Moving is difficult for a single person. Add a family and it can become an ordeal. It’s not the number of people moving that multiplies the difficulty factor. It’s the conflicting opinions (and temper tantrums) on how to move.
While chaos is a common scenario in a family move, it does not have to be. Cut doubt and uncertainty with a harmonious moving plan. Moving does not have to be a hassle.
Here is a step-by-step plan of action:
Step 1: Rally the troops
Take the family out for dinner for a family meeting. During the meal, delegate leadership. It could be the spouse with more time or the highest level of organization skills. It could also be Joint Chiefs of Staff.
When no-one is in charge, everything is open for negotiation. Arguments abound as people change their minds on how to do things.
Delegate tasks once the family has voted on the leadership structure. Decide who will do what and when it should get done.
Step 2: Get estimates
Pick a moving company to work with based on research. Ask others. Surf the Internet. Once you’ve chosen your moving company, set a date for the agent to visit your home. You need an estimate on how much it will cost to move.
Show the agent what you want to move. Read the brochure on your rights and responsibilities and the carrier’s liability.
Some moving companies like United Van Lines offer you a customized online move planner. Here is how they describe their online resource: “Your customized site provides access to resources and tools such as videos and tips on packing; checklists for before, during and after your move; a moving day countdown; important contact information; and a convenient location to access all of your moving documents.”
Step 3: Book your move.
By booking your move, you accomplish three things:
- You have locked in your moving out date.
- You have confirmed your moving plan.
- You have developed a relationship with a coordinator who can help you with your move.
You will need to notify the following service providers about your move:
- The United States Postal Service.
- Your bank.
- Your insurance agency.
- Your credit card companies.
- Any subscriptions you might have (magazines, lawn services, health clubs, etc).
- Any professional services you might have (lawyers, doctors, accountants)
- Any organizations, clubs, or committees that you might have joined.
It's now time to declutter your home. Go through every closet or storage space in every room in your house. Get rid of stuff through garage sales, online auctions, or goodwill organizations.
Step 7: Update your mover
Contact your mover to update them on the following things:
- · What you have added or subtracted things from your planned move.
- · Any changes in your moving dates because of unexpected schedule shifts.
- · Your destination address.
- · Telephone numbers.
- · Any changes in the moving route. Perhaps, you have some extra stops to make to pick up or deliver things.
- · Any changes you need to make for the auto transport.
Moving away from family is a difficult emotional experience. As blogger Jennifer Andersen put it, "It’s not that I don’t want to go. It’s just that I don’t want to leave."
Call, visit, or have farewell parties to say goodbye to family and friends. It’s important to be thorough, as even distant relatives you haven't spoken to in a while will feel hurt if you just pack up and move without saying goodbye.
Step 9: Prepare for your pets
Make boarding or travel plans for your pets. If moving out of state, take them to a vet for any required health certificates.
Step 10: Take care of final details
There are many little things that you may need to take care of before you leave.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Pick up things you had sent for cleaning or repair.
- Empty your lockers at clubs or gyms.
- Return things you have borrowed, including your library books.
- Get rid of anything that you don’t need to take with you.
- Confirm or cancel any appointments.
On moving day, you should:
- Make sure that everyone is clear on schedules and details.
- The movers don't leave anything behind when loading the trucks.
- Fill out, sign, or review any necessary paperwork. These are things like the High Value Inventory Form and Bill of Lading/Freight Bill.
- Confirm the van operator has your exact destination and phone number.
- Take a last look around the house. Make sure everything is shut-off, disconnected, or shut and locked.
- Be available to accept delivery.
- Check the condition of all your goods.
- Direct where you want all the heavy furniture and appliances to go.
It’s important not to lose the momentum you built up making the move. It’s only too easy to procrastinate. Get the family to appreciate the importance of taking action. Explain how settling in quickly will help everyone enjoy their new life that much faster.