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Moving to Montreal: advice for solving the logistical puzzle
We're not talking here about administrative formalities or immigration, but about the physical transportation of your family and belongings.
What needs to be done, when, and how? Everything has to be done in the right order if you want to avoid finding yourself without a place to stay, or having your belongings returned to their point of origin!
Below, we give you the keys to help you perfectly organize each step for moving to Montreal.
Planning the logistical aspects of moving to Montreal
The word “logistics” is used in the military to refer to all of the complex planning necessary to house, move, and supply an entire army.
It’s an equation with several unkowns, including above all the unexpected. It’s necessary to be responsive, and to have in place plans A, B, and even C.
The difficulty resides in the coordination of several different events:
- The departure: Should we book the flight in advance? Should the whole family depart at the same time? When is the best time to arrive?
- Moving the household: Is this really necessary? How much does it cost? What is “customs clearance”? Should we plan for a storage period?
- Finding housing: When should we look for housing? Can we choose a place from afar? What legal documents are required? Which date is best to begin the lease?
Your choices will depend on your situation: your budget, timeframe, and family and professional constraints. One thing is certain, long nights of researching, hesitating, and decision-making!
We advise you to avoid arriving in winter: depending on where you move from, the temperature could be a shock, and difficult climatic conditions could have adverse effects on your moving plans.
If you are immigrating with children, take advantage of the summer school vacation. By arriving in July, there will be time to prepare for the back-to-school season, and the entire family will have time to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings.
Spring remains the best time for moving to Montreal: the weather is mild, festival season has just begun, and there is abundant housing available.
Moving to Montreal: the best time of year to look for housing
- The vast majority of leases start on July 1st and end on June 30th. Therefore, the ideal time to look for housing is between April and June. Depending on your needs, it’s possible that your search will be more difficult at other times of year.
- Never choose your housing from a distance without having visited it yourself.
Organizing an exploratory trip
This is an excellent solution, but it requires a budget and time. A visit before moving to Montreal requires above all flawless organization.
Too much adrenaline and stress is bad for your health, so choose a wise and effective solution!
With good preparation and the aid of professionals like C&G Relocation, 4 to 5 days are sufficient to:
- open a bank account
- find housing
- choose a school and daycare
- familiarize yourself with your new neighbourhood
Sending a scout
This isn’t a perfect solution: it’s difficult for the scout to make decisions alone on the one hand, and frustrating for the person who stays behind on the other. But it does allow you to avoid having to deal with the kids during housing visits and the first steps of relocation.
Make decisions together so that you can follow through on them together!
Looking for housing after you’ve arrived
This is the most frequent choice because it’s the simplest: everyone arrives at the same time. But it’s not the least stressful. Before arriving, you have to try to pick well-suited temporary housing. Count on living there for a minimum of one month with the understanding that you may need to prolong your stay, you can never be too careful.
Using professional movers… or not
Deciding to use a container
This isn’t an easy choice since it raises the total cost of relocation. For example, moving to Montreal from London for a family with two children costs $5-10,000. You also have to deal with choosing the best professionals, deciphering quotes, and remembering to buy insurance. It’s really a large undertaking!
On the other hand, don’t underestimate the sentimental value of certain furniture or belongings, it’s comforting to have familiar objects in your new home at the other end of the world, especially for children. There’s also a practical side that shouldn’t be ignored: you won’t have to run around furniture shopping in the first weeks after you’ve arrived in Montreal.
Finally, buying all new furnishings for your home—beds, mattresses, desks, lamps, decorations, linens, dishes—is this really the most economical option?
New life – New belongings
This is an alternative that is frequently chosen, but it requires some time as you have to sort your current belongings by whether they are destined for donation, sale, or storage.
For those possessions that you decide to bring, you have several options:
- Pack them into your baggage: you are allowed up to 23 kg per person, but you can pay for supplemental baggage.
- Ship trunks by air.
- Travel by boat! You will get adventure and 100 kg of baggage per person.
Once you’ve arrived in Quebec, it’s time to go shopping. Remember that you will be in a new country; the signs, products, and prices will be different. Look out for surprises, as they can sometimes be unwelcome.
Using a shipper: A good compromise?
This is an interesting solution for moving to Montreal with all of your belongings at the lowest price possible.
The shipper brings a container to your home, and it’s up to you to pack it. In this situation, there is no insurance available in case any goods are damaged in transit, the cost of packing materials isn’t included, and you have to manage the logistics yourself. Moreover, your friends will no doubt be there to help you pack up at the beginning, but don’t forget that you will arrive in a new place where you know no one, so get ready for a work out!
In conclusion, with a courageous heart nothing is impossible! To successfully solve the logistical puzzle of relocation, adequate preparation and good team work are a must: charge!!