Making A Family Move
While the recession caused many Americans to hunker down and stay in one place, the economic upturn has made moving attractive again. Families seeking new opportunities elsewhere or moving to be near family are both common scenarios, with over 7 million people making long-distance, interstate moves in 2012 according to USA Today. If your family is making a long move in the near future, here are some steps you can take to make it a success.
Start Packing Early
Waiting until the hectic weeks before the move to start packing will just add stress to your situation. Start early. Go through your house and pack up items you don’t use often or won’t need again until after the move. For example, most people can pack up their libraries, out-of-season clothing, extra electronics and holiday decorations without impacting their day-to-day lives. If you have a guest room, pack it up early unless you’re sure you’ll be needing it. Carefully label everything as you go to avoid confusion while unpacking at your new place.
Use a Storage Unit
Some people, in a fit of frugality, start packing up a house that is already full to the brim. Then, frustration and injuries occur as everyone is forced to climb and trip over boxes to continue living in the space during the move. If you have a family of five crammed into a tiny two-bedroom, you probably need a storage unit to create space and give you breathing room. Pack for the type of storage you’ll be using. For example, if you are going to rent storage units in Louisiana that don’t have climate control, you won’t want to pack wax candles, chocolate-making supplies or other items that could be destroyed by heat. The same can be said for cold climates and items that may freeze and burst. Using storage to your advantage will streamline your moving process and help avoid potential injuries.
Gather All of Your Documents
Sit down one evening with a piece of paper and create a comprehensive list of all the documents, records and paperwork you’ll need to gather. If you have children, find their immunization records, order their school transcripts and have their medical and dental records printed. Gather all the statements for your bank accounts, investment portfolios, credit cards, lines of credit, mortgages, vehicle titles and tax returns. Get your own medical and dental records copied. Copy everyone’s identification, passports and Social Security cards. If you’ve adopted a child, copy the paperwork. Place all of this in an accordion-style folder and hand-carry it with you to your new location. Don’t let it out of your sight. These documents will be invaluable if a wallet or purse goes missing during the move or boxes of records are lost or destroyed.
Research Your New Area Ahead of Time
Unless you’re moving back to an area you’ve lived in previously, you may feel lost in new surroundings at first. Research the location of the nearest hospital emergency room and the address of the nearest urgent care facility. Make a short list of dentists and optometrists in the new area. Go on Google Street View and check out the local shopping district for stores you’ll need to visit. If the kids are into sports, look for the local gyms or sport centers. This will help you feel more at-home before you even arrive.
Arrange for Specialty Items to Be Moved
If you own a piano, a full-size harp, expensive artwork or fragile glass work, you may want to arrange for specialty shipping. Work with bonded and insured movers and shippers to protect your most valuable assets, preferably people who have handled such items in the past.
Moving across state lines can be a stressful time. By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to have a calm, well-organized relocation.