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February 24, 2014

Moving Tips and Checklists

A successful move is about more than lifting with your legs or putting the heavy boxes on the bottom. It's about planning, foresight, and a willingness to roll with the punches when things inevitably get stressful. Here are a few helpful moving tips and checklists to help you alleviate moving stress before you even pack a box.

Get Everyone on the Same Page. You should be making checklists for almost every aspect of your move -- rooms to pack, rooms to clean, address changes, etc. -- but don't forget to include everyone on the list-making process. If everyone knows where the master list is, whether it's online or in a brightly-colored binder somewhere, then tasks can be checked off more efficiently and productively, and you won't have to retread the same ground multiple times.

It's About Time. Whether you're moving by yourself, moving by container, or hiring a full-service company, make sure you know the schedule forward and backward. If you're renting a truck, when is the earliest you can pick it up, and what time does it need to be back? If you're moving by container, how much advance notice does the company need to deliver it to your home, and what's the expected arrival time at the new place? And if you're hiring a full-service company, what is the timeframe they've allotted to load the truck, and is there a penalty for going over?

Prepare to Roll With It. No move is perfect, and last minute surprises will always pop up. Sketching out some last minute moving tips and checklists before emergencies happen may save you a heap of trouble and frustration. Designate one person as the store runner if supplies run out (boxes, tape, packing material, etc.). And have a friend with a truck on standby if you underestimate the space inside the truck or storage unit.

Have you found (or come up with) any useful moving tips and checklists in your experiences? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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February 11, 2014

Perfecting the Moving Checklist

The moving checklist can be one of the most important tools you have to ensure your nest move goes smoothly, safely, and efficiently. But making a list is only the first step. What if you need to add a new list? And what if someone needs to change something on the list? Is one person in charge of the list or can anyone modify it? These questions need to be addresses before a moving checklist is made, in order to keep everyone on the same page during your move.

In today's cloud-based and mobile-friendly world, an online moving checklist can be a handy way to keep multiple lists up-to-date and easily accessible to the whole family. Google Drive and similar document-sharing software can track and instantly update changes, but be sure you fully understand the program first -- especially with regards to who can view and edit, and document recovery in the case of accidental deletion.

As high-tech as our world is becoming, there are many people who still feel more comfortable with paper and pen, especially when it comes to checklists. Just be sure to keep all your lists in one central location, like a three-ring binder. In addition to your moving checklists, this binder can also keep your receipts, moving estimates, and schedules. Choose a bright color for the cover, so it's easier to spot in any room.

But all the best moving tips and tricks in the world, whether high-tech or low-tech, can't replace solid communication. If anyone needs to change something on a paper list, be sure they initial and date the change (this is also a good idea for anyone checking off a task). If you're using a cloud-based moving list, check your settings to be sure everyone is notified in the event of a modification. And if a big change has occurred, don't be afraid to give everyone a verbal heads-up as well, so you know the information gets noticed.

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January 31, 2014

Lists Lists and More Lists

Each year in the United States, approximately 17% of the population relocates to a new home -- that's over 40 million people. It's no wonder Americans are always in search of the most efficient, cost-effective, and stress-free way to move, and why so many online resources have become available to help people on their journeys, whether in the form of moving tips and checklists, or moving cost calculators to estimate your final bill. In that spirit, today's article is about checklists, and how to get the most out of your planning time.

  • Pre-Lists
    The main advantage of checklists, of course, is to do them beforehand, and check them off as you go. But you may surprised at the number of lists you really need:
    • A list of items to be sold in a yard sale, garage sale, or Craigslist, as well as items to be donated.
    • A list of the rooms you've packed.
    • A list of the rooms you've cleaned.
    • A list of "last out, first in" items -- important things you know you'll use right up to the last minute in the old house and immediately once you're in the new one (phone charger, coffee maker, toilet paper, etc.).
    • A list of places that will need to know your new address -- credit card companies, banks, the post office, magazine subscriptions, utilities, employers, etc.
    • A list of maintenance tasks, such as patching nail holes, replacing stair rails, or reinstalling water fixtures (say, if you've installed water filters or your own massaging shower head).
  • Moving Day Schedule
    While not a list, per se, your moving day schedule is still vital to a smooth and hassle-free move, to make sure you have plenty of time to do the things you need to do. If you're renting a truck, be sure to plan some wiggle room if there are any snags with your reservation. If you're using mobile moving and portable storage units, be sure to call the company far enough in advance to have the unit at your home and ready to load. And mark down when you're expecting any of your helpers to arrive.

While you won't need to make a list after you move, you will want to go over your lists to make sure you didn't miss anything. If you ran into any snags, jot down some pointers on how you got through it, or what you learned. And be sure to keep all those moving tips and checklists! You can use them as a quick reference and handy starting point for the next time you move, which is yet another way to save you time and stress.

Do you have any moving tips and checklists that weren't covered here? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

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