Moving is a huge stress—just like the really bad stuff like divorce and job loss. So even in the best circumstances, household tensions are up there and everyone's nerves are wearing thin. If you're like most of the population, the thing that keeps you awake during the night is the actual move--a weeks or months long process that seems to consume your every waking minute. It is overwhelming for even a very organized and clutter-free person; you have got to pick through and purge and wrap and get boxes and figure out how to put everything in the boxes and take furniture apart and then transport it all from point to point.
This is where a professional, full-service moving company can help and let you focus on your new residence, new job, new schools, and new day-to-day schedule. Whether you are relocating across the neighborhood in Dallas or across the country, everything in your old home must be packed up or gotten rid of. Most people concentrate on the part of the move that involves loading the moving trucks and driving down the street, but like most household projects, the prep work is the iceberg and moving day is only the visible tip. An experienced team of professional full-service movers can help you navigate that iceberg for smooth and stress-free sailing right up to your new front door.
First, you've got to find the right moving company for you. Ask your family or your realtor for referrals, and interview a couple movers to find the right choice for you. If you've never hired movers before, here are a couple crucial questions to ask.
-Are you licensed and insured? Ask to see a current copy of their commercial policy.
-What is your release rate, and what are the options for fine furniture or antiques? Good movers will look over all your items and make note of existing damage or weak spots before they wrap, these days they will take pictures, also.
-Can I pack some items? Do you really pack dirty ashtrays? Most folks want to pack really valuable or delicate things themselves, and most packers are okay with that. However, the pros really know how to wrap delicate items so there is not as much of a chance of damage, and to pack those belongings in boxes so they're safe but not packed too tightly (fun fact: threading packing paper through the handle of a coffee cup or mug and stuffing newsprint into it reduces the chance the cup will break). And most professional movers will ask prior to they pack up full trash cans--the ashtray might have happened but it's most likely an urban legend.
-Will you disassemble beds and furniture and re-assemble them in the new house? Full-service movers are adept at disassembling and reassembling anything from bookshelves to beds. There are hardly any things in life which are a lot more satisfying than a man who knows the tricks of those little cams and bolts. Also, professional movers use their own tools so you are not rummaging through stuff that is already packed to uncover the screwdrivers.
-Do you charge a flat rate or can I pick and choose services? Again, the majority of movers will be flexible on services. But, you could end up paying additional for piecemealing the services. If you think you'll save some buying your own packing supplies, or taking apart furniture, you may want to add up the numbers. When you factor in that you will pay higher prices at moving supply or big box stores and do not know how much you'll really need to buy, and might need to make make several trips, paying the professional packers do it is a better bet.
Now that you have hired the best movers—you are on their schedule for packing and loading and unloading--you can stop worrying about that portion of the move and move on to the nitty-gritty of starting life in a new house.
If you are moving locally in Dallas, you're getting a break in that you can keep the fundamentals of your life the same--same bank, dentist, gym, etc. But if your move is not in the same town and you've got to start rebuilding your network from scratch; the good news is that without the move anxiety taking up your every waking moment, you can get a head start on all the things that turn a new town into a home town.
There are lots of details to pay attention to, so here are some tips to help you prioritize. Now is the time to gather all your important paperwork that are scattered all over and place them into a folder, either digital or a hard copy. You will want to make sure you have birth certificates, social security numbers, medical and immunization records, driver’s license, passports—at some point during the move and settling you will need to be able to find all of these things. Changes in federal and some state laws require two forms of photo government ID, so yes, you do need to dig out your passport and go ahead and renew if it is out of date.
If you have got school-aged kids, getting them sorted into their new environment as smoothly as possible is very important. Call the local Board of Education to validate the documents you need to register in the system. School districts have different proceedures in regard to attendance; some have rigid boundaries and others are more flexible. If you're curious about magnet schools, you'll need those guidelines to register for their programs. For proof of residence, you will likely need to have on-hand a copy of your deed, mortgage, or lease to confirm your address, and usually a utility bill as a secondary form of verification. Also, remember the current immunization records and transcripts from previous providers.
Ask your current doctor for referrals in your new town—there is sometimes a trusted buddy from medical school they can recommend. As so many practices now are part of large corporate networks you may be able to facilitate an easy transition to a provider; if not your insurance carrier can direct you to in-network practices. It is likely to be hit or miss to find the right pediatricians, internists, orthodontists and witch doctors, but be patient and you will find the right one eventually. Do not forget to transfer prescriptions; most likely you'll just have to switch to the new location and keep the same provider.
Utilities and Maintenance
Your realtor may be working with you to make sure all your utilities are turned on and functioning when you arrive at your new house, but you are the one who has to set up the accounts and schedule service. You've got the basics--power, water, and gas--where there is one provider and that is it. Most towns have a number of options for communication services, and if your incumbent provider doesn’t service your new area you will have to find a new one.
If your new neighborhood has an HOA they will have all the relevant information on things like trash pickup, mail delivery and lawn maintenance standards. If you manage your own yard this may be a good opportunity to upgrade the mower and weed eater, if not ask the locals for a good lawn service.
Most states have a fairly narrow timeframe for changing your address on your driver’s license, so take care of that as swiftly as you can. Your cars also need to be registered in your new county or location; taxes vary widely and you may discover a noticeable decrease or increase in your property taxes. You can change your voter registration at most license offices, and obtain the address of your new polling place.
As you can see, simply rebuilding your life for a move is a lot of work, so why would you take on the burden of the physical move when you can employ a full-service moving company manage that for you? Find the right pros for your move so you can have time for the crucial things--like locating a dry cleaner and car wash close to the vet!