Going Away? 9 Tips to Protect Your Home

If you are moving, or going on vacation, 9 Tips to Protect Your Home in your absence:


  1. Have a Neighbour or Friend Check on Your House: having someone check in on your house every few days makes every difference in ensuring that nothing happens to your house while you are away. Have your friend bring in newspapers or any evidence that can build up and alert potential burglars that you are not home. This friend can also ensure that if there is any damage to the home (ie pipe burst, basement flood), you will know soon enough to make any repairs. If you do not know anyone local, there are companies that can do this for you.
  2. Stop the Mail: Better than having someone bring in your newspapers, if your time away from your house warrants it, stop your mail and newspaper delivery.
  3. Invest in a quality alarm system: An alarm system will save you money on insurance, but can also alert you (and/or your neighbourhood contact) if anything has gone on in your home while you are away.
  4. Smoke Detectors: Ensure that your smoke detectors are up to date and connected to your alarm system or other means of contacting emergency services.
  5. Install proper exterior lighting and exterior and interior cameras: this will allow you (and/or your contact) to check up on your house whenever you would like without actually being there. This will give you added piece of mind but also the chance to catch any potential problems before they get worse.
  6. Put a few indoor lights on a timer: this will give the illusion that there is someone home in case there is any burglars scanning the area for vacant homes.
  7. Ensure Your Yard is Cared For: Hire someone to make sure that your lawn stays trimmed or your driveway stays plowed. An untrimmed lawn or overflowing driveway can alert passersby that someone hasn’t been in the home lately.
  8. Electronics: Unplug all electronic devices and appliances that are not being used.
  9. Avoid Social Media: DO NOT post about your absence online.

The Importance of WSIB

Whether you are hiring a moving company, someone to do work in your home or on your property, it is important to inquire whether they have WSIB.

Did you know that if you hire someone who does not have WSIB and they injure themselves in your home or on your property… you are responsible.

It’s easy to find out of a company is WSIB compliant! Visit the WSIB Website to do a quick business name search or click here. Companies that do have WSIB will show in the list below with a green check mark.



Packing Glasses and Stemware

  • Stuff glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before wrapping.
  • Lay on the corner of packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size); pull sides of packing paper up and over glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner.
  • Place glasses and stemware towards the top of your box. Heavier items (dishware, pitchers, etc.) should be placed towards the bottom of the box.

Delicate glassware and stemware should be placed in an upright position, not on its side.

No matter what you’re packing, you should use crumpled packing paper in between each layer to assure a snug fit wherever there‘s a gap. All boxes with “fragile” items should be marked accordingly.

Specialized Packing Tips

The list of individual household items is endless. Most can be packed by following our packing pointers. Here are some additional packing tips for major items.

Bureau Drawers – We recommended that all drawers are emptied prior to moving to prevent any damage to furniture.

Canned Goods and Other Non-Frozen Foods – Pack upright with no more than 24 to 30 cans per carton. Don’t attempt to move perishables. Wrap glass containers and boxed foods individually and pack in small cartons.

Frozen Foods and Plants – Because of the delicate and perishable nature of these items it is recommended that these items be move when at all possible by the customer.

Clocks – Remove or secure pendulum in large clocks. Grandfather clocks should be prepared for moving by expert servicemen.

Drapes and Curtains – Hang drapes over crossbars in wardrobe cartons, or pack folded in clean cartons. Remove curtains from rods, fold and pack in cartons.

Flammables and Combustibles – Flammable liquids and aerosol cans must not be packed. Changes in temperature and pressure can cause them to leak, or even explode. For your own protection, you should know that if you pack these items and they cause damage to your shipment or others, you, not your mover, may be held liable.

Lamps and lampshades – Remove bulbs, harps and shades. Roll up cord. Pack lamps with bedding or wrap separately and place upright in clean, tissue lined carton. Wrap harp and finial (decorative knob) with packing paper and tape to inside wall of carton that contains shade. Wrap shades in tissue, not newspaper. Place upright in large, tissue lined carton.

Medicines – Seal caps with masking tape. Wrap and pack upright in small cartons. If needed during travel, carry with you.

Mirror, Paintings and Pictures – Tell your agent about valuable paintings for special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings, and frames and place on edge in cartons. Place large pictures and paintings on edge in heavy cardboard containers. For added safety, place tape diagonally across mirror to protect better against damage. Do not place newspaper directly against paintings.

Personal Computers and Video Recorders – Pack valuable electronics equipment in original cartons when available. Otherwise, use strong, corrugated cartons and place protective padding on the bottom of the carton. Wrap an old blanket or protective pad around the item and place it in its carton. Place additional padding between the carton and the computer or video recorder. Wrap cords separately; label to identify usage and place in plastic bag away from delicate surfaces. Non detachable cords should also be wrapped. Place cords between the padded computer or video recorder and the carton. Be sure your personal computer is “parked” and ready for transport.

Silverware – Wrap each piece in cloth or low sulphur content paper to prevent tarnishing. Use an old blanket or moving pad as a wrap to prevent scratching the silverware chest.

Tools – Drain fuel from power tools (do not ship Flammables under any circumstances). Pack tools in small, strong carton. Wrap separately if valuable.

Waterbed Mattresses – Drain water from the waterbed and, grasping internal baffle systems with external vinyl, fold mattress 20 inches at a time. Adjust folds to avoid making creases across individual baffles. Consult your owner’s manual for special instructions concerning the care and transportation of your mattress. Do not place your mattress in a carton with sharp or pointed objects.

Barbecue Grills and Propane Tanks – Wrap grates and briquettes separately in a newspaper (or place all briquettes into a grocery bag) and place parts in carton. Pad carton with paper to reduce movement of contents. Propane tanks must be drained before the move. Consult your local gas grill distributor for the safest method.

Packing Cups

  • With packing paper in place on the work table, position one cup six to eight inches from one of the corners.
  • Now pull the near corner of the paper up and over the cup.
  • Nest a second cup directly on top, with handle to left (second cup should “nest” itself in packing paper folded over the bottom cups).
  • Pull the two side corner up and over, one at a time, and tuck corner inside the top cup.
  • Hold the bottom and top cup in position and roll cups to the remaining corner. Fragile mixing bowls may be rolled in the same manner.
  • Delicate cups, like china, should be wrapped one at a time. Antique glass or china should be stuffed with crumpled tissue and wrapped one at a time.

Moving Tips: Packing Dishware

  • Select a medium sized carton and line the bottom of the carton with crumpled packing paper.
  • With packing paper stacked neatly in place on a work table, center one plate on the paper.
  • Grasp a corner on several sheets of packing paper and pull the paper over the plate until sheets completely cover the plate. Stack a second plate on and, moving clockwise, grasp a second corner and pull sheets over the second plate.
  • Stack a third plate. Grasp remaining two corners, folding two sheets of each corner (one at a time) over the plate.
  • Turn you’re wrapped stacked of plates upside down onto your packing paper.
  • Re-wrap the entire bundles: start with one corner of packing paper and pull two sheets over the bundle, cover bundle with next corner, then the third corner; and finally, the fourth.
  • Seal the bundle with packing tape.
  • Place the bundle of dishware in a medium size box so that the plates are standing on edge.

Use this process on all saucers, bread and butter dishes, and other dishware. When packing smaller dishes you may chose to stack in greater quantity.

Moving Tips: Packing Pointers

Before actually packing up, you need to have a game plan. For example:

  • Pack one room at a time. This will help you when it comes time to unpack.
  • Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of the move.
  • Mark all boxes, designating room and box number. Make a carton identification log to show the number of boxes packed per room, and the total number of cartons packed. It’s a good idea to leave space in your log for special comments section to note carton condition or location of high value goods. Notify your mover of any high value items.
  • Be sure to have plenty of “filling” material available.
  • Be sure that the bottoms of all cartons are secured and will hold the weight of the contents.
  • Packing tape or gummed tape is better than masking tape.
  • Pack heavier items towards the bottom of the box and lighter items towards the top. Try to keep a per-box weight of 50 pounds or less; it makes moving a lot easier. A general rule of carton size – the heavier the item the smaller the carton.

Moving Tips: Packing Materials

Use only strong, corrugated cartons with covers. The added protection of moving cartons may avoid damage that results from the use of poor quality material. We can assist you as to where you can obtain quality moving supplies. Your alternative is to collect boxes discarded by your grocery or liquor store. Save old newspapers for use in packing, but remember that ink may rub off and stain clothing or other items.

  • Plastic bags and labels for easy identification.
  • Foam peanuts, Styrofoam pellets or “popcorn”.
  • Tissue or craft paper for delicate packing jobs.
  • Corrugated paper rolls for figurines and fragile items.
  • Gummed tape (1 ½ to 2 inches wide) and/or strong twine for sealing cartons.
  • Markers and labels for identifying contents or cartons.
  • Scissors and/or sharp knife.

Moving Tips 101

There’s lots to think about when you are beginning to prepare for a move. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve provided this handy list of things that you might not have thought about doing before your big move.

  • Clear out unwanted goods – hold garage sale.
  • Get rid of flammables – paints, petrol, gas cylinders.
  • Empty fuel from mowers, clippers, trimmers and so on.
  • Clothes – do you need them all? Charity shops may want them.
  • Separate books – disposable, family reading, valuable.
  • Check all electrical goods – will they work in my new home?
  • Start making up your change of address list.
  • Arrange to have mail forwarded.
  • Arrange termination date for electricity, gas, oil, telephone and other main supplies.
  • If you are taking electrical goods such as a stereo, see if you still have their original boxes.
  • Have rugs cleaned.
  • Round up personal documentation – marriage/birth certificates, driving licenses and so on.
  • With regards to family pets – make sure vaccinations and documentation are up to date.
  • Will your new home be ready? If not, you need to arrange temporary storage.
  • Start running down freezer stocks.
  • Arrange your finances – close or transfer bank accounts, savings accounts and so on, if necessary.