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Moving? Here's Some Good Advice On Moving Supplies and Strategies

Mar 12, 2008
In today's mobile society, people seem to be picking up and moving around more than ever - one in five families per year, according to some studies. The average worker can expect to change careers several times during her or his life, and changes in location often go along with that great new job - research has shown that many employers consider willingness to move a major factor in weighing an underling's potential for advancement. Though we're tempted to think of relocation as an incidental factor - the tiny string attached to a career change - it's a big deal. Relocating, especially across state or national boundaries, can throw your life into upheaval. In the best circumstances it's likely to be expensive, time-consuming, physically challenging, emotionally painful, and tedious; in the worst, it can be a nightmare.

Regardless, there are ways to reduce the stress and pain of moving. Good time management - including budgeting time to deal with unexpected problems and emergencies that arrive at different points in your relocation timeline - is the first necessity. You should make your plans in detail, and allot at least two months to the moving process.

Your first challenge, of course, is to select your new residence. Aside from such traditional sources of information as realtors, colleagues, and friends or family members who have lived in the area, websites can be very helpful. Reference guides such as the Places Rated Almanac may give great help as well. And of course, if you have the means, nothing helps more than a trip to your new city to find a place.

Having chosen a house or apartment and done any necessary research on your new neighborhood, your next decision will be whether or not to hire a mover. You'll want to comparison-shop, as both cost and service vary widely among moving companies.

Talk to friends and family members who have moved within the area. When you select a mover, always read the fine print on your contract; some moving companies will, for example, sign a contract with you, then "dump" the task of relocating your precious possessions to a different company without informing you. When the new movers show up on the day of your move, they may try to "renegotiate" your contract at an exploitative rate - and you'll have no choice.

It is highly recommended that you purchase some sort of insurance for your possessions. Sadly, the basic "moving insurance" offered by many moving companies is virtually worthless (it covers all your items at 60 cents a pound, so that if the movers, for example, drop your computer down a flight of stairs, they only owe you the weight of that box multiplied by 60 cents). A better kind of coverage is known as "valuation coverage," which you should ask for by name - most movers don't refer to it as "insurance."

Starting with storage areas like the basement, attic, garage, and closets - those places where we tend to toss too many odds and ends - you should begin inventorying your goods and sifting necessary items from those you can give away or sell. Think of moving as an opportunity to streamline your life and possessions of clutter, to cut away the fat from your lifestyle.

Two weeks before your move, make a point of filling out change-of-address cards. Also contact your doctor about referrals, and get copies of medical and immunization records. (This last detail is especially important if you're moving for school-related reasons; many colleges and universities won't allow you to register for classes until your immunization records are on file.) And, of course, make a point of using up perishable items that can't be moved, such as food and cleaning agents. Drink up that soda before it goes flat!

A month before you move, you'll want to contact power and utility companies about disconnecting electricity, etc., at your old residence and establishing new accounts at your new residence. This is also a good time for making any necessary travel arrangements, double-checking your moving-company contract or moving-truck rental reservation, and transferring bank accounts and auto registrations.

You should also make a point of keeping all essential records in a separate, easily-accessible box or file - and have a "moving toolkit," not to be packed away with your other stuff, and which is clearly labeled as such.
About the Author
Safecutters
, Inc., provides an online store of utility knife box cutters for opening shipping boxes and shipping packages, as well as safety knives to open moving boxes and packages. For more information about Klever Kutter and other Safecutters products contact us!
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