Resources for Moving

MOVING ON

Congratulations! Moving into your new home will most definitely be an exciting time for you and your family. It is, however, a time when you should consider putting in place a well-thought plan to help reduce the level of stress you may experience during the weeks leading up to your move.

MOVING YOURSELF

The first step in any "plan of attack" is to decide if you will move yourself or hire professionals. If you decide that moving yourself is in your best interests, then your first step will be to rent a truck. The size of the truck you rent will depend on a number of things, most notably the extent of your belongings and the distance between your old and new home. The truck rental company can recommend and help you decide the size of the vehicle you'll need.

In addition to the actual cost to rent the truck, be aware that you may be responsible for mileage and additional fees if you decide to accept the company's pads, dollies, blankets, packing materials, and boxes.

Once you've decided on a truck, your next step is to find some movers. Of course, your family and friends will prove invaluable in the loading and unloading of your items from the truck. One potential negative to doing it yourself is an accident. For instance, if someone in your party breaks an item, you would be responsible for replacing it. You can, however, look into purchasing an "insurance rider" to cover your items. Ask your mover or contact your insurance agent for more information about a rider package.

To help avoid accidents and keep your items safe during transport, pack your truck from back to front and bottom to top. And, drive slowly.

BEFORE THE TRUCK RENTAL... CREATE A PERSONAL INVENTORY LIST

Whether you move yourself or choose a professional mover, you should create a personal inventory of all of your belongings - and arrange the list by each room in your home. The list will serve as an important valuation tool should you lose or break any items in your home - or in the unfortunate event your belongings are stolen from you. Your list will also act as a permanent inventory of your valuables for future insurance purposes as well. As such, you should attach any invoices you have saved over the years.

The following is list of items that might fall into your inventory list:

Antiques
Art Collections
China Collections
Computer Equipment
Consumer Electronics
Crystal
Figurines
Firearms
Jewelry
Manuscripts
Oriental Rugs
Silver
Stamp Collections
Stones Or Gems
Tapestries

HIRING PROFESSIONAL MOVERS

If you decide to hire a professional mover, your personal inventory list will serve your interests well. For example, when gathering estimates (at least three), you can show the mover everything you plan to move and show the same inventory list to each mover you interview (compare apples to apples).

Movers will most likely quote you hourly rates based on the amount of time it will take to deliver and unload your items. Be aware that you will incur additional fees for packing and unpacking, and disconnecting and hooking up appliances. And, if you're moving to a big city or apartment complex and several flights of stairs or an elevator be involved, expect to pay more. Large items will also raise your costs.

Once you decide which mover best suits your needs, you will receive from that company an "Order For Service" which should include an option of choosing either a binding or non-binding estimate. If you are comfortable with the items you'll be moving and don't expect any major change to the inventory list, then you might consider a binding estimate to lock-in costs. Conversely, if you're unsure, choose a non-binding estimate and expect to pay a bit more.

Upon completion of the move and before paying your movers, make certain to review your "bill of lading" carefully and to keep a copy. The bill of lading may come in handy in the event you have to file an insurance claim and will serve to ensure all of your items were delivered.

KIDS AND MOVING

Change is frightening; the unknown is difficult for any individual to cope with, especially children. To make the move less stressful for both you and your children, set in place a plan that addresses a child's emotional concerns while at the same time gets them actively involved in the move itself.

A few suggestions:

Ask your child how they feel about the move, listen to their feelings and then share your feelings with them. Assure your children that the entire family has to make changes and accept the move.

Allow your children to be a part of the packing and moving stages to keep them actively involved in the process. This allows your children to be independent and to witness first-hand continuity - the move from their old home to their new one.

Give your child her own labels, rubber stamps, pencils, crayons, and encourage her to label her items and boxes, where appropriate. Again knowing her "stuff" is a part of the move allows her to be a part of the process.

Do not pack your child's personal things like her favorite stuffed animal or his video games. That way, there remains a level of comfort the day of the move.

Have a mixer to help your children say good-bye to friends. As you would at a birthday party, take photos, gather addresses and video the event.

Contact the school system and the recreational organization(s) your child is likely to participate in. Get all the information you can and share it with your children.

For your very young children, try not to expect them to accomplish change during the move. For example, during the moving process try not to start toilet training, weaning off of mother's milk or new foods. The added stress of a move won't be good for you or your child.

MOVING CHECKLIST

The following is a list to consider when preparing for your move.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Give your forwarding address ASAP to the Post Office (obtain a change of address kit, and complete it), the bank, credit card companies, publication subscriptions, friends and family, insurance carriers - life, auto, death, investments, health care providers, etc.

Inquire about refunds from utility companies like gas, water, electric, telephone, cable, Internet, fuel and garbage. Cancel current service and have new services installed at your new home.

Get your records in order such as arrangements to transfer your children's school records, obtain records from doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc. Transfer all of your bank accounts to a new branch location.

Keep a record of all expenses related to the move, some of which may be tax-deductible.

Inquire about legislation that may impact your family life. Are there pet regulations for licenses and vaccinations, pool considerations, parking violations, building permits, etc?

Clean, empty or discard your appliances and other household items such as carpets, clothing, furniture, curtains, charcoal grill, refrigerator, flammable household aerosol cleaning supplies, etc.

Finalize details with moving company.

Provide your family and friends with a travel route, moving plan and inventory list.

Secure your pre-packing materials such as Furniture pads, crumpled newspapers, hand truck, scissors, dolly, utility knife, packing tape, bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, boxes (did I say boxes?), markers, labels, string and/or rope.

If you've hired a professional mover or are doing it yourself, have the packing completed before loading the truck. Will you need additional storage at your new location?

Hold a "we're moving" garage sale.

Have your car checked by a professional. Alert the technician that you're moving and need your car in appropriate condition.

Pack a "moving day" box for instant needs on arrival. Mark the box "To be loaded last and unloaded first." Package each group of items separately in labeled paper bags.

MOVING DAY

Make sure your mover (or friends/family) has the exact address and proper directions to your new home.

Have enough cash or travelers checks in hand to cover costs of moving and expenses until you finalize paperwork with your new financial institutions.

Keep your expensive jewelry or other smaller, expensive items on your person.

Is your pet cared for?

Take one more "walk-through" of the home.

Leave your old keys needed by new tenants or owners with REALTOR® or owner. Lock all doors and windows.

Inspect all boxes coming off the truck. You should itemize them on your inventory list.

Install new locks.

Check your utilities to make sure they are properly connected.

AT YOUR NEW ADDRESS

Register to vote!

Register your car - or you may be hit with a fee!

Register your family in your new place of worship.

Make certain your home is in proper working order. Check appliances, pilot light on stove and water heater. Make a phone call, take a shower, heat food in the microwave.

Have your funds ready for closing.

Go to your new post office or ask mailperson if any of your mail is being held.

Have your licenses - any and all - reflect your new address.

Align yourself with new professionals, if necessary - dentist, doctor, accountant, veterinarian.

PLACES TO NOTIFY OF IMPENDING ADDRESS CHANGE

Utilities
Electric
Gas
Water
Telephone
Fuel
Trash removal
Professional Services - Doctor, Dentist, Accountant, Lawyer, Real Estate Agent, Stock Broker
Insurance Agents - Life, Health, Fire, Auto, Boat
Established Business Accounts
Motor Vehicle Department
Finance companies
Banks
Department stores
Government and Public Offices
Social Security Administration
Federal and state income tax offices
Publications - Newspapers, Magazines
Credit Card Companies
Relatives and friends
Business associates
Book and record clubs
Schools and colleges
Church
Landlord, if you are a tenant and tenants, if you are a landlord.