Moving from one house to another is always a challenge, but it doesn't have to be a nightmare. Here are some simple tips on how to get it done with minimal stress and strain.
•· Look at all the alternatives: hiring a moving company, for example, versus renting a truck and doing it yourself. Whichever alternative makes most sense for you, get bids from more than one vendor.
•· A few days before the moving company is scheduled to arrive or you're supposed to pick up your rental truck, call to confirm that everything is on track to happen when it's supposed to .
•· Prepare your change of address cards in advance and send them out as soon as it's appropriate to do so. The post office, utilities, companies and people you do business with, city hall, friends, relatives - all should be notified of your move.
•· Get an early start on packing by concentrating on seldom-used items first. Each box should have its contents and the room those contents belong in written on it clearly.
•· Take a hard look at things you seldom or never use and throw away as many of them as you can. The more you throw away, the less you'll have to move. Every item you throw away is one less item to clutter up you new home.
•· Use your extra towels and linens to protect breakables. When your supply of these things is exhausted, crumpled newspaper makes an excellent substitute. Write "Fragile" on all appropriate boxes.
•· Put your valuables (such as jewelry) and important documents (birth certificates, car titles, etc.) aside in some safe place where they won't be misplaced.
•· When the house is empty, go back for a thorough final inspection. Check closets, crawl spaces, basement, attic, out-of-the-way nooks and crannies of all kinds. Have a second person make the same inspection separately.
•· Clean your new home thoroughly before moving in. It's infinitely easier that way.
•· Decide in advance where you want the heavy furniture. Changing your mind after the movers have departed is no fun - especially for your back!
•· Locate all fuses, circuit breakers, and water/gas and electrical valves. Record the meter readings and check the smoke detectors.
•· List the phone numbers of the local police and fire stations, doctors, nearby hospitals, etc. Put a copy of your list near each phone.
Above all, plan, plan, plan and plan some more. Make a schedule you can live with, and then stick to it. Preparation and forethought will help you to keep everything under control and finish the move with your sanity and your nervous system intact.