July 1st is upon us. Summer is in the air, and so is the excitement of all the people who are moving to a new nest. According to Hydro-Québec, at least 700,000 Quebecers move every year. Of these, 225,000 live in Montreal. So as we prepare ourselves psychologically for the piles of junk on our city sidewalks and the astronomical number of moving trucks squeezing through the streets, it is time to get ready for the big move. And it’s also time to put our savvy to use in order to be as eco- and socio-friendly as possible. Here’s a beginner’s guide to moving with a clear conscience.

Step 1: Cleaning

garage sale

The first rule for an efficient move: get rid of all that extra stuff! And in this age of rapid change, the tradition of putting everything out on the curb went out of style long ago. We live in a day when re-using is more popular (and especially more responsible). In order to get rid of all the surplus, nothing beats a well-organized garage sale that will attract your neighbours like flies! Now’s the time to get out your salesman smile, your little price stickers, and your well-worn patio set.

As for the clothes, toys, kitchenware and furniture that you’re left with, don’t worry. On the contrary, you can feel good about yourself and help underprivileged families at the same time by sharing your things. Social assistance programs, such as Renaissance and Saint-Vincent-de-Paul are just waiting for your gifts to refill their shelves with the items that could make many people happy.

As you go through your spring cleaning, you may come across old cans of paint, dead batteries, or maybe empty propane cans and you don’t know what to do with them. Don’t panic! Most boroughs and towns offer a collection service for dangerous products in their Eco-centre. This is by far the best solution for disposing of these toxic products in an environmentally-friendly way.

Step 2: Packing


The big day is approaching and despite your best efforts to get rid of your surplus, your home seems to be as full as it ever was. Even though big box stores sell … um … big boxes, the path of least resistance is not necessarily the best one to take in this case. There are some new companies specializing in the rental of re-usable boxes.

For almost the same price as the purchase of brand new cardboard boxes, plastic bins can be delivered to your door and picked up when the move is complete. Where cardboard boxes use up natural resources for a product with a comparatively short shelf life, plastic bins can be used hundreds of times before being recycled.

Quick tricks: if you choose to go with used cardboard boxes, the best place to find them is at supermarkets early in the morning. Since grocery stores deal with a huge quantity of boxes, they dispose of them quickly in cardboard compactors. Also, if you’re thinking of bubble wrap for your crystal glasses, think again. Old newspaper or blankets will keep them just as safe.

Step 3 : Moving


There is a new trend in moving. It is efficient, practical and economical. And it involves a bicycle! Clients who have opted for bicycle movers (Déménagement Myette has been offering bike moving since 2008) have some good things to say about it. The big moving truck is no longer indispensable – it has new competition that is proving to be small but powerful.

However, if you still prefer to deal with the traditional truck, it is better to go with a bigger size. That way you will reduce the number of trips, and at the same time, your eco-footprint!

The time has come to use a little creativity and transform our July 1st from a day of pollution and waste to a time known for recycling and green thinking. Responsible citizens, move in peace!