The Logistics of Moving in Together

Warmer weather means moving season is upon us. Moving in the summer months is much easier, since you don’t have to contend with snow on the roads or other bad weather. Many people often move in together at this time of year, what with the school season ending and wedding season beginning. Plus, they can enjoy the summer months in their new space. If you and your partner are planning to consolidate your households, here are a few logistics to consider when choosing your new home, furnishing your space, and talking about money.

Determine Your Home’s Needs

Once you have decided to share a home, the process of picking out your new abode begins. While some decide to have one partner move into the other’s place, it may not feel like a shared space. Getting a new home together gives you both a chance to begin a brand-new journey. If you’re moving in with friends, you’ll have to make similar considerations. The tricky part is finding the Goldilocks Zone that meets all your needs.

Your Must-haves

Discuss the features you will each need—this gives you a starting point in your apartment or house hunt. You may have a large project which necessitates a garage or a hobby that requires a yard. If you like cooking together, a larger kitchen can make that happen. If you prefer to relax on your own from time to time, find a dwelling with enclosed rooms, like a den or reading nook.

Your Deal-breakers

Be honest about what you need in your life, even if it seems trivial. For someone who unwinds with a bath on a regular basis, a stand-up shower just won’t do. Knowing you value natural lighting crosses most basement suites or ground floor apartments off your list. Speaking up about your deal-breakers not only keeps you from moving into a place that doesn’t suit you; it can speed up your search by limiting the amount of properties you look at.

Location, Location, Location

The perfect place is only perfect if you’re happy with the neighbourhood. Reflect on your lifestyles and examine how they might fit in to the surrounding area. You may want to be near grocery stores, shopping areas, or local restaurants. Or, your preference may be a location that is off the beaten path, near parks or rivers, or close to the edge of the city for easy getaways. You also must consider your commute. If your drive to work means you’ll be getting up an hour earlier, is it still your perfect home?

Inventory Your Belongings

If you have each already spent time living on your own, it’s likely that you have most of the things you already need. When consolidating your items, take stock of what you can get rid of without affecting your lifestyle. Two coffee makers, for example, are probably unnecessary unless they serve different functions, like a French press for the daily cup of coffee and a drip machine with a larger pot for company. Taking an inventory of what you own before you move it all into the same house can save you a lot of unpacking headaches.

Trade Up

While it’s nice to have your own things, the easiest way to decide what to keep is by deciding what is in better shape. Even if you are accustomed to sleeping on your ten-year-old mattress, it makes more sense to keep the 3-year-old mattress that doesn’t have the nest-like indentation-for-one in the middle. Choose the appliances that work best, the furniture in the best shape, and the fixtures that are the least dated.

Compromise is Key

It’s doubtful that any one of you is interested in throwing away all the items you already own. This means that you should decide which possessions you are not willing to part with and which ones you could live without. This way, you won’t feel taken advantage of, nor will you domineer the belongings in your shared home.

Repurpose, Sell, Donate

If you have items you no longer need, you may be able to find other uses for them. The older mattress makes a perfect guest bed. A second dining room table may be the right fit for a work or craft table, or even a desk. If you truly do not have the space, consider placing the item on an online marketplace. Your old table lamp may be someone else’s new favourite addition to their bedroom. Or, if you’re not interested in reselling, you may be able to donate these goods to a local charity. Be sure to find out their rules for donating, as charities can’t accept everything, such as used mattresses.

Discuss Your Finances

Money is one of the few conversational taboos left. Even in this modern age of openness, it is not always comfortable or appropriate to discuss salaries, savings, or expenses. That said, if you’re in a relationship, there are important times to do so If you have not broached this subject yet; make a point to talk about it before beginning your cohabitation. This way, you can have clear expectations on both sides about your current savings and/or debt, how you will split the costs of the household, and what money is just for yourself. If you are living with a roommate, it’s still important to talk about the expectations and responsibilities when it comes to splitting your bills.

Savings & Debt

If you’re a couple and one partner is paying off a student loan, it may mean that overall spending needs to be lowered to accommodate debt payments. Alternatively, if a partner has a large sum of money in savings, does that immediately make it shared income or is that for their personal use? Talking about these expectations is vital to avoid miscommunication about the purpose of these funds.

If you’re living with roommates, make sure you give your cohabitants a general idea of how much money you’re able to contribute to bills based on your monthly income, savings, and debt.

Splitting the Costs

In a relationship, sharing your wealth is part of living together. Bills, groceries, rent, or mortgage payments must be paid, and there are various ways to split the cost. The most common way to do this is to add up all the bills every month and each pay half. You could consider assigning the bills—a simple way to avoid the monthly math. Or, if you don’t mind the math, you could even base the split on the income of each partner. For example, if you make 70% of the household income, you can pay for 70% of the household bills.

 

Alternatively, roommates may choose to split costs based on the space you’re each using. If one person gets the better parking space, maybe they could also contribute more to the rent payment. Regardless of how you decide to make that partition, be sure that each of you is on the same page.

Private Spending

Not all your money should be locked into household expenses. If you’re a couple, private spending is important for independence in a relationship. Spending your own money without justifying it to your partner (or yourself) is good for your mental health, which is essential to a healthy relationship. Go ahead: buy that takeout for lunch, those shoes, or a new gadget; just ensure you’ve met your household obligations before you spend that money.

 

Consider the Logistics Beforehand

While these may seem like topics of conversation you would normally bring up with your partner, talking about these things before you move in can help make the transition go smoothly and maintain your relationship in the long-term. If you’re moving in with a friend, make sure you discuss your living habits and outlook for the near future to make sure you both have clear expectations for your cohabitation.

 

For continued reading on choosing your new place, we suggest Settling in to a New Community or Your Guide to Moving Out for the First Time.

AMJ’s Advice from the Expert: How to Avoid Moving Day Surprises

When you first moved away from home, you may have fit all your possessions in your own car. The further you get through life, the more complicated moving becomes. From one room, to an apartment, to a home with kids and pets, relocating becomes more work. Don’t worry, we spoke with AMJ Senior Project Manager Stan Hanes about forgotten items, forgotten preparation, and moving day surprises, plus some simple ways to avoid a stressful move.

The Top 4 Forgotten Items

While you’re packing up your life, it’s easy to pack something that you will need during the relocation. In our decades of experience, we have learned how to plan and execute a stress-free move. Stan suggests creating a “carry-on”, a bag that keeps all the everyday necessities you’ll need as soon as you get to your new home or while you’re on the move. Even with this proactive approach, we still have belongings that get packed by accident. Stan discusses his top 4 forgotten items.

Medication

While normally parked on your bathroom counter or bedside table, prescription bottles are easy items to be packed by our movers. It is difficult to know if medication is daily or occasional, so it’s a wise choice to put that in your carry-on before the movers come to pack your belongings.

Glasses

With the variety of eyewear out there, glasses could be for reading, driving, or daily use. Stan suggests packing these in your carry-on or you may be reliant on your contacts until you unpack them at the new place. This also means you’ll know just where they are at all times, preventing you from searching through boxes or damaging your glasses.

Passport

Your passport is vital, especially if you’re moving to a new country, as you’re going to need that to even get to your new place. Passports are often stored in a secure place at home, in a box or even a safe. Before the movers begin packing your home, locate your passport (and any other documents you’ll need) and add it to your carry-on.

Wallet

While this seems like one item that would be hard to forget, it still makes our top four, which means is does happen. Wallets are usually set down when you get home, and not always in the same spot. This makes it easy to get packed without notice.

Commonly Overlooked Preparations

Beyond the belongings frequently forgotten to pack (or not to pack), Stan mentioned several things clients frequently forget to do in preparation for their move. We have a moving checklist that covers the basics of what to remember when preparing to move, but there are a few tiny things that often escape attention.

Liquids, Liquids, Liquids

At AMJ, we cannot move open containers of liquids. The biggest area is the kitchen where liquids are found.  Condiments, oils, and other food items that sit in liquid, like jars of pickles, pose a problem for movers. Open oil cannot be moved, as it is flammable. Other liquids run the risk of leaking into the truck and onto furniture or into other boxes. Jars that are still sealed are safe to move, while those which have been opened should be used before the move or thrown away.

The Drawer Under the Stove

When doing the final check of the cupboards, the drawer underneath the stove is often overlooked. Possibly because the drawer is mentally grouped in with the appliances. If you think you may forget to pack that tray of pans, slap a sticky note on it with a reminder to double check that area.

Lightbulbs in Lamps

Packed floor and table lamps should all have their lightbulbs removed before they get put on the truck. This is the safest way to move these pieces for everyone. Keep them in a secure box for transport, then you can pop them back in when you arrive.

Glass Table in Microwave

The microwave seems like one item when it’s actually two! The glass table that rotates inside your microwave should not be shipped loose in the appliance. Instead, take it out and pack it carefully with your plates and other fragile kitchen goods.

Purge & Pitch

Moving is the best time to get rid of unused possessions in your house, Stan reminds us. If you refer to our moving checklist, you’ll see that having a garage sale is the second item on this list. You may have things that are no longer needed like kids bikes, toys your children have grown out of, and other gear that has been living in your storage space for far too long. Stan suggests doing a “pitch and purge” to lighten the load and have suggested the two areas of the hours that are overlooked.

Out of Style Furniture

Upon arrival at the new house, you may realize that the sofa doesn’t match, or that desk set doesn’t fit. Taking measurements and photos can help you cut back on the possessions you plan to pack that you may end up getting rid of after the move. Consider the smaller belongings, too, that you may no longer use, like crock pots, empty fish tanks, or even fake plants.

Donating

A stocked pantry is nice to have, but it’s not nice to move. If you’re not interested in hauling 50 cans of soup across the country, there are places to donate food where it will go to people in need. Check your local listings for associations and groups, or we can suggest a charity in your neighbourhood for you to contribute your excess, non-perishable food.

Pets & Children

Moving can be a bustling and dangerous endeavour with a lot coming and going so it’s a good idea to consider a play date or some activities like crafts or games to keep children included and still supervised. Similarly, dogs, cats, and other pets can find moving to be very stressful time. Stan suggests boarding pets for the day. If you’re worried about their anxiety, find an animal day care center that offers spa treatments for your pet.

Cats are Sneaky Animals

Even the best efforts have varying results. Stan shared a story about a cat that went on a epic journey, by cat standards. During one family’s move to a new home in Halifax, the moving van arrived with all their boxes and furniture. When the movers rolled the door open, out popped a cat. The family took a look at the furry friend who came along for the ride. No, it wasn’t their cat; it was their neighbours! Luckily, Air Canada was kind enough to fly the feline home for free, arriving safe and sound back home.

 

In the end, it’s all About Planning Your Move

Few relocations are perfect, but we do what we can to help make them seamless and stress-free. You can do your part for an easy move by mitigating hazards before we arrive. Packing a carry-on and remembering final preparations like lightbulbs and liquids can keep your task safe and comprehensive. Stan reminds us that shovelling the walk, moving garbage out of the way, and isolating children and pets can help the AMJ team do their job as efficiently as possible.

For more tips on downsizing, read these blogs: 3 Tips for a Successful Moving Sale and Downsizing Your Life: How to Decide What to Bring.

For those with pets and kids, be ready with these blogs: Moving with Kids: 4 Tips to Make it Easier and Tips for Moving with Pets.

Comment se préparer pour la Journée du déménagement au Québec

La Journée du déménagement approchant, des milliers de personnes mettent toute leur petite vie dans des boîtes et se préparent à effectuer la transition vers leur nouveau logement. En cette saison, il y a beaucoup d’animation dans les rues avec les festivals d’été qui battent leur plein, et cela rend la Journée du déménagement à la fois excitante et stressante.

 

Comme pour tout déménagement ou changement, nous avons réuni des conseils pour vous aider à surmonter cette journée aussi sereinement que possible.

 

Planifiez votre itinéraire

De nombreuses personnes choisissent de rester dans le même quartier en déménageant au bout de la rue ou à quelques blocs, ce qui leur offre la possibilité de transporter leurs affaires à pied. Avec des milliers de personnes déménageant le même jour, les routes ont de grandes chances d’être saturées. De plus, certaines villes organisent des festivités à l’occasion de la Fête du Canada comme par exemple, le défilé de la Fête du Canada le long de la rue Ste-Catherine à Montréal. Vous pouvez donc vous attendre à ce qu’il y ait de la foule, des rues fermées et des difficultés de stationnement. Le centre-ville sera également occupé par le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, ce qui signifie qu’il y aura beaucoup de festivaliers dans les rues.

 

Si vous le pouvez, essayez de planifier votre itinéraire de manière à éviter au maximum les zones congestionnées. Vous pourriez également envisager de débuter votre déménagement le plus tôt possible, avant que toute l’agitation commence.

 

Débarrassez-vous de vos objets responsablement

Si vous prévoyez de vous débarrasser de vos affaires inutilisées, prenez contact avec les différentes organisations acceptant les dons. En donnant les choses que vous avez aimées à ces organismes, vous offrez à d’autres personnes la chance de les aimer à leur tour. Vous éviterez également l’encombrement de la rue, qui est une des conséquences de cette Journée du déménagement.

 

Demandez de l’aide

Si vous avez déjà engagé un déménageur professionnel, pas de problème, vous avez toute l’aide qu’il vous faut pour le grand jour! Si vous n’avez pas contacté d’entreprise de déménagement, il est sans doute trop tard. Une chance que vos amis et votre famille puissent vous aider! Pensez à demander un coup de main à votre réseau pour vous aider à déménager vos affaires vers votre nouveau logement. Vous pourriez être surpris du nombre de personnes prêtes à rendre service.

 

Privilégiez la sécurité

La majorité des appartements au Québec, en particulier à Montréal, n’incluent pas les électroménagers. Vous verrez donc un défilé de réfrigérateurs et de cuisinières transportés à l’aide de simples diables vers leurs nouveaux emplacements. Embaucher des déménageurs professionnels est la façon la plus fiable de vous assurer que vos appareils arrivent à destination en toute sécurité.

 

Gardez l’essentiel à portée de main

Pièces d’identité, médicaments et autres objets de valeur devraient rester avec vous pendant le déménagement pour vous assurer qu’ils ne soient pas égarés. Garder d’autres essentiels tels qu’une brosse à dents, un chargeur de téléphone et du papier hygiénique, vous facilitera la transition pendant que vous déballez le reste de vos affaires.

 

 

 

 

Faites votre changement d’adresse

Avant d’emménager dans votre nouveau logement, n’oubliez pas de contacter vos fournisseurs de services et assurez-vous qu’ils sont informés de votre changement d’adresse. Vous ne voulez pas arriver dans votre nouvelle maison et vous rendre compte qu’il n’y a ni eau ni électricité!

 

Identifiez vos boîtes

Il est presque certain que vous allez perdre quelque chose en déménageant. Où est passé ce vieux t-shirt que vous tenez absolument à garder même si vous ne le mettez jamais? Minimisez les risques d’égarer vos effets personnels en identifiant toutes vos boîtes. Cela aidera également à savoir où les poser. Rangez tous les ustensiles de cuisine dans une boîte, les livres dans une autre, et les vêtements dans une autre encore. De cette façon, vous saurez exactement où se trouve ce dont vous avez besoin sans avoir à tout déballer.

 

Procurez-vous les essentiels du parfait déménageur

Que vous emballiez ou déballiez, voici quelques fournitures indispensables à un déménagement efficace: ruban adhésif, ciseaux, boîtes, papier d’emballage, sacs-poubelle, tournevis et marqueurs. Vous aurez besoin de toutes ces choses à un moment ou à un autre de votre déménagement alors, assurez-vous d’en avoir assez (et plus encore!) pour pouvoir tout faire.

 

Protégez-vous de la chaleur

Une vague de chaleur extrême est annoncée sur le Québec dès samedi avec des températures ressenties pouvant atteindre les 46˚C. Optez pour des vêtements aux tissus clairs et légers, les couleurs foncées attirant la chaleur. Privilégiez toutefois le port de chaussures fermées afin d’éviter les risques d’accident pendant le transport des meubles et des boîtes.

 

Prenez également des pauses régulières afin de bien vous hydrater. L’activité physique que constitue un déménagement peut être intense et par grande chaleur, les risques de déshydratation et de malaises sont accrus. Ayez toujours une bouteille d’eau à portée de main et buvez régulièrement!

 

Pour plus de conseils pour préparer cette Journée du déménagement, consultez ce blogue.

Aménagez votre jardin en suivant ces 3 tendances de la saison

Chaque année au mois de juin, des évènements sont organisés dans tout le pays pour célébrer les Journées du jardin. Cette semaine, qu’il s’agisse d’un marché, d’un atelier de jardinage ou d’un pique-nique ouvert à tous, joignez-vous à d’autres amoureux de la nature.

 

Comme dans la plupart des domaines artistiques, les tendances en matière d’horticulture varient d’une saison à l’autre. Nous avons rassemblé quelques-unes des tendances jardin les plus populaires de la saison pour vous aider à mettre en valeur votre extérieur cet été.

 

Soyez créatifs avec vos jardinières

Les jardinières permettent d’égayer n’importe quel espace de vie de façon simple et efficace. Essayez de combiner des arrangements uniques de couleurs, de fleurs et de plantes.

 

Si vous vivez dans un petit appartement, vous pouvez composer un arrangement avec différentes variétés de fleurs et de plantes pour créer votre propre jardin intérieur. Si vous avez besoin de faire de la place pour recevoir des invités, le paysagiste Carson Arthur vous suggère de rendre vos créations mobiles en plaçant vos pots sur des bases à roulettes.

 

Non seulement vous pouvez élaborer quelque chose d’original avec votre sélection de plantes, mais vous pouvez également créer ou choisir la jardinière qui les mettra en valeur. Il existe différentes couleurs, formes, styles et tailles que vous pouvez utiliser en fonction de votre style personnel. Il existe même des pots en forme d’animaux! Si vous aimez créer de vos propres mains, vous pourriez envisager de réaliser et de peindre votre propre pot en argile.

 

Vous pourriez également donner une nouvelle vie à de vieux objets en les réutilisant comme pots pour votre jardin. Les bottes de pluie, les tasses, les pneus et les théières peuvent devenir des contenants originaux et créatifs pour votre mini-oasis. Si vous avez d’anciens tiroirs de commode non utilisés, vous pouvez créer une œuvre d’art écologique à exposer dans votre cour ou votre jardin. Gardez cependant à l’esprit qu’en fonction de leur variété, de leur système racinaire, du climat et d’autres facteurs, les plantes auront besoin de différents types de pots et de drainage.

 

Si vous débutez en jardinage et que vous craignez qu’il soit difficile de prendre soin de plusieurs variétés de plantes en même temps, les plantes grasses sont une bonne option car elles sont généralement peu coûteuses et faciles à entretenir.

 

Profitez de votre extérieur

Les étés au Québec peuvent souvent paraître trop courts. Une des meilleures façons de profiter de la belle saison est d’aménager un espace de vie à l’extérieur. Acheter des meubles de jardin peut vous aider à créer un espace confortable pour vous détendre. Profiter de son jardin a bien évolué depuis l’époque des chaises pliantes en plastique. Il existe désormais une grande variété de meubles confortables tels que des canapés en bois plein de style, surmontés de coussins moelleux et résistants aux intempéries. Vous n’avez pas à renoncer au confort simplement parce que vous êtes dehors!

 

Si vous trouvez que votre jardin ou votre balcon sont trop ensoleillés pour pouvoir y passer de longs moments, vous pourriez songer à installer un auvent, un parasol ou un abri de jardin pour créer un espace ombragé.

 

Ces dernières années, une des tendances les plus populaires a été de déplacer l’espace de vie au plus près du jardin pour une expérience immersive et pleine de sérénité. Généralement, les terrasses sont construites contre la maison, mais de plus en plus de gens préfèrent prendre leurs repas sous les arbres, les pieds dans l’herbe, plutôt qu’à côté de leur cuisine. Pour cela, ils aménagent des espaces de vie dans leur jardin, au cœur même des arbres et de la verdure.

 

Plantez votre propre potager

Outre les fleurs et les jolies plantes, les légumes peuvent être un merveilleux ajout à votre jardin. Les avantages de cultiver vos propres produits sont plus nombreux que vous l’imaginez.

 

Par exemple, un paquet de graines coûte beaucoup moins cher que d’acheter des légumes à l’épicerie. Vous pouvez également décider quoi planter et en quelle quantité, de sorte que vous n’aurez plus à courir à l’épicerie pour chercher le basilic dont vous avez besoin pour la salade caprese du souper.

 

De plus, vous contrôlez la façon dont vos légumes sont cultivés. Que vous souhaitiez cultiver organiquement ou non, vous prenez les décisions et vous pouvez avoir confiance en sachant exactement d’où provient votre nourriture.

 

Par ailleurs, vous n’avez pas besoin d’un grand espace pour cultiver vos légumes. Vous pouvez utiliser de petits pots pour les herbes, ou bien, vous pouvez faire pousser certains fruits et légumes à la verticale pour économiser l’espace. Vous n’avez pas non plus besoin de séparer les différentes plantes les unes des autres. Certaines cultures sont compatibles et peuvent pousser ensemble dans un même sol. Lorsque vous avez décidé quels fruits et légumes cultiver, vérifiez si vous pouvez faire des associations pour vous aider à économiser de l’espace.

 

Le côté imprévisible de la météo peut compliquer vos projets de jardinage estival. S’il n’y a pas assez de chaleur cette saison, vous pouvez donner un coup de pouce à vos semis en créant des mini serres. Les bouteilles en plastique procurent une excellente isolation. Coupez simplement vos bouteilles en deux, ajoutez du terreau et vos semences, et placez le tout au soleil pour aider à retenir la chaleur.

 

Peu importe la taille ou le type d’espace que vous avez – balcon ou terrain – il y a une grande variété de tendances dont vous pouvez profiter cette saison. Dans un espace plus petit, vous pouvez créer un jardin mobile ou vertical. Dans un grand jardin, vous pouvez aménager un coin intime et tranquille pour profiter pleinement des beautés de la nature.

 

Pour savoir quelles activités des Journées du jardin se déroulent dans votre ville, visitez le site officiel.

 

Si vous prévoyez un aménagement paysager pour vous aider à mieux vendre votre maison, visitez notre blogue pour plus de conseils.

Spruce Up Your Yard This Summer with These 3 Seasonal Tips

Canadians celebrate Garden Days for a week every June with a variety of events across the country. Whether it’s a farmer’s market, gardening workshop, or a public picnic, you can come together with all kinds of like-minded nature lovers this week.

 

Like many other arts, horticultural trends can vary from season to season. We’ve put together a few of this year’s most popular gardening tips to help you liven up your space this summer.

 

Get creative with containers

Containers can be a simple and vibrant way to brighten up any living space. Try combining unique arrangements of different colours, flowers, and plants.

If you have a small apartment, you can fill a pot with a variety of flowers and plants to make your own indoor garden. If you need to make room to entertain guests, Carson Arthur suggests making your creation portable by putting it on wheels.

 

Not only can you make something original with your greenery selection—you can also create or select the container you put your arrangement in. There are many different colours, shapes, styles, and sizes you can use to express your personal style. Some pots even come in animal shapes! If you’re really interested DIY projects, you might even consider making and painting your own clay pot.

 

Alternatively, you could upcycle some old belongings and repurpose them as a pot for your garden. Rain boots, mugs, tires, and teapots can all make creative containers for your mini oasis. If you have old dresser drawers that aren’t being used, you could create a unique ecological art piece to display in your front or your backyard. Keep in mind, however, that different plants will require different types of pots and drainage depending on their root systems, the climate where you live, or other factors.

 

If you’re new to gardening and are concerned about the potential difficulty of caring for different types of plants, succulents may be a good option because they’re generally inexpensive and easy to care for.

 

Bring your living outdoors

Summers in Canada can often feel too short. One of the best ways to take advantage of the sunny season is to create an outdoor living space. Investing in patio furniture can help you create a comfortable area for you to unwind. Backyard relaxation has graduated from the days of simple folding plastic chairs to more elaborate wooden couches topped with plush, weather-proof cushions. You don’t have to forego extra comforts just because you’re outdoors!

If you find your yard or balcony gets too much sun to spend extended periods of time outside, you could get an awning, umbrella, or another type of shelter to create a shaded space.

 

A popular trend over the past few years has been the movement of outdoor living deeper into the yard for a more immersive and tranquil experience. Typically, patios would tuck in close to a home’s deck or the side of the house. Now, people prefer to enjoy their meals among the trees and grass rather than just beyond their kitchen doors—they’re creating dedicated spaces within their property, among the gardens and foliage.

 

Plant your own produce

Apart from flowers and other aesthetic plants, vegetables can make a wonderful addition to your garden. The benefits of growing your own produce are more than you might expect.

For instance, a pack of seeds costs far less than purchasing vegetables at the grocery store. You can also decide what you want to plant and how much, so you won’t need to run around the city in search of that basil you need for the night’s caprese salad.

 

Additionally, you’re in control of how your vegetables are grown. Whether you want to grow organically or not, you make the decisions and you can feel confident knowing exactly where your food is coming from.

 

What’s more, you don’t need a large yard to grow your vegetables in. You can use small pots for herbs, or you can grow certain fruits and vegetables vertically to conserve space. You also don’t necessarily need to separate each different plant. Some crops are compatible and can grow together in the same soil. Once you decide which fruits and veggies you want to grow, find out if you have any pairings that can go together to help you save room.

 

The unpredictable nature of Canadian weather can complicate your summer gardening plans. If you don’t seem to be getting enough warmth this season, you can support your plants by creating mini greenhouses for them. Milk jugs make for excellent insulation. Simply cut open one side and place it over your plant to help it retain heat from sunlight.

 

 

No matter what size or type of space you have—balcony or acreage—there are various trends this gardening season you can take advantage of. In a smaller area, you can make your garden portable or vertical. In a larger yard, you can create intimate and tranquil retreats where you can fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of your garden.

 

To find out what kind of Garden Days events are happening in your city, you can visit the official website.

 

If you’re sprucing up your landscaping to help sell your home, visit our blog for more tips.

3 Tips for a Successful Moving Sale

Packing is a lovely reminder of all the wonderful items you own. It’s also a potentially distressing reminder of all the stuff you’ve collected that is now cluttering up your life. Moving is an opportune time to turn that chaos into cash with a yard or garage sale. Organizing a moving sale can be a lot of work, but the rewards are well worth it. When you move into your new home with extra money and fewer belongings to unpack, you’ll be thankful you did it.

Before embarking on your yard sale odyssey, it’s important to do some research. There are a number of products which must meet safety requirements under the Hazardous Products Act. Car seats, garden torches, and helmets, among others need to meet certain requirements for legal resale. We suggest checking this list compiling banned garage sale items and reading Health Canada’s Facts for Garage Sale Vendors.

To help you get started on your moving sale, we’ve compiled our top 3 tips for making it easy.

Moving Sale Tip #1: Categorize Your Items

Visitors will have a better time navigating your market if it’s well-organized. Not only does it need to be easy to get through—it also needs to be well-presented. Be sure to wipe that layer of dust off your wares and avoid trying to sell broken items. The more efficiently they find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to continue browsing—and buying!

Create Sections for Easier Shopping

While garage sales shoppers are all about the hunt for treasures, that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to dig through a box of random toys, kids’ clothes, and pet accessories to possibly find a gem. Create different sections for clothing, toys, ceramics, movies, and anything else that might be available. Some people are hunting specifically for lamps, kitchen items, or media, so give them the chance to access these items quickly and easily.

 

 Make Clothing Accessible

Sizing is a must when it comes to wardrobe. Separate different sizes (especially for kids’ clothes, a popular department at yard sales) so shoppers can browse the sizes they are looking for. Additionally, if you clearly mark shoes with their sizes, fewer people will be trying on shoes that don’t fit—keeping that section from getting congested throughout the day. Create a distinct area for accessories, as well—hats, belts, and scarves can be grouped together or separately, depending on quantity.

Be Smart About Pricing

Pricing items can be tricky. The cost needs to be low enough that it will sell, but high enough it will be worthwhile. Consider the retail value of the product (tip 7 in this blog), as well as the personal value of that item. If you’re really interested in getting rid of something before you move, such as a large piece of furniture, it might be worth pricing it conservatively, so you don’t wind up having to move it.

While it might be tempting to price things all at once on the morning of your yard sale, this may not be the best method. Dedicated garage-salers will be out first thing in the morning to get the best bargains around the neighbourhood. Price your items as you’re boxing them up for your sale to save some time and energy. Group pricing, like charging $10 for each shirt or 3 for $25, can save you a lot of time and possibly bring more sales. Most importantly, keep prices to quarter or whole-dollars denominations to make on-the-fly addition and change-making a snap.

Moving Sale Tip #2: Offer Snacks & Drinks

If you have kids who are eager helpers, consider allowing them to oversee a refreshment table. This will keep them busy and out of your way. Let them give away food and snacks to those attending your yard sale. Include a tip jar if you like but be sure to check your local laws if you plan on selling food at your yard sale, as you may need a permit.

A Delicious Energy Boost

Lemonade or iced tea can be served out of a large jug or dispenser; add lots of ice on hot days. In the morning or on chilly days, keep carafes of coffee and hot water for tea on-hand. These refreshing or warming beverages will delight your browsers and extend their patience.

Be Allergy Friendly

Not everyone can eat nuts, eggs, gluten, or dairy. Do your best to avoid them where possible, but if you can’t get around them, common allergens should all be clearly indicated. If you’re quite keen, you can even attempt to make all your treats allergen-free, to avoid cross-contamination or accidental ingestion.

 

Moving Sale Tip #3: Spread the Word

Don’t forget to advertise! Who can go to your garage sale if they don’t know it’s happening? The more people who know about your sale, the more successful it will be. Word of mouth is a good start—tell your friends, family, and neighbours about your market and encourage them to tell their social circle. However, don’t rely on this alone.

Signage Success

Make flyers to put up around the neighbourhood. Put them up in local businesses, like grocery stores and post offices, that frequently have a bulletin board for posters. Don’t forget to ask for permission—many places will require a stamp of approval. If it’s not approved, your flyer may get taken down. You can place temporary signage in the neighbourhood, where allowed, that includes directions to help funnel people to your sale. Balloons, flags, and bright colours are fabulous attention-grabbers.

Your signs should have the location of your sale, as well the types of items you’re selling. Include prices where applicable and be sure to mention items that may be of special interest, like kitchen appliances, furniture, or baby accessories. If you can, add photos of your unique wares on your signs.

Social Media Mentions

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are all useful platforms for advertising your yard sale. Create a Facebook event page where you can invite friends. You can also keep it public, so attendees can invite more people. Consider posting photos of your sale preparations with the date of the moving sale in the days leading up to it. On the day of, you could take photos or videos of the event or products for sale to entice your followers to check it out.

Online Marketplaces

People are checking online marketplaces every day. According to Global News, Kijiji Canada has 12 million monthly visits. Advertising your yard sale on Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace could significantly boost traffic. Add your signage and items to your listing to help searchers get a good idea of what you have for sale to attract the right customers.

It’s Worth the Work

A moving sale is a big event that takes lots of groundwork. However, the work is well worth the effort. Not only will you have extra money for moving expenses—you’ll have fewer things to pack into the moving truck. When you arrive at your new place, you’ll have less to unpack and more room to settle in.

To read more on downsizing for a move, read Downsizing Your Life: How to Decide What to Bring. When you’re ready to move, choose from an AMJ Campbell location near you!

 

Doù vient le radon? Le radon dans votre maison

Radon gas comes in through basement - image

Invisible et inodore, le radon est un gaz radioactif libéré naturellement dans l’environnement par la désintégration de l’uranium présent dans les roches et les sols. Bien qu’il ne présente pas de risque à l’air libre, le radon peut constituer un danger pour la santé s’il s’accumule à l’intérieur.

 

À l’occasion du mois de la sécurité, nous voulons vous fournir les principales informations sur ce gaz potentiellement dangereux, et sur les façons de le détecter et d’en atténuer la quantité dans votre maison.

 

Comment s’infiltre-t-il dans ma maison?

Puisque le radon est issu de la désintégration des roches et des sols, le gaz pénètre généralement dans votre maison au niveau du sous-sol. Le plus souvent, le radon s’infiltre par les fissures des fenêtres et des murs de fondation, les espaces autour des tuyaux, les drains de plancher, les joints de construction ou par vos systèmes d’approvisionnement en eau. S’il s’accumule dans un espace clos, la concentration peut devenir élevée et poser un risque important pour la santé. Les sous-sols et les vides sanitaires présentent généralement des taux plus élevés de radon car ils se situent au plus près de la source d’émanation et sont rarement bien ventilés.

 

Quel est son impact sur ma santé?

L’exposition au radon est une des principales causes de cancer du poumon chez les non-fumeurs. Le gaz peut être associé à 16% des cas mortels de cancer du poumon, et à environ 3300 décès par an au Canada. De plus, les fumeurs voient leur risque de développer un cancer du poumon s’accroître encore davantage s’ils sont exposés à des concentrations dangereuses de radon.

 

Malgré ces risques sérieux pour la santé, Santé Canada affirme que seulement 6% des gens effectuent un test de radon dans leur maison. Une étude dans la région de Calgary a révélé qu’une maison testée sur huit présentait des concentrations de radon supérieures à 200 Bg/m3, soit la limite sécuritaire maximale fixée par Santé Canada. Cette limite est déjà le double de la recommandation maximale émise par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé.

 

Où se trouvent les concentrations de radon les plus élevées?

Parce que ce gaz provient de la désintégration naturelle de l’uranium dans l’environnement, il est difficile de savoir exactement où les niveaux pourraient être les plus élevés. Le radon est présent partout au Canada, aucune région n’est épargnée. Bien que certaines provinces aient des zones avec un risque plus élevé, toutes les maisons individuelles devraient être testées car il peut y avoir d’importantes variations au sein d’un même secteur. De plus, les concentrations pourraient devenir plus denses et présenter un risque majeur si le gaz pénètre dans votre maison.

 

Comment puis-je tester ma maison?

Lorsqu’il s’agit de détecter la concentration de radon dans votre maison, deux solutions s’offrent à vous: vous pouvez acheter une trousse de mesure du radon dans un magasin de bricolage ou, vous pouvez faire appel à un professionnel certifié du PNCR-C. Peu importe l’option choisie, il est recommandé de tester votre maison sur une période d’au moins trois mois.

 

Afin d’obtenir l’indication la plus précise du niveau de radon auquel votre famille et vous êtes exposés, le meilleur endroit pour effectuer le test est le sous-sol. Si celui-ci n’est que peu utilisé, faites le test au niveau le plus bas de votre maison qui est régulièrement occupé.

 

Comment puis-je atténuer le niveau de radon dans ma maison?

Si vous découvrez que vous êtes exposé à une forte concentration de radon, vous devrez ventiler votre maison pour rejeter le radon vers l’extérieur, et vous devrez sceller toutes les ouvertures par lesquelles le gaz pourrait s’infiltrer.

 

Pour vous assurer une ventilation optimale, demandez conseil à un professionnel du PNCR-C qui vous aidera à mettre en place un système d’atténuation du radon efficace.

 

Dépressurisation

La méthode la plus courante d’atténuation du niveau de radon est la dépressurisation active du sol. Un professionnel du PNCR-C installera une petite pompe dans la dalle de plancher de votre sous-sol pour annuler la différence de pression entre la maison et le sol. Cela rejettera le gaz vers l’extérieur avant qu’il ne s’infiltre chez vous.

 

 

 

 

Il existe d’autres méthodes de dépressurisation qui varient en fonction de votre domicile et de l’endroit où se situent les niveaux de radon les plus élevés. Votre système de drainage ou de puisard peut être équipé d’un système d’aspiration pour évacuer le gaz de votre maison.

 

L’étanchéité

Vous pouvez sceller les puisards ouverts et les drains de plancher avec des couvercles spéciaux qui permettent à l’eau de pénétrer tout en empêchant le radon de s’infiltrer dans votre maison. Les fissures dans les murs ou les joints de construction peuvent être scellés avec du calfeutrant, tandis que le sol brut du vide sanitaire peut être recouvert d’une membrane d’étanchéité.

 

 

Ventilation mécanique

Vous pourriez envisager d’utiliser un ventilateur-récupérateur de chaleur ou d’énergie (VRC ou VRE) pour augmenter l’aération de votre maison. En évacuant l’air vers l’extérieur, ce système atténuera le niveau de radon.

 

Après la mise en place d’un système d’atténuation du radon, effectuez des tests de suivi pour vous assurer qu’il fonctionne correctement.

 

En ce mois de la sécurité, pensez à la santé de votre famille et prévoyez d’effectuer un test de radon dans votre maison.

 

Pour plus d’informations sur la détection et l’atténuation du radon dans votre maison, visitez le site Internet du PNCR-C.

 

Pour en savoir plus sur la sécurité dans votre maison, lisez notre blogue.

 

Radon Gas in Homes: Symptoms

Radon gas comes in through basement - image

Invisible and odourless, radioactive radon gas occurs naturally in the environment when the uranium in rocks and soil breaks down. Although it does not pose a risk when outdoors, radon can be a health hazard if it gets trapped indoors.

This National Safety Month, we want to equip you with some basic information about this potentially dangerous gas, how you can detect it, and how to reduce the amount in your home.

How does radon affect my health?

Radon exposure is a leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The gas may be related to 16% of all fatal lung cancer cases and roughly 3,300 Canadian deaths per year. Additionally, smokers are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer if they are exposed to dangerous levels of radon.

Despite these serious health concerns, Health Canada says only 6% of people test their homes for radon. In fact, a study of the Calgary area discovered that 1 in 8 homes tested contained radon levels higher than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada’s maximum safe limit—which is already double the recommendation from the World Health Organization.

How does radon get into my home?

Since the gas is a product of rock and soil breakdown, radon usually enters your home from basement levels. Most commonly, radon can seep in through cracks in your windows fittings, foundation walls, gaps around pipes, floor drains, construction joints, or in your water supply. If it gets trapped in an enclosed space, the levels could increase and become a greater health risk. Basements and crawl spaces will usually have the highest amounts of radon since they are closer to the source and are generally not as well-ventilated.

Where are radon levels highest?

Because this gas is a natural product of uranium decay in the environment, it is difficult to predict where levels might be highest. Radon is found everywhere in Canada—no regions are “radon-free”. While some provinces have higher hazard zones, individual houses should still be tested because there could be vast variations within those areas. Furthermore, concentrations could become higher and pose a greater risk if the gas enters your home.

Radon Potential Map Canada - Image

Image source: Radon Environmental Management Corporation. 2011

How do I test for radon in my home?

When it comes to detecting radon levels in your house, you have a couple options: you can purchase a do-it-yourself kit from a local hardware store, or you can hire a certified C-NRPP radon measurement professional. No matter which option you choose, it is recommended that your home is tested for a minimum 3-month period.

To get the most accurate reading of the level of radon you and your family are exposed to, the best place to conduct the radon test is in your basement or the lowest level in your home that is regularly used.

How do I reduce the amount in my home?

If you discover that you’re living in high levels of radon gas, you will need to ventilate your house to redirect the radon outdoors and seal any openings through which the gas may be coming in.

To ensure that you’re ventilating effectively, you should consult a C-NRPP radon mitigation professional to help you create a plan.

Depressurization

The most common method of mitigating radon levels is active soil depressurization. A C-NRPP professional will install a small pump in your basement sub-flooring to reverse the air pressure difference between the house and the soil. This will redirect the gas to the outdoors before it can enter your home.

Diagram of radon depressurization - image

Image source: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/reports-publications/radiation/radon-reduction-guide-canadians-health-canada-2013.html

 

There are other methods of depressurization that vary depending on your home and where your radon levels are highest. Your drainage system or sump-hole, for example, can be fitted with a suction system to draw the gas away from your home.

Sealing

You can seal open sumps and floor drains with special covers that can still allow water through while preventing radon from entering your house. Cracks in walls or construction joints can be sealed with caulking, while exposed soil in crawl spaces can be covered with a plastic membrane.

Mechanical Ventilation

You might consider using a heat or energy recovery ventilator (HRV or ERV) to increase the ventilation in your home. By venting air outdoors, this system will also reduce the radon levels.

After installing a mitigation system, make sure you conduct follow-up tests to ensure that it’s working effectively.

This National Safety Month, keep your family’s health in mind and consider testing your home for radon gas.

 

For more information on detecting and mitigating radon in your home, visit the C-NRPP website.

 

Now that you’ve learned about radon symptoms, you can learn more about safety in your home on our blog.