By Iman Khan
WOW! You are now a proud permanent residence status holder of Canada and over the moon! This is the time to get your ducks in a row and get the ball rolling as far as your big move is concerned. The planning and logistics involved make the process time-consuming and fairly overwhelming for most of us. There are always a myriad of issues to take care of, so making sure everything is done in order and efficiently becomes of utmost priority!
Here at Muslim Moms, we narrow down select key items that you should consider putting in your shipping container list to prepare for a hassle and stress free move. Read on and be inspired!
Downsize and Downsize!
No matter where in the world you are moving from, give yourself at least 6 months to a year to become accustomed to the idea of shifting bag and baggage to a new country and starting a new life for yourself and your family.
Stash away a percentage of your monthly income to secure substantial savings for after you are in Canada. If possible, move into a serviced apartment to save the hassles of last-minute haggling and sales.
Every bit counts! In a last minute scramble for things, the last thing you want to worry yourself with is getting rid of your electrical items. (Keep in mind that Canada works on a 110V supply, and unless (if applicable) you have something that is dual voltage and works internationally, it makes more sense in terms of practicality to buy such things locally especially with specific warranties in place and whatnot).
Here are some useful resources and considerations related to items you might be thinking of shipping.
The Government of Canada has strict regulations in place regarding the import of pets into the country. Check out this excellent resource from the travel.gc.ca site, for bringing your fur babies to Canada: http://goo.gl/4NMr1M
If you own an automobile, bike or any other driven vehicle (including boats etc) that you wish to bring to Canada with you, this is a useful resource to refer: http://goo.gl/rBykRE
Unless you have a piece of furniture that is either a) expensive b) a one-of-a-kind antique piece, or, c) a family heirloom, chuck it! Be aware that except for an extraordinary leasing deal, your average 2-bedroom condo rental in the Greater Toronto Area is mostly on the smaller side in terms of space. Bulky and huge pieces of furniture will hardly do the trick. If furniture in your possession is too big, has considerable wear and tear, or is too expensive to ship, reconsider your options. Do the math and save up on shipping costs, using the money instead to buy brand new and fitting furniture locally.
This includes hats, gloves, warmer coats, jackets, sweaters, woolen shawls, etc. You would still have to get yourself armed with snowsuits for the children along with rain protectors and rain-boots for the family for when you are in Canada.
These include but not restricted to prized children’s artwork,/pantings/drawings/writing from over the years, handbags, clothes etc.
Unless your country is compliant with Canadian voltage use, it would be best to discard electrical kitchen items like food processors, toasters, blenders, sandwich makers, electric kettle etc. Keep an eye and ear out for families who have just moved in the country and are looking to buy all of the things in one go to stock their kitchen. Alternatively, you could donate/gift these items to friends, charity houses or to other people in need. In your shipping container, put in all of your expensive serve ware, cookware (a non-stick Tefal starter set would cost you under CAD70 at Walmart, pressure cooker, valuable crockery, cutlery and fine china.
Toys and other children-related things that are unopened, or in good condition and will be put to good use over a number of siblings for many more years, could be included in your shipping contents.
If you are an art fanatic and have managed to garner an impressive collection, make sure to include them in the shipping container!
Home Décor And Bedding
Make sure to ship all of your eclectic home decor i.e., vases, table decor, etc. and also expensive bedding items (bed sheets, pillow covers, quilts, blankets etc)
Take a piece of your home country with you! Celebrate the fabulous years you have spent there and make your new home reflect that. It could be something that represents your culture or a gift of great sentimental value!
What Not To Ship
There are some items that you should carry in your personal luggage instead of shipping.
- Gold/Silver jewelry Items as shipping companies will not be liable for them.
- Food Items including packaged herbs, spices, teabags, canned foods etc
Choosing a Shipping Company
Research international shipping companies that will transfer your belongings from your base country to your destination within Canada in the best possible manner. Narrow it down to 3-5 relocation companies; contact them, and gather economical quotes. Make sure to inquire about –
- Date and time for an initial survey of your shipping goods.
- Get an estimate of how much shipping space or containers you would need.
- Make sure to ask them about disassembling furniture from the port of disembarkation and consequent assembly in Canada.
- Price quote for shipping and the estimated time for goods delivery.
- Costs involved with goods insurance.
- Customs Declaration form for Canada.
To ensure an extremely systematic and organized approach, do some homework at your end; before the relocation company workers are due to arrive.
- Put all like things together, so that all similar items go in a container together and it would make for hassle-free packing and unpacking. E.g., all your curtains brought down, dry cleaned, and put together in a single pile, so that they can be boxed together. Or, a box marked ‘Winter Clothing’ will carry all your warm clothing. That way, if you arrive in Canada over the summers, this particular box can be tucked away till the cooler weather sets in.
- Wash/launder/dry clean cushion covers, rugs, sheets, clothing etc two months in advance so that you are only taking ready-to-use, worthwhile belongings with you.
About the Author
Iman Khan is a modest fashion evangelist and the creative founder of Hijabistas.net
What items make your house a home? What item would you bring with you to make your new home in Canada complete? Share with us in our comments sectionbelow. We would love to hear from you!If you are looking for answers to some pointed queries regarding moving to the Greater Toronto Area or adjusting in a new Canadian city, you have come to the right place! Leave a comment and we will help you in the best way possible!