Moving Estimate

How to Feel at Home in a New City

Meet the Neighbours


The next time you see your neighbours, don’t be shy just say hi! All it takes is one friendly face to make a new setting feel more comfortable. Find out how long your neighbours have lived in the area and what they like or don’t like about it. Do they have a favourite restaurant or local shop? Are they married with young children? Perhaps a play date for the kids or double date for the adults is in your future! Ask these types of questions and you’ll find yourself not only building new connections for your family but getting acquainted with your neighbourhood at the same time. Who knows, you might be introducing yourself to a lifelong friend or at the very least someone to collect your mail while you’re on vacation.


Find Your Local Amenities


There are many free mobile apps that will search the surrounding town and nearby cities for all the local amenities available to you. Atlas also has a number of City Guides that provide you with all the essential information about your new city. These can be great resources to help you find things like your new favourite coffee shop or local recreation center and gym. Take advantage of our partnership with Welcome Wagon, a national Canadian service company designed to help families get familiar with their new community since 1930. Welcome Wagon offers personal visits, coupons to local stores and restaurants, organized events to meet your community and many more exclusive deals and services. Visit our Bonus Offers page to learn more about Welcome Wagon and more value added programs.


Transportation Options


Figuring out a new neighbourhood is a bit like finding your way through a maze. Take a walk or drive down the nearby streets to get familiar with the names of the roads. Map out how to get to and from important places like the local hospital, work, grocery store, pharmacy, gas stations, etc. Google Maps is a great tool to help you navigate throughout your city. With real time traffic updates, directions and route options, you will find your way around in no time.


Give It Time!


It’s important to realize that adapting to a new environment doesn’t happen overnight and it could take several months before you feel fully settled. There is no need to rush through or pressure yourself to feel comfortable right away. Take the time to enjoy the process of figuring out your city and truly make it your own.

Pack Like a Pro

Packing up the entire contents of your home can be quite overwhelming. You might be thinking to yourself, “Where do I start?”


The best way to tackle the anxiety of such a large project is to begin as soon as possible, stay organized and remember to take on one task at a time. To help make the process easier on you, we’ve created a start-to-finish guide on how to pack like a pro.


Gather Lots of Packing Materials


Before jumping into the actual packing, it is important to gather all the packing supplies needed to keep your belongings safe and organized. Doing this ahead of time will save your from unnecessary delays or disruptions. Some of the most basic supplies include:


  • Sturdy boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes
  • Bubble wrap/packing paper for wrapping breakables and filling small unused spaces
  • Permanent markers
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Labels
  • Plastic baggies to keep small pieces together

You will be surprised at how quickly you use these supplies so don’t forget to stock up!




Go through each room and decide which items to keep, donate and toss. Keep in mind the layout and space you have to work with in your new home. Set aside all the items you will be donating and toss the ones that no longer have any use. Look at this process as a good spring cleaning that will leave you feeling lighter!


Start Packing a Low Traffic Room


Choose a room that isn’t used often such as a storage room or attic and start boxing rarely used items like seasonal décor, etc. As a general rule of thumb, always pack the items you seldom use first such as fine china in the kitchen or decorative pieces in the living room. The last thing you want to do is unpack a box before arriving at your new home to find something! Make sure to pack as much as you can in one room before moving onto another.




Be conscious of how much weight you are putting into each box sticking to 50 lbs. max per box. Control the weight by packing heavy items into smaller boxes and always make sure the lid closes flat so the boxes can stack properly in the moving truck.


Packing Items with Small Pieces


When disassembling furniture, packing electronics, etc. there will be small bolts, cords, knobs and pieces. It is very easy to lose or misplace these pieces if they aren’t packed properly. Use a plastic bag to keep all the loose items in one place making it easier to locate during the unpacking and reassembly process. Clearly label each bag so that you aren’t guessing what it belongs to! We recommend you have a “set up” box to put all the bags and pieces in.


Pack the Essentials Last


When packing a room you use all the time, make sure to leave your must have items to the very end; clothing, towels, toiletries, tissues, paper cups and plates, medication, etc. Pack the important, everyday items in a box clearly labelled as “essentials”. This box should ideally be carried with you to your new home. If it will be transported on the moving truck, set the box aside making sure it is loaded last and therefore the first to be unloaded at your new home.

5 Ws – A Guide to Moving Children

There are many emotions that can surface during the process of relocating your family; excitement, stress, joy, anxiety, and relief, to name a few.


Processing all these emotions can be difficult, especially on children. After all, leaving friends, family and familiar surroundings behind isn’t easy at any age! While there are many steps you can take to help your children cope with the ups and downs of moving, the key is in communicating using the five W’s.




The most important way to prepare a child for a move is to tell them what is happening well in advance. The more time they have to get ready, the easier the change will be. Call for a family meeting over a casual dinner and share the news. Children are very aware and receptive to behavior. As a parent, your attitude about the move will have a tremendous influence on their reaction. Being optimistic about the new experience will have a positive effect on everyone’s wellbeing.




Start the countdown! Mark your move and important dates in the calendar for your children to see. For instance, if you are having a garage sale to purge some of your items, add it to the calendar and ask your children to help make flyers. Help them go through their belongings to decide what to keep and what to donate. Creating a timeline of events will eliminate surprises and allow your children to prepare for big occasions and changes.




Get your children excited about all there is to see, do and explore in a new town/city! Learning all there is to know about the new destination prior to the move will help your children adjust quicker to their new settings. If your children like to play sports or go to the park, find the local recreational facilities and the nearest park to your new home. Sit down with them and do a little research on interesting attractions, restaurants and events happening nearby. Be thorough in your research so your children can get familiar and comfortable with their new home. If you can, it’s a great idea to take your children to visit the new neighbourhood before you move. If not, take pictures of your home, school, and neighbourhood to show them. Involving your children in the process as much as possible will make the transition smoother.




As the decision to move often lies in the hands of the parent(s), it is common for a child to feel forced into the situation without an opinion. Being open and truthful about the move from the beginning will help make the change seem less forceful. Start with explaining why the move is happening. Whether the reason is a job transfer, the need to downsize or upsize, etc., an explanation will help them digest and come to terms with the circumstances. This discussion should be an open and ongoing dialectic between you and your children. Make sure they are aware they can come to you anytime with questions, concerns, or to simply talk and express their feelings.




Saying goodbye to the people and places you love is never easy. It can be especially hard on children who are inexperienced in the process of moving forward. Help your children get closure and say goodbye to their friends, relatives and neighbours. Do so by preparing a list of phone numbers, emails and mailing addresses to reassure your children they can stay in touch. Coordinate a time to visit their favourite places and people, and take pictures for them to look back on. Once your move is complete, make a constant effort to help your children meet new people/children in the neighbourhood. A great way to do so is by getting involved in your local community support groups and activity clubs.

8 Important Questions to Ask Every Moving Company

1. How long have you been in business and are you affiliated with any professional associations?

Ask if the moving company has any affiliations with credible and well-known organizations such as the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM). CAM requires all members to be in business for at least two years prior to joining and must also meet a strict set of requirements and standards. Take a look at their rating on other credible sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB).


2. Do you own a warehouse with trucks and equipment?

Credible movers have their own warehouses, trucks and equipment necessary to properly service your move. Rogue movers do not have these essential tools increasing the likelihood of loss or damage to your belongings.


3. How do you estimate the cost of my move?

Long distance moves are priced based on weight and distance where as local moves are priced on an hourly basis. When possible, credible moving companies will arrange for a moving consultant to perform an in-home visual survey of the items you are moving. Each item will be recorded with an approximate weight and the moving consultant will assess whether any additional services are required to meet your unique needs. Arranging an in-home survey is one of the most effect options to deliver an accurate estimate. Without one, you will likely accumulate additional costs.


4. What kind of additional moving services do you offer and at what price?

Inquire about additional moving services offered by the company to help during your move. Some of the most common additional services include packing and unpacking, disassembly and reassembly of furniture, storage if your new home is not ready for occupancy and shuttle services when the large moving truck is unable to access your home and a smaller truck is required.


5. What kind of transit protection plans do you offer?

Sometimes, no matter how careful we try to be, accidental loss or damage may occur on your move. Carefully look over the valuation options and select a plan that covers all your needs in case of any accident. It is always recommended to take full value protection to give you peace of mind knowing your possessions are protected.


6. What would I do if something were to break or go missing and who is responsible?

Sometimes accidental loss or damage to your belongings may occur on your move. The extent of liability for damage will depend upon the type of coverage you select. Make sure to clarify these details with your mover and find out whom to contact in the organization in case a claim needs to be filed.


7. How do you pack delicate items?

Valuable, delicate and sentimental pieces require extra care when handling. A credible mover will arrange for specially designed containers, crating or protective packing material to ensure these items do not sustain any damage during your move.


8. When will my belongings arrive?

For long distance moves, the timing depends on many factors including the time of year, the distance between your homes and the size of your shipment. Your mover will give you a range of dates called a delivery window until they are able to narrow down the exact date usually available 24-48 hours before the arrival. Local deliveries will normally arrive on the same day.