Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Being Prepared For Your Move Can Help You Avoid Ruining It

By Amy Nutt

As anyone who has done it knows, moving is no simple task. It's costly, time-consuming, exhausting, and all around not fun. Moving can easily turn into a disaster, but there are ways to avoid it. Here are some tips to prevent common moving pitfalls and make your transition into a new home as painless as possible.

Lack of money.

Whether or not you hire movers, you will spend money when you move. There are things such as truck rentals, shipping costs, tape and moving boxes, time off from work, gas expenses and sometimes even plane tickets. Begin planning well in advance, and budget extra money for emergency expenses. You never know what problems might sneak up on you. Be prepared. You also might want to check your homeowners or renters insurance to see if your belongings are covered while in transit. If you are hiring movers, get several quotes so you know you're getting a good price.

Lack of time. Certain times of the year are busy moving times. Professional moving companies can get booked up, so book in advance to be sure that your moving needs will be accommodated. Before moving day comes, plan your time out and know how long you will spend doing particular tasks. If you're counting on moving everything in one day, be sure that it is a realistic timeframe. Some professional movers will pack your stuff into moving boxes for an additional fee if you're particularly rushed.

Having too much stuff. You might be attached to your cinderblock collection, but do you really need it? As a rule, try to sell or give away things you haven't used in the previous 12 months. The less things you have, the easier and more streamlined your move will be. If you need to put things in storage, make sure they are in stackable, sealed boxes to keep dust and rodents away.

Measurement Issues. Uh oh. The fridge is too big to fit in the front door. Measure any large object or appliance, and be absolutely sure it will fit through doorways and into its final resting place. It would be a shame to haul your brand new Frigidaire from Tallahassee to Walla Walla, only to find it doesn't fit in your new kitchen.

Get Good Directions. If you're moving to a new, unfamiliar location, meticulously map everything out and have multiple copies of your directions. Driving an over-sized rental truck is stressful enough on its own, and doing it in an unfamiliar city is sure to add even more stress. Driving the truck in an unfamiliar city with bad directions be akin to a disaster. Check and double-check your directions. If you use an online navigational tool such as Mapquest, check the directions against a map, and keep an atlas with you at all times.

Make Sure You Eat. It sounds obvious, but people often forget to take care of their needs when they move. You won't have access to a refrigerator full of food while you move, so plan ahead and pack sandwiches or budget money for restaurant food. After full days of hauling your belongings, you'll be ravenous.

Moves can be very emotional, unforgettable experiences. If you have children, have fun by taking pictures and videos of the move. They'll feel like a part of the experience, and you'll have great memories for years to come.

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