A Comprehensive “How-To” about Moving Irritating Items

You Move Me Vancouver Island’s List of Complicated (uniquely west coast items) You Don’t Know How The $%^ to Move:


1. Wooden Canoes

As movers on the west coast, we have moved our fair share of “adventure gear” and sporting equipment, but there really isn’t a more difficult item to move than a wooden canoe. As they go, old wooden canoes are generally heavy and run a very easy risk of damage. Scapes, dents and holes are all considerations to take into account when packing one of these onto a moving truck, let alone figuring out the space requirements to pack such an odd shape!

The most important thing you can do to protect an old wood canoe is ensuring you cover the exposed sides with moving pads. Create a barrier between those wood surfaces and anything else that might rub up against it. In terms of space, finding an opportunity to stack it up above your other items, on a level surface, will make it so you can maximize the available space lengthwise in the truck. Once the canoe is secured up on top, you can strap it down and head out!

2. Cider/Homebrewing Equipment

Nothing says Vancouver Island resident quite like owning, and moving, your own personal micro-brewery. Whether it is making beer, cider, wine or mead, west coast residents love a good DIY project with alcohol. This specialized, and oh so hip equipment can be very fragile and may sometimes come with challenging parts to pack and move. Some of these items might include: glass carboys, oily bottle-jacks, haphazard bags of sugar/yeast/hops and some questionably assembled set-ups that give would give Rube Goldberg a run for his money.

The key with moving this type of sketchy item is to isolate anything that leaks, drips, or moves. With the carboys, it is best to have them secured in an area where they won’t shake, rattle or roll. We would recommend putting some cardboard between carboys to prevent the glass bumping up on eachother non-consensually.

With those oily or potentially messy items, wrap them tighter than a Tacofino burrito in an old plastic bag (I know living on the west coast means a lot of reusable bags, but you must have at least ONE Red Barn bag somewhere). Then pack them into a box, ideally on their own.

As for your insane gear set-up, your best bet is to secure any parts that may move or shift during lifting and carrying. The more stable and stationary you can make it, the better it will be for packing and storing.

3. Bikes, Bikes and you guessed it, MORE BIKES

Living on Vancouver Island is great because the climate is typically temperate and allows for some amazing year round cycling. Riding bikes is a great, eco-friendly, healthy and relatively accessible hobby. What they don’t tell you is that cycling is a serious addiction, not to be taken lightly. What started as just a fun beach cruiser will turn into a road bike, then next thing you know you’ve got a:

  • Mountain bike
  • Cycle-cross bike
  • Enduro bike
  • Downhill bike
  • Bike polo bike
  • Rainy day bike

And the list goes on! Unless you want to take the time to dismantle each of your bikes (which runs the risk of lost parts and headaches), trying to stack/pack bikes into a moving truck can be a real hassle. The way to avoid mental distress about this is to leave those bikes for last. Bikes are great because:

  1. They stack really well on their side above all your other packed items
  2. They can typically fit nicely right on the end of a well packed truck

If you have a really fancy/expensive ride, it is best to wrap the frame in pads and stack some spare cardboard bits underneath the important mechanical parts on the bike. And voila! Safe bikes!

4. Relics from your UVIC arts degree

Your time at the University of Victoria were some of the best years of your life. Grueling through papers and studying hard were only a small part of the experience, because what REALLY mattered was your final arts project. That crowning jewel of sculpture that you now display proudly on your coffee table, or the life-sized painting of inner-most turmoil hanging in your hallway to remind you of all your glowing accomplishments to perhaps offset the post graduation anxiety. These treasures are an integral symbol of your development into adulthood and embody the west coast aesthetic perfectly! But really… how the $%^& do you move that?

The structural integrity is in question, probably due to the fact you scrambled to put it together at 4am, just hours before the due date. Not to mention that there are layers upon layers of paint that never really set and therefore run the risk of damaging all your other worldly goods in unimaginable ways.

It’s okay, we’ve got this covered. Like we mentioned above with the home brew gear, isolation is your best bet. If the sculpture is small enough to fit in a box, then it gets its own box. If not, wrap and pad the absolute life out of it. Turn that piece of art into a replica of the Michelin man and you should be set! That slightly wet painting is best left to very light stretch wrap, and boxing all on its own with lots of packing paper padding. The less it touches, the better off it (and everything else) will be.

5. Mounted Animal Heads (Vegan Options Available)

Do you remember when all of a sudden taxidermied animal busts were all the rage? If you don’t, there is a strong chance you aren’t living on the west coast. Deer heads with massive antlers on your wall is the pinnacle of the west coast aesthetic. That being said, living as an islander may also mean you are living a uniquely (or maybe not so unique) vegan lifestyle.With the fantastic array of vegan establishments and options on Vancouver Island, it is easier now more than ever to live cruelty free. In order to maintain that lifestyle, some may choose forego the taxidermy for a more humane synthetic option.

Whatever your lifestyle entails, taxidermy or not, moving these item can be tricky. The risk of antlers breaking, or the antlers breaking something else, is just something you’ll want to avoid. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, our solution is:

Wrap and Pad! There is never any harm in protecting protruding, sharp items with a moving pad (or comforter if you don’t have a moving pad handy) and secure it with some stretch wrap. An item like this is really best suited on the top of your packed items in the truck because it won’t be able to stab or break itself, or anything else!

Packing a moving truck is no walk in the park (unless you are comparing it to Strathcona Park because that itself is no “walk in the park!”), but at the very least we hope these tips will help. But when it comes down to it, our best piece of advice is don’t struggle, call the experts and let them figure it out. It’s always better to sit back and sip a craft brew than have to worry about moving. To get a free estimate and have us do the heavy lifting for you, head to our main page and give us a call. Let us Move You!

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