May 24, 2015
Moving Day – Ten Tips for a Stress-Free Transition
Once you’re packed up and ready to go, you’ll think the tough part of moving is over. Many people, though, are surprised at how stressful moving day can be. Whether you’re hiring professionals or just gathering some friends together to help, it’s easy to have unexpected roadblocks pop up that will make your day difficult. Use some of these handy hints to make moving day a breeze! 1. Plot your floor plan. If your homebuilder provides you with a floor plan, make a copy and place each piece of your furniture in the proper room on the plan. Indicate where it should go, and assign it a number. For example, label your couch number 4, and draw a rectangle marked number 4 in the proper place in the living room on the floor plan. This way your movers, whoever they are, will know exactly where each piece goes. This will make it easier on everyone, and you won’t have to move furnishings again later. If you don’t have a floor plan, sketch one out on your own and make a diagram as directed. Ask movers to place the boxes you labeled with a location in that room for easier unpacking. 2. Sitters are super! If you have young children or pets, make sure to get a sitter for moving day. These important family members don’t have the ability, strength or attention span to help with the move, and can easily get underfoot, causing accidents and possible injury. 3. Know ahead of time where the moving trucks can park. This is usually easier if you’re moving into a planned community or a home in a rural area, where there is a lot of space for long vehicles. If you’re moving into an urban area or one that is highly populated, it can be more of a challenge. Always check with the Homeowner’s Association, landlord, local parking authority, police department or even the neighbors to see where the trucks can go during your move. 4. Take inventory. Make sure the movers don’t leave until each inventoried box or bag is accounted for, or placed on a missing item or damaged item claim form. If anything is damaged, be sure to take a photo of it that will correspond to the “before” picture you took while packing up your old residence. 5. Be well rested and prepared for the big day. If you stayed up all night doing last minute packing and panicking, your moving day is bound to be a disaster. Take care to finish your packing in advance, and go to bed early the night before. Set your alarm well ahead of the time your professional movers or friends are scheduled to arrive, so you can take care of any last minute surprises and have some breakfast. And don’t forget to wear weather-appropriate, comfortable clothes and practical shoes. Even if it’s hot, wear sneakers instead of flip-flops or sandals to protect your feet and give them adequate support. If you’ll also be covering long distances during your move, wear clothes that are comfortable for travel. 6. Be sure your cell phone is fully charged. You need to be accessible at all times to many people, so make sure you have full power before you begin your day. 7. Make sure you have full, accurate directions to your new home. Do a dry run from your old home to your new one so you can tell everyone approximately how long it will take and whether there are distractions such as road construction or detours. Make sure everyone helping has the full address and step-by-step directions or GPS. 8. Feed the masses. Make sure you have plenty of cold beverages and some quick, accessible snacks in your refrigerator as well as in a cooler placed outside at your new digs. Moving is hard work, and everyone will get thirsty and hungry. Don’t forget to check out your new neighborhood for pizza parlors or other restaurants that deliver in advance. In most cases your move will last at least several hours, and either lunch or dinner will need to be eaten during the move. Prepare to cover the cost of a meal for movers, whether they’re professionals or your friends. Some moving companies don’t allow their employees to eat on the job, but be prepared to offer anyway. 9. A little advance planning will de-stress your life. If you have items you don’t want to take with you, have a yard sale before your move, or make arrangements to donate them to a charitable organization that will arrange to pick them up for you. Goodwill, the Salvation Army and the United Way are good places to start. However, don’t leave these activities until the last minute – make sure you have a sale or make donation arrangements at least 2-3 weeks prior to your moving day. Make sure all the utilities are turned on before you arrive at your new home. If you’re using a moving company, make sure you have a check, credit card or cash on hand to make your final payment. (And don’t forget a tip for professional movers – it’s highly appreciated!) If you subscribe to a satellite TV service or cable TV, call them in advance to schedule your move. They’ll give you great information on how to best handle the change so you have TV right away. Clear your schedule on moving day so you can be there when the moving crew arrives, and be the last one out the door after they’ve loaded up. If you have other things to do, you’ll be stressing out about the possibility of items left behind. 10. Clean up after yourself. Plan to return to your old home within a few days to do a last cleanup. This is especially important if you were renting previously and are looking forward to having your full security deposit returned to you. Make sure you have enough cleaning products and all the tools you’ll need prior to moving day, and leave them at the old location until you return. Or, if you don’t have the time or the desire to clean your old place, hire a cleaning service. Many of them have “move-out packages” that cover everything that needs to be done, right down to cleaning the oven and washing the windows. If you do hire a cleaning service, make sure to visit your old home before turning in the keys to make sure the work is done to your satisfaction. Nothing is more exciting than beginning a new chapter in your life in a new home! By following these recommendations, you’re more likely to drop into bed for your first night’s sleep in your new residence exhausted, but calm, happy and looking forward to the future.