Moving-general Tips

Read these 24 Moving-general Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Mom tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Can I move myself in one day?

Time is Money

If you chose to move yourself, and a short haul move is anticipated, consider arranging "bridge financing" to overlap a day or two. This relieves some of the timing pressures of any move and gives you time to clean the new home while it is still empty before loading it up with your contents. Need a room or two painted, wallpapered or minor repairs done? It is much easier to work in an uncluttered room. Don't forget to have hydro and electricity up and running if this is your intention.

   
When do I send Change of Address cards?

Change of Address

Change of address cards are not limited to friends and family. Consider paying the last month's bills from the old address by mail and inserting a card in each. Don't forget Department of Motor Vehicles, investment brokers, professional licensing bodies, and the government Tax departments. If you use internet banking, search out a change of address window and complete on-line.

   
How can I minimally disrupt the children on a long haul move?

Moving Emotions

Expect your children to act out of character more frequently as moving day draws near. Identify for yourself and for them the behaviors that are not appreciated but understood and to be avoided if at all possible. Do not be afraid or ashamed of showing your own emotional fragility or jubilation on the sale of your own home. You are the role model and the children will imitate your lead.

   
When should I bring the kids to the new house on moving day?

Sibling Scouting

The children should scout out their new home with you at least once before the big move. Let them have some time to pick out their bedroom of choice and fight out the decisions before moving day. They will be in charge of unpacking their own clothes and equipment.

   
How can I be sure I´m buying the right house in a new city?

Neighborhood Watch and Learn

When the home purchase is getting down to one or two choices, go back to the house(s) as often as you need to. Talk to the neighbors. Ask about schools and doctors, traffic flow patterns, and baby-sitters. Your future neighbors will love to tell you what they find appealing or not. Look around. If a landscape eyesore is visible, these are the people to ask if any plans for renovation or renewal are in the works and the expected date(s) of completion.

   
When should I go to the new house on moving day?

Roll up your sleeves

On the first trip on moving day, take a bucket of cleaning supplies, broom, mop and rags with you on the first trip. You may be secure in the knowledge that you have left your own home in good shape, but you cannot guarantee that the new home will be as well cared for. Now is the time to wash cupboards if necessary and lay the shelf paper.

   
How can I be sure I´m buying the right house in a new city?

Moving Wish Lists

When considering a new home, start a list of features that you would really like in your new home. Let your husband and children do their own lists. Compare these lists over dinner one night and make the duplicate wants guide you in your house hunting criteria. Things like fireplace, sun in the daytime work/living areas, a street safe enough for the kids to play road hockey should be itemized. Once you all agree to the "A" list... stick to it and make sure the real estate agent abides by it as well. Don't waste anyone's time by looking at a house with none or few of your important features.

   
Which house should I be at on moving day? Old or new?

Dinner Dilemma

Splurge on moving day with a menu of fast food. There is no shame in not having a refridgerator, stove or oven available for use. Take a cooler for necessary items like baby food, formula, snacks and other beverages. Beer is the 'traditional' celebratory drink, so make arrangements for its delivery in a timely manner.

   
What banking needs to be done before I move?

Take It To The Bank

Don't forget to close up your safety deposit boxes at the bank before you move. Arrange a transfer of accounts to the branch closest your new home. If commuting to the original bank is unreasonable, close all accounts and start fresh. Don't forget the children's accounts that may be close to dormant! The fees to re-activate may be higher than their value.

   
If I´m pregnant, should I move furniture?

Brains over Brawn

Just because you are pregnant does not exempt you from doing a lot of the work. You are healthy and well, not invalided. Take this opportunity to prove that brains are more important than muscles in moving house. Plan to do all the phone work, paper work, furniture arrangement planning, colour co-ordination, and kitchen function set-up ahead of time. This way, you will have to unpack once, directly into place, without having to re-do the work.

   
How much notice should I give my employer when a move is planned?

On leaving your place of employment

Give your employer as much notice as possible. Ask your immediate Supervisor for a letter of reference if you are leaving the position and don't leave without one! Learn about pension plan transfers and roll overs and when your health coverage expires by visiting the Human Resources Department.

   
How can I make the right choice in buying a new home?

Right House. Wrong Neighbors.

When considering a specific house for purchase, drive by a few times without your real estate agent and view the potential community at different times of the day. A neighborhood with packs of children playing on the street may not be the best choice if you are now an "empty nester" needing only a yard for future grand babies.

   
When should I say goodbye to my family doctor when moving?

Medical Follow Up

Book your children for dental and medical check ups before you leave the area and your health coverage expires if you are leaving a job behind. Ask with each physician (G.P., pediatrician, allergist, opthalmologist, dentist, ...) if they could recommend a colleague in the area that you will be moving to. Also find out how your medical records will be transfered to the chosen office.

   
When should I bring the kids to the new house on moving day?

Exciting Exits

On moving day, keep to regularly scheduled events if at all possible, e.g. daycare or school. Toddlers will slow down Mom's anticipated goals and deadlines by at least double the time as without children clinging and demanding attention. As Mom tends to assume the role of move co-ordinator, it makes sense to have a little help to oversee the children. Consider asking a relative to help baby-sit ( and assist in any last minute chores when the babies are napping or otherwise occupied)

   
Which house should I be at on moving day? Old or new?

Who has the Key?

Mom - As soon as you get the key to the new home, jump in the car with the kids and beat everyone else there. You are in much demand as the unloading and unpacking co-ordinator than a box slugger. Take a non- electrical dependant toy or activity for each child and let the brawn bring the microwave and TV in the first load.

   
How do I transfer my children to a new school?

School Issues

A quick call to your child's school will tell you what transfer papers are required for their new enrollment placement. Make a few copies of transcripts and store with other important papers for future reference.

   
When do I hang my artwork when unpacking from the move?

Decor Decisions

Don't be in a rush to finish the entire decorating of your new home in one night. Display all of your artwork on the floor or along the walls of an unused room. Mix and match style and color combinations just for fun. Hanging a picture that has been in the bedroom for years in the kitchen or bathroom may change your whole outlook and themes. Play with it.

   
Do I have to move at the same time as my spouse?

Job Re-location

If at all possible, let your children finish out their school year in familiar surroundings and amongst friends and peers. If financially feasible, let the spouse who must re-locate for job purposes move ahead. This will give them time to adjust to the new position, facilities and personnel. It also allows time to survey and evaluate the city for the best met real estate needs of the family.

   
How do I figure what furniture must move and what can go elsewhere?

You have the knack.

When planning your furniture arrangements for the new house, be truly objective about what you have been living with. Do you have a room that no one uses or even sits in? One that no one ever leaves? Why? It may be as simple as an uninviting and/or uncomfortable sofa or chair. Consider assigning it to the future guest room, the basement or passing it on to a deserving relative. And while your're thinking about it, arrange for its removal, if necessary, before your actual moving date.

   
What is the best closing date for homeselling?

Timing is Everything

"Everybody" tends to pick the first or 15th day of the month for a closing date. This puts u- move rental trucks in great demand. Either book your van well in advance or consider a mid week, mid month closing. It doesn't make a difference for billing purposes as banks and utilities can easily modify your accounts for continuity. An unorthodox date often makes it easier on the lawyers end, as well, in the line-ups for deed searching and other property related finalizations.

   
How can I promote cooperation with my kids when moving?

Lasting Memories

Give each child a disposable camera two weeks before the actual moving day to be a family reporter. Have them document the preparations for the move, their friends and neighborhood landmarks for a permanent memory collection. Have them developed and safely stored in an album well before moving day so the chance of losing them is negligible.

   
How do I notify everyone of my change of address?

Change of Address Cards

A trip to the post office early in your moving plans is essential. Pick up the convenient change of address cards and start filling out the blanks. Arrange to have mail re-routed for at least one year. There may be a number of infrequent bills or contacts that deal with you on an annual basis that you definitely don't want to miss. If in doubt after a year has lapsed, renew for another 6 months. It's worth it.

   
What things can I move from the house?

Make a note

Anything wired, bolted or screwed in place to your home is considered a permanent fixture and is expected to be sold with the house. Take a pencil and paper and do a walk about of the house and make yourself notes as to what things must be replaced. Your preferred deadline is before the listing agent assesses the home and draws up the actual listing. This is when exclusions must be presented, especially if you want to take grandma's crystal chandelier with you to your new home.

   
How can I include the children when getting ready to move?

Stability Starts With You

Children love the stability and predictability of routines. When getting ready to move, balance their needs to maintain normal routines with a need for "closure". Give them time and support for their own emotional grieving for the loss of what was thought to be permanent like friends, church and home. Reassure them and reflect together on the value of family, and the different ways to keep in touch when separated by distance.

   
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Patricia Walters-Fischer