national, or cross-border?
    What a local company is best at may differ from a company geared toward national moves. Ask what the mover’s specialty is. If a company handles various types of moves, be sure to have your questions ready:
    – Are there additional charges past a certain distance?
    – Do you hire day laborers or temps (important to know in order to determine experience and cost-effectiveness)
    – What fees are involved if the move is cross-border (different province or Canada-United States)?
  3. Be a bit of a detective
    There is zero shame in making sure your movers “check-out” with your standards. How do you think Ann found us? She was compelled to do research and discovered the company she should’ve been utilizing all along! Check social media, Google the company’s name and the word “complaint” to see what you can find. Pay attention to how the movers respond to good and bad feedback and review customer testimonies posted on their websites. This way, you’ll have a feel for what to expect and the integrity of the company.

Don’t make a poor decision like Ann did years ago! Be like Ann today! She learned from her mistake and made the smart decision to choose ABS Movers & Storage to assist her in her next move. We’ll see you soon!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499

What Not To Do When You Move

There is a right way and a wrong way to move from one residence to another. In fact, there are multiple rights and wrongs connected to the moving process, and our team here at ABS Movers & Storage wants to help you navigate this life event the SMART way.

First thing’s first: what not to do. Check out this list of things to avoid during your next move!

  1. Do NOT dismiss the idea of utilizing a moving company
    There are good moving companies and there are bad ones. Do you live in and around Vaughan, ON, and the Greater Toronto Area? Consider our professionals for your move. We offer an array of options so you can design the exact moving experience you wish to have:
  • Last minute moves
  • Next-day moves
  • Emergency moves
  • Junk removal
  • Big and small moves
  • Storage units
  • Packing materials
  • Packing services
  • Advance booking
  1. Do NOT pack everything
    …until the time is right. Approximately 75% of your belongings should be packed up 7-10 days before your move. And, by the day before, you should have completed packing everything. Or, if you opt to have the pros pack your home, set aside the items you will need for daily living. Which items will you want to access within the first 24 hours of living in your new place? Pack these separately.
  2. Do NOT count on your memory
    Label every box—in detail. Draw thick arrows to show the direction you need certain boxes to face. Make lists. Label the rooms of the new house to help during the process of unloading the truck. Trust us.

Now you know what NOT to do. Here are a few tips from our expert movers in Vaughan, ON—to keep you sane and ready to go!

  • Manage your packing process! If you have elected to pack your own belongings, work ahead in increments. Packing is tedious and grueling—we know. Commit to packing a box a day, or five boxes each weekend; whatever it takes to prepare you for Moving Day.
  • Do not pack your closet—until last. All too often, homeowners pack “backward,” and then regret that they can not find anything when it is needed. If you pack your closet last, you will have access to your clothing and you will know exactly which boxes to turn to immediately, upon arriving in your new home. Plus, most professional movers offer wardrobe boxes which allow you to pack your clothing—still hung on hangers—directly into the wardrobe box.
  • Haul the basics separately from the moving truck, if possible. If yours is a local move, bring over the essentials separately: medications, a few plates and pans to sustain you during the first week, toiletries, pajamas, pillows and immediately-needed bedding.
  • Make your new place Home immediately. The sooner you get your belongings unpacked and organized, the sooner you will feel at home.

Ready to get started? We are, too! Give our team here at ABS Movers & Storage a call today!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499

4 Tips And Tricks For A Successful Move

There is so much to remember when it comes to moving from one house to another; from all the big items to the little things like paperwork. No wonder people “hate” moving!

In our years and years of working with residents here in Vaughan, ON, we have learned a few things about how to make moving a more stress-free process. Keep reading for our most beneficial tips and tricks!

  1. Label Boxes
    If you don’t think this is important, ask your friends—at least one of them has made this mistake during a move, and it was probably the last time they ever forgot to label their moving boxes. The impact of not labeling your boxes is pretty big. Once moved, without the help of labels, you will likely find yourself tearing into boxes and boxes and scattering items everywhere just to find what you need. Tip: label each box with the name of the room it came from/belongs to, what’s in it (be as detailed as you like—more is more), annotate whether it is fragile or not, and draw thick arrows in the direction the box should be.
  2. Prune, purge, donate, and throw away!
    There is absolutely no sense in packing things you do not need, like, or use. Moving is the perfect time to offload extra clutter. If you, deep down, know there are many items you no longer use or wear—wouldn’t it be nice not to pack these things? Ask yourself some of these questions to help you de-clutter before your big move:
  • Has it been longer than a year since I wore this?
  • Does this fit me anymore?
  • Is this the décor I want in my new space?
  • Is there someone I know who may love this more than I do?
  • Is this item irreparably broken?
  • Do I have multiples of this and, if so, can I gift the extras to someone?
  • Thinking about my current style—does this work for me anymore?
  • Have I been meaning to donate this?
  1. Set aside an “essentials” box
    In HUGE letters, write “essentials” and “do NOT pack!” In this box, you will pack the items you want to keep with Essential items are as follows:
  • Daily items: toiletries, medicine, Band-Aids, toilet paper, etc.
  • Seasonal items: summertime may call for the kids’ favorite sandbox toys; wintertime may call for mittens and scarves and earmuffs.
  • Routine items: are you a hard-core coffee or tea drinker? What about the multi-vitamins—do you take those each morning? Do you carry a lunchbox to work? Think about your daily routine and set aside these items.
  1. Set-up your forwarding address ahead of time
    There is nothing worse than realizing you’ve missed bills or invitations because you overlooked informing the Canada Post! Don’t forget this important step of moving in Vaughan, ON. Our suggestion: five days ahead of time, begin forwarding your mail to the new house.

Want more tips and tricks like these? Give us a call here at ABS Movers & Storage. We can’t wait to help you with your next move!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499

The Reliable Moving Company In The GTA

Moving is stressful! It is expensive, time-consuming, and organization-intensive. If you are like me in any way, the latter is the worst part: organization-intensive. You see, not everyone has an abundant amount of organizational skills. At work, sure—I do. But, the moment I come home and look at my clutter, I want to scream. I don’t have the capacity to clean, much less handle a move from one residence to another without enlisting the help of a pro.

Luckily, a friend of mine mentioned ABS Movers & Storage nearby my home in Richmond Hill, ON. She told me the entire process from start to finish was seamless. And, I must say, I’m so glad I took her advice.

The team at ABS is the best. I felt like I had an event coordinator helping me navigate my moving “event,” and that put me at ease. Here’s a snapshot of my experience:

I called ABS and instantly felt comfortable
My friend told me about this part—but I really didn’t take to heart how important it is to be made to feel important by my chosen moving company. I had all sorts of questions about cost, options, timeline, packing, unpacking, junk removal, storage options, etc. Seriously, they were so nice to me; so informative and so professional. At no point did they make me feel like I was asking a silly question (even though I had a few!).

ABS’ prices are reasonable
Cost is such a big deciding factor—at least, it definitely was for me. But you know what? Their rates were much lower than I anticipated (after I scared myself with an internet search of national averages). Clearly, ABS believes in affordability for any move, big or small.

The ABS crew respected my time
This is a lost art these days: timeliness. But, I still expect this of people. On moving day, the moving truck showed up 10 minutes ahead of schedule and worked continuously and diligently throughout the entire process. I felt valued because they worked just as hard as they said they would (and they were friendly throughout the entire process)!

The ABS crew was careful with my belongings
You know how you can often feel like “no one” will be as careful with your precious belongings as you will be? Not true with ABS Movers & Storage. They were gentle with my fragile items and took special care of every single box they touched. Every. Single. One.

They left a lasting impression
From the initial phone call to pricing and finishing the unloading process at my new home—ABS was exactly what they said I could expect of them. It’s refreshing to receive good, honest, customer service. I will absolutely use ABS Movers & Storage again and recommend them to everyone I know in the Greater Toronto Area!

Are you moving soon? Give this moving company in Richmond Hill, ON a call and request a quote. You’ll love working with them!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499

7 Tips For Winter Moving

I know; it is summertime right now—but it will be winter before we know it here in Richmond HIll, ON. Winter can show up without much warning at all and Canada winters mean freezing temperatures, deep snow, slick roads, and bitter wind chills. And, if you have ever had to move your household from one home to another (whether you chose to use professional movers or not), you know there are added difficulties that can make the whole experience miserable.

Our team at ABS Movers & Storage has been through many, many winter moves here in Richmond Hill—and we have learned a few tips along the way to share with you. Check these out!

  1. Firm-up the details with your movers
    Winter is the off-season/slow time for most moving companies (shocking; we know…). So, moving in the winter is smart, actually. You will likely have a wider range of dates from which to choose; however, due to the cold season’s unpredictability, be sure to check in with your movers a week before and a couple days before moving day.
  2. Watch the weather closely
    In the few weeks and days leading up to your moving date, check the weather forecast. If you become concerned there will be snowfall or extremely low temperatures, call the movers and express these concerns. Everyone is better off shifting the moving date (if needed) than getting caught in an ice storm.
  3. Board your pets
    Moving is stressful—particularly for your pets. Strangers in and out of your home, furniture moving, lots of legs to dodge, and open doorways are just a few stressors/opportunities for your pets to be injured, under duress, or run away. You want to make sure your fur babies are in good hands!
  4. Clear the driveway and walkways
    It is so dangerous to carry heavy furniture and boxes across icy sidewalks and driveways. Invest in some salt, do some shoveling or snow blowing—please! The movers will sincerely appreciate this!
  5. Check the snowplow schedule
    The last thing you need it to be boxed-in by a freshly-piled bank of muddy snow from the city plow!
  6. Have sheets and blankets available
    Envision: the movers are almost finished loading the truck and the sky opens up, pelting your neighborhood with sleet and slushy snow. Lovely. Having sheets or blankets on hand will help the movers keep your precious belongings protected.
  7. Be flexible
    Moving is stressful and frustrating in the winter and the weather conditions only add to that. Remember, the movers can’t control the weather, so be understanding if the road conditions slow them down a bit. It is wiser to delay the move than to risk anyone’s safety. Also, on moving day, the crew is probably colder than they’ll admit, so a cup of warm coffee or hot cider on the stove goes a long way to keep everyone in good spirits!

Winter moving doesn’t have to be hard; you just have to be prepared for the added quirks the weather may throw at you! The Richmond HIll, ON movers at ABS Movers & Storage would be happy to be your trusted choice this winter! Give us a call!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499

6 Tips To Finding The Best Moving Company In Your Area

Most of us consider moving to be one of Life’s more stressful endeavors. Especially the packing part. And the Point A to Point B part. And, the “should I keep this or get rid of it” part. Ok, all of it—none of us like moving. In fact, I would venture to guess that some of you reading this article right now have remained in the same residence longer than desired simply to avoid the moving process (… guilty, Party of 1!).

You can avoid the headache! To do so, you must choose a reputable moving company in Markham, Ontario wisely.

I am sure we have all either given or received this specific advice: choose wisely. And, there’s good reason for it… Not all moving companies are created equal! Follow these 6 Tips from our professionals at ABS Movers & Storage to find the right moving company for your move here in Markham, ON:

  1. Do a bit of detective work
    Check independent sources—not just the moving company’s website—for reviews and references. Any mover can boldly claim to have the right credentials, experience, and happy customers. Review social media pages, Google reviews, HomeStars, etc.

  2. Local vs. national
    Some businesses specialize in one or the other—few specialize in both lengthy and local moves. Find out. Do some comparisons and make an informed decision. Questions to ask:
  • How do the rates differ between local and lengthy moves?
  • Are certain days of the week better/worse than others to schedule a move?
  • Which do you do more of: local or out-of-town moves?
  • What makes your company the best for my move?
  1. Check licenses
    A moving company’s licenses and various requirements will differ depending on the length of the move (within or outside your province, cross-borders, etc.). We recommend you request to see specific licensure to cover the type of move you intend to make.
  2. Get an estimate—IN WRITING
    “In writing” will not ensure your payment matches the estimate exactly, but it should be close in margin if you do your due diligence. A good moving company will give you an estimate on your move to help you budget (and to help you compare with other quotes). Be sure you include everything you want to be moved; include items in the garage, attic, shed, basement, crawl space, closets, etc.
  3. Be insured
    You mover is liable for your belongings while they’re in their care (be sure to review this portion of an agreement before signing/paying), but there are various levels of liability. You must understand what is applicable to your belongings. Some items may be exceptions. Or, if you pack your belongings yourself instead of using the company’s packing services—you could be waving some levels of insurance.
  4. Ask questions
    There is no stupid question when it comes to your move. Ask whatever you need to have answered to feel comfortable and confident. Ask, ask, and ask some more!

We hope your search will lead you to our team here at ABS Movers & Storage. We would love to make your move a smooth experience!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499

What Your Movers Need To Know

Moving soon? Great! Your move will go infinitely more smoothly if you get all your ducks in a row. As moving experts in Markham, ON, our team at ABS Movers & Storage wants to help you out! Here is a list of areas of focus for you, prior to enlisting moving services.

Purge
There is no reason to pay to move items you don’t want in your new home. Rules of thumb:

  • If you haven’t worn something in a year or longer—donate, sell, or throw it away.
  • If it’s perishable—work on consuming it before Moving Day.
  • If it’s broken—fix it or get rid of it.

Know where you’re moving
This seems obvious. But, seriously—know the zip codes you are moving from and to. Mileage determines a significant portion of your final payment to your professional movers.

Be prepared for questions
Do you go to the doctor without being prepared to answer questions? No. Do you bring your car to the mechanic without first calling to set an appointment and being able to answer “what’s wrong?” No. So, when you make your phone calls to compare various moving companies—be ready to answer specific questions about your move:

  • Where are you moving?
  • How many bedrooms do you currently have in your home?
  • How many square feet of space do you currently live in?
  • How many pieces of big furniture do you plan to take with you?
  • Will you want to use packing services and/or equipment, or pack yourself?
  • Do you have additional structures with belongings in them—attics, sheds, crawl spaces, etc.?

Be specific. The more information you provide, the more accurate your quote will be and the more smoothly your move will go (i.e.: no surprises!).

Inventory
What are in the boxes you intend to ship? Movers will want to know ahead of time approximately how many boxes you intend to move and what’s in them. Knowledge is key. If they are informed of what’s inside, this will help them to determine the approximate weight and value. Of course, if you plan to enlist the movers’ packing services—be sure to confirm that they label/inventory each box.

Value of your belongings
You must do this. Annotating the value of certain furniture pieces and other various items will help you decide the level of insurance to select/add. Accidents happen—both you and your movers will want to be prepared for that unlikely event, just in case.

Be on time/stick to a timeline
On Moving Day, be ready. Be dressed, awake, and ready to go. Markham, ON movers will likely have some questions throughout the day and they will expect your items are prepared to load quickly. Remember, you don’t want to be caught with added fees because you are unprepared for the movers’ arrival!

Have questions about moving in the Markham area? Give our kind and professional team a call here at ABS Movers & Storage! You deserve a stress-free move!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499

Your Pre-Moving Checklist

You have made all the right decisions; you have researched the right Woodridge, ON moving company and compared a few quotes. Your move is set with ABS Movers & Storage: in three months you will transition from your little apartment in Woodridge, ON, to a 3-bedroom home in the outskirts of Toronto!

For your benefit (and ours), we thought we would support you with a moving checklist to keep you on-track and organized. Check out this guide from our professional movers:

  1. Sort & Purge
    Not everything has to go with you. Ask yourself:
  • Do I like this?
  • Have I worn this in the past year?
  • Is this still a functional piece of furniture?
  • Will I ever fix/repurpose this item in order to use it in my new space?
  • Have I gotten my money’s worth from these items?
  • Will this work in my new space and layout?

These types of questions will help guide you in your packing process. Or, if you have selected to use our packing services in conjunction with your move, sorting and purging will help you to save money on unnecessary [paid] hours to the movers.

  1. Consider creating a “moving binder”
    Keeping track of your belongings, estimates, payments, timeline, and agreements just makes good sense. Print emails and write down dates and times in a manner which makes sense to you. A “moving binder” helps keep all your information in one spot. Further, you can add tabs to keep yourself on top of the process leading up to your moving day:
  • Tab: to donate
  • Tab: expensive items going on truck (take pictures to catalog condition pre-move)
  • Tab: estimates and contracts
  • Tab: payments
  • Tab: important dates (moving company arrival date, delivery date, storage dates, deposit and payment dates, final lease/new lease or mortgage payment dates, address change dates, etc.)
  • Tab: receipts
  1. Use it up!
    Use up whatever you can that you can not or will not be bringing with you. Example: perishable food. Think of this period of time before your move as a short season of culinary creativity… There is no sense in wasting food—attack your freezer and refrigerator with an open mind!
  2. Gather measurements
    This will come in handy for your moving company. You see, our movers need to know if there are tight spaces or oversized furniture. Further, consider your destination; will all your furniture fit? Measure the rooms if at all possible. You do not want to arrive at your new home to discover an item will not fit through the door or into the room you planned.
  3. Labels matter
    If you’re packing yourself, label. If not, be sure labeling is part of the packing process. Unpacking in your new home will go much, much more smoothly.

For more tips like these, give our team at ABS Movers & Storage a call! We look forward to guiding you through this exciting time!

ABS Movers & Storage | 17 Dora Ave Toronto, ON M6H 1J5 | (416) 588-1499