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Moving Advice from A-Z

Ask questions. Whether it's your first move or your 50th, you'll probably have many questions for your mover. Asking these questions directly will alleviate unnecessary stress and will help you to better understand the moving process.

Be aggressive. To avoid getting swindled by your moving company, make sure to stand up for your rights. If you think that an estimate is too high, say so. If the moving company attempts to add additional charges at the end of the move, firmly explain why such charges are unwarranted. Although you may be tired and drained from the moving process, make sure to keep a keen eye on what is going on so that you can protect yourself and your possessions.

Check references. A great way to make sure that a moving company is legitimate is to speak with others who have used these services. Don't be afraid to ask for references- this is a standard part of the moving industry.

Don't cut corners. Although price is always an important factor to consider, it should not be the determining factor. Skimping on packing supplies is a surefire way to receive broken or damaged items. Choosing the cheapest moving company is a likely way to end up with subpar service. Many times it is worthwhile to pay a mover to help with the packing so that your things are as secure as possible. While it may not be necessary to spend top-dollar on moving expenses, keep in mind that you will get what you pay for- and that when it comes to moving, paying slightly more will likely purchase your peace of mind (as well as adequate protection of your belongings).

Enjoy the process. Moving may be a stressful process- but that doesn't mean that it can't be enjoyable. Take time to relive your memories as you pack cherished items or to have dinner with your friends when all of your dishes are packed. You won't believe what a difference it makes when you stop stressing and focus on the positive aspects of the moving experience.

Moving Advice from A-Z

Focus. The ultimate key to a successful move is to stay focused on the tasks at hand and to complete them in an organized fashion. Keeping lists of your belongings and things that need to get done for the move will help you stay calm and focused on the process so that you whiz right through.

Get going! Procrastinating will not help you reach your destination. In fact, stalling will probably make the move more difficult in the long run. Instead of dreading the work that needs to be done, face it head on. Start getting organized as early as possible so that you can reduce the stress and time demands throughout the process.

Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Everyone hopes that their move will be trouble-free. And a few lucky people may even encounter the perfect move. But for most other people, there are bound to be bumps in the (proverbial) road- and that's ok, as long as you are prepared. Consider what might happen if your new home isn't ready on time or if your moving truck is delayed because of inclement weather. Contemplate how you will manage if your appliances don't fit into your new space or if your table is broken en route. No matter what obstacles may arise, they will be surmountable if you are prepared.

Invite friends to help. Packing efficiently is entirely possible if you enlist the help of your friends and family members. Before inviting your loved ones over, consider exactly which moving tasks you'll want them to help with and which you would prefer to do on your own. For example, if you prefer to pack your dishes (or hire a mover to pack fragile items), make this clear to your friends from the outset. Then, assign each friend (or group of friends) specific tasks, and stay close by to offer help or advice. You can either do your own packing at the same time, or just stay and enjoy the company as they help with the labor. Make sure that you are the one recording what goes in each box so that you won't have to worry about deciphering someone else's handwriting when you reach your destination. Lastly, make sure to enjoy the togetherness- it's a great opportunity to create memories of a positive moving experience.

Just relax. While you may have a natural tendency to agonize over every detail of the move, doing so will only make things more difficult. If you can't sleep because of the stress or you find yourself yelling at friends and coworkers, take a moment to relax. Enjoy a glass of wine, a short massage or a nap, which will leave you invigorated rather than irritable.

Keep lists. A great way to stay organized during the moving process is to keep lists. Here are some lists that may be useful during your move:

  1. The pre-move to-do list. This list will remind you of everything that must get done before the moving truck leaves.
  2. The what-to-do-upon-arrival list. As its name suggests, this list make it easy for you to get settled in your new home.
  3. The packing list. Keep track of what goes into each moving box on one list. Take this list in your carry-on luggage to ensure that it doesn't get lost.
  4. The list of possibilities. This is a list of things that you hope to get done either before, during or after your move- but if you aren't able to accomplish everything on the list the move will still proceed smoothly.
For example, you may want to donate your old clothing before you move, but if you can't, you can have a neighbor do it. Similarly, you may want to call ahead for a grocery delivery to your new home- but if you forget, you can always make a pit stop at a local convenience store.

Look ahead. It's natural to approach a move with sadness as you reflect on all of the memories and loved ones that you're leaving behind. To help ease the sadness, it's healthy to look ahead during the moving process. Get excited about the new job you'll be starting or the larger home that you'll be enjoying. No matter why you're moving, there are exciting possibilities just around the corner, and taking a few moments to focus on the positives of the future will make the entire move a happier process.

Make steady progress. Anyone who has ever read The Tortoise and the Hare knows that "slow and steady wins the race." From packing your home to lining up new jobs, new schools or a new cell phone carrier, moving requires a great deal of work that cannot be done in one day (or even a week). Start the process as early as possible, even if it's only the small details. Research physicians in your new area before you arrive in your new area. This way, if you need one during or after the move you'll know exactly who to call. Start getting rid of things you don't want early in the process, so that you won't be busy with this task when you have more important things to do. Take 5 minutes a day to update your moving lists and make sure that everything is under control. Making steady progress will ensure that you don't get overwhelmed as moving day approaches and that no tasks are accidentally overlooked or purposely abandoned.

Never lose hope. If you begin to feel despondent, depressed or downhearted during the moving process, remind yourself why you are moving. Whether you're excited about moving closer to family or starting a new job or downsizing your home to save money, you are days away from reaching your goal. Remaining optimistic about your moving goals will ensure that you reach them as easily as possible.

Obsess less. Although it's natural to fixate on every small detail, it's important not to sweat the "small stuff." If you find yourself talking or thinking about the move while you are not packing or arranging for the move, make a conscious effort to 'retrain your brain' and think about other things.

Pack carefully. The notion of packing carefully has a dual meaning. Firstly, it is important to pack every item with care so that it is not damaged during transit. This is especially important when packing fragile items, expensive things and those that have emotional significance. Secondly, make sure to pack intelligibly so that you will have a painless unpacking experience. This includes labeling the boxes carefully, making sure they are not too heavy and placing items from one room in the same box so that you will not have to rush from room to room to unload each box.

Quit complaining. When someone asks you how the move is going, it's easy to respond that it's stressful, sad, expensive or demanding. But making an effort to respond optimistically will place the move in a much more positive light. Instead of telling your neighbor how exhausting the move is, try saying how exciting it is. Mention the better school system in your new home instead of pointing out how difficult the move is for your children. When you make an effort to verbalize the positive aspects of the move, you'll find it easy to stop complaining and to enjoy the experience.

Remain in control. It's a good idea to let others help ease the burden of the move- but too much help can be disastrous. When accepting help, make sure that you know exactly what is going on at all times so that you can answer the moving company's questions when necessary and find all of your belongings upon arrival.

Smile. Everyone knows the famous Judy Garland song saying "forget your troubles, come on get happy." What few people know is that these words are entirely true. It is possible to make yourself "get happy" by forcing a smile even if you don't mean it. So if you are troubled or aggravated by the move, make sure to smile. In no time you'll forget your troubles- or leave them behind entirely.

Throw out the junk. It is worth repeating that getting rid of anything you don't really want is a great way to save money on moving costs and to prevent the headaches associated with unpacking useless items. Get rid of any clothing that you haven't worn within the past year. Donate books that you've read to your local library or give them to friends. Have a garage sale to unload any household items that may have value- profiting from the sale of your 'treasured' items will minimize your feelings of loss.

Uncork the champagne. There's nothing wrong with celebrating this change in your life. When you're done packing, revel in the glory of having finished the first part of the job and celebrate with a bottle of bubbly (even if you serve it in plastic cups). Invite everyone who helped to partake in the party, and order a cake from your favorite local bakery to complete the celebration.

Visit your new home in advance (when possible). Advance knowledge of the layout and space restrictions of your new home will help streamline the unpacking process. If you know, for example, that your refrigerator door will need to be removed in order to fit through the doors, you can arrange for this service in advance. Or, if you see that your sectional couch will not fit properly in your new living room you can sell it or give it away before you move. Seeing your new space in advance will enable you to think clearly and anticipate many obstacles before they arise.

Wrap everything carefully. It goes without saying that wrapping things carefully is essential for any move. Take a moment to realize that this directive is not optional. If you are moving in a hurry and do not have time to take the necessary precautions or you're nervous about how well you can wrap your things, hire someone to do it. Spending a few extra dollars on the move will save you needless aggravation and money that you'd spend if your belongings arrive damaged. Additionally, most moving companies do not insure items that are wrapped by their clients, as they cannot confirm the security of the items. If you are not entirely comfortable with your wrapping and packing skills, hire a professional to pack the fragile items.

Xamine all contents as quickly as possible. Moving insurance is designed to guarantee that you'll be compensated for anything that is broken during transport or unloading of the moving truck. However, the longer you wait to examine the contents of your moving truck, the more difficult it will be to win your claim. Make an effort to unpack and examine your things as quickly as possible so that if necessary, you can make an insurance claim as quickly as possible. As an added benefit, the quicker you unpack, the quicker you can truly enjoy your new home!

Yield to the professionals when necessary. Professional movers often think of themselves as professional problem-solvers. An experienced mover can recommend the safest way to move your furniture and can make suggestions about how to pack securely. While you aren't obligated to follow all of your mover's advice, you may want to consider his suggestions- hopefully he has more experience than you do and can offer solid advice.

Zero in on your goals, and zip right through the process. Your mother wasn't wrong when she told you that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. Keeping an eye on your end goals will remind you why it is that you are packing up your entire life. Remembering the ultimate goal of your move will help keep you centered and enable you to zip right through to the finish line.

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