Moving Tips

Moving and Packing

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  • Pack heavy items in small boxes, light items in larger boxes
  • Designate one drawer of a dresser for sheets and towels so they'll be easily available the first night in your new home
  • Place a sock or nylon stocking in your refrigerator with a cup of baking soda, charcoal or fresh coffee to keep the interior smelling fresh
  • Pack your current phone book -- you may need to call residents or businesses in your former hometown
  • Records and plates should be packed on end vertically, rather than stacked
  • Make sure medicine and other toiletries have lids on securely prior to packing
  • Remove bulbs from lamps before packing
  • Clearly label each carton with room number plus contents
  • Ask a friend to keep your children and pets when packing and on moving day
  • If packing yourself, pack several cartons each day rather than all at once
  • Pack on a room-by-room basis. Don't mix items from different rooms in one box
  • Allow children to pack their favorite toys. This gives them a stronger sense of belonging
  • Be cautious with boxes from grocery or liquor stores. They may not be clean and may not have the strength to withstand the weight of items you're packing
  • Hazardous materials may not be moved
    • Paint
    • Varnish
    • Gasoline
    • Kerosene
    • Oil
    • Bottled gas
    • Aerosol cans
    • Nail polish/remover
    • Ammunition
    • Explosives
  • Pack a "survival" kit which you carry in your car, or have first off the truck
    • Basic Tools -- Hammer screwdriver, knife, tape, etc.
    • Bathroom products -- Soap, toilet paper, towels, etc.
    • Kitchen items -- Disposable utensils, cups, plates and snacks, drinks, etc.
    • Cleaning products -- Cleansers, broom, dustpan, sponges, etc.
  • Load your plants in the moving truck last, and unload them first -- check with the U. S. Department of Agriculture for regulations regarding moving plants.


Moving with Children

Tell your children about the move and the reason for it. Tailor your explanation to their age. The youngest children only need to know that a parent has to work at a new office in a new town. Older teens will want, and deserve, to know more.

  • Tell them the advantages of moving (new sports, a better school, entertainment)
  • Be prepared for negative reactions. Give them a chance to express their feelings and be honest about your own feelings. Gently tell your children about any sadness you may feel about leaving or uncertainty about a new home, job or city. This helps reassure them that they aren't alone in having worries or concerns.
  • Give them some influence and control over some aspects of the move. A toddler can "pack for a teddy bear" or "help" you do serious packing.
  • Don't overload young children with unnecessary details.
  • Make a scrapbook containing pictures of your current home, friends, and other mementos of your life together.
  • Help older children prepare a list of phone numbers and addresses of close friends, relatives, and other important people in their lives. Knowing they can stay in touch is an important part of a successful move.
  • Include children in a preview trip, if possible. Explore the new neighborhoods, schools and town together.
  • If the children can't be included in the home finding trip, take pictures of your new home, the schools they will attend, parks, and other facets of the new location that will be interesting to them.
  • If you can, try to meet families in your new neighborhood before you move. Being familiar with people when you move in will help your children feel more at home.
  • Set aside time each day during the relocation to sit down and talk/read/play with your children.
  • Allow children to maintain contact with special friends after the move. This can include having friends from the old neighborhood come visit if distances are short, or allowing your child to call friends in your old location periodically. Encourage them to write or e-mail their friends.


Moving with Pets

Most pet owners feel their pet is a member of the family. Remember that your pet can feel your anxiety and may show unusual personality traits at this time. Try to keep your routine as normal as possible. Remember, a long trip can be even tougher for an animal than a human. Take this into consideration when moving your pet, and everyone should arrive on the other end safe and happy.

  • Cats and Dogs may be shipped by air or taken along in the family car. If you are flying to your new destination, check with airlines regarding size requirements to take a cat or dog into the passenger cabin with you. If you are transporting your pet in the baggage department, talk to your veterinarian about up-to-date shots and a health certificate. You may want to ask for tranquilizers to give your pet just before heading to the airport. Make sure to put a piece of clothing with your scent on it in the animals box so it will feel more at home during transportation. If you're driving, be sure to pre-check with hotels and motels along the route to make certain your dog or cat will be welcome.
  • Hamsters, birds and other small animals can be easily transported in your car. Make sure they have enough food and water in their cages and are out of drafts or extreme temperatures. It is a good idea to cover their cages with a cloth to keep them quiet and restful.
  • Fish are very difficult to transport. In general, it is impractical to move an aquarium with fish in it. A gallon of water weights 8 pounds, so a small ten-gallon aquarium will weight almost a hundred pounds when filled. Plan on giving the fish away with a promise to restock the aquarium when you arrive at your new home.


Pulling Up Roots

There's more to moving than simply packing your belongings and shipping them to a new city. Moving means great changes in your life and your family's life -- new home, new friends, new schools, a new job, and possibly a whole new lifestyle.

Such changes can be filled with uncertainty, anxiety and apprehension. But it can also be exciting, filled with adventure, new opportunities and a chance for personal growth. Although it is not easy to leave a familiar place, consider these tips to help you say goodbye:

  • Have a party for the specific purpose of saying goodbye to your friends. Hold it a month or two before your actual move. Make this a strictly informal time with an atmosphere that's warm and friendly. This will probably be an emotional time, but it also helps you realize these people will remain your friends, even though you will be separated by distance.
    • Have lunch with old friends and coworkers during the few weeks before your move.
    • Plan a backyard barbecue for the neighbors a month before you leave.
    • Host a family potluck get-together.
    • Take cookies and say good-bye to a meeting of your church group, civic organizations and youth sports teams.
  • Your children need their own party to say goodbye to their friends. Let them plan the party, but make sure it is designed to be a light and festive occasion so it will be something they will look forward to with excitement. It will help them to emotionally prepare for the move.
    • Young children may want to take cupcakes, cookies or fruit and vegetable snacks to school, day care, or a play group
    • Preteens or teens may want to plan their own evening going-away party.
    • Teens may enjoy treating friends to a day at a local amusement park.
  • Say goodbye to your community by visiting all the family's favorite places one last time. Plan a family picnic or trip to a favorite recreational area, park or lake. Go see all of your favorite museums, landmarks and local attractions. Have a few nights out at your favorite restaurants, nights spots or clubs for the express purpose of saying goodbye. And, remember, there will be plenty of places in your new community that you'll like equally well!


Closing Procedures & Moving

There's so much to remember before I close. What do I have to do?

Your sales professional can help you with many of these considerations:


Are all the necessary inspections complete?

  • Are all the required repairs complete?
  • When will you conduct your final walk-through inspection?
  • Is your attorney satisfied that title to the property is clear (no one else has a claim on it)?
  • Have you confirmed a date, time, and place for your closing?
  • Who will conduct the closing?
  • Is your insurance policy paid and ready to go into effect the day you close?
  • You'll need a receipt for proof.
  • What form of check should you use (and who should it be made out to) to pay for the closing costs?
  • Has your closing sales professional told you the closing amount?
  • Do you have receipts for the items you have already paid for, including your deposit and inspection fees?
  • Bring your checkbook to cover any last-minute extras that might have been overlooked.


What should I look for on my final walk-through?

In most cases, you'll be given the opportunity to inspect the home immediately prior to closing. At this time, it's important to check on any work the seller agreed to have done in response to your initial inspection. You should also carefully check the condition of walls and ceilings from which window treatments, pictures, or any other attached furnishings have been removed. If you find any problems, don't hesitate to bring them up at the closing. It's the seller's responsibility to correct them.


What will happen on closing day?

  1. The lender's agent will ask for your paid home insurance policy.
  2. The agent will list the adjustments. These include the money you owe the seller (the remainder of the down payment; prepaid taxes) and what the seller owes you (unpaid taxes; prepaid rent).
  3. You will sign the mortgage. This gives the lender legal rights to the property if you don't make your payments.
  4. You will sign the mortgage note (the promise to repay the loan in regular monthly payments).
  5. You will get title from the seller in the form of a signed deed.
  6. The lender's agent will collect the closing costs from you and give you a settlement statement of all the items you have paid for.
  7. The deed and mortgage will be recorded in the town or county Registry of Deeds.


Is there anything I should do immediately after closing?

The first thing you'll want to do is have the locks changed. Also, put your deed and other important paperwork from the closing in a secure place, preferably a safe deposit box. Even though it's all on file with the county, it's smart to know where your copies are and have access to them at all times.


Should I move myself or use a moving company?

In almost every case, you can save yourself time and energy by using a reputable moving company to help you move.

Ask your sales professional, friends, and co-workers for recommendations, then get estimates from several companies. Don't choose a mover based on price alone -- consider the reputation and professionalism of the company, too.

Work closely with the moving company to coordinate your efforts and your move will be achieved with maximum efficiency.


Can a sales professional help with the move itself?

Yes. Most sales professionals are more than willing to offer advice and assistance to new homeowners; all you have to do is ask.