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By carefully planning and organizing your move, the process is much easier, more efficient, and less stressful. Use this checklist to plan and monitor your progress.
Decide if and how much of the job you want to do yourself. If you choose a professional mover, make sure you compare rates, services, and availability. Get written estimates whenever possible.
You have enough to do without taking on the monstrous task of physically packing up your household and moving - whether it's across the country or across town. The decision to hire a professional mover could save you time and headaches. As soon as you know your approximate moving date, as early as six to eight weeks in advance, start asking neighbors, family, and friends for referrals. Shop around and get written price quotes from at least three movers. Movers generally determine their prices according to the distance you are moving, the estimated weight of your possessions, the cost of packing materials, and services such as packing and unpacking. While professional moving companies carry insurance, they may not automatically cover some items - boxes that you pack yourself for example. Ask what's included in your carrier's insurance and whether you can or need to purchase additional insurance to cover all your belongings.
Carpets and area rugs, for example, will be among the first things unloaded because you'll want them under your furniture. As the rooms in your new home begin to fill up, you can stand by to ensure that every box and each item of furniture reaches its intended destination and that nothing has been damaged. Check your mover's inventory list and note any damages. Finally, direct your attention to setting up beds, bathrooms and the kitchen - essentials to resuming your normal life.
Children need the reassurance that their world hasn't been completely turned upside down. They've just said goodbye to their best friends and are often uneasy about unfamiliar streets, houses, and neighbors. The security of seeing their personal possessions in their own room will go a long way toward making the transition easier. Familiar faces are always good. Ask a favorite aunt, uncle, or grandparent to be there for no other reason than to spend time with the kids while you continue to unpack.
Your pets can be as be bewildered as children at the unsettling events before, during, and after a move - maybe more so. Unlike human members of the family, pets only know what they see - everything in their immediate world being wrapped in newspaper and stuffed into boxes. To avoid undue stress on yourself and your pets, it may be advisable to take your pets to a friend's house or board them with their vet or at a nearby kennel until your move is complete. Remember, when you move into a new community, animals often run away from strange situations. Take special care to make your pets feel comfortable and always be sure that they are wearing an identification tag with your new phone number.