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					        How Do I Find
   A Good Moving Company?
                   Reprinted From

Providing Information on Licensed Movers
         In The Top 100 U.S. Cities

    A Guide to Moving and Movers
   Auto Transport
   Changing Your Address
   General Moving Tips
   Don't Forget the Bills and Expenses
   Store Your Stuff Right: Self-Storage Tips
   Local Moving
   Moving Companies
   Moving Furniture
   Moving Insurance
   Moving Pets
   Moving House Plants
   Moving Timetable
   Moving Your Computer
   Moving Your Family
   Moving Your Teen
   Packing and Moving
   Piano Moving
   Self-Moving Services
   Getting Rid of “Stuff”
   Move Yourself, or Hire a Pro?
Automobile Transport
You know that you shouldn't drive your car without the right insurance, but
you might not know that you have to think about insurance when shipping
your vehicle too. When you load your automobile onto the transport truck
you don't know what it might be in for and if you haven't double checked
both your and your auto shipping company's policies, you may be left
footing the bill for scratches, dents or worse.

Most reliable car and truck transport companies carry the insurance required
to cover any damage that occurs to the vehicles they're shipping (and in the
vast majority of cases, transported cars arrive at their destination in perfect
condition). However, as with any kind of insurance, there can be lots of
caveats. Before you trust your automobile to a moving company, check out
123 Movers' advice on insurance and the vehicle shipping process.

Keep the following in mind:

      Before you settle on which auto shipping company to use, ask the
       companies you're interested in for their insurance certificate. They're
       all required by law to have one. Don't be afraid to ask questions about
       their policies either. Will your car be covered for any damage that
       occurs during shipping? Or are only certain parts of the car (i.e. the
       body) covered? Will you be required to pay a deductible?

      Make sure to get any promises or assurances from the auto transport
       company in writing.

      It's possible that your auto insurance will also cover the vehicle. Call
       your company or agent check into the specifics. Is the coverage the
       same while the automobile's being shipped? Do you have to provide
       the company with any notification?

      Before handing over your keys, empty your car of any and all personal
       items. There are a number of reasons for this: First, most transport
       companies' insurance won't cover any objects in the car, should they
       end up damaged. The extra weight, if it's substantial, could damage
       the vehicle's exhaust system and objects inside the car could move
       around and damage the interior. Chances are neither kind of damage
       will be covered by the transporter's insurance. Also, be aware of the
       other ways you'll need to prepare your car for shipping .

      When you drop your vehicle off at the shipping company, a transport
       truck driver or company representative will inspect the vehicle before
       loading it in order to note any pre-existing damage. Be sure to be
       there during the examination. It can't hurt to take a few snapshots of
       your car before the move either, as evidence, in case something
       should happen.

      When your automobile is dropped off the same inspection process will
       take place again, this time to check for any damage that might have
       occurred during shipping. It's important you do a thorough check and
       note all damage on the condition report (also known a “bill of lading”)
       before you accept the car. Make sure to check the vehicle's
       undercarriage and start it up to check for mechanical damages, don't
       just look it over. Again, bringing along a camera for documentation
       can't hurt. If you take possession of the car at night, try to do the
       inspection under bright lights so you don't miss anything.

      If any damage has been done to your vehicle during shipping, note it
       on the bill of lading, get the driver to sign it and then contact the auto
       shipping company directly for reimbursement.

      If you don't feel your auto shipping company has treated you fairly
       during the claims process you can file a complaint with your local
       Better Business Bureau. You can also contact the U.S. Department of
       Transportation if your vehicle was transported over state lines.
       However, the U.S. DOT can't do much to help unless you already have
       a court judgment against the moving company.

Auto transport is a simple enough process, right? Your vehicle is loaded onto
the back of a truck, the truck drives away and then a few days later, at your
destination, your vehicle is unloaded. But while you don't have to do that
much but sign a check, the shipping process is an ordeal for your car.

Preparation is key. If you don't properly prepare your vehicle for the auto
transport process, it could end up costing you money (in the form of
preventable damage to the vehicle's body) and time (if something should go
wrong with your vehicle during shipping delays can ensue).

Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipping
Luckily, preparing your car for the trip doesn't require much time or any
money. Just follow the steps below:
   When you're budgeting your move, keep in mind that some vehicles
    cost more to transport than others. Because of size and weight issues,
    shipping an SUV will cost more than shipping a compact.

   Wash your automobile thoroughly a day or so before it's picked up.
    This will allow you to see clearly any body damage that occurs during
    auto transport.

   After you wash your car clean out the interior. Removing all objects
    you may have left sitting in the car will ensure that nothing shifts
    during shipping and damages the interior. For a few more good
    reasons to empty out your vehicle before transport, check out our auto
    transport insurance guide.

   If your vehicle has a car alarm, disable it. If the alarm starts going off
    once the auto transporter has your car, they won't be able to
    deactivate it.

   Many automobile shipping companies require that your car have no
    more than a quarter tank of gas when they take custody of it. Just a
    few extra gallons can mean a lot of extra weight: make sure your car
    has the minimum.

   If your automobile has any customized accessories - like spoilers, fog
    lights or ground effects - make sure to secure them or remove them
    before shipping. Also, if your can, fold back your vehicle's mirrors and
    retract the antennae. The more things you have sticking off the car,
    the more likely it is that something will get snapped or dinged.

   When you're shipping a convertible, make sure the top is up and
    properly secured. If there are any open seams or holes, seal them to
    prevent moisture getting into the interior. If you can't secure the top,
    consider asking your auto shipper about closed container shipping.

   Even though the process won't be putting many miles on your car,
    your vehicle still needs to be in good shape. Before your shipping date,
    check the fluids, tire pressure and battery charge. If for some reason
    your car becomes inoperable during shipping, some vehicle
    transporters may charge you an extra fee for unloading it.

   If your vehicle is leaking fluid, let your auto transport company know;
    otherwise it may end up leaking onto another car.

   If your car has any quirks that would affect starting it up, loading it
    onto a truck or shutting it off, make a note of them and leave it in the
    cab for the driver.
      Auto shipping truck drivers often carry cell phones with them. Get the
       driver's number - either from them or the company - before you ship
       your car. This way you'll always be in contact with your vehicle.

Changing Your Address
Changing your address isn’t the hardest part of moving (at least compared
to lugging your grand piano down three flights of stairs), but making sure
everyone who needs your new address has it isn’t as easy as you might
think. Unless you fill out an official US Post Office change of address form,
your mail won’t follow you to your new address. And unless you remind
yourself to mail out change of address cards to all the companies you do
business with, your magazine subscriptions will be worthless in a few

Of course, that’s all common sense. But did you know you don’t have to go
down the post office to get the change of address form? Read over the
following tips to make sure that when you move your mail will be moving
with you:

      Before you’ve even begun your relocation, head down the post office
       and take a minute to fill out the US postal service’s official change of
       address form (also known as PS form 3575; if you don’t see them out,
       just ask a clerk).

      The most important part of filling out the US postal service’s change of
       address card is including your old address and your new address.
       However, it’s also vital you remember to include the names of anyone
       else who is moving with you. If you only include your name, your
       husband / wife’s mail won’t follow you.

      If you don’t feel like waiting in line at the post office you can have your
       mail forwarded from the comfort of your own computer by completing
       a short form at the US postal service’s address change webpage .

      Think you’re done? Sorry, nothing involving official government
       documents is ever that easy. Turning in your change of address form
       to the post office only means that your mail will be forwarded for a
       limited time. First class mail – letters and such – are forwarded for one
       year. Periodicals – newspapers and magazines – are only forwarded
       for 60 days. After the forwarding period expires, anything that arrives
      for you will either be sent to the post office’s dead-letter room or stay
      with whoever’s moved into your old place.

     If you’re a college student who is moving away from school (either for
      the summer or for good) check with the campus mail service to see
      what their mail forwarding policies are. Colleges and universities have
      their own delivery systems, separate from the post office, and usually
      their own forwarding policies.

     To keep receiving your mail after the US postal service stops
      forwarding it, you need to send out change of address cards to
      everyone you do business with. These change of address cards are
      available at the post office for free.

     Most of the bills you receive – from your utilities, your credit card
      company, your insurance carrier – have a section where you can
      update your address information. Take advantage of it and you’ll save
      yourself a little trouble down the road.

     Keeping track of who you’ve given your new address to and who still
      needs it can get pretty confusing pretty quickly. Make a checklist of all
      the companies that need your address (don’t forget the IRS) and all
      the friends and relatives you want to keep in touch with before you
      start mailing anything out. Keep your change of address checklist after
      you’ve moved into your new home, so if a few months down the road
      you can’t find your current phone bill, you’ll know exactly why.

General Moving Tips
Here are some additional general moving tips that will be
advantageous to consider during your move:

Check the Calendar

     Certain times of the year are busier moving times. It's wise to plan
      ahead and make sure there is availability on the day you want to
     It is important to book your moving services well ahead to secure your
      ideal moving date.
     Remember that time is important on moving day. For instance, if you
      have a waterbed, it is likely to take around two hours to empty the
      water! So plan ahead and consider doing certain tasks the night
Don't Make Avoidable Mistakes

     When looking for properties, don't forget to measure the space for
      your refrigerator and other kitchen or laundry appliances.
     Find out if your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy covers your
      belongings in transit.
     It is important to remember that all pools and spas that can hold water
      must have appropriate barriers to prevent access by young children.
     It's a good idea to compare measurements of the doorways and
      hallways in your new home. You may actually need to sell or donate
      some items.
     Don't forget to be environmentally friendly! Flatten all your moving
      boxes for recycling. Many moving companies will pick them up after
      your move.

Don't Forget the Bills and Expenses

     It is important to arrange finances for quick cash to cover unexpected
      or emergency moving-related expenses.
     Make sure that direct debit and billing links to your bank accounts are
      organized to handle any changes resulting from your move.
     Be sure to settle all bills that may be overlooked in the move a few
      days before moving day.
     Budget wisely for forgotten items you may need once you move in to
      your new home. Did you remember to find out if your home comes
      with a hose, for instance?

Keep it or Part with it?

     A general rule of thumb is if something hasn't been used in over 12
      months, seriously consider selling or donating it. Help from a family
      member or friend will ensure you remain objective.
     Things that you have a hard time parting with, but which will inevitably
      be stored in a garage, storage facility, or shed after the move should
      be packed in stackable containers that are rodent and dust proof.

Take Care of your Food

     Be prepared to order take-out food or eat out on the first couple of
      nights in your new home. Chances are you'll feel too tired to cook, but
      even if you do feel like cooking, most of your kitchen appliances will
      probably still be packed away.
     Make sure you use up your frozen foods or dispose of ones you have
      not used. Never let them thaw and try to refreeze them again. Not
      only will be there be less to transport, but you will also avoid the risk
      of food spoilage.

Enjoy your Old Home, New Home, and Even Moving Day!?!

     You'll be able to browse through some wonderful memories in years to
      come by making a video or album of your old home. Don't forget to
      include neighbors and friends!
     You'll have more time to enjoy settling into your new home if you
      clean your belongings before they are moved.
     Fun music will create a positive mood when it's time to start packing
      and unpacking. Turning the TV on may be too distracting.

Do Right by the Buyers

     It is important to make it quite clear to prospective buyers/tenants
      exactly what is included with the property. Are any appliances
      included? What about window treatments, rugs, etc.?
     You should always shut and lock all windows and doors as you leave
      your old home on moving day.

How do People Come out of Moves Alive, Happy, and with Most of
their Belongings in Tact?

     Use colorful tags to indicate each destination if your furniture and
      household items are being delivered to different locations.
     A couch can usually be moved into your new home more easily by
      standing it on end and twisting it through the doorway.
     A close friend or relative can help out on moving day by acting as a
      message center for you if you don't have a mobile phone.
     You will need to consider your current work situation and whether it's
      important to live close to work before you decide where to live.
     Your local newspaper can be a great resource for finding out about
      facilities, services and events in your new neighborhood.
     Don't despair if you are not totally happy with your new home on the
      day you move in. Keep in mind that most homes can be adapted over
      time to suit your lifestyle and tastes.

Store Your Stuff Right: Self-Storage Tips
Moving and storage are two sides of the same coin. Chances are if you’re
moving, you have to put some of your stuff in storage. And unless you’re
paying the moving company extra to use their storage building, chances are
you’re going to have to rent a self-storage unit.

You know the ones: those boxy, mini-warehouse buildings that line the sides
of highways from Phoenix to Philadelphia. Renting storage units seems like a
pretty open and shut job: you open the door to your self-storage unit, you
shove your stuff in, you shut the door. But public storage isn’t quite that
simple. Even though it’s just sitting there, there’s a lot that could happen to
your stuff in self-storage. It’s important that you pick the right self-storage
facility and once you do, it’s even more important you pack your storage
unit correctly.

Before you lease anything, check out the following tips:

When Selecting a Self-Storage Facility

      Think about location. Are you going to need to access your storage
       building frequently? If so, aim for someplace nearby.

      Consider how much space you really need. Self-storage facilities rent
       units in all different sizes. It’s best to opt for a smaller storage unit
       and pack it to the ceiling rather than pay for space you’re not using. If
       even the smallest storage units are too much, look into mini-storage
       facilities: self-storage facilities that specialize in small loads.

      Be sure to ask facility representatives how and when you can access
       your unit. Most self-storage and mini-storage facilities allow for free
       access 24 hours a day, but some facilities have restrictions and others
       charge fees for access.

      Also ask about climate controlled units. If you’re storing anything
       valuable or delicate – like antique furniture or important documents –
       it could be warped by being stored in space that’s too hot, too cold or
       too humid. For an extra cost, most public storage facilities can set you
       up with a unit where temperature and humidity are restricted.

When Packing Up Your Self-Storage Unit

      Try to use boxes that are a uniform size, they’re easier to stack
       (remember; keep the heavy ones on the bottom and the light ones on

      Leave small walkways between the boxes and furniture in your storage
       unit so you can easily get to the items you want without having to
       move anything around.
      If you’re storing a lot of packing boxes in your unit, try to fill them to
       the top, even if it’s just with padding and old, crumpled newspapers.
       Boxes that are only half-filled tend to collapse if anything’s placed on

      If you’re putting any metal objects into storage – like lawnmowers or
       file cabinets – it’s best to treat them with rust protector first, or at
       least wipe them down with an oily rag.

      Most public storage facilities have ample security. However, it’s still
       wise to take a few precautions of your own against theft. Pack your
       storage unit so that your most valuable items are at the back, and
       purchase a high quality padlock to put on the door.

      The humidity in your self-storage unit can cause your furniture to warp
       and your appliances to mildew. Leaving a space between your stuff
       and the unit’s wall allows for air to circulate within the unit. Laying
       plastic sheeting on the floor and stacking boxes on top of wooden
       pallets can prevent condensation damage. So can using old linens or
       other fabrics, instead of plastic, to protect your stuff from dust.

      If you’re storing a refrigerator in your unit leave the door ajar. This will
       prevent mold from growing inside.

      Under no circumstances should you keep anything flammable or
       combustible in your storage building. This means no gasoline, oil,
       cleaning fluids or paint thinner. If you’re storing any machinery that
       runs on gas, drain the tank before you store it.


Get your own packing materials including cardboard boxes, wardrobes
boxes, bubble wrap, Styrofoam "popcorn", newspaper, acid free tissue
paper, rope, packing tape, and permanent ink markers. Most of these
supplies are readily available (at affordable prices) at a self storage facility
or your local office supply stores. Fill all of the boxes you pack to capacity
but be careful not to overfill in such a way where the box can rupture and
break open. Make sure to fill empty space in boxes with loose material like
crunched up newspaper or Styrofoam pieces. Heavy items likes books and
appliances should be packed in their own boxes so that they will be easier to
handle. Items like computers, electronic equipment, camera equipment,
etc., should also be carefully packed in their own cartons. Pack items and
label them by room for easy identification. Plan out your storage space for
easy access.
Major Appliances

Refrigerators, freezers, washers, driers, stoves, etc., should be clean and dry
before you pack and store them. When storing these items, the doors should
be secured in a closed position. (You may leave a door slightly open for
aeration; however make sure to child proof the door so that it cannot be
fully opened. Don't allow a child to get into the appliance, and then close the
door. Suffocation resulting in death is possible. If you choose to discard any
of these items, make sure to remove doors completely so that a child cannot
enter and close the door, resulting in suffocation and death.)

Home Furnishings

Empty all dressers of clothing, and pack into appropriate wardrobe boxes.
Use mothballs or other similar products to protect your clothing from insects
and other pests. Make sure that doors and drawers of your furniture are
securely shut (use tape or rope or strong ribbon). When possible, remove
the legs from items of furniture to avoid damage and save space. Vacuum
your furniture and remember to collect all of that loose change in the sofa.

Kitchen China, Glassware, Crystal, Etc.

Put packing material (bubble wrap or Styrofoam) in the bottom of the box.
Wrap each piece individually in tissue paper. Pack all of these items in such
a way so that they won't bang against each other. Place plenty of loose
Styrofoam or crunched up newspaper in the voids and cavities in the box as
you pack. Put packing material (bubble wrap or Styrofoam) in the bottom of
the box and seal it with tape. Mark the boxes "fragile" and identify which
room they go into. Make sure not to place heavy boxes on these items to
avoid crushing.

Other Glass and Fragile Items (mirrors, windows, paintings, glass
framed pictures)

These items should be packed in the same way as described in packing
"Kitchen China, Glassware, Crystal, Etc.".

Silver, Gold, Brass, And Other Metal Objects

Put packing material (bubble wrap or Styrofoam) in the bottom of the box.
Wrap each piece individually in tissue paper. Wipe all surfaces clean. Wrap
these items in materials that will not mar the finish, such as bubble wrap.
Make sure that any wrapping or packing material used with these items is
chemical free (don't use old cleaning rags, etc.) Put packing material (bubble
wrap or Styrofoam) in the bottom of the box and seal it with tape. Mark the
boxes "fragile" and identify which room they go into. Make sure not to place
heavy boxes on these items to avoid crushing.

Electronic Equipment (computers, home entertainment equipment,
cameras, etc.)

In all cases, if you have the original box and packing material it came in, use
it! The original packing is designed to protect the equipment during
shipment and storage. Put packing material (bubble wrap or Styrofoam) in
the bottom of the box. Wrap each piece individually in bubble wrap. Place
plenty of loose Styrofoam or crunched up newspaper in the voids and
cavities in the box as you pack. Put packing material (bubble wrap or
Styrofoam) in the bottom of the box and seal it with tape. Mark the boxes
"fragile" and identify which room they go into. Make sure not to place heavy
boxes on these items to avoid crushing.

Personal Computers and Computer Peripheral Devices (printers,
external drives, etc)

Pack these items in the same way you would pack other household
electronic equipment. In all cases, if you have the original box and packing
material it came in, use it! The original packing is designed to protect the
equipment during shipment and storage. Put packing material (bubble wrap
or Styrofoam) in the bottom of the box. Wrap each piece individually in
bubble wrap. Place plenty of loose Styrofoam or crunched up newspaper in
the voids and cavities in the box as you pack. Put packing material (bubble
wrap or Styrofoam) in the bottom of the box and seal it with tape. Mark the
boxes "fragile" and identify which room they go into. Make sure not to place
heavy boxes on these items to avoid crushing.

Gardening and Other Mechanical Devices (things in your garage or
shed: snow blowers, lawn mowers etc.)

Follow the tips in your owner's manual or contact the original manufacturer
if you no longer have the manual for advice. Generally, remove all fuel,
check lubricant levels or remove lubricant to avoid spillage. Do not put these
items in boxes; however wrap them in plastic or cloth tarps and secure with
rope or heavy tape. Label each item after covering. Do not put boxes or
other heavy items on top of your mechanical items.
Carefully Plan The Use and Layout of Your Storage Space.

You can easily get the most out of a small storage area if you plan carefully.
Do not place heavy items on top of fragile items. Separate the storage area
by type of item. Make sure you have easy access to the items you need to
get to often by placing them near the opening of your storage space.

Using Rental Self Storage Facilities

Carefully read the agreement and make sure to abide by the rules and
regulations of the Self Storage Facility. Ask the facility managers for advice
as needed. They are there to help you. Do not store hazardous chemicals,
fuel, or illegal items.

Local Moving
A local move is any move of household items within 100 miles from the
origin to the final destination within the same state. Moves over 99 miles
within the same state are considered intrastate moves and those traveling
across state lines are interstate moves. Local moves are billed at an hourly
rate whereas intra- and inter-state moves are billed according to the size
and weight of your shipment.

Any of the moving companies you choose to use will send a salesperson
(estimator) to your house to provide you with a free moving estimate. The
estimate should include a separate amount for the movers themselves, vans,
packing, materials and insurance. It should also include the address you are
moving to if possible. If you are not sure of the address you are moving to
the day your estimate is made, your guaranteed price will be subject to
change based on conditions at your final destination such as the number of
stairs, the distance from the truck to the front door, and the accessibility of
your destination for a large van. If possible, always have the estimator view
your new place of residence before they make their final estimate.

Every state has different rules about moving estimates. In California, the
local moving company must provide you with a guaranteed price before they
begin to move. A guaranteed price (GP) is the exact amount a company will
charge you for the services they agreed to perform on the estimate. This
estimate must be in writing. Verbal estimates are considered illegal. This law
was passed in order to stop companies from quoting low estimates over the
phone and then charging you twice as much on moving day. Once you have
researched a few moving companies and have received your estimates, you
can compare the GP of each estimate.

Hire the movers not the company
If you chose a company without knowing any of its movers, ask the
estimator to provide you with the name of an experienced foreman and the
"helpers" who will be on your move. This is the #1 rule when hiring a
moving company: make sure you know who your movers will be on your
moving day. Use the names of the movers your friends, neighbors or
estimator referred to you. Make these movers part of your contract.

Size is important

The size of your van is very important. Make sure you know what size truck
will arrive at your house or apartment on moving day. Make van size part of
your contract.

Some local companies charge the same rate whether you arrange for a 50-
foot van or a 12-foot van to move your household items. Make sure your
estimator has allowed for plenty of empty space in your moving van. Since
you are paying by the hour, having to make double trips will add a lot of
expense to your move. You may want to contract for two vans to arrive on
moving day if the size of your van is limited for some reason, i.e. low
hanging trees, narrow street, and steep driveway. An extra van will help to
speed your move up and may cost you only a small fee.
Hiring the packers

There are three different ways to pack up your household items. You can do
it all yourself, have the local moving company partially pack some of your
items, or you can have them pack everything. If you have anyone else other
than the local moving company pack your items understand that the local
moving company is not liable for any of the damage that occurred inside of
the boxes during your move.

If you pack yourself, begin packing many days prior to the move. It will
waste the mover's time and your money if they have to wait for you to finish
up your packing the day of the move.

Packing by the hour is a good choice if you have hired experienced, fast
packers. You can hire these packers the same way you hired your movers.
Make them part of your contract for packing day.

A good way to save money and also have your valuables insured on moving
day is to employ the company to partially pack your household items. Make
sure your estimate is clear on the items to be packed. The packers can pack
all of the breakable items such as china, glass, and ceramics. You may also
feel safer having someone with experience packing these items. You will
pack the non-breakable items that do not take much experience to pack
such as books and clothes.

Choosing when to move

Picking the time of year, month and day of the week can be very crucial in
your move. Most people choose to move during the summer months when
their kids are out of school or during vacation. Moving companies need to
hire seasonal help to meet this increase in moving. This means that
inexperienced movers are often hired during these busy months. This
problem also exists during the end and beginning of each month when
everybody's lease is up, and on Fridays when people take off work. Also, if
your move should only take about half a day, hiring movers for first thing in
the morning is recommended.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the middle of the month are the best days
to move if you have not planned ahead. By Thursday, the best movers are
getting tired from the last three days of tough jobs and on Fridays, all the
good movers are usually allocated to the customers that planned ahead.

During a local move, your cost depends on the amount of time moving.
Make sure you give your driver the most direct route to your new home. You
may want to follow the driver to ensure he doesn't take the long way. Also,
be familiar with how heavy the traffic will be during the days and times of
your move.

A Few Reminders:

      Make sure you always have someone watching the movers while they
       are packing and loading your items.
      Make sure you are familiar with the neighborhood before the day of
       the move. You want to make sure there is room for the truck in front
       of your new home.
      Make sure you have warned the movers of any stairs they will have to
       climb, or if there is an available elevator.
      Let the mover know if there are time restrictions on when you are
       allowed to move. Many apartment buildings will not allow you to be
       moving after 5 PM.
      The building owner may ask the mover to see insurance certificates in
       case any damage is done to the building. Make sure they have these
      Make sure you have all supplies that will be needed for the move. If
       the mover has to go get more, your price will go up and time will be
      Make sure all of the packing you are doing yourself is complete prior to
       the day of the move. You don't want to have the moving company wait
       for you to finish.
      Make sure you have thoroughly planned out the whole move. Have
       you checked all closets and storage units for items that need to be
       moved? The less surprises for the mover the better.

Moving Companies
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

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
      Check with the local Better Business Bureau for consumer complaints.
      Verify the status of the moving company's licensure 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
      Carefully document an inventory of your belongings before you pack.

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
     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).

Moving Furniture

Whether you are moving an apartment or a three-bedroom home, the one
thing that you will have to deal with is the furniture. It's heavy, it's bulky,
it's expensive and you love it. If it were junk, you'd leave it on the curb. But
since it's not, you've got to get it to your new home. Even if it's a starter
bedroom set, you may not be able to afford to replace it and yet, it may be
heavier than you can carry yourself. This is exactly why you need to contact
a professional mover. Even if you're on a shoestring moving budget, the
safety and convenience is often worth a few hours of physical help to lug the
sleeper-couch. You can even hire budget movers or cheap movers to help if
you don't want to hire a moving truck or professional moving service.

Your back and wallet will be spared if you keep these tips in mind:

      Check the newspaper's For Hire section of the classifieds to locate a
       "man with a van" who can help with one or two items. These
       operations charge by the hour and will help with the lifting. Expect to
       do your share of the heavy labor unless you are unable, in which case
       you should inform the driver so he can arrange for assistance.
      If you are hiring a professional, it's a good idea to insure your
       belongings. Replacement of damaged belongings is bothersome, but
       possible with proper coverage.
      You should always be present when the moving truck is loaded. If you
       can't attend, make sure you arrange to have a representative there.
      You can also arrange for a professional loader to help only with the
       loading of your belongings in the event you are driving a rental truck
      Make sure you inspect all of your belongings closely and read the
       paperwork closely before you sign anything.

Moving Insurance
How to Get the Right Insurance for Your Residential Move

Whether you hire a mover or move it yourself, it is impossible to guarantee
that all of your property will arrive at its final destination in the same
condition it started out. Damage to your property can occur in transit (on the
moving truck), in storage, and when it is being carried in or out of the
moving truck. Things can be accidentally dropped, dented, or broken by
moving men. Most insurance coverage that can be obtained through a mover
limits the mover's liability and will not completely cover the value of your
property if lost or damaged. It is extremely important to make sure
that your possessions are adequately insured before you move.

When Selecting a Moving Company, Thoroughly review
the moving company's terms for insurance coverage.

      Determine the extent of liability coverage for property loss or damage
       your mover will provide.
      Closely examine the contract and find a section for you to establish the
       estimated value of your possessions.
      Determine the maximum liability dollar value of the insurance provided
       by the mover and the process involved in case you need to place a
       claim. However, this does not guarantee that in case of a claim you
       are entitled to the maximum liability damage coverage. Factors such
       as government regulations, taxes, and laws limit the actual the
       amount you may be entitled to in case of a claim.
      Realize that the insurance provided by most moving companies only
       covers a portion of the total value of your possessions and you will
       have to get additional insurance to be fully covered.

Insurance Available Through Your Mover

Insurance available through your mover is based on valuation. Basically,
valuation is the method of determining liability - by you and your mover.
There are three types of valuation:

       Declared value: The value of the things you move is based on the
       total weight of the shipment multiplied by a specific amount per pound
       (example; $1.25 per pound). For instance, if your possessions weigh
       10,000 pounds the mover would be liable for up to $12,500. Claim
       settlement is then based on the depreciated value of the item(s)

       Lump sum value: If you need insurance that is based more on value
       than on weight you can get insurance for a specific amount (the
      amount is variable dependant on the insurance provider) per $1,000 of
      value. You must know the value of what you are shipping and make a
      declaration in writing on the bill of lading.

      Full value protection: This type of coverage includes lost, damaged,
      and destroyed property. The coverage will pay for the repair or
      replacement of the item(s). Usually there is a minimum coverage
      amount and applicable deductibles.

Calculate the amount of insurance you require
Calculating the amount of insurance you require begins with taking into
consideration the total weight of what you are moving, the number of rooms
you are moving, and the contents of your move.

Create an inventory of all the items you are moving
What you are moving (sofa, dining room set, refrigerator, etc.). The weight
of each item you are moving (estimate the weight). The replacement value
of each article you are moving.

Make sure to have totals that summarize your inventory
Total number of items you are moving.
Total weight of the items.
Establish the total replacement value of all your property.
(Take pictures of what you are moving. This is important in establishing the
condition of your possessions and it helps in confirming the inventory list.)

Homeowners Insurance as a Supplement
Most homeowner insurance policies cover about 10 percent of the value of
your personal property; including coverage for breakage and theft in transit,
minus the usual deductible. This can be a good supplement to the insurance
provided by the mover.

Transit Insurance as a Supplement
Transit insurance is another good supplement to the insurance provided by
your mover. Read the policy and make sure it covers the gaps in insurance
left by other policies. This coverage can save you   thousands of dollars
and is usually available through the mover, a move-it-your-self company,
or through your homeowner's insurance company.

Some Additional Helpful Tips
If you are moving fine art, valuable musical instruments or antiques, you
should consider special measures to ensure their safety and protect against
their loss or damage. If these items are not covered while in transit by your
home policy, you would be advised to purchase additional coverage. Speak
to your mover or homeowner insurance representative. In the event that
something should happen to your belongings and you have to file a moving
claim, you must do so within (9) months of the event. You should also note
the problem on the moving van driver's copy of the bill of lading before
signing it. Your mover will then have 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your
claim. Within 120 days of receiving your claim, the mover must either deny
the claim or make an offer to pay.

As you prepare for your move, you should plan on preliminary preparation
for your pet so they too can be well prepared. There are many things you
can to do make the move less stressful for your pet. This guide will help
make your pet's transition into a new home much easier.

Get the Facts
Once you've made the decision to move to a new home, you will need to do
some research. Certain localities may have stringent requirements or
restrictions regarding pet ownership. You may need permits or registrations.

     Don't forget to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Your
      pet should have a check-up before moving. Be sure to attain your pet's
      veterinary records so that they can be forwarded to your new

A Short Move

     For local moves, it probably makes the most sense to transport your
      pet in the car with you on moving day.
     Remember to make sure that your pet is safe. Keep your pet in an
      unused room, or perhaps even outside. And of course, as always, your
      pet should have plenty of fresh water, and enough toys to occupy their

Moving Pets
Moving Pets by Car

     Many dogs and cats may find car travel extremely distressing. Some
      may even get car sick. You will have to be ready to make many stops
      along the way. Several small pets (such as birds, guinea pigs, birds,
      etc.) can be easily transported via automobile. A good, simple way of
      keeping them calm and quiet is to cover their cage with a cloth.
     Long distance moves may required an overnight stop. Remember to
      call hotels in advance to make sure that they will allow your pet to
      stay in the hotel.

Moving Fish

     It's wise to visit your local Aquarium or Pet Shop and ask for special
      fish containers to safely transport your fish. They should be able to
      offer suggestions on what's best for different types of fish.

Creating A Pet Pack
If you're moving your pet by car, there are several things you should plan on
taking with you on moving day:

     An old bed sheet or blanket will protect your car upholstery.
     A favorite toy or two, and an old T-shirt or rag with your scent on it.
     Two plastic containers - one should have fresh water, the other should
      have food and treats.
     Medications that your pet may need.
     A leash for when you make rest stops with your pet.
     Even if your pet doesn't typically get car sick, it is better to be safe
      than sorry…bring paper towels, a sponge, and plenty of plastic bags.

Pet Transport
Depending on the temperament and size of your pet, as well as the distance
you're moving, it may be make sense to enlist the help of a pet transporter.
Reputable pet transporters can organize every aspect of moving your pet
from beginning to end. Services provided may include the following:

     Sensible advice on preparing your pet for the trip
     Specific details about requirements or restrictions on pet ownership in
      your new locality
     Collecting your pet at the airport
     Boarding your pet until you arrive
     Delivery of your pet to your new home.

If you will be transporting your dog or cat by air, you must have the
following details in order:

     A recent health certificate provided by your veterinarian
     A pet carrier that complies with airline regulations
     Don't forget to confirm rules and regulations with your pet transporter
      so that you can purchase any pet products that may be needed.
      Trip Tips
     Always take your dog for a long walk before the trip.
     Remember to advise your pet transporter of any specific requirements
      for your pet.
     You should keep your cat indoors for at least 24 hours at your new
     Never feed your pet too much before the trip.
     Unless it is absolutely necessary, it is best not to sedate your pet.

Other Bits and Pieces to Consider

     If your new home will be rented, prepare a pet resume for prospective
      landlords. Your vet may agree to write a referral letter.
     Always remember to get a new pet ID tag with your new address and
      contact phone numbers.

Moving House Plants
A Couple Of Weeks Before You Move

     To facilitate packing, prune plants. Consult a plant book or a florist for

A Week Before Your Move

     Your plants should be placed in a black plastic bag. In the same back
      place a bug/pest strip, conventional flea collar or bug powder. Then
      close the bag and place in a cool area overnight. This will kill any pests
      on the plant or in the soil.

The Day Before Your Move

     Place the plants in cardboard boxes. The plants can be held in place
      with dampened newspaper or packing paper. Cushion the leaves with
      wet paper towel and place a final layer of wet paper towel on top to
      keep them moist. If you have to leave your plants behind, you can
      take cuttings. Put them in a plastic bag with wet paper towels around

On The Day Of Your Move

     The cardboard boxes should be set aside and clearly labeled "DO NOT
      LOAD" so they won't mistakenly be taken on the moving van. Close
      the boxes and punch air holes in the top before loading into your car.
When Moving

     In the summer, park your car in a shaded area. Likewise, in the
      winter, park your car in a sunny spot.

Upon Arrival

     The plants should be unpacked as soon as possible after arrival. To
      avoid breaking the stems, remove plants through the bottom of the
      box. Initially, do not expose the plants to much sunlight. Allow them to
      gradually become accustomed to more light.

Garden Plants

     Learn about the climate and soils of your new home.
     Seeds should be gathered and stored in an airtight container.
     Bulbs should be dug up during their natural dormant season. Pack in a
      mixture of loose dry peat moss and vermiculite to provide a
      lightweight and protective transport medium.
     Garden tools should be well maintained. Make sure to sharpen blades
      of clippers, lawn mowers and shears, and apply a thin coating of
      household or motor oil to protect the paint and metal parts. Clean and
      disinfect rakes, hoes and sprinklers. Household bleach can be used to
      disinfect a variety of items.
     Some plants can be dug up and transplanted.

Moving Timetable
What You Should be Doing to Prepare for Your Move, and When

One Month Before Moving

     Make arrangements with moving company or reserve a rental truck.
     Make travel arrangements, if necessary, with airlines, buses, car rental
      agencies and hotels.
     Fill out change of address order form for post office and IRS.
     Transfer memberships in clubs and civic organizations.
     Obtain medical and dental records, x-rays, and prescription histories.
      Ask doctor and dentist for referrals and transfer prescriptions.
     Set up a checking account in your new city.
     Check into the laws and requirements of your new city regarding
      home-based businesses, professional tests, business licenses, and any
      special laws that might be applicable to you.
     Take inventory of your belongings before they're packed; in the event
      you need to file an insurance claim later. If possible, take pictures or
      videotape your belongings. Record serial numbers of electronic
     Make arrangements for transporting pets.
     Start using up food items, so that there is less left to pack and
      possibly spoil.

One to Two Weeks Before Moving

     Switch utility services to new address. Inform electric, disposal, water,
      newspaper, magazine subscription, telephone and cable companies of
      your move. Arrange for help on moving day.
     Confirm travel reservations.
     Reserve elevator if moving from an apartment.
     Have appliances serviced for moving.
     Clean rugs and clothing and have them prepared for moving.
     Plan ahead for special needs of infants.
     Close bank accounts and have your funds wired to your new bank.
      Before closing, be sure there are no outstanding checks or automatic
      payments that haven't been processed.
     Collect valuables from safe-deposit box. Make copies of any important
      documents before mailing or hand carry them to your new address.
     Check with your insurance agent to ensure you'll be covered through
      your homeowners or renters policy during the move. Look into getting
      additional insurance if necessary.

Day Before Moving

     Put cleaning supplies, toiletries and a coffee pot in a marked box to be
      loaded last and unloaded first.
     Finish packing all your garments.
     Defrost, clean and dry refrigerator.

On Moving Day

     Check all spaces in your residence (closets, drawers, shelves, attic and
      garage) to be sure everything is packed.
     Carry important documents, currency and jewelry yourself.
     Carry traveler's checks and credit cards for quick available funds.
After Arriving At New Residence

      Renew your driver's license, auto registration and tags/license plates.
      Shop around for new insurance policies.
      Revise your will and other legal papers to reflect your new address.
      Locate local hospitals, police stations, veterinarian and fire stations.

Moving Your Computer
It's easy to protect your computer, printer, peripherals and valuable
files when moving.

Backup Your Data
Be sure to back up all of your important files and programs. Store the
backup disks with your original program disks and keep in a secure
container. Remove all floppy diskettes, cd-roms, tapes, etc. (Some older
computers will have hard disk head parking utilities. If so, park the hard disk

Shut Down and Disconnect

   1. Shutdown your computer before turning it off or unplugging any
   2. Carefully unplug all power cables.
   3. Carefully unplug all cables to peripheral devices.
         o Make note as to what devices the cables were plugged into by
            writing it on a piece of masking tape and attaching the tape to
            the cable.
         o Don't stress cables-avoid crimping, pulling, and crushing forces.
   4. Carefully move the monitor (for packing) as it can be heavy and
      awkward to move.
   5. Disconnect the printer, park the print head, and remove ink cartridges,
      laser cartridge, or ribbon. Unplug and mark the cables as noted above.

Packing Your Computer
Follow these suggestions to avoid damage to your computer, monitor,
printer and other peripheral devices during the move:

SHOCK. The original box your computer and peripheral devices came in is
the best choice for packing for your move. The rigid Styrofoam or formed
cardboard packing material will hold the equipment securely in place.
Take special care to safeguard your monitor as the screen is made of glass
and is easily cracked or scratched on contact. Pack the monitor - in the
event your original box is not available, you should get an appropriately
sized box and shock resistant insulation (Styrofoam "popcorn" or bubble
wrap) as a substitute.

A computer tower or desktop unit should be packed upright or on its side
with the motherboard side lying flat on the bottom (consult your manual if
you're unsure which side this may be). Systems that are carried/shipped
upside down or with the motherboard side at the top can cause interior
cards to loosen during shipment. While this may not permanently damage
parts, it may require costly or time-consuming technical service afterwards
to make it operable. Packing the CPU - in the event your original box is not
available, you should get an appropriately sized box and shock resistant
insulation (Styrofoam "popcorn" or bubble wrap) as a substitute.

Printer And Other Peripheral Devices
As with all computer equipment, the original packing box and material is the
best choice for transport because the Styrofoam or formed cardboard is
customized to fit each printer. In the event your original box is not available,
you should get an appropriately sized box and shock resistant insulation
(Styrofoam "popcorn" or bubble wrap) as a substitute.

Moving Your Family
Moving with a family can be challenging. 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
     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
     The biggest worry that school age children endure is whether they will
      make new friends and fit in easily a 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
     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
      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

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.

Moving Your Teen

Moving with Teenagers in Tow is a Challenge, but All You Need is a Little
Preparation and Some Patience

Getting your teenager out of bed in the morning can be an exhausting
drama. So how on earth are you going to get them to leave their friends,
their school and the only home they’ve ever known? The answer: not easily.
But with the right mix of sympathy, patience and cajoling it doesn’t have to
be a disaster.

Why Teens Have More Trouble

Relocation is hard on adults and kids. But for teenagers the transition is
tougher. Teens confront a host of social and psychological issues that
younger children and adults don’t. Thus they’re probably going to be much
more reluctant to go along with a move and much more vocal about their

When your teen hears that they have to move, the first thing they’re likely
to think is that moving will separate them from their friends. During junior
high and high school, adolescents put a tremendous amount of time and
energy into finding just the right peer groups. Even if it seems that they
have a new best friend every month, the process of reaching out to other
teens and learning how to socialize consumes an inordinate amount of their
energy (and, when the phone bill comes, your income). Through this
laborious process of “fitting in” teens are forming their own identity.
Especially if they don’t have much experience with relocating, teens define
themselves by who their friends are, where they hang out and what they do
for fun. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise, then, that teens get very upset
when they hear they have to leave all of the above behind. By having to
adjust to an entirely new town, school and social scene teens have to go
through the awkward process of fitting in all over again.

There are a host of other reasons that relocation gets under you teen’s skin.
Teens crave predictability. During adolescence everything is changing: their
voice, their clothes, their responsibilities. Against that backdrop, having a
stable, familiar home and social life makes a real difference. Moving throws
this all into flux. Teenagers also like to think of themselves as adults. When
mom or dad tells them the family is moving and that’s that, teenagers feel,
quite acutely, how far they actually are from full adulthood.
As melodramatic as teenage angst may seem, ignoring or minimizing the
real difficulties that moving presents to teenagers only makes them worse.
To help your teens make the transition as smoothly as possible, parents
have to know when and how to intervene and when to back off.

What You Can (and Can’t) Do

If your teenager is incessantly whining, trying to talk you out of moving or
just stomping around the house slamming doors, it’s easy for you to get
frustrated with their reactions. The most important thing you can do,
however, is engage their concerns and feelings. Like most problems
teenagers confront, simply listening to them – without trying to argue or
make a point – can do a world of good.
Relocation is a long process and throughout there are steps you can take
(and a few you shouldn’t) to help minimize stress on your teen. Some of the
more helpful are listed below:
• First, don’t automatically assume your son or daughter is unhappy about
moving. Though a lot of teens are hurt and angry, others look forward to the
new start.

• If your teen is upset don’t let it make you feel guilty. Eventually your kids
will accept the necessity of relocation – they’re more resilient than you think.
In the meantime, if they sense that you’re uncertain about moving they’ll be
even more anxious.

• If possible, try to schedule your relocation around the academic calendar.
Leaving after classes have let out for the summer is less disruptive – to their
school grades and social life – for your teenager than leaving in mid-

• If your son or daughter is a senior in high school, consider leaving them
with relatives or a trusted friend until they graduate while the rest of the
family moves. Trying to adapt to a new school that late in the game may not
be worth it.

• Before you leave town schedule a time in the not-too-distant future when
your teen can return to visit. If relocation doesn’t seem as permanent, your
teen will have an easier time letting go.

• The less your teenager knows about where it is they’re moving, the more
anxious they’ll be. Together with your teen, try to find out as much as
possible about your new hometown.

• If you’ll be hunting for a new home, factor your teen’s preferences into
your decision to buy. This can make them feel their needs are important to
the family.

• Once you get settled, make sure your teen has plenty of ways to access
their old friends: this can mean getting an internet connection set up, buying
into a cell phone plan, etc.

• Get involved in the social and community life of your new hometown as
soon as possible. Join a religious congregation, enroll in youth sports or
encourage your teen to get involved with extracurricular activities. All these
can help plug your teenager back into the social network they feel they’ve

• If you have younger children, assign your teen to look after them during
the moving process. In addition to making your life easier, it can help keep
your teen from fixating on their own dilemma.
• Watch carefully but don’t worry too much. It’s perfectly natural for your
teen to act mopey and dissatisfied in the weeks and months after moving.
More often than not all they need is space, and time, to get adjusted. Keep
tabs on them: if their school grades start to slip, or if they don’t show any
interest in socializing, seek professional help. Otherwise let them find their
own way.

Packing and Moving
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
3. It's also wise to make a note of the serial numbers on your electronic

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
     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
      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
      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.

Piano Moving
Strike any key on a piano and you’ll get an inimitable, resonant sound. Try
to move the piano though and you’ll probably get an inimitable headache.
They may make beautiful music, but pianos are heavy (even light pianos
weight around 300 lbs.), they’re large and awkwardly shaped and if you
happen to drop one while you’re moving it, a replacement will cost you
thousands. Packing up a piano correctly and making the effort to move it
safely can add a lot of time (and a few torn ligaments) to a residential move.
If at all possible, you should hire a professional piano mover to handle the
job. Piano movers are moving companies that specialize in getting these
unwieldy instruments from point A to point B. Some garden variety
residential movers have the experience and tools necessary to safely move
your piano. However, if you’re serious about moving your piano right, it’s
best to go with a professional piano mover; these are the companies that
move pianos between factories and showrooms.

Regardless of who you pick to handle the job, the most important part of
moving a piano is packing it. In a nutshell, this means wrapping the piano in
a series of blankets and pads so that the surface of the piano isn’t scuffed or
gouged (refinishing a piano can be almost as expensive as replacing it). In
many cases, a piano’s delicate, internal moving parts will need to be secured
as well. Making sure the piano is moved in a way that avoids damaging
bumps and scrapes is a piano mover’s second most important task. Any
professional piano mover worth their salt will have special tools for the job:
like a piano dolly, a heavy duty handcart that can support a piano’s weight
and a piano board, a small, indoor bodyboard that can ease big loads down
stairs with minimum turbulence.

All this, though, is just the tip of iceberg. Unfortunately, even if you’re
feeling like trading in your baby grand for a Kawasaki keyboard, there’s no
backing out of it now: you’d still have to get it out of the house. To move
your piano as simply and easily as you play it, check out the following tips:

If You’re Hiring a Piano Mover –

      To find a piano mover, try searching 123 Movers directory for a
       residential mover who can handle your job or check your local yellow
       pages. If you want a piano moving specialist, try calling your local
       piano dealer and asking them who they deal with.
      As with any moving company, be sure to ask prospective piano movers
       about their insurance coverage. In the vast majority of cases, the
       amount of insurance they carry will be more than enough to cover
       your instrument. If it doesn’t, or if you’d like additional coverage,
       contact your homeowner’s insurance agent and ask about arranging
       for a rider to your policy that would insure the piano while it’s being
      Occasionally, piano movers may attempt to “keyboard” a piano in
       order to move it: this entails removing the keyboard so that the piano
       can fit through tight spots. Let your mover know at the outset that you
       don’t want this done.
      Bear in mind that some long distance piano movers won’t come to
       your home. Instead, you’ll be responsible for getting your instrument
      to your local piano dealer, and then the mover will transport it from
      there to a piano dealer near your destination.
     When your piano arrives at its destination, make sure that the movers
      place it somewhere where it won’t be subject to major shifts in
      temperature - somewhere away from heating ducts, windows and
      doors. Even minor warping, caused by small temperature changes, can
      affect a piano’s sound.

If You’re Doing it Yourself -

     You’ll realize pretty soon you can’t do it alone: when you get help,
      make sure your assistants (you’ll need at least four – two in front of
      the piano and two in back) are wearing gloves and that none have a
      history of back problems.
     Before you start moving the piano make sure the lid is down and
      locked. Also make sure that there are no obstacles along your planned
      move route.
     Be sure to lift with your legs, not your back.
     If you can, place the piano on a heavy duty dolly before moving it. If
      you don’t have a heavy duty dolly, don’t lift the piano more than a few
      inches off the ground and don’t move it more than a few inches
      forward at a time.
     Move the piano endways, not sideways.
     If you’re moving the piano outside, wrap it in plastic so as to prevent
      any potential water damage.
     When rolling the piano, be extra careful when rolling over thresholds
      or doorjambs. Even little bumps can put expensive dents in a piano.

Self-Moving Services
Get the Basics and Compare Companies

When you're starting to plan your move, it can feel like you have only two
options: either pay a professional mover to box up your home and hope they
don't tack on hidden fees before returning your belongings or rent a truck
yourself, do all the heavy lifting and then get behind the wheel for a long,
long drive.

If neither sounds appealing, you're in luck. A new form of moving, self-
service, has been growing in popularity thanks to its common sense
approach. With self-service movers, you pack your belongings and they do
the hard driving.
Check out America's top self-service moving companies.

The Skinny on Self-Service Moving

The concept behind self-service moving couldn't be simpler. After you've
made arrangements with a company, they drop off a large, weather-
resistant crate (or two, or three, depending on your needs) in front of your
home. You pack your things inside, lock the crate up and the company's
truck comes to whisk it away. Once you've arrived at your new place, the
company drops off your crate and you start unpacking.

Because self-service movers leave you to take care of the packing and
unpacking, you save on the hourly costs of having a moving crew wrap and
stack your furniture (though for an extra charge, some self-service
companies will help you box up your stuff). The price of a self-service move
is assessed by the number of crates you use and how far you need them to
go. Though crate sizes vary by companies, average ones can hold about
3000 lbs. Generally, making your move with a self-service company will be
less expensive than hiring a full-service mover and slightly more expensive
than doing it with a U-Haul. However, depending on how much you spend on
gas, tolls and other expenses, going with self-service could be the cheapest
of your three options. Some amount of insurance coverage is factored into
the price of your self-service move as well, though more is often available if
you're moving valuables.

In the end, you can't put a price on peace of mind. If you go with self-
service, you won't have to worry about your rental truck breaking down in
the middle of nowhere, and because all your belongings are in a single box,
they're much less likely to be mixed up with other shipments, lost or

Getting Rid of “Stuff”
As you prepare in moving to a new home, you are provided with an excellent
opportunity to sort through some of the excess items you've collected since
the last time you moved. By clearing out some items, you can not only raise
some quick cash, but also lighten your load in terms of what you'll need to
pack and move.

Online Auctions
     A great way to earn extra money to cover your moving costs is by
      selling your unwanted goods online.
     When you use online auctions (example:, you are given the
      opportunity to showcase your items for sale to the world, not just your
      own neighborhood.
     Before you can buy or sell any goods, you will need to register with
      online auction sites
     Payment by credit card is no longer the only method of payment -
      some sellers have multiple payment methods. Contact the individual
      auction site for specific details.
     Make sure to take the time with the descriptions of your items; don't
      forget to include good quality photos. The better your goods are
      presented, the more likely they will sell.
     By selling your goods using online auctions, you are given the
      opportunity to specify that a buyer must pick up the goods
      themselves. This saves you extra time and money in getting rid of
     Know the value of what you are selling. Do a search on the site for
      similar items for sale to check the sale price of recently sold items.
     By doing a little research, you can also compare your descriptive text
      to that of other items that sold.
     If the site offers you the option to post a "Buy it Now" price (which
      allows you to set the lowest price you will take and allow a customer to
      skip the auction process by meeting this price), you can speed up the
      selling process.
     If you are selling an item and are set in the minimum you will take for
      it, you can also set a reserve.

Garage Sale

     Pick a weekend day to allow for the most customers. Avoid holidays
      and rainy-seasons!
     It's a good idea to start the garage sale early and end mid-afternoon.
      A typical garage sale runs from (9am to 4pm).
     Local papers are fantastic places to advertise your garage sale. Run
      the ad a couple days before the event as well as the morning of. Local
      supermarkets often have bulletin boards which are free and successful
      ways to promote. On the morning of the garage sale, it's also a great
      idea to place direction signs leading to your sale. Tape colorful signs
      and posters to street signs for easy removal.
     Offer refreshments such as coffee, iced tea or lemonade. It's a friendly
      touch that sometimes helps draw and keep customers.
     Make sure that all items for sale are properly cleaned. Nobody likes to
      buy a dirty ironing board or dusty VCR.
     Always make certain that the price is clearly marked. Confusion may
      mean the difference between making the sale and someone walking
     You will need at least $20 in change and small bills. Old cigar or pencil
      boxes work as fantastic banks. It's a good idea to keep a tablet with all
      sales. This will make it easier to balance your bank at the end of the
     It's a good idea to have some old newspaper on hand to wrap any
      fragile items you are selling. You can find free boxes at any liquor
      store or pharmacy.
     You should arrange to have some help throughout the afternoon in
      case you need a break to use the restroom or grab a bite to eat.
     Display your sales items on tables or shelves, and don't forget to place
      your best items as close to the street as you can to draw attention
      from passersby.
     Your items should be reasonably priced, and always be prepared to
      bargain with your customers.

Flea Market

     Local markets are a great means for selling second hand items.
      Because most of them are well-advertised, they will be attended by
      professional second-hand hunters.
     You might want to consider hiring a trailer for the day as you'll be able
      to get more merchandise there; and don't forget at the end of the day
      you might want to stop off at a second hand store or a charity store to
      drop off some items.
     Flea market space typically costs a nominal fee.

Second Hand Stores and Charity Stores

     Second hand stores and charity stores are always grateful for
      donations. It's really worthwhile making a quick phone call first to find
      out what they might want to take off your hands.

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

There is perhaps no greater decision regarding your move than whether you
are going to hire a professional moving service to help you with the move.
This decision will affect your moving expenses as well as the time
commitment required of you.
Move Yourself, or Hire a Pro?
Moving Yourself
Some decisions are harder than others. If your main concern is adhering to a
tight budget, perhaps moving yourself is the best option. However, if you
are unable to devote the time to coordinate the move over the concerns of
money, your best bet is to hire a professional full-service mover.

If you're moving your one-bedroom apartment across town or across state,
it's probably just as easy to gather some friends to help you pack and load
the truck. This will allow you greater flexibility and is sometimes less
expensive than other moving services. However, you will be responsible for
all the grunt work, including loading and unloading the heavy furniture and
appliances. But if you have friends and/or family willing and able to help,
you have a couple options. You can save some money by renting a van or
even a trailer to attach to your vehicle. Remember to carefully consider the
distance of the move since driving a moving van/truck can be a stressful
event considering your inexperience driving trucks or pulling a trailer. If this
doesn't sound like your cup of tea, there are hybrid moving services
available such as the self moving services where you pack and load the truck
and the professionals do the driving. It saves you the hassles of traffic while
still giving you the comfort of knowing who is doing the packing and loading.

Hire a Pro
There are several reasons to choose a professional moving company over
moving yourself, not the least of which is the fact that a moving company
can save you time, effort, and stress. If you are moving a 3-bedroom house
across the country, you might want to consider going with a professional
moving service. While it may appear that hiring a full-service mover is more
costly, you might want to consider that doing it yourself may require you to
miss work and (possibly) a chunk of your paycheck. Hiring a professional will
free you of the tedious planning, packing, loading, driving and unloading,
thus allowing you to concentrate on the important stuff such as making sure
you and your family is comfortable.

It is also important to remember that your belongings are important to you,
regardless of their worth. While you may take every precaution in packing
and loading your furniture and fragile items, you are not nearly as
experienced in doing so as is the professional mover. They do this for a
living and are skilled in handling your belongings. Should something happen
to your items, the movers will be liable. However, if you should damage your
items while moving yourself, you have no recourse. (See Understanding the
Different Types of Moves)

So you finally think you're done, and now you realize that you still have to
unload and unpack all of your stuff. Well, first of all, congratulations! You
have already done three quarters of the job, and you're now at the home
stretch. Fortunately for you, unloading and unpacking does not have to be
as overwhelming as it may seem. Stay organized, stay in control, and
delegate, delegate, delegate! With these three thoughts in mind, the final
piece of the moving process will surely be a smooth ride.

A good rule of thumb is to get children that are not big enough to help (truly
bring the real stuff in), out of the way. Send them to their new rooms and
tell them to explore, while waiting for their furniture to be placed in the
room. Have them unpack their personal belongings and clothing into their
furniture once it arrives. This way, they are not under your feet, and instead,
are feeling a great sense of control in having the power over how their room
is unpacked. Once they finish, suggest that they arrange the empty boxes in
their room into tunnels (not climbing mechanisms, though) and play in their
new found caves.

Now, as far as your work goes, there is one important stipulation that will
keep you organized and on top of things. Don't let the empty boxes and
packing supplies build up (the last thing you'll need is more clutter), squash
(or nicely fold up) the boxes, throw out the packing paper and wraps, and
put the unpacked item where it belongs (it'll be nice to not have to blindly
look for it later).

Make a conscious effort to get any large or heavy furniture unloaded
first. Get the hard stuff done while you still have some energy! Getting the
furniture unloaded first will also allow you to place other items more or less
exactly where you're going to want them to belong anyway.

The next thing to consider once you get everything unloaded (or maybe
somewhere towards the end of the unloading process) is what you are going
to feed all of your hungry helpers. Pizza, paper plates, paper napkins, plastic
cups, and a bottle of water can make for an easy cleanup and quick meal.

The next morning, keep all of the previous day's rules in mind, stay
organized, stay in control, and delegate. While eating breakfast, begin to
write up a list of the most important things that need to be done first. Some
of these may include:
      Hook up major appliances, such as the dishwasher, washer and dryer,
       refrigerator (if it hasn't been hooked up already), etc.
      Go grocery shopping with a grocery list (this will speed up the process
       and give you more of that much needed time).Get the washer and
       dryer hooked up.
      Plan the night's dinner (so you don't have to scramble at the last

Now comes the unpacking. A good method that will keep you organized is
rotating around your new home after unpacking every 5-7 boxes per room,
so that you don't lose your mind staring at a toilet or kitchen sink all day.
Most importantly, don't forget to take a break every now and then!
Considering the busy day ahead of you, the kitchen pantry will be the best
place to start (that way you can be sure to have easy access to energy
boosters throughout the day).

It's never too late to throw out those items that you haven't used in
forever. Did you ever even use them? If you can't find any place for them in
your new home, get rid of them! Creating a pile of these objects will only
lead to another painstaking and unnecessary project.

A good room to go to next is the bathroom. It's certainly a room that you
will not want to spare for long, and it will most likely be a good mood
booster (since there will be few items to unpack, hence, leading to a quick
room completion). Following the bathroom, the bedrooms and the living
room are probably good rooms to tackle. When trying to figure out the
layout for furniture within those rooms, be sure to consider where cable and
electrical outlets are located. Sketch a tentative layout of the room too, so
that way you can erase any mistakes, and not have to move the huge couch
fifty times.Take a final inventory of all of your belongings and
compare it to your initial inventory to make sure that nothing was
lost. For any broken or damaged items, keep them on hand as proof
for any insurance claims.

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