You have found the house of your dreams, and signed all the mortgage papers. What next? It is time to move in. For some, this part of the process might seem to be as complicated and frustrating as buying or selling, but it can be simplified just by being organized.
The best advice from experts is to be as involved as possible in the process. Do your own research on your new community and your new neighborhood. Ask questions every step of the way. Write the chamber of commerce and ask for an information packet. Familiarize yourself with what will become your new surroundings. By taking these steps, you'll be able to minimize some of the stress that comes with making a move.
The toughest part of any move is planning. Loose ends such as changing your address, closing bank accounts and making sure everything takes place the same time as the move involves more than a little science.
The address change is one of the most important aspects of relocating. Contact your local post office with your new address as soon as you have it, ideally about four weeks before the move. Also notify credit card companies, periodicals to which you subscribe, and friends and relatives of your new address.
Plan travel and make the necessary arrangements. If flying, get your tickets ahead of time and make sure they're in a secure place. If you plan to use a moving van, arrange for it. If you're moving across the country, plan your route and determine where you'll be making overnight stays.
Contact your local utility and phone companies and provide them with a date to end services. Make the same calls for your new residence, so you don't move in without heat, water or electricity.
Round up moving supplies. This means boxes, bubble wrap, boxing tape and large black markers. Discount stores and grocery stores are generally good places to start looking for boxes.
Once you've resolved those challenges, it's time to start packing. Again, planning is the key. Decide what room you want to start with. A good rule of thumb is to plan to pack one room a day. Keep in mind that it may take longer to pack larger rooms, so have an idea of how much time you will need and plan accordingly.
While packing, go through your belongings. Decide what you can live with and what you can live without. Keep in mind that many items can be purchased after you move into your new home. Divide everything into three categories: what you're packing; what you're tossing; and what you're giving away.
Pack the rooms you use the least first. This should limit the amount of time digging through boxes prior to the move. Label each box with three things: the room they were in or will be in; a summary of what's in the box; and whether what's inside the box is fragile. Resist the temptation to over pack boxes because they become difficult to carry or load.
Some other points to remember:
- Pack your items carefully. Use sheets, blankets, pillows and towels to cushion items. Pack plates and glass objects vertically, without stacking them.
- The heavier the item, the smaller the box it should occupy. If you can't lift a box easily, it's too heavy.
- Keep your pets away from all activity during moving day.
- Teach your kids your new address and phone number as soon as possible.
- Pack your old phone books in case you need to call a neighbor or business from your new residence.
- Make sure you have "open me first" boxes, which will contain items your family will need for the first night in the new home. Fill two boxes with snacks, medicine, towels, toiletries and other essential items to make the first night go smoothly.
Sources for these stories include: Coldwellbanker.com, Moving.com, Federal Citizen Information Center Home Page, Realtor.com, Homestore.com, homebuilder.com, forsalebyowner.com, San Diego Association of Realtors, Monstermoving.com, Interest.com, Century21.com and Amsouth.com.