Agrarian life within the conveniences of the city may seem like a dream. However, if you plan on moving to an urban farm in Metro Vancouver or elsewhere in B.C., there are some things to keep in mind before you make the plunge and leave your apartment life. This especially goes for moving into a home with a yard, or intending to lease city-zoned land for your new farming adventure. There may be other options available to you, which you’ll also want to consider. If you’re new to farming, and the idea of urban farming has tweaked your interest and motivated you to move, read up on some of what we’ve found.
Note: Moving to start an urban farm in the Vancouver area is not quite like moving to a hobby farm. We’ve written about that subject here, and encourage you to take a look there as well.
Urban farming on city properties is on the rise, but might not be totally legal yet
Last year in Vancouver, a move was made to begin the legalization of urban farms in the city. It wasn’t that there weren’t urban farms in Vancouver at the time. But more that that zoning and licensing wasn’t quite clear. Urban farms in Vancouver are already established, which you can see on the list here, by the Vancouver Urban Farming Society. Vancouver’s current urban agriculture policies can be read on its site here and here (they are, essentially, now allowed).
And in 2012, MacLean’s magazine was already writing about the popularity of urban agriculture, and the way of going about it for some.
But we often don’t associate city life with farming. In fact, it would be a sight to see if your neighbour’s front lawn and backyard were covered in crops. A garden, yes, maybe. But an entire lawn?
The idea seems wonderful to some, but we have to expect that neighbours can complain. There are designated agricultural areas set up by city governments. But now, those without big investment dollars are wanting to get into farming life. And running a huge, generational farm may be prohibitive to some. Are we turning back to middle-ages-style agrarian life?
While the City of Vancouver may have opened up the opportunity for its residents to start residential farms, surrounding areas in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley may not be as clear. For example, below is a page from the City of Surrey’s website, which talks about agriculture and zoning, but doesn’t quite define laws for ‘urban farms’ or ‘residential farms’ (at the time of writing):
Surely, there may be more deeply buried rules that were overlooked in our search. But apparently, someone who wants to move to start an urban farm would need to do some hunting to find out if their operation would be legal, or even just, in the ‘gray zone.’
Googling these subjects also doesn’t often bring many results.
The next place to turn is to learn the experiences of existing urban farmers. One urban farmer in Kelowna is Curtis Stone. His business, Green City Acres, leases residential yards for a sustainable farming operation. His argument for urban farming, stated on his website below, is that there are millions of acres of lawn in North America, which are unproductive by growing mere grass. They can be otherwise turned into economic opportunities.
He was once visited by a bylaw enforcer, and explains his experience in this video:
By that video above, it seems that neighbours can complain, but the enforcement of ‘gray zone’ laws around agriculture is iffy. And that’s just one person’s experience in one city. So it goes without saying that it can be a toss, when it comes time for your local officers to decide if what you’re doing is ok.
In short, urban agriculture is starting a new booming industry, but the governments may not yet be up to speed on the laws that may be needed to regulate it. For example, would you want goats raised in your neighbour’s backyard? Vancouver allows chicken pens in backyards, but not roosters, which can disturb residents. So things like this will likely come up in your quest to start an urban farm. Before you move, remember that you may need to be adaptable. You might also need to be available to lobby for your rights with governments, if need be.
Consider other options before moving to start an urban farm
If you want to start an urban farm, and are willing to move to do it, there may be other options, or even interim solutions for you.
Move to land in the agricultural land reserve that is close to the city
There are some pre-zoned spots near cities, and not necessarily in cities, where you could buy or lease a farm. If you read about this Burnaby farmer’s story, you’ll see that space was available in Burnaby under the agricultural land reserve.
Farms are also available for leasing if a current farm owner can’t upkeep the land, or for other reasons. These can be found at the following site:
Lease your lot to an urban farmer and enjoy the vegetation
Some urban farmers, like Curtis Stone, look for yards they can farm. If you moved to start an urban farm, and feel the task is too daunting, or if you just want exposure to urban farming, you can consider leasing your front and back yard to a local farmer.
Now, we should mention that you might be exposed to the same legal vulnerabilities mentioned above!
See if you’re eligible for government help or subsidies to move to a farm
The Government of Canada, and perhaps other governing bodies, may have incentives to get farmers (especially young ones) involved in the industry. Whether or not this turns out to be for urban farming, you should learn more about what is available, in case it becomes an option for your farming dreams:
Urban farms are now seen not just as residential farms, but as vertical farms in building structures too. For example, one vertical farm tried to operate in a Downtown Vancouver parking lot (but failed).
If your city allows, you may be able to find a way to grow food indoors through aquaponics, or other methods. Some companies are going full force on this idea, which you can read about in this article by Vox news. Of course, this would require more investment, since you wouldn’t just be moving to a residence to start an urban farm, but you’d be looking at leasing commercial space.
Join a community farm
There are many community-based farms where neighbours can volunteer to start a bed and care for it.
There are also community supported agriculture (CSA) programs you could support to get local fresh vegetables. It’s not the same as owning your own farm, but it can be a gateway into the healthy lifestyle of farm table eating.
Start small with a personal garden and grow your operation from there
If you live on a lot currently, you could still start a small-scale garden. As you learn more about farming, you may start acquiring equipment to make your gardening or future farming life easier. This can be a slow way to get into the business, where you learn most of your mistakes and perform your trials in advance of going ‘all in.’
For example, you’ll learn about rainwater harvesting and composting, which you could start at your current home.
Learn about farming before moving an urban farm
If you are really a green thumb at farming, it would also be wise to take the time to get to know more about the industry. It can be a lot more than planting seeds in the ground.
For example, Kwantlen has a farm school. Or, you could take courses by someone like Curtis Stone (mentioned above).
Keep up to date with urban farming news
As you wait on your decision to start an urban farm, keep up to date with the developments in urban farming.
This search on City Farmer will tell you about the legalities of urban agriculture throughout North America, or even the world:
Hey, who knows, you might use those cases to present to your local authorities, for policy change, if need be.
To conclude: moving to an urban farm in B.C. cities is not an impossibility (we think)
The trend for farming near cities seems to be growing. People are more aware of the environmental impact of farming in large scale fields. Plus, there is a market for local food. So it makes sense that farms can grow in cities (pun intended). It may be a matter of time before more local governments change bylaws to allow for urban farms – or at least to make those bylaws clearer.
For now, if you’re willing to try it, you might set an example for the cities to consider. But we strongly urge you to learn more about the matter, and consider it a business: get as much professional help as you can before beginning.
Not only that, wherever you move, your lot should be suitable for farming. Don’t run into a situation where you haven’t inspected the yard for crop viability!
While one may not think of Vancouver’s climate as being a hotspot for homeowners with swimming pools, they do exist. Vancouver homes with pools are also on the market, if you want to move from one home to another, and keep your swimming pool lifestyle (whether outdoor or indoor). An MLS search such as this one can help you find Vancouver homes with swimming pools.
But when you move from one swimming pool home to another, you may want to bring some accessories with you. Yes, it’s true you might negotiate the swimming pool accessories and equipment along with the sale of the house. However, depending on the value and quantity of your pool accessories, it may be a cost savings to bring them along with you.
Plus, if you have kids, and the new buyers don’t, you might be able to get away with bringing your pool slide and paddleboards with you. Also, your buyers may not care for the coloured lights you’ve chosen, or they may plan on using a different heating type for their pool, and so on.
All of these items have value, plus varying costs to operate or maintain. So, pools do come with buyer preferences. And that’s where you may end up deciding to bring some pool equipment or accessories with you.
Below are some tips for handling the relocation, or moving, of your pool equipment and accessories:
Take an inventory of your pool parts, understand what they are, and what they’re worth
Before you jump to include your pool and all its equipment or accessories into the sale price of your home, it would be good to know what they’re worth. This is especially if you bought the pool along with the house, and aren’t aware of the installation values, product values and so on.
To start, you can learn about used pool equipment through this eBay article:
And, as this article states, a professional pool inspection as part of house inspection services can help with this stage. This will also let you know the condition that the pool equipment is in, and if anything needs replacing, or updating.
At this point, you can decide whether to sell your pool equipment and accessories as one-off pieces, bring them with you or add them to the value of your home. Speak to your realtor about these options as well.
Pool equipment, whether for inground or above-ground pools, can refer to:
Heaters (an optional part)
Plumbing & electricity lines (see this article for more info)
LED lights (though these can be considered an accessory)
A store website like this one can give even more examples of the categories of items you will need to keep, or sell, if you are a pool owner.
Disassemble and photograph complex pool equipment you plan on moving
Whether you want to move your pool equipment a few feet away, or to a new location entirely, keep in mind this will involve complex work. A typical house mover that moves your furniture may not be the person to call. Specialized pool service people would need to come in, as well as qualified electricians, and perhaps plumbers. Plus, in some cases, you may need certain building permits, or assurances that you are complying with legal safety codes when implementing the changes. So, moving pool equipment is also not a cheap thing to do. This article explains more about the process.
This video explains a little bit about moving just a pump and filter.
When you do any part of the pool equipment move yourself, you will definitely want to take an inventory of parts. You also should be taking photographs of the finished products before you disassemble them. And, record the steps you’re taking, from even before the point of drainage, so you can do them in reverse later, if possible. That way, you can have a reference for how things were set up originally. This goes especially for older equipment where you may not be able to search online for instruction manuals!
Preparing and moving pool accessories
While underground or specialized pool equipment would need servicemen, some of your pool accessories could be moved on your own, of course. Still, if you are unscrewing anything (such as slides or diving boards that are bolted down), you will want to follow the above procedures.
And, make sure kids are not trying to use the slide while it’s not secured! If you are taking down gates or barriers while children are around, you may also want to drain the pool for safety too.
It goes without saying that any lighter, portable accessories should be dried, cleaned and deflated (if applicable) before moving. Of course, you’ll also want to contain the items in bins or bags (perhaps mesh bags?). Don’t let them sit wet in tightly closed conditions for too long, to avoid mould growth.
Remember also that you can’t bring chemicals into moving trucks! They will need to go into your own car, or safely disposed of according to your local bylaws.
To conclude: moving pool accessories equipment involves many services and costs, which may not be worth the hassle
As you can see from the information above, moving pool equipment can be so complex, you may decide not to go for it. The procedure could only be done partially on your own, if you are not a qualified electrician, plumber or swimming pool specialist. And, there will be costs for transport too, even if you could detach and bring pool machinery with you.
So the hassle alone can be a deterrent. This is especially so if you’re planning the move apart from a bigger renovation project. In that case, pool equipment would only be moving a short distance, on the same property. Or, other solutions (such as replacements or cover-ups) can come into play.
It is more likely that you may end up moving your pool ‘toys’ and accessories with you. Movers in Vancouver can help with this, as these items usually don’t involve specialized training or legalities (minus the chemicals, which can’t go in moving trucks).
Plus, if you move into a new home which also has a pool, you may find that you have everything you need built in already.
Moving a rug. It might sound like the simplest thing to not write about, but the topic may surprise you in its detail. Well, not that much detail. But enough for us to share a few tips that might be helpful!
Let’s get into it!
Before you moving a rug, measure their sizes and your new floor space
You may have rugs at your current home, which you plan to bring to your new home. We’ll call these your ‘old’ rugs, even though you may continue to use them.
The first thing to assess is the size of existing rugs, and the comparison to the floor space at your new home. It has been said that rugs can change the feeling of a room’s spaciousness. Furniture should overlap a rug to a degree.
When moving a rug to your new home, you will want to know if you will get the same visual effect, or if the room’s size will determine that you need new rugs for certain rooms. Of course, this applies mostly to larger spaces you may move into. Though in some cases, your rugs may also be too big to fit into your new space.
Resize your rug?
Another option is to resize your rug. Yes, it’s possible! Rug repair persons or makers like this one can cut down rugs, or even enlarge them. If you can’t find a rug resizer through a google search, try checking if carpet cleaners can do it, as alluded to by Apartment Therapy here.
Determine the cost and value of your existing rugs, or new rugs
There are cheap rugs, and there are expensive ones. If you have a rug that is an imperfect size, but was imported from an exotic country where rug weaving is a deep-rooted tradition, then you might have more incentive to keep it anyway. Whether it stays rolled up in storage, or used regardless of its size, sometimes keeping the rug of value has its longer-term benefits.
If you’ve got cheap rugs, consider selling or donating them. The cost of new ones to fit your new space will probably be well worth the investment. And hey, this time around you might be able to splurge on the fancy ones!
Some rugs can be worth a lot, especially if they are antiques. This article explains more about determining the value of your old rug.
Clean your rugs before moving
Before you move your rug, you will want to give it a good clean. You can hire carpet cleaners to do this, or do it yourself. To clean a rug yourself, you will need a space to get it wet, and to hang dry it. Depending on the type of rug you have, the method you use for cleaning can vary. This article explains more, including a tip to check for colour loss before you go overboard on cleaning products!
Some rugs can go in the washing machine (with no guarantees!). And, nowadays you can also buy washable rugs. For example, Ruggable (not a sponsor) has made a product specifically to avoid this hassle of toilsome rug washing!
Prep and protect your rugs for moving
When moving rugs you will no doubt need to roll them up (when they are dry after cleaning of course!).
To keep them in rolled position, and to avoid the roll from loosening, you can tie them with string. Even better, if you have carrying straps, moving straps or something like a yoga mat strap your lifting and transporting will be so much easier. Moving straps can be quite cheap, and can be useful for other items you may want to move yourself on moving day.
Wrap your rug in some large plastic (for example, painter’s plastic sheeting) for protection. You wouldn’t want your hard work of cleaning that rug to go to waste on the move!
If you have a rubber underlay, padding or sticky strips under your rug, of course you’ll want to properly shake those off, clean them and pack them too.
It’s time to transport your rugs in the moving truck! Be careful, they can be heavier than they look!
After moving a rug, restyle your new home
If you’ve followed our tips above, you’ve already got measurements in mind for your new rug.
But if you’re one of those people that believes rugs can make or break a room’s style, there will be more to consider. For example, colour and material. This article on Apartment Therapy goes into more detail on how to choose a rug that’s right for your new home.
And, don’t forget that rugs don’t just have to lay flat! You can hang them on the wall for a bohemian look. This article explains how.
Moving any retail space is quite a different job than when moving a home. With a clothing store, there is also more to consider than just moving the clothing (and even that is going to be different than the advice we give to homeowners). Vancouver store movers know that there will be operational equipment, furnishings and fixtures that need to be disassembled with the right tools, or handled with care.
And, retail supplies are not like ordinary furniture. If retail store movers don’t do their job correctly, any broken or missing pieces of a store can affect revenue at worst, and result in a mismanaged, frustrating store to shop in, at best. But, sometimes moving to a new commercial retail space is necessary – either to downsize your costs, or grow the traffic needed in your store.
With that in mind, we’ll give you some tips on how to move a clothing retail shop. Even if you plan on hiring professional store movers to do the job for you, it’s good to be equipped with the knowledge you’ll need to know if they’re doing a good job.
Thoroughly discuss moving rates, ask questions and plan for the unpredictable level of inventory to move
When you get an in-person estimate to move a clothing retail store, one question that will come up is: how much inventory are we moving? Let’s say your store is moving in two months. You’ll be getting deliveries or supplies in that time, to keep the store stocked. Or will you? What if you aim for liquidation, but don’t know how much you’ll realistically sell by moving day?
Since the inventory levels that need to be moved can be hard to predict, it’s crucial you discuss this with your professional movers in advance.
Another MAJOR consideration is for international movement of goods. If you’re planning on moving across borders, there may be customs documentation needed. Bring this up with your mover, especially in case they’re not aware, or forget to ask you about it. This page of the Canadian government’s website has more info: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/comm-eng.html Find out your costs, and what may happen if your movers are delayed or rejected at the border for any reason – who pays in that instance?
The next question to ask is about tear-down. You may have wall racks attached to studs, light fixtures (like chandeliers), cabinetry, wall divisions and other more-or-less ‘permanent’ materials in place for your store’s ‘look and feel.’ The store mover may not be thinking that the ‘semi-permanent’ parts are their job too. But if you need them to be, let them know! Sometimes, these can be thought of as part of renovation or junk removal services.
If this is your first time moving a clothing retail store, remember that movers are not like delivery companies. They are also not moving anything similar to your home. So these differences in your past experiences will need to factor in to your expectations.
On that note, we also recommend checking for moving insurance!
Prepare far in advance of the store movers’ arrival
While technically you could ask Vancouver store movers to handle everything about your move, chances are you’ll want to take care of much of this yourself.
First of all: consider labour costs. Your minimum wage employees may be the perfect cost saving alternative to boxing up your store. This is especially true of your store experiences down time with little traffic, and your store employees would otherwise only be holding down countertops for you.
They’re also trained to use your equipment and know how your store is already organized. So they’re going to be the most knowledgeable when it comes to keeping the right things together in the right boxes.
Some other tips for preparation of your retail move:
Have your packing tape, foam, boxes etc. ready for employees to start packing. Don’t let wasted time go by because they didn’t have the equipment to do the job. When you shop for these, you may also want to get some large paper rolls to hide what’s going on inside your store windows on moving day – though this up to you.
Take down mannequins and disassemble them if they’re not being used. Put them in boxes – either together with their individual parts, or ‘arms with arms, legs with legs,’ etc.
Find all your admin stuff – receipt rolls, price stickers, tagging guns and even your pens. Your extras may be stashed away somewhere that you forgot about. Gather them all together so they’re not loose ends that need to be cleaned up, wasting time, on the day of the move.
Hire your cleaners, or arrange for employees to do this task. Don’t forget to empty the steamer and vacuum. Best to have the dusting done before you pack up shelves and racks.
Check your lease rules to see if moving docks, backdoor access ways, delivery parking spots, or even allowed hours for moving are going to fit in with your store movers’ schedule.
Make sure your moving company will have all the equipment needed for a clothing retail store move. For example, do they have the right types of moving dollies for your needs? What about ramps on their trucks if they can’t use loading docks? Clothing racks and protections? Ask about everything!
If you have an alarm or security equipment managed by a third-party company, schedule them to come in on the same day of the move. They’ll need to re-install your systems and set you up at the new location.
Contact any utility companies to make arrangements for the move. Water hookups, electricity, phone lines, Internet etc. will all need to be operational when you are open for business at the new location. Do your address changes for other services where necessary (such as with credit card companies, banks, etc.)
Clear out personal items such as employee mugs, lockers, and whatever else may be hanging around.
Schedule your bank deposits from your cash register and POS system the night before, so that you’re not carrying large monetary amounts to the new store. You don’t want this to go missing during the commotion of the move.
If you hire a display designer, make sure they’re available to set up your store when you move. And if you’re using their staging supplies, you may want to have them pick that up on moving day, to avoid being responsible for any damages.
Find out how you’re going to take down signage, and if it can fit in your new space. You may need specialists to handle this part of the move. Same goes for vinyl wall or window decals.
We also recommend making it known on your website, and with a store sign, that you are moving, and what the new address will be. See our article linked-to below about how to preserve your SEO when moving a business, for more on this.
Sell whatever clothing inventory you can before moving day
Depending on how far you’re moving, your budget, and the markup on your inventory, it may be worth holding a massive sale before moving. That said, the case here can be different for different clothing stores. You may want to do a bit of math to find out if offloading your inventory is cheaper than paying to move it professionally.
Selling off inventory doesn’t just have to mean putting on a sale. This article by Profitguide.com explains how to move stock that’s not selling:
You can also donate to local charities, as another option for getting rid of inventory. See this article on our blog for options.
Protect your inventory when moving your store to a new location
It goes without saying that you’re going to need to take extra precautions to make sure your inventory is still sellable after you move to a new store location.
You may not have all the original packaging that your store’s clothes came in. But it may be a good idea to start collecting the plastic bags and boxes they’re being delivered in, so they can be re-boxed the same way for the move. You can also ask your suppliers for extras.
When you do pack the clothing, we do not recommend you use for-sale materials to cushion your breakables. We can give this advice to homeowners, but this is a different case. You want to keep your clothes looking as new and unused as possible. If you pack brochure displays or detachable hooks with your clothes, they might tear, and you don’t want that.
And, don’t forget about the breakables, like accessories. Do you sell nail polish and jewelry? How will you keep them from damage during the move?
When everything is boxed up, you may want to also consider humidity and moisture. If you’re moving dresses on rolling racks – even if they’re bagged in plastic – you want to keep the bottom away from puddles. You also want to make sure that the moving truck isn’t packed so that a water-filled steamer or cleaning spray bottle is sitting adjacent to clothing. Best to treat the clothing as fragile in this case, and let your movers know about the concern too.
Moving a clothing retail store doesn’t have to be difficult. But it does help to know the differences from when you’re moving a house. This can prepare you for the smoothest transition to your new space. And, by discussing these considerations in advance with your store movers, you’ll likely save money, or at least come to a more accurate estimate.
Ferguson Moving and Storage can help with your retail moving needs. Give us a call, and we’ll come by for an in-person estimate.
When you’re moving your entire house, you have a lot of ‘big’ things to worry about. Packing, padding, selling, purging…it’s a lot of work! But logistically, when it comes time to move the big things (and not just the boxes), you’ll find that they can be a lot of work. Having the right tools can make all the difference. And that includes dollies.
But, different dollies do different things (for better or worse!). In this article, we’ll explain what the different types of dollies are, so you can get an idea of which ones you’ll need, depending on what you’re moving.
Upright, hand-truck 2-wheel dollies
These can be as simple as a metal rack with a small base and wheels. It’s up to you to tie things to it that may fall over during transport.
When you get into fancier models, they can also lay down flat and turn into a wagon-style dolly. So that would give them 4 wheels, but they don’t always have to stand on all fours.
And then, the features can include different types of wheels for different strengths you’ll need, plus foldability and so on.
Platform, 4-wheel dollies with handle bars or without
These dollies have 4 wheels and are meant to be used for bigger objects that need more of a base underneath them.
Sometimes, there is a handlebar, and that handlebar can fold down for easy storage. The casters are usually the swivel kind.
These dollies are wider, and that can also mean they are hard to go up and down stairs, or may not fit through typical house-sized doors.
That said, they can come in all types of sizes and materials. Some are good for industrial applications, and some are smaller and clearly made for moving household or office furniture and boxes, or the like.
Frame-style flat dollies on casters, 4-wheel, with or without handle bars
These moving dollies are similar to the above platform-style dollies. However, their base is not ‘filled in’ and consists of a frame bottom with a ‘hole’ in it.
The frame can be made out of steel or wood. Sometimes they are carpeted too. They always have at least 4 wheels, since they lay flat. And the wheels can be made of different materials, which can help to be aware of if you need to move across special types of floor or ground.
This the type of dolly that you may find when shopping at Home Depot or a hardware store (like the platform dollies mentioned above). They are often designed to move long, horizontal objects like rolls of carpet or lumber. In the case of household moving, they can be used for things like mattresses, bed frames and shelving.
These can have a platform-style base, or a ‘frame’ base. But they are built with protection on at least two sides. They push like a cart. And, like the other moving dollies mentioned above, they can be made of various materials. They also can have different names, like “panel cart” or “carpet dolly” and so on.
Some are narrow and tall, some are wide and flat, and some can be made for special uses.
Automotive dollies, also called caster wheel dollies
Depending what you need to move, sometimes automotive dollies come in handy. These are kind of like the platform dollies mentioned above, without handlebars, but they are indented or curved instead of being flat.
Specialty dollies for moving pianos, hot tubs, appliances and more
Aside from the multi-use dollies mentioned above, sometimes special cases require special dollies. For example, there are companies that make dollies specifically for moving pianos or hot tubs.
These will have a specific shape and purpose (of course). They are usually what professional movers will have on hand for carrying out big and careful moving jobs frequently. The investment to buy these things for your one-time move may not be worth it.
Make sure your professional movers have the right dollies for your move
When you hire a professional mover, you’ll know how experienced they are based on the tools they have ready for your job. They’ll also be able to make recommendations on how to move your furniture or appliances, etc. with ease. That may include some specialty dollies.
When you’re trying to fit your furniture in your car to do a DIY move, and they just won’t fit (even with the seats folded down), you may be tempted to try a roof hauling on moving day. If you do go this route, keep in mind some of these things to know, before you find yourself in a moving-day pickle!
Know your insurance and liability before moving furniture on top of your car
Recently, a driver in the USA was ticketed for overloading the roof of his car with furniture.
In B.C., you’ll want to check with ICBC about non-collision damage and equipment damage or loss (see page 12 of this document). You’ll notice it’s hard to find information about coverage for items you’re strapping to your roof. Since we’re not lawyers or insurance agents, do your bit and call to find out the rules regarding what you’re going to transport on top of your car.
But you’re not just protecting your own car from damage. What if your furniture flies off the roof of your car on a freeway and hits someone else’s windshield? Don’t let dumb things like this happen. As Popular Mechanics says, “don’t be an idiot.”
Know your weight allowances and potential damage to your vehicle
When you move items on top of your car, especially furniture, you can damage your car. Even the tie down process can affect the weather strip on your car doors, which can eventually lead to leaks. Your car also has weight allowances for what it can carry (see Popular Mechanics article linked to above). And if you’re using a car roof rack, it can also have it’s own weight limitations.
Be sure you are protecting your car when you haul furniture on top of it. It’s not worth the money you’re trying to save if you dent or scratch your car while trying to do a DIY move. Hire a professional for the really heavy, clunky stuff. Or, rent a real moving truck made for the job.
You are also going to need to drive slowly, for obvious reasons, and avoid freeways if you can. Consider wind resistance when driving with items on your car roof. And, if you overload or load incorrectly, your car’s center of gravity can be affected, which can get dangerous and wobbly. Read this article about the dangers of overloading and too much weight on your car.
Get the right straps to haul furniture on your car roof for moving day
You will need really good rope (if you know how to tie knots properly), but preferably proper moving straps to haul furniture on your car roof. According to an article linked to above, bungee cords are not enough here.
Ratchet moving straps, or loading straps can be bought just for this event, if you don’t have them. Even IKEA sells these.
The Popular Mechanics article above also recommends a cargo net as a catch-all just in case.
Tie your furniture to your car properly, and with foresight to how you’re going to get in and around
If you read this article, you’ll see that we can make some silly mistakes when we’re so focused on tying down the furniture on the roof of our car. One girl accidentally tied all her doors shut after a lot of complex, logistical strapping, and had to climb in from the window!
Plus, an article linked-to above also describes that when you tie items to your car, you need to consider things like “tension” and “air loads.” This is why the right straps are important, as well as the right skills in how to tie your furniture to your car.
Then, if you’re going to be heading out of a garage, will your load be too high and hit the top edge? What about bridges or tunnels? Be careful! Measure if you have to.
Your best bet will probably be to have a roof rack on your car for this job. There are, of course, travel boxes you can have tied to the top of your car, which would come in handy for camping or other excursions later on.
This article describes in detail some good tying down methods for moving items on top of your car.
If car roof hauling proves to be too complicated, consider your other options
If this is your first time trying to tie a load onto the top of your car, it may be best to put this off until you can practice with a bike rack or smaller items later on.
Other options can be hitching a trailer to the back of your car, borrowing a friend’s truck or SUV, or, hiring professional movers.