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| Moving Tips | Garage Sales | Moving Sales | Forwarding Mail | Keep Basics Handy | Packing |
| Moving Plants | Rich Sieber | Dealing w/ Movers | Help Children Cope | The Perfect Move |

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Get Your Personal Records Before You Move

  • Dentist Records for Each Family Member
  • Children's School Records Your Pet's Veterinarian Records
  • Employment Records and Recommendations (W-2's)
  • Change of Address Information
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Moving Garage Sale

There's a general rule when it comes to moving: If you don't need it, don't pack it.

There are lots of ways to lighten your load before you move, a few of which will even pad your wallet!

Sell it. A well-planned garage sale can be a fun family affair, in which everyone contributes and benefits. Gather your goods, set the date, and get ready to say good buy! Clothes, furniture, appliances, toys, garden tools, bicycles, cribs - You name it and someone will probably be more than happy to take it off your hands.

Here are a couple of tips:

  • Make your sale a one-day event, preferably on a Saturday, and maximize sales by starting as early as possible

  • Avoid holidays.

  • Be careful what you sell. don't sell guns and ammunition or valuable antiques and collectibles.

  • Plan carefully, price liberally and advertise abundantly.

  • For more specific information on garage sale planning, contact a moving company or your broker.

Give it away. There are thousands of charitable organizations that would love to have your castoffs, and you may even deduct donations at tax time. Keep track of what you donate, assigning reasonable values to each item, and have the list signed by the recipient.

Mail it. Some heavy things like books can be mailed for less than they can be moved. Check with the post office for special rates.

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Have A Moving Sale

A garage, yard, patio, or moving sale is a great way to trade unwanted items for hard cash that you can use to offset your moving expenses.

Here are some proven pointers that will help you organize your sale:

Check for any restrictions or permits that may be required.

More is always better, so consider having a joint sale with one or more neighbors or friends.

Weekends are the best times to have your sale, but avoid holidays because many people go away or have commitments elsewhere.

Hold the sale in a convenient place, like a garage or driveway that people can see and allows customers to come and go.

To display what you've got, move your kitchen table out to the drive way if necessary, or use sawhorses with boards across to make a table. Larger items can be placed about on the ground. Arrange items as you would in a store.

Have enough cash on hand to make change. Price items in multiples of five (.05, .50, .75, 1.50, etc.) to make giving change easy.

Price the items cheaply enough to sell, because whatever you don't sell, youāll either have to move with you or give away. A little is better than nothing.

To advertise the sale, post signs around your neighborhood, on telephone poles and at local grocery stores and laundromats. As well, run a small classified ad in your local newspaper. On Saturday mornings, some people read these exclusively. Make sure your signs and ads give the date, time, and location.

Post a Cash Only sign, and accept checks only from people you know.

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FORWARDING YOUR MAIL TO THE NEW ADDRESS

To make sure you get all your mail at your new address, take the following actions:

  • As soon as you start looking for a new home, begin to prepare a list of individuals and companies who will need to know your new address. When you receive mail, write down the sender and the address. If change of address cards are included in your magazines or billings, collect them and keep them all together. As soon as you know your new address and the date of your move, fill out all the cards and send them. If possible, they should be sent at least 30 days before your scheduled move.

  • Notify your local post office branch of your move by filling out a Change of Address form. You can obtain a blank form from your carrier, or from any post office branch.

  • Submit the form as soon as you know your new address and the date of your move. It may take a week to ten days for the form to become active at the post office. This period could be shortened if you personally submit the card to your carrier, as he or she will responsible for forwarding your mail.

  • If your entire family shares the same last name, and you are all moving to the same new address, you only need to fill out one form. Separate forms must be submitted for each last name and each new address.

  • The Post Office will forward first-class, priority and express mail for one year at no charge. Second-class mail, such as magazines and newspapers, will be forwarded for 60 days at no charge. Third-class mail will not be forwarded at all unless you specifically request it. Fourth-class mail will be forwarded for one year at no charge if your new address is local; if you move out of the area, it will still be forwarded, but you will have to pay any forwarding costs.

  • After one year, your mail will no longer be forwarded. Make sure you let everyone who sends you mail know of your new address. Notification postcards (PS Form 3576) can be picked up at your post office for this purpose.

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Keep the Most Basics Handy

Personal Items:

Comfortable Clothing
Toiletries and Cosmetics
Toothbrushes
Tissues

Linens
Towels
Iron
Alarm Clock

First Meals:

Disposable Plates, Cups, and Utensils
Pots and Pans
Paper Towels
Plastic Containers

Can Opener
Dish Soap and Sponges
Foil or Plastic Wrap

To Help You Settle In:

Telephones
Garbage Can and Bags
Tool Kit
Ladder or Step Stool
Mop and Broom
Scrub Brush
Vacuum Cleaner

Light Bulbs
Extension Cords
Flashlight
Dust Cloth
Cleaning Products
Pail
Shelf Liner

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Packing Your Belongings

Professional movers will charge anywhere from $15 to $25 per hour to pack your belongings. The temptation is to save money by doing your own packing. This is fine as long as you follow a few precautions, because valuable things can be damaged and lost if you don't pack them right!

Packing a Box:

  • Use only boxes that are strong and in good condition. Avoid open-topped boxes you might get from a supermarket, and that could spill their contents during transit. Ideally, every box should be closed and sealed with strapping tape. Moving companies and truck rental Companies sell good quality containers intended especially for transporting household goods.

  • Consider the final weight of a fully loaded box. When lifted, a box should not sag or tear apart from the weight of what it contains. Nor should it cause strain and possible injury to the person carrying it. Use large boxes for lighter, fluffier items, such as pillows and blankets, while distributing heavier items, such as books, tools, pots, dishes, etc., in a number of smaller boxes.

  • Put like-things with like-things; dishes with dishes, pots with pots, tools with tools. don't mix fragile items that may chip or crack with heavier, bulkier objects that could damage them.

  • When packing china, glass, and ceramic items, wrap each piece separately in paper before boxing to prevent bare surfaces from touching or rubbing together. Old newspaper works just fine for this.

  • As an added measure of protection pack towels and other linen among your breakables. (Remember the items are there when you start unpacking)

  • Fill empty spaces in boxes with crumpled newspapers to prevent the contents from shifting during the trip.

  • Pack small dressers or chests of drawers with lighter items such as clothing or linen. Afterwards tape the drawers shut taking care that the tape will not damage the finish. (Try the tape on a hidden finished spot to test)

  • Label every box you pack (Pots & Silverware, Toys & Baby Clothes). If possible, indicate which room the box belongs to in the new house (Kitchen, Den, Master Bedroom). During unloading, sorting will be accomplished automatically and save a great deal of time.

  • It takes a long time to pack an entire household carefully, so start early, one month before moving day. With a few boxes per day starting with those rarely used. This will give you time to ponder and reminisce over all the things you've forgotten you own.

Upon Arrival:

  • Load heavier furniture first (cabinets dressers, tables, sofas). Check large chairs and tables to see if the legs can be removed. Heavy furniture should be securely placed to prevent shifting, even roped to the walls of the truck, if necessary.

  • Safely pad all furniture so that no bare surface of any piece is touching any other piece. This is very important! The slightest contact or rubbing (for a thousand jostling, highway miles) will destroy fine furniture. Truck rental companies will usually rent you as many moving pads as you need. Also, mattresses turned on edge can sometimes be used to pad between large items.

  • Pack smaller items (boxes and small household items) under and among the furniture, again taking care that no furniture surfaces are exposed. Stow heavier boxes below and lighter boxes above.

  • Pack the truck snug as best you can to prevent the load from shifting during transit. Avoid stacking boxes or other items in such a way that they have no support. The load should be as level as possible. If something can possibly fall or shift or spill, it usually will.

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Moving Houseplants

Houseplants are a special concern, and before taking a plant consider
1) whether it will even fit in your new house, and
2) whether or not it might just be cheaper to replace the plant with another when you get where you're going.

If you decide to take plants along with you, follow these guidelines:

One Month Before Moving:

  • Check with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for any restrictions that might apply. Some agricultural states severely restrict the entry of certain plants.

  • Prune the plants to facilitate packing.

One Week Before Moving:

  • Place the plants in black plastic bags, each with a pest/bug strip. Seal the bag and place in a cool area overnight. This will kill any pests the plant may be harboring.

The Day Before Moving:

  • Place the plants in cardboard boxes or containers. Stuff crumpled newspaper between the containers to hold them in place. If necessary, use paper to cushion the leaves.

  • Place a layer of wet paper over the plants to keep them moist.

  • Close the boxes and punch air holes in the tops.

  • Mark all boxes DO NOT LOAD to prevent them from being loaded indiscriminately among other items in the truck.

On Moving Day:

  • Load the plants into your car. During the trip, try to park in shaded areas if the weather is hot, and in sunny areas if the weather is cold.

Upon Arrival:

  • Unpack the plants as soon as possible.

  • For the first few days avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

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Making the Move With Rich Sieber

While getting the keys to your new home is an exhilarating experience, moving is an intimidating, not to mention expensive, prospect for most families. The good news is moving hassles can be mitigated by careful preparation and oversight.

The first step is to shop around for a mover and compare prices.

Interstate moves are handled by major long distance van lines, which set prices according to standard rates for weight and distance plus any extra services such as packing and boxes. Shorter in-state moves are handled by local companies, which base their prices almost entirely on labor costs figured at a set rate per hour.

Moving companies offer binding and non-binding estimates. A binding estimate means the mover sets a price for the services to be performed. This will be your final charge unless you make any changes in the course of moving. With non-binding estimates the final charge is totaled up after the services are rendered. Non-binding estimates tend to be lower, but because they are subject to change you can reasonably expect that the charge will be 10 percent higher.

Here are some tips when dealing with movers:

  • Get everything in writing and save all contracts, orders and receipts in a safe place in case you encounter problems. (don't have the papers packed away in the moving van.)

  • Obtain the movers policy on inconvenience or delay. Confirm the pick up and delivery schedule and make sure the mover follows through as promised in writing.

  • Look for licensed, insured and bonded movers. Interstate movers are regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission; In-state movers are governed by state authorities.

  • Make sure your belongings adequately insured against damage. Most moving companies offer limited liability insurance toward replacement costs of items they pack. Obviously, this may be inadequate, particularly for valuables. Find out what your homeowners insurance policy covers during moves and what additional insurance may be purchased through the mover.

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Tips on Dealing with Movers

If you are just moving across town, you will probably want to rent a van and do the move yourself. If you are moving a large house-full of goods and fine furnishings across the country, you may want to hire professional movers. Movers are trained to move things quickly and efficiently, and they will take on much of the physical and emotion burden that comes with moving. They are expensive, and you usually have to pay cash for their services.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • Summer is the busiest season for movers. If you can arrange to move at another time, things will likely go smoother. Also, schedule your move in the middle of the month, since the first and last few days of each month are quite busy.

  • Movers charge by weight and distance. The more you have (by weight) and the farther you want to move it, the more you pay. Thus, it is worth considering whether you really want to take Grandpa's heavy old work bench.

  • Movers charge extra for services such as:

    • Providing cartons and containers.

    • Packing and unpacking.

    • Disassembling/assembling chairs, tables, etc.

    • Carrying items up and down flights of stairs, or an excessive distance from the truck.

    • Moving large heavy items (pianos, organs, hot tubs, riding mowers, etc.)

    • Weekend, holiday, or after-hours delivery or pickup.

    • Storage.

  • When selecting a mover, get estimates from several reputable movers. Since movers offer different price and service options, make sure that each estimate covers the same options.

  • If you ask for it, movers will provide a minimum coverage against damage and loss based on the weight of the goods. Since the actual or replacement value of an item often greatly exceeds any calculation of its value based on weight, you may want to buy temporary coverage through your home owners policy.

  • As a way to save you money, some local companies will provide the driver and truck and let you load and unload it. Others will load and unload your truck.

  • On the day of delivery, payment is made in cash or certified check before unloading. If the total amount exceeds the original estimate by more than ten percent, you can usually pay the balance within 30 days.

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Helping Children Cope with a Move

  • Show the children the new home and their new room prior to moving. If this is not possible, pictures or videos will help them visualize where they are going.

  • Assure children that you won't forget their friends.

  • Make a scrap book of the old home and neighborhood.

  • Throw a good-bye party. At the party have their friends sign a tee shirt.

  • Have your children write good-bye letters and enclose their new address. You may wish to call the other children's parents so they will encourage return letters.

  • When packing, give them their own box. They can decorate it so they know which one it is.

  • If you move far away buy postcards when you stop so they can remember the trip.

  • When unpacking, allow them to unpack their treasures then, have them play with the boxes while you unpack.

  • Start a scrap book for their new home. Include a diary of "My first..."

  • Visit their new school, park, church etc... Take a camera.

  • Help your children invite new friends over to the house.

  • Let them choose a new favorite restaurant. This will help them feel in control of their new world.

  • Encourage them to send letters about their new home, to their friends.

  • Involve your children in groups, sports, and activities like the ones they used to participate in.

  • Remember even if you only lived in a home a few years to a young child it is nearly their entire lifetime!

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Planning the Perfect Move

Before you move:

  1. Simplify your life by leaving some of the load behind. Before you start packing, sort through your belongings and decide what can be sold, donated to charity or thrown away.

  2. Start saving newspapers and boxes for packing.

  3. If you plan to arrive in a new town before your home is ready to move in, make any arrangements for interim lodging and storage.

  4. Schedule repair, decoration or renovation work for the new home several weeks prior to the move so that messy or inconvenient work can be done before you unpack everything and get settled in.

  5. Three weeks before the move, contact your local utility companies and arrange to have phone, electricity, water and gas services disconnected at the end of moving day. Arrange hookups in your new home. Rich Sieber has provided you with a utility list and all the phone numbers with this "Moving Pack".

  6. Two weeks before moving day, arrange stop dates for pick-up and delivery services, including garbage and newspaper. Investigate these services in your new locale.

  7. Two weeks before moving day, complete and mail change-of-address cards available at your local post office or from Rich.  When you pay your bills, remember to provide your new address.

  8. If you're moving with pets, consult your veterinarian for special precautions.
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