All About Moving
You may have heard the adage, “Don’t move – improve!” A more complete version of the saying might read, “If you have a choice — don’t move – improve instead. Both moving and improving are stressful, but the fact is that improving – most of the time — is a great deal less expensive than moving.”
Moving involves a myriad of selling costs such as sales commissions, termite repairs, home inspection repairs and closing costs. And don’t forget personalization of the new home (i.e. window coverings, fencing, decorating, etc.). Then there’s the cost of physically moving everything from the old residence to the new one. And by the way, moving can cost as much as 2- to 4-percent of the selling price of your home – a sizable chunk of change!
That’s why renting a moving van is such a popular alternative to hiring it done. Yes, it can be a lot of work. But, the savings can be in the thousands. But, as with anything else, there are tricks that can make moving easier and safer for you and your family — and that can help to minimized breakage.
It is important to know how to properly pack the moving van. And we will cover that aspect of moving in a moment. But even more important is the impact that moving will have on your family. Moving a family means moving children and children don’t always understand the importance of why the family must move. An open discussion will allow a child to express its feelings about moving. Try to provide the positive reasons for the move. A child who clearly understands why the move is taking place will probably be more supportive and enthusiastic. Here is what a major moving company recommends in conjunction with a nationwide survey of child psychiatrists:
• Discuss the moving process with the child.
• Provide an address book for the child to record friends’ addresses, phone numbers and good-bye messages.
• Let the child visit the new home before the move, if possible.
• Let the child visit the new school before the move, if possible.
• Let the child be involved in the move by packing or sorting his or her own belongings.
• Let the child help in the planning of his or her new room in advance of the move.
• Let the child help with planning snacks and food choices during the move.
• Allow the child to pack a special suitcase for his or her treasured belongings (to be hand carried by the child to the new home).
Don’t forget pets. According to a major do-it-yourself moving company, the most common pets – dogs, cats and birds – are easily moved — given certain precautions:
• Make sure the pet is comfortable riding in the car. Plan a few advance outings, especially for dogs, to help the pet adjust.
• See your veterinarian before moving. Obtain a copy of your pet’s medical history and carry those records with you.
• Ask your veterinarian if your pet should be given a sedative for moving day.
• Don’t feed your pet just before departure. Feed it at least several hours before beginning the trip. Feed light meals en route.
• Confine your pet to a pet carrier while traveling. This is especially recommended for cats and small dogs.
• Bring water from your old home for the first few days (traveling or not). Water can vary from area to area and could upset your pet’s stomach.
• Never transport your pet in the van area of a moving van.
• Small pets like hamsters and birds should be moved in their cages.
Once the family is working together as a team then packing becomes a simple function of putting things in well marked boxes and loading them into the moving van in a way that maintains even weight distribution, fragile items in a safe location and light stuff on top. Many moving vans have an area over the cab that is a perfect place for fragile things like mom’s very best china, the stereo and the VCR. In this location it would be impossible for someone in the family to accidentally place a large piece of furniture atop the box that contains dad’s brand new amplifier.
Usually, the heaviest appliances that will be transported are the refrigerator and washer and dryer. A more balanced load will result if the washer and dryer are placed on the opposite side from the refrigerator and as far to the front of the truck as possible. Mattresses can be placed against side walls and then desks, dressers and other easily damaged furniture can be placed with their front side against the mattresses. The furniture helps to hold the mattresses in place and the mattress helps to protect the furniture from being damaged during the move. Usually, tie downs are located on the side-walls of a moving van. Use them to insure that the load is tightly secured. Ask the rental clerk for advise on how to use the tie-downs and how to tie knots that will hold tightly and that will be easy to untie.
Finally, stack boxes that are similar in size and weight. A small, light-weight box underneath a large heavy one can mean crushed goods at the end of the journey. Load light-weight, irregularly shaped items on top of the rest of the load. And make sure to pack a special box with the tools and other essentials you’ll need when you arrive at your destination. Load it last so that it can be unloaded first!