8 Ways to Have a Stress-Free Move

by Stephanie Arasim Portnoy | Oct 25, 2006
8 Ways to Have a Stress-Free Move …From the pages of Suburban Home and Garden…

Moving out of your old house into a new home can be one of the most stressful events in a family’s life. Before you start packing, check out the tips that will keep your stress levels low while you and your family embark on an amazing new adventure.

Pack It Up, On the Cheap
One of the first places that moving expenses add up are on supplies like moving boxes, bubble wrap and packing tape. While hardcore moving enthusiasts may like to case out their local grocery store for free boxes, there are affordable online alternatives to the classic dumpster dive. Check out Ebay, Craigslist or Freecycle.org for the opportunity to get quality moving supplies at a discount or, even better, for free.

Hire a Realtor
Gone are the days when you can put a “For Sale By Owner” sign in your yard and back the Brinks truck up to the house. People that sell their homes themselves often receive lower offers and find themselves caught up in a mind-numbing morass of paperwork and legalese. Realtor Wanda Lee McIlvaine of Budd Realty in Woodbury, NJ takes the paper load off her clients by employing a full-time processor who coordinates inspections for her transactions. This includes termite and home inspections, Certificates of Occupancy, underground storage tank testing and well/septic testing. “Coordinating these inspections and seeing to it that the proper documentation is obtained to get you to the settlement table is crucial and time consuming -- I get it done in a timely fashion,” she says.

Ruth Goins, a realtor with RE/MAX in Marlton, NJ, also coordinates her clients’ inspections and documentation. She believes that having one person coordinate everything during a move assures nothing slips through the cracks. Recently, some clients were so impressed with Goins’ service that they gave her Power of Attorney to sign their documents at settlement. “It is so important for you to earn the trust of your clients,” says Goins. “That’s how I know I am doing the job right.”

Utilities Can Make a House a Home
Want to avoid spending hours holding on the phone with 10 different utility companies? Prudential Fox and Roach offers HomEssentials, a one-stop phone/online program where you can painlessly set up the connection and disconnection of all of your household utilities. Additional services the program offers include helping you find a home inspector or mover, and providing coupons for rebates at department stores like Target and Sears. If you’re not represented by a Prudential Realtor, ask your realtor about similar services.

Research Your Movers...As Well As You Can
We’ve all heard the horror stories: a friend of a friend packs all of their worldly belongings into moving company XYZ’s van, only to watch them ride off into the sunset forever. With the moving industry still unregulated, the best way to pick a mover is to rely on the referrals of friends who have had successful moving experiences. Another good idea is to investigate your particular moving company through the Better Business Bureau. While a clean record offers no guarantees, a company with a clean record plus a referral has an excellent chance of offering a move that goes smoothly.

Let Someone Else Do the Deep Cleaning
Susan Lane, a Cherry Hill resident who has moved five times in the past four years, says that hiring a professional cleaning service was her most important step to a less stressful move. Hire a service to do a move-in clean of your new home, ideally before the moving men arrive. Most companies will charge $100 to $350 for the service, depending on the size of the house. It’s a small price to pay to have someone else wiping out the previous owner’s cabinets, mopping floors and cleaning carpets.

Keep a “First Night” Bag at the Ready
Once the movers have left, it’s hard to imagine the comforts of home while sitting in the midst of 300 boxes. Pack a bag that you’ll carry with you in your travels. Inside it pack a towel for each person, a fresh set of pajamas for that night, a fresh set of clothes for the next morning, and a toiletries bag. It’s also inevitable that you’ll forget what box the clean sheets are in, so pack a pair for each person, as well as a Tupperware container full of light bulbs. While candlelight is romantic, it’s probably not how you want to spend the first night in an unfamiliar place.

Put Your Affairs in Order
Despite your best efforts (and the change-of-address card that you dutifully filled out at the local post office), a bill or two is bound to get lost in the mail. Late fees for missing payments can range from $10 to $50 per bill, so make sure that you’ve contacted all your creditors directly. If you pay your bills online, arrange to pay them all a little early during the month of the move.

The Last Tip? Don’t Forget to Tip.
In a report on nydailynews.com, etiquette consultant Jodi R. R. Smith suggests tipping movers $10 to $50 per mover depending on the scope of the move. In addition, you can never underestimate the value to a mover of an unlimited supply of bottled water or the announcement that you’re having pizza delivered. If your movers know you have their best interests in mind, they’ll be more likely to have yours in mind as well.

Find Out More

Ruth Goins
RE/MAX Connection
856.988.1800
RuthGoins@remax.net

Wanda Lee McIlvaine
Budd Realty
856.853.0111 ex. 11
Wanda@BuddRealty.com

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Home and Garden, October 2006.
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Author: Stephanie Arasim Portnoy

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