15 Steps to a less stressful move!

1. Pick a reputable mover. Get at least 2 estimates and ask about all the charges for packing, tolls, heavy items, over weight, etc. Do your research on the companies and make sure they have strong customer service ratings. Check BBB, Yelp, and state transportation boards. The company must be licensed and insured. Know that unless you've had a serious loss or damage, the insurance will usually not be worth claiming.

2. Get a binding contract, not a guarantee. Fill out details in the contract for overages, extra fees, stairs/elevators and truck transfer expenses.

3. Don't pay retail for packing materials. Check Craigslist.org and Freecycle.net for gently used packing materials. And remember to recycle again when you unpack!

4. If its not moving with you, get rid of it early in the process. Sometimes that old beat up couch will cost you a lot more to move than its actually worth! Donate clothing and books, old computer equipment, outdated stereos - anything that you don't love, you shouldn't pay to move. For the last minute items that you didn't get rid of, call a donation agency to come pick up. If you give them a few days notice, they can usually accommodate a single pick up. And call the trash service to pick up the next morning after the move. You shouldn't leave trash out for days for security reasons and its unreasonable to expect the new owners to take it to the curb for you.

5. Talk to your accountant early about your move. Lots of things are tax deductible when moving for work. Save your receipts for boxes, packing materials, hotels and restaurants.

6. Pack heavy items in small boxes! Don't kill yourself lifting 50 lb boxes of books. What doesn't seem heavy in the beginning will seem like a ton of bricks after the 100th box!

7. Pack your night time routine in the dresser for each bedroom.  Include sheets, blanket, pillow, pajamas, and towel.. For your little ones, don't forget their favorite toy that they would be excited to find before bedtime. Parents, pack a bottle of wine, corkscrew and glasses and a shower curtain if needed in the new home. Thank me later!

8. Some things cannot go with the movers and will need separate arrangements - Liquor/wine/alcohol, gardening chemicals, paints, combustible or corrosive chemicals. Check with your mover about what can go in the truck and how they will have to pack it up. For things that cannot transport, sell or trade off to friends or neighbors.

9. Label boxes clearly and use a coding system with colored construction paper. Red for the basement. Green for the kitchen. Blue for the master bedroom. In the new home, label the areas with colored construction paper for fast processing.

10. Notify utilities of your move in advance but don't cut them off. Most will transfer on settlement date but if your move is later, give yourself a few extra days. Allow time for a cleaning service or handyman that may still need to be in the home. Additionally, don't leave trash in the garage when you leave. Take it to a neighbor, call for a special pick up or ask the cleaning service to remove it.

11. Make a list of all the companies/services/magazines you'll need to notify of your new address. Plan to notify everyone twice! Keep track of each notification and date and plan to follow up every week until you see its completed.

12. Notify you main credit cards that you are traveling. If you're driving cross country, let your credit card company know so they don't block your card for unusual charges. Also, verify how much you can charge in one day. If you're planning on charging your $25,000 move, it may exceed the daily limit even though it doesn't exceed your card limit.

13. Plan for your pets! Pack food, dishes, litter, treats, crates and toys for the road. For long travel, search out pet friendly parks along the way so that they can run around safely. Carry their immunization records with you as you travel. A great option for the moving days is to check them into a day camp, groomers or kennel for the hectic day. Remember to pack dog gates if needed too. Update their micro-chip records with your new phone numbers and addresses. 

13. Bribery works for your movers. Moving a big home? Plan on ordering lunch on moving out day and moving in day. Get lots of drinks in the frig early in the day and plan out easy high energy snacks like granola bars or brownies for everyone. 

14. Pack an "Open First" box with kitchen essentials, coffee maker, cups, sweetener, granola bars, spoons and bowls for cereal. After a long move, what are you going to want that next morning?

15. Set aside an emergency bag: medicines, toiletries, band aids, advil, duct tape, markers, a few ziplock bags and plastic trash bags. power strip, phone charges, toilet paper, paper towels, windex, cleanser, notepad and pen, flashlight, flat head and phillips head screwdrivers, hammer, scissors and light bulbs.

Following these tips will definitely make even the most daunting move more manageable. Contact us for more tips and tricks!

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