Whether it’s a move across the country or across town, the whole process can either go smoothly or have the overtones of a major life crisis. We’ve been on hand during transferee moves for some time and have come to the conclusion the “little things” make the difference between a smooth move and chaotic one. The secret is in the details that go beyond the usual common-sense procedures of getting belongings from one place to another.
You’ll have a better chance of a trouble-free move if you become familiar with our 12 tips to a smooth move.
1. Expect stress.
First and foremost, you should expect a certain amount of stress and be as patient as possible — with yourself and everyone else. When a whole family remembers to listen carefully and respond thoughtfully, things are easier for all concerned.
2. Fix up and toss out.
When a home is up for sale, the chore of clearing out clutter (for showing the house) can be combined with sorting and packing. Even if professional packers are scheduled to do the big packing job, time is saved at the destination when you personally box many items (off-season clothes, for example).
3. Keep a moving book.
Having a personal moving book (a 3-ring binder plus pocket dividers) helps keep details in their place: checklists, daily reminders, mover information, and, especially, lists of what’s where. (One of the most frustrating aspects of moving is not being able to find things that have been shuffled from here to there.)
4. Plan for pets.
Pets need to be planned for as much as any other family members. Change is stressful for animals too. Traveling arrangements should be made early (including necessary shots, certificates, etc.), especially if the pet is to travel by public transportation.
5.Print change notices.
As soon as a home is sold, notices should be sent to alert utility and other services of cancellation dates, to transfer bank accounts and medical records, and to avoid annoying gaps in subscriptions.
6. Return and collect things.
Returning borrowed things (library books, friends’ belongings, etc.) should be on your move-out checklist, as well as a reminder to collect things — from safe deposit boxes, the cleaners, storage places, repair shops, friends’ homes.
7. Carry valuables.
It’s often safer to carry jewelry, birth certificates and other valuables personally rather than trust them to movers or the mail. School records and proof of vaccinations also have a better chance of prompt arrival if they are conveyed personally rather than left for transfer to busy school and medical offices.
8 .Do the phones early.
If possible, phone service should be installed before arrival, and floors and walls that need refurbishing in the new home should be attended to before moving in, avoiding having to move things around after getting semi-settled.
9. Pack a survival kit.
Packing a survival package takes care of all those small family needs at the new home on the first day: light bulbs, a flashlight, tissues, trash bags, children’s toys, pillows, blankets, saucepans, canned food, paper plates, powdered drinks, plastic cups, a radio, a telephone, a hammer and screwdriver, etc.
10. Make tags and licenses a priority.
Remembering to get car registrations helps avoid fines, and transferring drivers’ licenses on time saves having to take new road tests.
11. Schedule extra time.
It’s wise, if possible, to allow plenty of time to recover, to unpack and settle in. A few days of dining out helps. After all, a home isn’t built in a day.
12. Last word.
A prime reminder: Throughout the move, you can rely on your real estate and relocation specialists on each end of the move to help the relocation go smoothly.