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Moving Tips



Moving Tips | RE/MAX of Abilene | 325-695-3730

Moving could be a hard task to handle on you and your family. Here are some tips to make it easier for all of you. Also, talk to people who help others move ALL THE TIME by calling the RE/MAX of Abilene team at 325-695-3730 today and discuss other things you might need to know about moving!


What You Should Know Before You Hire a Mover

Helping Your Kids Handle the Moving Process

How to Budget Your Move

Packing Tips

 

 

What You Should Know Before You Hire a Mover

The two things you must remember and keep in mind throughout the moving process: always keep your cool and plan ahead. It will keep you in control of any situation and it will help to calm and reassure those counting on you. 

With any move the unexpected will occur. Scratches will happen and nerves can get frayed. But it's important to keep your perspective. And while you can't prevent every surprise, you can go a long way to preventing most surprises with just a little preparation and fore-thought. And if you have hired professional movers, it could save you from making some expensive mistakes.

The following tips can help your move go smoothly:

Information you should Check in Advance

  • Inquire about the moving company's on time record and check references.
  • Check with the local Better Business Bureau for consumer complaints.
  • Verify the status of the moving company's licenses with the US DOT, State DOT, or ICC (as appropriate).
  • Moving companies are limited by law as to how much they can protect you (liability) for lost or damaged goods. To cover potential damage or loss, check your existing homeowners insurance policy as to whether it can be used as a supplement. Also look into transit insurance as a supplement.
  • Carefully document an inventory of your belongings before you pack. 
  • Find out what moving services the moving company performs.

Information the Movers should Know in Advance

  • Inform the moving company of how many stairs there are at your new home or apartment.
  • Inform the moving company of low-hanging utility wires or tree branches in your current and new neighborhood, as it may impede the moving truck getting to your residence. 

Contracts and Guarantees

  • Ask about expected gratuities and commit such gratuities to the contract in writing.
  • Have the contract include a guarantee of how many hours the job will take.
  • Check that the contract clearly includes all charges and important dates; packing, pick-up, delivery, etc.
  • DO NOT leave your old home before the movers are completed loading the truck and are ready to depart for your new home (or storage, if the case may be). You must sign the bill of lading. If you do not sign the bill of lading upon completion of loading the truck, you open yourself to liability. 

What you can do to Help the Movers

  • On moving day, you should have everything ready to go but a few small things can make all the difference. For instance, when the movers show up in the morning, have fresh, hot coffee ready for them. This small gesture will help "warm" them up to you and a small amount of personable behavior never hurts when they're carrying your beloved arm-chair. Likewise, you should also consider buying a couple pizzas for lunch.
  • Make yourself available to answer any of their questions or speak with them regarding any concerns. Open communication is key to your moving day. Make sure you know exactly what is going on. If you feel uncomfortable about something, let them know as soon as possible so it can be addressed. Be careful not to micromanage your movers. They do this for a living and draw from a deep well of experience. That said, if you are unsure about something make them explain it.
  • Do what you can to keep the mood light and spirits up. It will go a long way to making a long day a rewarding day!
  • Keep bottled water around to maintain hydrated. The move is hectic enough without a trip to the hospital!

Some Extra Tips to Remember

  • Important documents such as wills or deeds, jewelry, computers, artwork, photographs, and home videos are impossible to replace. Consider either transporting these to you new home on your own or moving these and other important belongings to a safety deposit box while you move.
  • Remember to fill any holes left in the walls. Your local hardware store will carry wall putty which is effective and affordable. This could mean a sizable difference in your security deposit (if you rent).

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Helping Your Kids Handle the Moving Process

Finding moving companies can be challenging enough, moving with a family can be even more difficult. There are a lot of changes going on for you and your family. That's why it is critical to spend some time helping your kids cope with the changes going on around them. The advice set out in this guide will help your move go more smoothly.

When to Move School Age Kids 
When your kids are school age, you might be tempted to plan your move for the school holidays. In reality, this can actually make things harder for your kids. School is most likely the first place your kids can be assured of making friends. Thus, moving during the school holidays places your child in unfamiliar and new surroundings at a time when their chances of making friends are low.

  • As school resumes, your child may feel even more left out. As the first day return to school is filled with the excitement and hustle and bustle that occurs after a holiday vacation, your child may feel like a stranger.
  • When you schedule your move during the school year, it allows your kids to go from one social setting to another.
  • The teacher and the other kids will be more willing to show your child some extra special attention when they are the only new person.

Does Age Make a Difference?

  • Generally speaking, the younger the child, the better they will cope with the transition of moving to a new home.
  • Very young children and infants may be confused. It is a good idea to try to explain to them what's happening and make it like an adventure.
  • The biggest worry that school age children endure is whether they will make new friends and fit in easily at their new school.
  • Because teenagers' friends provide them with a sense of identity, it is more difficult for teens to feel comfortable with the idea of moving to a new home.

Before the Move

  • As you start making plans for your move, remember to focus on what your kids can look forward to.
  • After all, if you see your move as an exciting adventure, your kids will also be very enthusiastic.
  • Right from the start, you might want to take them with you on house-hunting adventures. In cases where it might not be practical to have them tagging along, don't forget to bring back pictures of hot prospects you're considering.
  • After you've found the new home, be sure to take pictures of local places of interest.

Communication is the Key

  • Don't forget to keep the channels of communication open. Before and during your move, encourage your kids to tell you about their uncertainties.
  • Most likely, you're probably feeling a little nervous about moving too (no matter how promising your new situation is likely to be).
  • After your move, spend time together with your family. Listen to each other's stories so that you can be sure how everyone is coping with the change.

Getting the Kids Involved
It's only natural that your kids will want to be involved with what's going on. Some examples of ways to get your kids involved are:

  • Asking them to help plan for and organize your garage sale. They could make colorful posters to stick up around the neighborhood.
  • Allowing them to choose a small number of toys or other items to keep with them on moving day.
  • Empowering them by letting them pack and label a few of their own boxes
  • Making sure they have a special job to take care of on moving day. This will help them feel as if they're making a valuable contribution.
  • Allowing them to decide how their new rooms should decorated and arranged.

What About Childcare?

  • Undoubtedly you will be offered a lot of conflicting advice whether you should keep your kids with you on moving day or arrange childcare.
  • Keep in mind that you are the best judge of what's right for your kids.

Saying Goodbye

  • It is critical that your children have the enough time to say good-bye to the family members and friends they're leaving behind.
  • You should encourage them to exchange contact information. Fortunately, for most of us today, our friends are only a few keystrokes away via e-mail.

Settling In 
Understand that it is like that there may be a grieving period for children…it may last a few weeks, perhaps even a few months. Here are a few easy things you can do to make moving easier for your kids.

  • Investigate and explore your new neighborhood together. Look for new and exciting things.
  • Go to your new child's school with them beforehand…walk around the new school together to help them find their bearings.
  • Accompany your kids on their route to school until they are comfortable traveling by themselves.
  • Seek out after-school activities where your children can make new friends with similar interests.
  • Don't forget to encourage them to keep in touch with old friends.

Keeping an Eye Out for Early Warning Signs

  • A major change is always difficult for a child. Even the most well adjusted child can have difficulty coping with moving.
  • Be watchful, it's important to pick up on early warning signs that your child may need extra help adjusting.

Here are some things to watch out for

  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Loss of appetite
  • Problems sleeping, or regular nightmares
  • Outbursts of anger or tears
  • Reluctance to stray far from the house or family
  • Difficulty making new friends

Additional Hints for Moving Kids

  • There are children's books that help kids come to terms and understand an upcoming move, and cope with some of the feelings they may be experiencing.
  • If you've got young children, it's important to remove dangerous situations and to child proof your home.
  • The sooner you teach your kids your new address and phone number, the better.

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How to Budget Your Move

Whether you are moving across the street or across the country, all moves require the same patience and preparation. After notifying your current landlord (if you rent), it's important to establish a budget for moving expenses as soon as you can. 

Determine your Spending Comfort Level
Before you can initiate a move, you must first have an understanding for what you are comfortable spending on your move. The budget will differ depending on the amount of belongings you are moving as well as the distance of the move itself. Other moving expenses are involved in the cost of a move such as: when are you moving? Typically, moving expenses during the week are less than weekends. Also, the least expensive time of the year to move is between October and April. 

Ways to Save
The most important factor to consider when budgeting your move is the more work you are willing to do, the less your move will cost. For instance, if you are willing to pack and load and unload your belongings onto and off of the truck, there are movers who will handle the driving and will charge you considerably less than a full-service mover who will handle all the aspects of you move from packing to loading to driving to unloading. (See Tips on Whether to Move yourself or Hire a Pro)

Check if Storage is Included
While you will most likely move straight from your current home to your new home, there may be some period of time between moving out and moving in. This will require storage of your belongings which must also be considered in your budget. If you are using a full-service mover, they will commonly include some storage into your quote. However, if you are moving yourself, you must make these arrangements ahead of time. (See General Storage Tips)

You should also remember to include in your budget such extras as:

  • hotel room, if you will need a place to stay while your belongings are in route
  • car rental if you will be shipping your car
  • utilities fees for shutting off or turning on existing or new services
  • a tip for the movers
  • pizza and/or refreshments for friends/family helping you pack/load

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Packing Tips

Although the decision of moving your home can be exciting, packing is something most of us dread. By using our guide, you will feel more secure in knowing that your possessions will get to your new address in one piece. Once you're there, you'll be able to find everything when the time comes to unpack and get settled.

Get Things in Order 
Your move will be easier and smoother if you do a good job of pre-planning. Here are several handy tips to help you get started. 
1. Always create a thorough and complete inventory of what you will be moving to your new address.
2. Don't forget to photograph or videotape any unique or valuable belongings.
3. It's also wise to make a note of the serial numbers on your electronic equipment.

What You'll Need 
Before you can start packing, you'll need to have the following materials:

  • Strong Boxes.
  • Wardrobe Boxes with Hanger Bars.
  • Packing Tape.
  • Bubble Wrap, Newspaper, Wrapping Paper, and Tissue Paper.
  • Ziploc Bags.
  • Magic Markers.

Notes for Wrapping

  • Wrap all your breakable items in bubble wrap, wrapping paper, or tissue paper.
  • Because newspaper may leave ink smudges on your items, it should only be used to cushion items that are already protected.
  • You can use old linens, blankets, and towels to wrap and cushion fragile items.
  • Ziploc bags can be used for small odds and ends that usually clutter your drawers.

Get Packing

  • It always makes good sense to begin packing well ahead of the move.
  • We strongly recommend that you use good quality, strong moving boxes, and always be certain that the bottoms are fully secured.
  • Don't get overwhelmed. Try to concentrate on one room at a time. Be sure that every box is clearly labeled by room and item.
  • Once your moving boxes are filled, they should be placed in an area close to your front door.

These hints will help you pack like a pro:

  • Any items that you don't need for your daily living routine should be packed first.
  • Important items (such as photographs, wills, jewelry, home videos, and any other important documents) should be packed separately so that you can personally carry them with you on moving day. Another alternative you might want to consider is placing these belongings in a safety deposit box until after the move.
  • Fragile items should be packed loosely with plenty of wrapping. The boxes must be clearly labeled "FRAGILE", and finally you will want to stack them towards the top of your piles.
  • Non-breakable items should be packed snugly in smaller boxes. You will want to make sure that they are not too heavy, and that they are at a weight you feel comfortable carrying. Don't forget to pack your books flat, alternating the bindings so they will stack evenly.
  • When possible, small appliances and electronic equipment should be packed in the boxes they came in, and then taped securely.
  • In order to avoid unnecessary ironing later on, make sure you have enough wardrobe boxes.

Bulky Things

  • When disassembling your bed, use tape or rope to bind the frames together.
  • Your drawers should be filled with wrapped items or clothes. Entire drawers should be covered with a blanket or old linens. You shouldn't tape the drawers shut - the finish on your drawers may be damaged.
  • Cover your tables with a blanket or old linen. When possible, remove the legs. Always wrap the nuts and bolts in a plastic bag and secure them to a leg.
  • Check your owner's manual for any special moving instructions of appliances and other electronic equipment.
  • In order to keep the tub of your washing machine from moving around during the move, fill it with stuffed toys, blankets, towels, and old linens.
  • Make sure that all loose parts in your refrigerator (including ice containers and drawers) are secure. Any exposed coils should be padded to protect them during the move as well.

Tricky Things

  • Bicycle handlebars should be loosened and turned sideways. Don't forget to keep the chains and pedals covered, otherwise grease and oil might rub off on other items.
  • Small mirrors should be carefully wrapped and packed in boxes. Cardboard should be used to cover large paintings, artwork, or wall mirrors. When possible, these items will be kept safe in wardrobe boxes.
  • Because your outdoor furniture may be too bulky or heavy to move in one piece, you may need to disassemble it. If so, be sure to place the nuts and bolts in a plastic bag and attach it to the furniture.
  • Carpets and rugs should be rolled up and carefully secured with tape or rope.
  • Wrapping sharp edges on any tools or attachments will help prevent injury. Power tools should be packed with plenty of cushioning. Be sure to tie or tape your tool chests securely closed.
  • A very important reminder is to carefully dispose of the gasoline and oil from your lawnmower and other machinery, as well as any flammable or poisonous household products. Remember not to pack rags that are soiled with fuel. They should be properly disposed of to avoid spontaneous combustion.

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