Share |

Getting the Essentials to Your New Cottage

Moving boxes in driveway of wooden cabin

The cottage is a place where you can go to get away from your regular life, relax and enjoy nature. It's a place where you can play with your children and grandchildren, make new memories and share time with friends. For many people, the cottage is their sanctuary. It's the place where they go to escape the stresses of everyday living. If you are considering buying a cottage to enjoy in the summers or perhaps you are finally ready to retire, and the great up north is the place you’ve decided to do it. Either way, there are a few things to consider for both scenarios like, what are you bringing to your new cottage and how are you going to get it all there?

Whether you’re moving there permanently or just for the season, we have tips on how to get all your essentials there safely. 

Seasonal Move

If you’re like most Canadians, the winter has been long, cold, and grey and you’ve been couped up indoors for months. When spring arrives, you are more than ready for some sunshine and outdoor living. This why many Canadians choose to spend their summers at the cottage. From Peterborough to North Bay and everywhere in between, cottagers normally begin their season on or around the Victoria Day Weekend in May and close up right after Thanksgiving in October. That’s five months of boating, campfires, jumping off the dock, playing board games, and napping in the hammock - the perfect way to spend almost half of the year! It’s also a long time to think about everything you’ll need for the time you’ll spend at your home away from home. So, what to pack and bring with you? What stays when you leave for the winter? Here’s a few things to consider when making your checklist and plans for the move…

  • A couple of weeks before you plan to head to your cottage, you’ll want to call your cottage utility providers to turn on your services at the cottage—hydro, gas, phone, Internet, cable, etc.
  • Make sure your insurance is up to date for your cottage, boat, trailer, and any other vehicles you use at your cottage. Keep copies of your insurance documents, operators’ licenses, and instruction manuals with you in a file with a list of important phone numbers.
  • If you plan to use your indoor fireplace on opening weekend, arrange to have it professionally cleaned and inspected before you use it. See if the chimney sweep can go to your cottage before you arrive, or on the day you arrive. Bring firewood or arrange for a firewood delivery if you have a wood-burning fireplace.
  • Consider booking cleaning services to have your septic tank pumped or your outhouse cleaned before you arrive at your cottage.
  • Also, leave your emergency contact information with a neighbour or friend who will keep an eye on your house while you’re away at the cottage. And check the route to the cottage for road closures before driving up.

Packing the Essentials

Be well prepared for your seasonal move to the cottage and don’t forget…

  • The keys to your cottage
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Tools
  • Candles
  • Matches & Lighters
  • Water & Food
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen & Bug spray
  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Kitchen essentials
  • Games, books & music
  • Furniture (indoor & outdoor)
  • Boat, trailer, & other watercraft – canoe, paddleboard, kayak, etc.

This is a lot to think about, especially when you consider how you are getting it all there. Not everyone that owns a cottage has a big truck for hauling all these things. This is when hiring a reliable moving company comes into play. It is the easiest and most convenient way to begin your summer of bliss in the great up north. They can take everything, lock, stock, and barrel and all you have to do is jump in your car, turn on your favorite travelling tunes, and hit the road!

Permanent Move

Many Canadians decide that summers at the cottage are no longer enough and want to live there all year round. Whether you are finally ready to retire, work remotely or have decided it’s worth the commute, the cottage is the perfect place to call home permanently. This is a much bigger move and requires more packing and things to consider than if you are just staying seasonally.

  • Start with hiring a moving company with a great reputation for packing, unpacking, and moving large items like a boat and a car. Having that off your mind from the start makes everything easier just by knowing you’ll have the peace of mind that your belongings will be in good hands and will arrive safely to their new home. 
  • Next, you’ll want to make sure that your cottage is ready for your arrival just like you did when it was a seasonal move. Call your cottage utility providers to turn on your services, hydro, gas, phone, Internet, cable, etc. Make sure your insurances are up to date. Have your fireplace checked and cleaned.
  • Pack up your home in the city in a way you would if you were moving anywhere; Start with sorting what you will keep, what to throw or giveaway, and what can go into storage for a later date. Keep in mind that your cottage probably has much less space than the home you are moving from so, be tough on yourself, you can’t keep everything.
  • Be prepared for the winters. If you are not flying south for the cold months, then the sooner you come to terms with the harsher conditions, the better! Winters in cottage country can be pretty brutal at times with roads becoming impassable to freezing cold winds coming off the lake, so be sure to have enough emergency supplies like shovels, flashlights, water, a generator for power outages, etc.
  • When the big comes, coordinate with your moving company when they expect to arrive so you can be there to greet them. No one wants the wasted time of standing around and waiting to start unloading and unpacking.

Owning a cottage is exciting and living there and getting to commune with nature is even more exciting. Whether you are doing it for good or just for the summers, if you are well prepared, it can be the experience of a lifetime. It is a big move but well worth it. At Bird's Moving, we can help make that dream a reality. Give us a call today, our experienced and reliable team will have you napping in that hammock in no time!