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Category: Moving Organization

Moving Organization 101

Are you looking for information and resources to help you with your next move? Check out our Moving Organization 101 and let us make your move easier!

AMJ Campbell has been in the moving business since 1934 which means we have a lot of years worth of experience and expertise to off you when it comes to preparing for your next move! Be sure to contact us for one on one support and suggestions. We look forward to making your next move… EASY!

Get Organized for Moving Day

Moving day is busy and it’s easy to forget important things – stuff that can cause last minute panic.  In all the moving mayhem, it’s easy to forget some essential tasks, so be ready before the moving crew arrives.

How to Prepare for the Moving Crew
  1. Set your alarm earlier than normal and have breakfast completed by the time the crew arrives.
  2. Ensure that the packing is completed the day before. All the boxes should be labelled with its room destination and fragile marked on breakables.
  3. All the boxes should be sealed, stackable and uniform in size. Do not pack using garbage bags.
  4. Leave only soft goods inside drawers.
  5. Park your car outside of the driveway.
  6. Get the key for the “exclusive” use of the elevator.
  7. Disconnect any appliances that will be moved.
  8. Disassemble beds and tables to save billing time.
  9. Have childcare arranged and ensure that the family pets are not underfoot.
  10. If possible, move your house plants and dried flowers yourself.
  11. If it will fit in a box – box it!
  12. Tie garden tools into neat bundles.
  13. Empty crawlspace and ensure proper packaging.
  14. Defrost your freezer the day before and have it empty and cleaned.
  15. Double check all the cupboards and closets for missed items.
  16. Leave vacuum in linen closet so you can vacuum after the crew leaves.
  17. Empty fridge of last minute items.
  18. Prepare a floor plan for destination.
  19. Make sure that no overhanging trees will impede the placement of our truck.
  20. Stay calm and get a good night’s sleep the night before!

It’s the day of your move and with these tips, you’ll be ready!

First Night Moving Essentials

It’s the first night in your new home. We’ve all been there – after a long day, you look around at the multitude of boxes  and think to yourself “where’s my pillow”?

To save your sanity, we’ve compiled a list of essential “first night moving essentials” to pack in a separate box, stored in your car, so you have everything you need on your first night in your new home.

1st Night Moving Essentials

Basic Cleaning Supplies

Most likely your new home will need a good cleaning. Have your basic cleaning supplies; rags, all purpose cleaner, gloves, garbage bags, and paper towels, ready to go.


You may eat out the first few meals, but having a supply of energy-rich snacks will keep you going while you unpack. Think easily portable: bananas, apples, trail mix, granola bars, and water bottles to keep everyone hydrated

Toiletries and Personal Items

Besides a change of clothes and PJ’s for your first 24 hours, be sure to pack bed linens, towels, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.


The cable and internet may not be set up for the first few days so be sure to pack a few movies and your laptop/Ipad to relax with after the long move day is over. Don’t forget to pack your chargers as well! There’s nothing worse than discovering your phone battery is dead among a sea of boxes.

Pet Supplies

Your pets need their basic needs met too. Keep aside a day or two worth of food, a bed, water dish, and leash/toy for them.

Customize your First Night Box to meet your family’s needs. Families might have one box per person. Whatever the number, locating and unpacking the essential box will be the key to having everything you need in one place. It should be clearly labeled and easy to find amongst all the other boxes.

Moving Box Sizes

Proper packing is essential for a successful move, which is why many families trust the packing of their possessions to the professionals, especially for a long distance move. However, if you decide to do some or all of your own packing, here’s what you’ll need to successfully accomplish this task:

Box Sizes and General Packing Material:
  1. China Carton: china, glass, crystal, lamps, small pictures, silverware
  2. 2-Cube Carton: books, canned and dry goods, shoes, records, tools
  3. 4-Cube Carton: lampshades, kitchenware, small appliances, hats
  4. 6-Cube Carton: linens, blankets, pillows, cushions, lamps, toys
  5. Mirror/Picture Carton: mirrors, pictures, glass
  6. Wardrobe: clothes, drapes
  7. Mattress Bags: crib, single, double, queen, king, mattress and box spring
  8. Packing Paper: wrapping and cushioning of packed articles
  9. Packing Labels: to identify contents of carton and room placement
  10. Felt pens: to write on labels and boxes
  11. Packing tape: professional quality tape to keep your cartons closed

Organizing yourself with the right packing materials will make packing easier and more efficient. Check out our Box Store for all of your packing materials, or call us for more details.

Hosting a Garage Sale

It’s springtime and that means moving season is upon us! A garage sale is a great way to get rid of unwanted items and make money at the same time. Follow our tips to a successful garage sale and you’ll be well on your way to a clutter-free home.

Find Stuff to Sell

Go through your home and decide which items you no longer need or want. We’ve compiled tips on the most effective way to declutter.
In the days leading up to the sale, look over and clean all the items. Clean items will show better and you don’t want to forget to clean out those pant pockets!

Enlist Some Helpers

Get your neighbors involved! Hosting your own sale might be your preference, but a block or street sale is an attention grabber. When bargain hunters hear there are several houses involved, they’ll show up in droves.

On the day of the garage sale, ask friends to help by putting their own stuff up for sale and volunteering to help the day of. Not only will this double the selection of items for sale, you’ll have an extra pair of hands to help.


There are two schools of thought on pricing – price a little higher in anticipation of haggling, or pick a reasonable price and stick to it. While many people enjoy negotiating, some will walk away if they feel items are priced to high. Just remember to pick a reasonable price – you want to get rid of it! A good rule of thumb is to sell items for one-half to one-third their original price.

You also want to price items with round numbers–25 cents instead of 15, $2 instead of $1.80. This way, you’ll avoid juggling loose change and making math errors when calculating totals. Plus you can save time by buying the pre-priced stickers.

It’s best if you price your items individually rather than group them into boxes with one price sign. As the garage sale progresses, people will get the boxes mixed up and you’ll have a hard time keeping it organized.

Advertise your garage sale

Get the word out – use free classified adds such as Craigslist and Kijiji, post on Facebook, and hang paper signs all around the neighborhood. Do a Google search with the name of your neighborhood – there may be a community website where you can post. Also, libraries, grocery stores and other shops may still have notice boards.

Remember to include the date, start and finish times, address and a few details of what’s for sale.

Garage Sale Layout

Keep things organized and arrange them well – categorize your items by “departments” to make searching easier. Men’s, Women’s, Kids, Housewares sections makes your garage sale easier to navigate and increases the likelihood shoppers will find something they’d like to buy!

  • Organize your goods neatly. Instead of throwing books into a box, line them up on a bookshelf for easy viewing. Hang up clothes on an old shower rod instead of piling them in a box.
  • Place hot ticket items near the end of your driveway to lure in customers. If people driving by see something that catches their eye, they’ll stop to look.
  • Put batteries in remote controlled items so shoppers can test it out, and have an electric outlet available so customers can plug in lamps, kitchen gadgets etc before they buy.

Don’t let rain deter your sales efforts. If you own a portable gazebo, set it up out front, or hold the sale in an open garage.


Liven up the atmosphere with some upbeat music. It will make the time go faster, put shoppers in a good mood, and draw attention to your sale.

Snack Table

If you are feeling especially energetic, set up a concession stand to sell coffee, water, and treats. This will encourage shoppers to stay around and browse a little longer (hopefully increasing your sales) and it’s a great way to get the kids involved. They can manage the snack station and feel apart of it all.


Instead of putting all your money in a tin, use an apron with deep pockets so you have cash on you at all times. Have lots of small bills, loonies, and toonies, to make change for customers. Wrap up breakables in newspaper and provide bags for easy transport.
As the day winds down, don’t be afraid to lower prices or offer everything half off.


You’re going to have leftover stuff. You can just put it all on the curb with a free sign, or consider donating the remaining items. We have compiled a list of Charities that will pick up items from your home.

Garage sales are a lot of work; you’ll probably spend several hours organizing and pricing items, writing ads, and getting your supplies. But after it’s over, you’ll hopefully have a wad of cash instead of piles of stuff you don’t want, which makes it all worthwhile.

Where to Donate Stuffed Animals

Are your kids’ room’s being overrun by stuffed animals they no longer play with?

donating stuffed animals
Give Previously Loved Stuffies a Second Chance

Don’t throw them away unless they are terribly worn. Instead of clogging up landfills, give the stuffies a second life and put a smile on the faces of needy children. You can donate your stuffed animals to organizations such as these:


Value Village, a Savers brand, is a for-profit, global thrift retailer offering quality, gently used clothing, accessories, and household goods. Their business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling gives communities a smart way to shop and keeps more than 650 million pounds of used goods from landfills each year. They also help more than 120 non-profit organizations by paying them for donated goods, which supports their local community programs and services. Go to Value Village Locations to find a location near you.


All Salvation Army Thrift Stores, are 100 per cent charity-based and exist to generate funds to support Salvation Army programs and services that help residents in the areas in which they operate. Donated clothing and other goods are efficiently and ethically recycled and sold to offer practical assistance for children and families. Go to Salvation Army Locations to find a location near you.

The Good Stuff Connection Thrift Shop

Located at 154 West 3rd Street in North Vancouver accepts a wide variety of items with proceeds and donations benefiting women and children staying at SAGE Transition House and men, women and children referred by other community social service agencies.  The need for donations vary each week, so call ahead to arrange a donation at 604-987-1773 or visit their website

Local Police or Fire Department

Some local law enforcement agencies will take donations of new and gently used stuffed animals to calm children in times of crisis. Check with your local departments to see if they accept donations.

Local Homeless and Women’s Shelters

Shelters that house women and children try to provide as much comfort and support as possible in this transitional time. Many will accept new and gently used stuffed animals to hand out to children who pass through their doors.

Call your local Social Services office, gospel missions, churches, day cares, and other community organizations that are in contact with needy children in your area.

Try contacting a local public school and see if any kids at the school are low-income and could benefit from donations. You can also keep your ears open for toy drives organized by schools, grocery, or department stores.

What to Avoid

When you are donating stuffed animals or used toys in general, there are several points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t Give Broken or Excessively Dirty Toys. Most facilities don’t have the resources to clean and repair items, so they may get tossed in the garbage if they aren’t in good condition
  • Don’t Give Recalled Items. Return these toys to the manufacturer, do not donate them.
  • Don’t Wrap Stuffies or Toys. Leave donations unwrapped and entirely visible.
  • Don’t Leave Items Unattended. Don’t leave items at the charity’s door. Call ahead, take items to a designated drop-off point, or arrange a pickup time.

Selling Unwanted Items

If you are moving, you likely have a few items that you no longer use or want. If they are in good condition, there are a variety of ways to sell those items. Hold a garage sale, have a private sale with friends and family, or sell it online. We’ve compiled a list of places to sell your unwanted items:

Selling Online



Surrey Reuses



Marvel Auctions


There are multiple consignment stores in each community. Many specialize in furniture, clothing, children’s gear, and sports equipment. An online search of “consignment stores near me” will produce a number of results. Examples include:

Sports Traders

Once Upon a Child

When determining the selling price of your items, first look up the item’s retail value, brand new. If you can’t find the same item, look for reasonable, similar replacement and note how much they cost. Now look up the item’s used value on websites such as Amazon, Craigslist, and eBay to see how much people are selling the same item for. Make a note of how much they’re asking for, and what prices close around if it is an auction.

You can now determine your selling price by assessing the condition of the thing you want to sell, compared to the sale listings you’ve seen. Don’t shoot for new retail price unless you know your item is rare—your best bet is to use other used or sale prices are a barometer. If you see the item widely available new but not available used, you may be able to sell your item easily if you price it well. In contrast, if you see the item is difficult to find new but widely available used, you may have a hard time selling unless you’re willing to undercut everyone or the condition of your item is better than most. Keep in mind, if you’re selling locally, people may expect values because they’re picking something up or taking it right off your hands.

Whatever method you use to sell your items, do so carefully, trust your gut, and if all else fails – drop the price. It will sell in no time!


Moving? Charities That Pick Up Unwanted Items

One of the most common questions we get asked by our customers is “what should I do with the stuff I don’t want to move”? For items that are in reasonable condition, consider donating these items to local charities. You’ll be helping those in need while reducing your packing requirements.
Decluttering and organizing for a move is a busy time. Here are a list of charities that will come to your home and pick up unwanted items.

Charities That Pick-Up

Big Brothers & Sisters
This charity picks up all over the Lower Mainland and Vancouver. They accept clothing, purses and backpacks, household items, children’s toys, books and games, videos, CD’s, electronics and small appliances, home decor, and portable exercise equipment

Diabetes Canada (Formerly Canadian Diabetes Association) Clothesline Program
This program picks up items all over the Lower Mainland and in Vancouver. They accept clothing, kitchenware, books, and toys

Developmental Disabilities
604-273-4332 or 1-800-654-1331 outside of the Lower Mainland
This charity picks up books, electronics, toys and games, sporting gear, pots and pans, CD’s, DVDs, records, stationary supplies, clothing, sleeping bags, towels and table linens.

Electronic Recycling Association
Era will accept almost any electronic you’ve got. From cables to full-size arcade games, computers, monitors, phone systems, and even software. They accept working electronics and also safely recycle non-working electronics.

Charity Car Program
This charity will pick up your vehicle and sale proceeds will go to one of the many different charities registered with this program. From BC Children’s Hospital to BCSPCA, the choice is yours.

Helping Families in Need
Helping Families picks up and distributes used household items to women in transition, single moms and dads on income assistance, new immigrant families, refugees, and needy families.

Homestart Foundation
Homestart delivers used furniture and household items to enable recipients to establish a comfortable home. Acceptable items include small and large furniture, TV’s, radios, phones, lamps, rugs etc. No items with glass with be accepted.


Moving Seniors

Moving Senior CitizensWhen you’re moving senior family members from their home to a new smaller residence, possibly in a new community or an adult child’s home, organizing a move and sorting through decades of possessions can feel overwhelming. The key is to take your time, be patient, and get organized.
To make this transition easier, consider the following:


Sorting through items and deciding what to take and what to get rid of is a huge task. Hiring a professional organizer to aid in the process can be helpful. They provide support through the decision-making process and guide you toward realistic decisions. If you decide to downsize items yourself, consider our tips on decluttering your home to make the process a little bit easier. Remember to collect and keep together important papers: wills, medical records, birth certificates, passports, etc. Move valuable items and paperwork to a safety deposit box during this time of transition.


Professional services, such as junk removal companies, come to your home to remove items that you no longer want. Charities such as the Canadian Diabetes Association and Big Brothers will pick up items that you would like to donate.


When it comes time to pack and move, a reputable moving company, such as AMJ Campbell Vancouver, can pack your senior’s home, typically within a day. They will do all the heavy lifting on moving day, and many moving companies also offer unpacking services if your senior needs further assistance in their new home.

If hiring professional services isn’t in your budget, remember to call on friends, neighbors, and family members to pitch in. Having loved ones help during this transitional time for seniors will make the process easier on everyone.

As always our professional Sales Consultants can help with any move related questions

5 Steps to Declutter Your Home

It’s a new year, are you considering a move in 2017? If so, make the move process easier on yourself by downsizing and decluttering your items now. Whether you’ve been living in your home for 5 years or 35 years, you probably have items that are no longer useful, taking up valuable storage space.

Here are our 5 tips on how to declutter your home in preparation for a move:


  1. Start early

    Start at least 3-6 months before you move and give yourself lots of time to go through each room. Pick one evening and one weekend morning as designated “decluttering” times. Or take 1 hour per day to go through a closet or cupboard.

  2. Create Zones

    By creating zones in each room, you can easily dedicate time to go through that area. For example, the thought of decluttering the entire kitchen can be overwhelming and stressful. By breaking the kitchen into zones of “upper cupboards”, “kitchen island”, “pantry” etc. you are much more likely to tackle one zone at a time than the entire project.

  3. Stay focused

    Keep focused on the room/zone you are working on. Don’t skip around from room to room, or a pile here and a pile there. When you feel your attention wandering, take a quick break, or repeat “left to right – stay focused”.

  4. Be objective

    How much room will you have in your new home? Do you really need 6 mixing bowls, 2 spatulas, and 4 black t-shirts? Don’t waste time second guessing yourself and imagining all the ways you might need something. If you haven’t used it in the last 12 months, get rid of it. Don’t save it “just in case”.

  5. Don’t throw it in the garbage

    Use large bins and label them Donate, Sell, Recycle, and separate your items accordingly. Find a reputable third party website to sell your items, get a list of charities in your area that will take donations, host a garage sale, and host a “Finders Keepers” party. Once you’ve decided what items you don’t want/need anymore, invite your friends and family over to pick out items they would like to have. Fewer items for you to find a new home for!

Most importantly, be patient with yourself and the decluttering process. Although it can seem overwhelming, follow our steps to and be consistent. Keep the end goal in mind – a clutter free home, that will be easy to pack when the move date comes.