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Planning Your Move
Building a new home can be a very exciting and overwhelming project. In a similar manner, moving into your new home can be equally exciting and challenging. There are many decisions to make, tasks to complete and items to organize, not to mention packing your belongings. The construction of your new home is progressing nicely, and it will be completed and ready to move into before you know it. Now is not the time to start slacking. A lot of planning and preparation on your part before the move will help reduce stress and chaos. These are some tips to help you achieve a smooth and organized move into your new house.
Make a List
- There are plenty things to remember to do in relation to your move. Start by making a checklist of things to do before, during and after the move. You might find yourself starting this list as much as two or three months before your projected move-in date.
- Cross items off the list as you complete them and add new tasks as they arise.
- Review your list often.
The Moving Company
- Allow plenty of time to call various moving companies and find out how much advanced notice they will need to schedule your move. Select a few companies and begin interviewing each one. Do not skimp on the moving service. Look for those that have an established reputation and offer a reliable service. Confirm that these companies are insured and bonded.
- Check with friends and family members that have moved for recommendations.
- Obtain bids and estimates from the moving services you are considering. Make sure they are available on the day you plan to move.
- Decide on and hire the moving company of your choice within the advised time frame.
- Allow plenty of time to use up the food you have in the freezer and pantry. There is no sense in wasting time and energy moving canned goods, and it is not safe to refreeze food that has thawed during the move.
- Collect boxes of various sizes. Be sure they have lids or tops and close easily for stacking purposes.
- Collect other packing supplies such as packing materials, tape and tape dispensers, scissors, markers, rope, string, colored labels and box cutters.
- Get rid of clutter. Dispose of broken tools and toys or appliances that no longer work properly.
- Plan a yard sale. Collect any household items, toys, pieces of mismatched furniture in the basement and clothing that you no longer use. Chances are if you have not used it in the last year, you will not need it in your new house. Sell as much as you can. The extra cash will come in handy, and you will lighten your load for the move. Donate any leftover usable items to charity and throw away the rest.
- Create an envelope or folder to keep track of bills, receipts and other paperwork related to your move.
- Measure doorways and hallways in your new home to be sure oversized and bulky pieces of furniture will fit in your new home. If not, give them away or plan to leave them behind.
- Begin making piles or clusters of like items that you plan to keep such as toys, garden tools, knick-knacks and athletic equipment. If they are clustered together, you will pack them together and most likely when you unpack them they will be stored together in a designated space making delivery and unpacking simple.
- Clean your belongings. Dust and wipe down (and scrub if necessary) furniture, appliances, knick-knacks and pictures on the wall. No one wants to move dusty and dirty belongings into a brand new home, and you will not have the energy to clean them when they get there.
- Take photos of kitchen cabinets and closets throughout your current house. Develop them before you move. They will help you arrange your cabinets and closets in your new home.
- Devise an A, B, C box labeling system. A boxes are necessary items that must be unpacked right away for immediate use such as coffee maker or shower curtain. B boxes are essential items, but you will not need them for your first night in your new home. This might include kitchen items or home computer. C boxes are packed with items that you will not need for a while such as out of season clothing or holiday decorations.
- Devise another box labeling scheme using colored stickers. Assign a different color to each room in the new house. When your belongings are delivered to your new home, all the boxes with blue stickers will be put in the kitchen, the orange boxes will go in the office, etc. Use this color scheme when you begin packing so kitchen items are packed with kitchen items and office items are packed with office items.
- Talk often with your children about moving. Tell them what the new house will be like, take them to visit the construction site and tell them how their "stuff" will get there. Let your children know how they can help prepare for the move.
Pack What You Can Yourself
- About six to eight weeks before the projected moving day, make a plan to start packing a little each day even if it is just two or three boxes each evening after work. Three boxes a night for 30 days is 90 packed boxes.
- Pack as much as you can yourself and only pack boxes you can lift. Even if you hire movers, you will find yourself carrying boxes room to room so make the load safe and manageable for yourself. Light, bulky items such as your down comforter can be packed in bigger boxes while heavy items should be packed in the smallest box they will fit in easily.
- Start with a room or group of items not in use. The attic or basement is usually a good place to start. Or maybe you want to pack all the holiday decorations, out of season clothing, sports equipment, knick-knacks or the shoes in your closet you will not need until after the move. Pack up the books on the shelves, videotapes, DVDs and the CD collection. Pack up the china cabinet. If it is fall or winter pack the gardening tools.
- Instead of buying packing material such as bubble wrap, use newspaper, blankets, towels and other linens to protect and cushion your valuables.
- Remove the pictures and paintings from the walls and wrap them with sheets or towels to protect them.
- Include your children whenever possible. Ask them to assist you in packing some of the items in their rooms such as games, toys and books. Tell them what items they can pack on their own and what things you will help them with.
- Pack boxes on a room-by-room basis keeping the contents of each room in separate boxes.
- Label boxes room-by-room with a letter (A, B or C) ranking the priority in which the box should be unpacked and a color indicating the room it will be delivered to in the new house. Write a list of the contents on the outside of each box.
Tasks to Complete a Few Weeks Before the Move
- Notify old and new neighbors of your moving dates. Let them know what type of moving vehicles you will be using and make sure they can accommodate them being parked at the curb for a day or two.
- Cancel any memberships to local organizations such as the health club, fitness center and library.
- Notify the post office of your address change, as well as, utility and credit card companies.
- Give notice to doctors' offices and schools. Obtain copies of medical records to give to your new doctors. Request that your children's school records are transferred to their new school.
1-2 Days to Go
- Make arrangements for small children and pets to stay with someone on your moving day.
- Make sure you have cash on hand for any unplanned moving expenses or the carryout meals you might be eating for the next couple days.
- Close bank accounts and transfer funds to your new bank if you are moving far away.
- Disconnect electronics such as stereos, TVs and office equipment including the home computer and printer. Pack what you can.
- Pack an overnight bag with a change of clothes for each family member along with soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
- Pack essentials for the first night in the new home such as cleaning supplies, toilet paper, bedding, towels, flashlights and basic tools including a hammer and an assortment of screwdrivers.
- Plan your meals for the moving day. You might count on fast food and take out or you may pack your meals. Pack canned foods, a can opener, paper plates, plastic forks and knives and paper towels. Pack a cooler with lunchmeat and plenty of drinks. Include a bag of chips and other snacks.
- Prepare large items and appliances for transport. Drain fuel from the lawn mower. Empty the remaining frozen foods and defrost the freezer.
- Visit your new home and label the rooms with your color-coded stickers. Stick the corresponding colored sticker on the door or on the doorframe. This will help the movers tremendously with delivery of boxes.
- Make arrangements to turn on all utilities at your new house if they are not already - water, gas, electric, and phone. Request waste removal services. You will have plenty of trash when you start unpacking.
The Moving Day
- Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before you move. You are going to need as much rest as possible.
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
- Disassemble beds and any other last minute items before movers arrive.
- Play motivating music to keep you energized and in a positive mood.
- Set up one room as quickly and completely as possible such as the den or family room. If no other room gets set up and organized the first day, at least you will have one space that is free of moving boxes where you can relax and regroup throughout the moving day.
- Set up beds as soon as they are delivered to the new house and put the bedding on them right away. You will appreciate it at bedtime when you are feeling worn out.
- Arrange furniture pieces in each room before unpacking boxes. It is easier to move large furniture when smaller items are not in the way.
- Hook up any major appliances that you brought with you including refrigerator, freezer, washer, dryer and stove.
After the Move
- Take a few days to get acquainted with your new neighborhood. Find out where the supermarket and post office are located. Take your children to a nearby playground. Learn the quickest route to school.
- Break down moving boxes and recycle them.
- Send post cards to friends and family members with your new address and phone number.
- Introduce yourself and your children to your new neighbors.
- Follow up and pay any remaining utility bills from your old house.
These tips will help you plan, prepare and get organized for the move into your new house. Moving tips can be endless. For more information and tips about moving, check with local moving companies or visit their websites. Ask for advice from friends and family members that have moved. There are plenty of tips and tricks to reduce stress and achieve a successful move. Hopefully, these will get you started.
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