Helping Kids Prepare to Move

Happy June!  School is out.  Escrows are closing.  People are moving.  This morning I heard on the news that people would rather go to jail than move.  I burst out laughing – I know what they mean.  I see it every day in my career – no one likes packing and moving.  I remeber my last move, which I packed by myself (next time I’m hiring someone). By the time I got to packing my kitchen – I was at my wits end.  I think I broke down in tears over a mound of pots and pans – right after I banged them together in dispair.  I laugh now – but looking back – I can relate to the sentiment.  So today – I thought I would share these articles about moving.  One is dedicated to the kids – the young and young at heart and the other a great moving to-do list.

 

Mindful Moving – Helping Kids Prepare to Move

Moving can be an overwhelming process. When you move with children, regardless of their age, it can be a challenge to stay mindful of the impact on you and your kids. Leaving their old home for a new one, saying goodbye to friends, and disrupting their regular routine is stressful and difficult to handle.

You may not be able to completely eliminate the challenges of moving with kids, but there are ways to minimize the stress that can help ease the process for them. In this first part of our Mindful Moving guide, you’ll find tips about involving your children, visiting the new neighborhood, and packing a moving-day bag.

1. Involve Children in Decisions When You Can

  • Have them help you narrow down the homes you’re considering by house hunting together. If it’s practical, take your children to see prospective houses with you. If you’re searching online, bookmark your favorites so your kids can have a look-see.
  • When you’ve found a house, ask them to map out their new bedroom. If old enough they can draw a floorplan with cut-outs of their bedroom furniture that they can move around, and let them choose a new paint color. Create a mood board with colors and favorite pics of bedrooms on a sheet of construction paper.
  • Ask for their input on, for example, their top three choices for new wall color or new carpet in the family room.
  • Let the kids pack a few of their own moving boxes with their special items to be unpacked first, like their favorite stuffed animal or Nintendo game. Explain that it may take a week or two for all of the moving boxes to be unpacked, so they should keep everything that they want close by in their “special” box. They can even customize the moving box labels with their names, and for younger kids, let them decorate their boxes with stickers—they’ll love it!

2. Visit the New Neighborhood Together

Sometimes, circumstances or distance makes it difficult to visit the new neighborhood with your kids before moving day. But if you can, plan a visit that includes taking a walking tour of your new neighborhood, the downtown area, and their new school.

Before you visit, buy a copy of the local newspaper or its online site to find out what kids-oriented activities are happening during your visit. A visit to the local sports field or recreation center or library may help get them excited about their new town.

3. Pack a Moving-Day Bag

As a surprise, pack a special bag for each child with snacks, games, and toys. Maybe even mementoes like pics of their old home, friends, and school as keepsakes. Bring it in the car (or plane) with you to help them focus on positive memories rather than leaving their old home.

Once you’ve arrived at your new home, let your child unpack their special bag and set out a few personal items in their new room and make sure you have that floorplan ready of their room so the movers know exactly where to put everything.

Especially with young kids, minimizing change is essential. Try to keep things familiar by maintaining the same morning and bedtime routines, and maintaining family traditions like Tuesday taco nights or Saturday family movie nights. You won’t be able to keep everything the same, but the little pieces you preserve in the transition can make a world of difference.

 

MOVING TO DO LIST

Moving To-Do List

Moving to a new home can be exciting as well as stressful with so much to do and remember. Use this checklist to get all your ducks in a row and make your move as smooth as possible.

2 Months Prior:

  • Get organized. Keep all the items related to the move, such as receipts, quotes, and insurance documents in one area such as a drawer or binder.
  • Know the rules. If you are moving because of a work transfer and are receiving a relocation budget, understand your company’s moving policies and rules to limit non-covered costs.
  • Research. Compare at least three moving companies, noting price, availability, and included items vs. extras. Request an on-site estimate when available for a more accurate quote.
  • Document damage. When moving a long distance where you’ll be relying mostly on the movers, document any noticeable furniture damage with photos. Discuss what coverage the movers have in case damage occurs during the move.
  • Inventory. Make a list of your valuable items. Note any items that will require special packing or extra insurance coverage and make arrangements accordingly.
  • Separate. Sort items into four or five piles: keep, donate, recycle and toss. If you have enough items that you’re getting rid of to justify a garage sale, make a fifth pile for selling.
  • Transfer records. If you have kids in school, go to their school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new school district.

1 Month Prior:

  • Hire. Now that you’ve researched movers, it’s time to hire. Make arrangements for other things that will need to be moved, such as cars if you do not have enough drivers to transport them to your new home.
  • Stock up. Purchase packing supplies such as tape, boxes, labels, and moving paper.
  • Sell. If you’re going to have a garage sale, now would be the time to do it.
  • Inspect. Make sure all inspections are being done on your new home and arrange to fix any problems that arise before moving in. If your new home comes with any systems that may not fall into a standard home inspection, such as a built-in surround-sound or high-tech pool equipment, arrange for a specialist to inspect these items before you take ownership of the home.
  • Take measurements. Measure rooms in your new home, if possible, to start creating your new furniture layout. You’ll also want to measure door openings to ensure furniture will fit through, or start getting creative.
  • Get a head start. Start packing things that you won’t need in the next month, such as seasonal items, spare closets, and basement or attic items.
  • Label. Clearly label each box with the room it should go to for an easier moving day. Keep anything you’ll need right away in a separate box and make sure it is easily identifiable.
  • Make a plan. Create a packing plan, ensuring everyone in the family knows their job. Plan the order in which you will pack up each room and when it needs to be completed by.
  • Make another plan. Create a plan for your family and the movers of what will go where in your new home. Most movers will only place furniture once and will not rearrange if you do not like where you originally told them it should go, so plan carefully.
  • Request time off. Depending on your job, it is a good time to ask for a few days off from work to ensure you have ample time to pack, move, and unpack.

2 Weeks Prior:

  • Confirm. Confirm all the details of your move with the movers, such as date, time, and expectations of what special items you may have, such as a piano or pool table.
  • Change your address. Forward your address through the USPS to start the day of your move.
  • Utilities. Make the arrangements to disconnect or transfer your current services and utilities, such as cable, internet, phone, water, gas, and electric. Arrange for service to be connected at your new home.
  • Make a list. Take a few moments and write down everyone who has your address so that you can notify them of your move. Along with your family and friends, this list should include bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, doctors, cell phone provider, tax forms, voter registration, and of course the DMV.
  • Clean. Clean any areas that you’ve already packed. Plan to clean the rest of your old home, or make arrangements to have it professionally cleaned. If the previous tenants of your new home haven’t do so already, you may want to arrange for your new home to be cleaned and painted before your arrival.
  • Financial arrangements. If you are moving to an area that will require you to switch banks, make sure any outstanding checks you’ve written have been cashed. If you have a safety deposit box, remember to clean it out.

1 Week Prior:

  • Pack, pack, pack. This is when the bulk of your packing should be done. All of your drawers, cabinets and closets should be mostly cleared, leaving only essentials out. The kitchen usually takes the longest since it is full of delicate dishes and glasses, so you’ll want to get this done early. Remember to clearly label any boxes with breakables with “fragile”. For an easier move, pack all dishware and use paper plates and plastic silverware. Plan to eat out a lot or order takeout during this last week in your home.
  • Dispose of hazards. Don’t move with hazardous or potentially messy materials such as paint, oil, and weed killers. Drain fuel out of mowers, ATVs, dirt bikes, and discard propane tanks from grills.
  • Arrange payment. Most movers will require a credit or debit card to hold the appointment date. If you would prefer to pay by cash, money order or check, ensure the mover is expecting that so that your card doesn’t get accidentally charged. Also, you’ll want to plan for a tip the day of the move. Typically, a good tip is 10-15% of the total cost of the move, which is usually about $20-25 cash tip per mover for an easy move, all the way up to $100 for a particularly long or difficult job.
  • Pack a survival kit. Pack a bag with items you will need during the move and immediately when you arrive at your new home. These items should include toilet paper, a few dishes, glasses and silverware, toiletries, towels, and a change of clothes. If you’re moving long distance, prepare for the scenario that your items may take a few days to arrive.
  • Pack a cooler. One of the last things people think about on moving day is eating and drinking, but you, your family, and the movers will undoubtedly get thirsty and hungry. Plan ahead and pack a cooler with bottled water, snacks and a few sandwiches for moving day.
  • Clean. If you don’t have a professional cleaner coming in, you’ll want to do the bulk of your home cleaning a few days before the move. Thoroughly clean windows, floors and carpets, counters, appliances, bathrooms, cabinets and closets.

Moving Day

  • Double-check. Double-check everything you’ve scheduled to happen on moving day is going to go according to plan. Confirm arrival times with the movers, house cleaners, and utility people such as cable and gas. If you don’t already have the keys to your new home, check when you can pick them up. Ask when your utilities will be shut off at your old home and turned on in your new one.
  • Contact information. Make sure each of your movers have your contact information, exact moving address, and maps if needed. Keep the mover’s direct number with you in case you need to call them during the move.
  • Paperwork. In the hustle and bustle of moving day, it may be tempting to sign something without reading it first. Read all paperwork the movers ask you to sign carefully, including the Bill of Lading, waivers, and any inventory list they provide.
  • Extra packing material. Keep a few boxes and a roll of tape handy for any miscellaneous items you come across.
  • Direct. If you’re too busy during moving day to be present in your new home, designate someone else in your family to be there the whole time the movers are there to tell them where to put boxes and furniture. It may be a good idea to lay out plastic across any carpet to prevent stains.
  • Final walk-through. Do one last walk-through in your old home to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything, opening every drawer, cabinet and closet. Keep a few cleaning supplies with you, like all-purpose cleaner, paper towels, and a vacuum for a last minute touch up.
  • Cash. Be sure to have enough cash on hand for the move for tip, and a little extra for food and last minute items.

After Unpacking

  • Safety first. Make sure you have all necessary safety precautions in place in your new home. Locate and test fire extinguishers and detectors, change the locks, and change the alarm code – if there is one.
  • Check your list. Compare your inventory list of what you packed to what you unpacked to ensure everything made the move. If you notice any damage to your furniture or other items, compare it to the photos you originally took and contact the moving company if necessary.
  • Update. Refer to your list that you created of everyone who needs your change of address and update them.
  • Deposit refund. If you’re moving from a rental, make sure you follow-up with your previous landlord about your security deposit and when you can expect it back. Some moving companies also require a moving deposit to hold an appointment. Make sure you’ve gotten that returned or know when you can expect it.
  • Repairs. Complete quick repairs that need to be done, including changing light bulbs, fixing light switches, touching up paint, etc.
  • Sit back, relax, and enjoy. You’ve earned it. Take a load off and enjoy your new home!

 

I read this article at: FirstAm Home Warranty

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Common Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Moving

Common Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Moving

By Gabrielle D.

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This is sound advice for the small things, like managing your Facebook page or transcribing what you’re certain are your pet’s inner-most thoughts, but the stakes are significantly higher on moving day.

Successfully completing a move is a triumphant feeling, but only because moving is such a huge task. There’s a lot of planning, coordination, routing, packing, and hauling that goes into ensuring your possessions make it safely to their destination. Some opt to put all of that responsibility on the shoulders of professional residential movers, but many decide against it because of the added expense.

It’s understandable, but if you’re looking to change moving day to moving D.I.Y., here are some common mistakes you, your friends, and family should avoid to make your move as seamless and stress-free as possible:

  • Overpacking Boxes: This is important to remember if either you or someone helping you move treats every heavy item like an obstacle in a Strongman competition. You may be able to lift it, but can the box hold everything in it? Before you start packing, reinforce the bottom of each box with several strips of packing tape, then, once you begin adding items, cap the box’s weight around 20-30 pounds.
  • No Breaks: Most moves happen on the weekend, so there’s an immediate shared interest to finish the job as quickly as possible. The problem is savvy movers will load the largest, heaviest, and most awkwardly-shaped items first so they can be unloaded last. If you don’t pace yourself with breaks to rest and hydrate, you’ll be tackling that daunting final stretch and fatigue simultaneously.
  • Unlabeled Items: Your lifting strategy will differ based on what you’re carrying, unless you have no idea what you’re carrying. This goes beyond scribbling FRAGILE on dishware boxes; you should also be labeling boxes that are heavy or contain electronics to ensure they aren’t staged under direct sunlight or in the trapped heat of your moving vehicle’s cargo hold.
  • Bad routing: This comes into play sooner than you think; as soon as you close on your new place, in fact. Most people check the water pressure, the outlets, and assess the square footage, but it’s also important to map out how you’ll actually bring your things in. If you’re moving into an apartment, ask the property manager if you have freight elevator access; if not, assess the parking situation and, if it’s a nightmare, determine if there are side alleys you can park your moving vehicle in for an hour or two. If you’re moving into a home, avoid thin walkways and unevenly paved surfaces to avoid tripping and dolly wheel snagging.

Organizing and executing the perfect move without professional movers is certainly more difficult, but not impossible if you, your friends, and family keep these tips in mind on moving day.

 

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6 Things You Should Never Let Movers Touch

6 Things You Should Never Let Movers Touch

 

So after years of DIY/friend-assisted moves, you’ve finally decided to hire movers. As a fellow lazy convenience-minded person, I salute you. The heavy-lifting, traffic-negotiating, stair-climbing nightmare parts of moving day are out of your hands.

But before you kick back and start daydreaming of sleeping in on the big day, I also have some bad news: There are some things you always want to move yourself.

Even if you’ve hired pros, you’re still probably going to be renting a truck or tucking a few things away in your car. Yes, I know—that completely bursts your nothing-to-do bubble. But you’ll want these things for their safe arrival.

  1. Your pets

Obviously, you’re not going to pack Rover in a box with some air holes, but you still need to do some prep work.

Moving is stressful for pets. Add the potential danger of their busting free in the chaos of moving, and it could be a bad situation. Save yourself a headache later and pack them a travel bag now.

If you’re moving across town, plan to take water and food bowls, food, treats, an extra leash, a favorite toy, and a crate with you in the car.

If you’re moving out of state, your movers probably won’t transport your pets, but you can hire a pet-moving service.

  1. Houseplants

Houseplants are a bigger moving-day hassle than you might realize.

First, your mover might not be able to take some of your plants, because local and interstate laws may forbid it.

“Before doing anything with houseplants, it’s good to check with your state’s Department of Natural Resources or the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure there aren’t any restrictions for moving that particular type of plant,” says Jonathan Deesing, a community specialist with imove.

If the plants are allowed on the truck, you’ll still have to worry about everything arriving safely.

“Only pack up plants that are hardy and can survive a bumpy ride,” he says. Fragile plants (we’re looking at you, orchids) may not survive in the back of the truck. So put them in an open box in your car with some padding to keep the pots from tipping over.

  1. Firearms

If you’re packing, the movers probably aren’t.

Whether you’ve got an antique revolver just for display or a powerful hunting rifle, this one is a big no-no for obvious reasons.

“It’s best to move your guns on your own for safety reasons, and many moving services will not even consider moving guns for you anyway,” Deesing says.

If you’re moving your arsenal, don’t forget your safety lessons. Pack bullets and guns separately, and keep everything clearly marked and out of the reach of children.

And remember the rules and regulations.

“Make sure you have all the paperwork in order before moving guns across state lines,” Deesing says.

  1. Your record collection and other valuables

Whether it’s the complete history of the blues on 350 vinyl records, or a collection of antique snow globes, “if you can’t stand the thought of losing it, don’t put it on a moving truck,” Deesing says.

Your moving company isn’t going to toss any of your stuff around (we hope), but accidents do happen. It’s one thing when it happens to that bookshelf you bought at Target, but another when it happens to your great-grandmother’s antique lamp set. If in doubt, bring it with you.

  1. Personal paperwork

Pack your Social Security card, birth certificate, auto title, and any other important paperwork in a waterproof case, and haul that with you. Inevitably, something gets misplaced in a move. And it’s not helpful to find your passport six months after you had to scramble to get a last-minute replacement for your vacation to Spain.

“Of all your belongings, these can often be the most difficult to recover if lost or damaged in transit,” Deesing says.

  1. Climate-sensitive artwork

If you’re moving across town or within the same state, your artwork can probably be safely packed and stowed away on the moving truck. If you’re moving several states away and the temperature might change drastically on the trip, you might want to bring those originals with you in your climate-controlled car.

“If you have artwork in a truck and move from the Northeast to the Deep South, it could irreversibly damage certain paints and materials,” Deesing says.

———

For everything else, follow this rule: When in doubt, overcompensate.

“Communication is key with any part of the move, and this is no exception,” Deesing says. “Don’t take risks, either—clearly label your fragile items and feel free to supervise movers as they load items onto the truck.”

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/move/always-move-these-things-yourself/?identityID=9851214&MID=2016_0513_WeeklyNL-comafter23&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2016-0513-WeeklyNL-blog_2_dontletmoverstouch-blogs_trends

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7 Ways to Reduce Stress During a Move…

Having just sold my home last year, I remember the hair pulling stress of packing and moving and working and living.  Enjoy this article from Trulia.  And always get a friend to help you pack your kitchen!

 

7 Ways To Reduce Stress During A Move

 

Congratulations! You decided to accept that new job offer in another city, found the perfect apartment or finally closed on the home of your dreams. And while you’re excited about taking that next step, you’re facing a huge frustration: You need to pack all your belongings into boxes, and lug it into another home.

Moving is crazy and stressful. But there are ways to survive the process without prematurely growing (more) grey hairs.

Here are seven ways to manage your stress before, during, and after you’ve boxed up your whole life.

#1: Purge.

Clutter is stressful. Minimize the junk that’s clogging your closets, and you’ll automatically breathe a sigh of relief. Clear the clutter from your home by organizing things you no longer need into three piles: Sell, Donate, and Toss.

Put big-ticket or valuable items in the “sell” pile. Then snap some photos and list them on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook. (Alternately, if the weather’s nice, hold a massive yard sale.)

Score a tax deduction by donating non-saleable items to Goodwill or any other local thrift stores. Or brighten a friend or family members’ day by giving them your old hand-me-downs.

Throw away or recycle any items that are so far gone, even thrift stores wouldn’t accept it.

Here’s the most fun part: Eat through the contents of your refrigerator and pantry. Spend the weeks prior to your move creating “oddball” meals based on whatever happens to be in your cupboards. And don’t forget to drink all your booze!

#2: Clear Your Calendar.

The most stress-free way to tackle the rest of your packing is by blocking off a chunk of time in which you can focus exclusively on that single task. Find a babysitter who can watch your children. (Or save money by asking a friend or family member to watch your kids, and promise to return the favor in the future.)

Request a day off work, or clear your schedule for the entire weekend. You’ll achieve more by packing continuously for several hours than you will by packing in short bursts of time.

If possible, bribe some of your friends to help. Promise that you’ll buy them dinner and drinks, or offer some other treat, if they’ll donate a few hours of their time to helping you pack and move.

#3: Accumulate Boxes.

For several weeks prior to your move, start accumulating a stack of newspapers and boxes. You probably read your news electronically, but don’t worry – print newspapers still exist, and you can usually pick up free copies of community newspapers outside your local grocery store. (Think of those tabloid-layout weeklies that list what’s happening around town.)

Ask your friends if they have any extra boxes from their previous moves. Or visit local grocery stores and retail outlets, walk to the back (where the employees unpack the inventory), and ask if you can walk off with a stack of boxes. CostCo and Trader Joes’ both keep a steady supply of boxes in-store.

If you’re willing to splurge, however, you might decide to buy boxes from shipping and packing stores, or your local home-improvement store. The benefit to buying boxes is that they’ll all be a standard size (they’re usually sold in 3-4 sizes, ranging from small to large), which makes them easier to stack and load.

#4: Plan.

Don’t start packing without a strategic plan. One of the most efficient ways to pack your belongings is to methodically move from room-to-room. Pack everything in the family room, for example, before moving onto the bedroom.

Keep one suitcase per person in which you store the items that you’ll need to immediately access, such as clean underwear, socks and a toothbrush. In other words, “pack a suitcase” as if you’re going on vacation, and then pack the rest of your home into boxes.

Clearly label each box based on the room from which it was packed. This way, when you unload boxes into your new house, you know which room you should deposit each box into – “bedroom,” “kitchen,” etc.

#5: Protect Your Valuables.

The last thing that you need is a nagging concern in the back of your mind that you can’t find your wedding ring and passport. Those worries will stress you out more than almost any other aspect of moving!

Store your valuables in a well-guarded location, such as on your person (inside of a money belt that’s worn around your hips, as if you were traveling), inside your purse (which you’re already trained not to lose), or in a bank safe-deposit box.

#6: Build Yourself Ample Time and Deadlines

Nothing is more stressful than knowing that you can only start moving into your new home at 8 a.m., but you need to be out of your apartment at 12:00 noon that same day.

Avoid this situation by building yourself ample time to make the transition. Yes, this means you may need to pay “double rent” or “double mortgages” for 2 weeks to one month. But this will allow you the benefit of time — and that will work wonders on your stress levels.

In addition, though, create mini-deadlines for yourself. Promise yourself that you’ll pack up one room per day, for example, or that you’ll unpack for 2 hours per night after you move into your new home. This will prevent you from lingering in limbo for too long.

#7: Delegate.

Finally, the best way to reduce stress is by outsourcing and delegating. Use online resources like TaskRabbit and Craigslist to search for people who can help you pack and move. Before they leave, ask them to help assemble furniture and get the big stuff done first.

As the saying goes, many hands make light work. And when you’re moving, you need as many hands on-board as you can get.

 

I read this article at: http://www.trulia.com/tips/?ecampaign=cnews&eurl=tips.truliablog.com

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900