The first month in Winnipeg

Packed up in San Antonio

We’ve been in Winnipeg just a little over a month. Here’s a recap of what happened on our move.

Our packing day was scheduled for 28 August. The packing crew arrived and packed boxes. Normally, the following day the truck is loaded but the truck that was supposed to take our goods to Canada was stuck in Houston and due to Hurricane Harvey, could not get to San Antonio in time. Another truck picked up our goods on 30 August and then our goods would be transferred to the Canadian truck whenever it managed to get to San Antonio.

I was concerned about this because every move where we’ve had stuff transfer from one truck to another, boxes or other items have been lost or damaged. However, due to the hurricane, there wasn’t much we could do about it.

We arrived in Winnipeg late in the afternoon of 31 August. We reported to the Customs and Border Security Agency (CBSA) at the airport where they went through our entire inventory of household goods that were following later on the truck. We alerted them that our vehicles had left San Antonio on 23 August and were waiting at the bonded warehouse in Winnipeg for us to collect them. We filled out lots of paperwork. We thought we had done everything correctly so we proceeded to the hotel.

On 1 September, (Friday before the Labour Day weekend), picked up the keys to our RHU from CFHA then we worked to retrieve our cars. At that point, we found out that we should have gone to the central CBSA office (not CBSA at the airport) to officially clear customs. We ended up filling out even more paperwork and after several trips between the CBSA office and the bonded warehouse, and almost $700 in fees to the Registrar of Imported Vehicles, we had our cars.

We spend the Labour Day weekend having internet installed, purchasing kitchen appliances. (Luckily, there were some good Labour Day sales and we got a bit of a discount.), and cleaning our new home.

The following week started in a rush with our daughter starting at a new school and my husband starting work. Our appliances were delivered and we were told we our furniture would be arriving on 8 September. We were quite pleased as that would mean only one week in a hotel.

Arriving in Winnipeg

On 8 September, we met the truck driver at the CBSA office and filled out even more paperwork to claim our goods. We were also told that we must not sell or give away any items on our inventory list (including the cars) for at least one calendar year from our entry date or we will have to pay duty on those items.

Not surprisingly, when the truck unloaded our goods, there was a box missing. It was the “parts/set-up box.” For those of you unfamiliar with a military move, whenever the movers disassemble a piece of furniture, they wrap the parts in paper, tape it, then write the name of the piece of furniture on the package, (e.g., “master bed parts”). Also, at the end of the packing day, any odds and ends lying around the house that weren’t previously packed, get put in the parts box. These items can include hooks for a specific picture frame, an extension cord, toys or pens that have been retrieved from behind large pieces furniture, etc.

So, on arrival, our beds could not be reassembled. It’s been a month and we’re still sleeping with our mattresses directly on the floor. A sub-contractor was assigned by the moving company to make the repairs but he’s been “waiting on parts” for almost 3 weeks.

Also in the last month, we’ve attended 3 social functions, I had a job interview (and I got the job!), our daughter has been busy with homework. We prepared claims for the Destination Inspection Trip (DIT), the move itself, and our final out-clearance from the U.S.A.

The main and 2nd floors of the house are organized and staged (except for the beds on the floor). The basement is still a mess though. We don’t have a garage with this house so we decided to buy a garden shed and pay for the installation service. If we had arrived in Winnipeg during the summer, we would have built the shed ourselves but now that school/work are back in full swing and winter just around the corner, we felt the installation service was worth the extra expense. (Also, the shed was almost half-price so that helped off-set the installation costs.)

It’s been a very busy month. I can’t believe it’s October already.

8 thoughts on “The first month in Winnipeg

  1. Omgoodness!!! Sounds like a big adventure!
    You had to import cars into Canada?
    We brought ours from canada to Norfolk… and then bought a second car here… not new… its 2014.
    Hope everything starts going better. Congratulations on your new jib!!!!

  2. Just remembered you came to USA from UK…so obviously you had to buy…i forgot your previous posting.
    Would you recommend buying some furniture?
    We’re thinking of buying a few things becore we return… is there a time frame???

  3. Welcome back to Canada. I really enjoy reading your posts. It helps me to understand the transitions your family experiences being a military family.

  4. HI Jacki, what a great blog! It is clear you are a gift to the CF community by sharing your wealth of experience and personal journey. As the Manager of CFHA in Winnipeg, I speak for our team in welcoming you to “Winterpeg, Marsitoba” (a couple of years back we were colder than Mars – reported,with just a hint of pride). It is our goal to provide excellence in service to families – from application to march-in, as well as during the entire posting until march-out. We are so pleased your family is one of them! Real challenges exist in preparing and completing complex military moves, and you really help people sort through the myriad of needs. Spousal work opportunities are rare, so it is good to employ them when and where we can. Relocation is never easy, but with supports from families, friends, MFRC, and a welcome from the CFHA team, many CF members and families who do get posted here, learn to love the “Friendly Manitoba” prairie culture and changing seasons, thus making it their forever home.
    ~ keep posting, as we will keep reading !

    1. Thank you for the kind words! My aim is to present accurate (at least accurate to my experience) information about military life. We’ve lived in many different cities with many different landlords and CFHA is by FAR the best landlord we’ve ever had!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: