Summer Moving Tips (Part 3)

This is our final installment of summer moving tips.  Check out this list for more information on making your summer move as painless and stress-free as possible.  Here we go…

  1. Children.  If summer heat is difficult on adults working outside while moving into their new Edmond, Oklahoma home, think about how it affects children.  Best advice, especially for younger children is to set up a babysitter to take care of your toddlers during moving day.  This way they won’t be underfoot among a forest of adults, and are less likely to be stepped on or to suffer adversely with the summer temps.  If babysitting is not an option, why not set up a safe play area in one of the bedrooms for children to stay put and keep themselves occupied?  How about assigning one of the older children to be the playroom monitor just to keep an eye on the others while adults get down to the business of loading and unloading the moving truck?
  2. Pets.  Summer heat is hard on our domestic pets too, but unlike children, they can’t tell us necessarily when something’s wrong.  Do you have a pet-sitter option available for moving day?  Is there a safe, cool place for Rover and Felix to be so they’re not in the way on moving day?  The last thing you want is for one of your animals to get loose outside at your new home before they become acclimated to their new surroundings and neighborhood.  No pet-sitter options available?  Just like with children you can set up one safe-zone room for your pets, or even cage them if necessary.  And lastly, with children and pets, make sure they have plenty of water, snacks, and potty breaks.
  3. Take pictures of all your electronic device wiring hookups BEFORE you unhook them prior to your move.  Make it easy for yourself when setting up shop in your new home.  DVD players, flat screen TVs, stereo systems, video gaming consoles, etc. can become their own little nightmare at the end of a long day of laboring with furniture and heavy boxes.  The last thing you want to do when you just want to sit down and turn on the tube is to struggle getting everything wired and working correctly.  Take a few quick snapshots of your wiring beforehand and setup at the end of your move will be a snap.

Summer Moving Tips (Part 2)

Here’s our next installment of summer moving tips:

  1. Transfer Utilities.  The last thing you want during a hot summer moving day is for the electricity to be turned off when you arrive at your new home.  Communicate with all utility companies to be sure everything is turned on at your new Edmond, Oklahoma home prior to move in day, and that everything will be shut off and accounts closed at the old home after you move out.  Shutting the utilities off too soon at the old home while you’re still loading the moving truck will make you just as cranky as not being able to turn on the air conditioner when you arrive at your destination to unload.
  2. Communicate your new address.  Email your new street/mailing address to everyone who may need it including family, friends, the office, and venders and service providers.  Drop off a change of address notice at your local post office to make sure you don’t miss any important correspondence or bills.  Any transitory mail will now be forwarded to your new location.  And finally, keep an eye out for mail labeled by the post office as having been forwarded, then communicate your new address to the sender so your next bill, letter, or magazine will come to you direct.
  3. Consider moving insurance to cover full value of your belongings.  This is not as much a summer moving tip as it is pertinent to all seasons and every family’s relocation.  Other insurance covering 60% of value will not replace some of your property that is more likely to be damaged in transit like large flat-screen televisions.  Evaluate your need for insurance and move in peace.

Summer Moving Tips (Part 1)

The last four months may or may not have posed some seasonal issues for folks packing up and relocating.  Now summer’s practically here and some of you are contemplating making a move to a new Edmond, Oklahoma home, and June, July, and August moves, however, tend to have their own set of unique challenges for a family including heat, dehydration, and overall planning.  Never fear!  Submitted for your review is the first part of our list of top summer moving tips.

  1. Decide if you’re going to do it yourself or hire a moving company.  Depending on your budget and motivation you may consider hiring a company to take care of all or part of the move for you.  If you’re hiring, get estimates and compare them to make sure you’re getting the service level you really need at a fair price.  You may decide you’re going to pack everything yourself but hire a company only to load the truck, drive your belongings to your new home, and unload the truck.  If you’re doing the job or any part of the move yourself make sure to have plenty of refreshments, including water and sports drinks for both your volunteer helpers and the hired hands.
  2. Start packing early.  This is especially important if moving day is in the middle of the summer heat.  Starting the packing job early accomplishes many things.  First, the more work you get done while the weather is milder decreases the amount of work you’ll have to do when the thermometer is reaching for the sky.  Packing early also helps to de-clutter your current home, which is a great boon especially if you don’t yet have a buyer lined up for it.  This leads us too…
  3. De-clutter.  This one is important.  Since you’re starting to pack well ahead of moving day, why not take the time to get rid of any of those old belongings you’ve been meaning deal with for so long.  Moving is the great opportunity to have a garage sale or donate useful items to charity.  There really is no sense moving all that clutter from one home to the next.  And if there’s anything whose usefulness is long past try to recycle it.  As a last resort, if it won’t recycle escort it to the trash.  Don’t take it to your new home!

How Far Will Your Dollar Stretch in a New City?

Your career is primed to take a new step – maybe even a giant step – forward.  You have been offered a new promotion and opportunity, both dependent on moving your family to Dallas, Texas, or Atlanta, Georgia, or Seattle, Washington…or Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Not all cities and states are created equal, or maybe it would be more accurate to say, The cost of living in all cities and states is not equal.

Before we go too far let’s start with the government’s share of your new paycheck.  Yes, you’re still going to have to pay Federal taxes every year, and you may even be moving up a tax bracket (or two) with the new promotion.  But what about state taxes?  How much would you expect to pay in Texas, or Georgia, or Washington compared to where you live right now?  Does your current or destination location even have state income taxes (Texas and Washington have no state income tax, and Georgia’s ranges from 1 – 6%, for example).  My point: Don’t forget to take into account Uncle Sam’s share when reviewing your family’s potential new income and considering a move to further your career.

Back to cost of living.  Here’s a handy tool to help you see just what you can expect to pay, more or less, for the same products, services, utilities, housing, transportation, and health care, comparing your potential new city with where you’re currently living.

Better to have an idea up front on potential changes to the family budget before you pack up and move.  You know what they always say, Knowledge is power…And congratulations on your promotion!

Cut Costs on Your Next Move

When you decide it’s time to purchase a new home you generally visit a mortgage lender first to get pre-approved for the loan so you can calculate just how much home you can afford.  Translation here being purchase price and monthly payments.  This way you know the financial situation you’re getting into before stepping one foot into your first potential Edmond, Oklahoma dream home.  Very prudent.

But there are many other costs involved when buying a house beyond the actual home.  One of those costs is the move.  The actual packing up, transportation, and unloading of all your personal property, and whether you’re moving across the street or across the country you will have to plan to cover certain expenses.  Today’s blog has some helpful tips on how to save money on getting from point A to point B.

  1. Move yourself.  You do the packing, loading, driving, and unloading with the help of a handful of friends and family who don’t mind loaning you their muscle for on a Saturday afternoon.  This is by far the best way to save money.  Now if you simply can’t do it yourself, and the thought of manhandling furniture and appliances is just too much, why not hire movers to take care of the heavy lifting only?  You can still pack all your other belongings on smaller, more manageable boxes to move yourself.  Moving companies charge by weight.  The more you move on your own, the less you have to pay for.
  2. Shop moving companies.  If you do decide to go with a professional moving company shop around.  By simply comparing prices and options you will make sure you get the right service for you for less.
  3. Schedule your move for off peak times.  Moving companies are less busy in the fall and early winter than other seasons, and less busy weekdays than weekends.  If you have the flexibility, schedule your move mid-week during the off-season to find better deals.
  4. Check with your insurance agent to see if your homeowner’s or renter’s policy covers your personal belongings during a move.  If so you can avoid the additional expense of purchasing insurance just to cover you during the trip.
  5. Save packing materials instead of purchasing new.  Enlist friends and family to start saving boxes for you months before your move.  Use newspaper and clothing to pack fragile belongings.


Moving Your Car Cross-Country

You got the big promotion (or maybe the little one) which requires you to move your family from Edmond, Oklahoma to, let’s say, Walla Walla, Washington.  A hypothetical situation for sure, but one that plays out thousands of times every month in our country, motivating families to uproot, pack up, and move cross-country in pursuit of the American dream.

The situation that pops up for many moving long distance is how to move additional family vehicles to the new home.  Of course if you have multiple cars you probably have multiple drivers in your family, so option one is for your spouse or driving-aged child to get behind the wheel.  The problem with this route is it often doesn’t sit very well with Mom and Dad.  The move is an adventure, and to start this new chapter in separate vehicles or to spend it worried about Junior falling asleep behind the wheel, or his lack of highway time contributes to undue stress.

The alternative is to ship your car to the new home.  Pricing varies as widely as services available (and company experience).  You can ship your car in a covered trailer, a choice popular among owners of vintage and collector cars.  You can also employ an open vehicle transporter, like the kind you see on the highways every day.  These are the same trailers car dealerships receive their inventory on.  There are even door-to-door services available including at home pickup and delivery of vehicles.  Just know you will pay a premium for these extras.  My best suggestion is to check out this article on tips for shipping your vehicle, and finding and qualifying a company to do the job for you.

After You Buy

All the papers are signed, house keys have passed across the table, and you leave the closing with an arm full of paperwork asking yourself, “Okay, now what?”  After the obvious, moving into your new Edmond or Greater Oklahoma City home, there are still a few important tasks you’ll want to address before you get too far past day one of this new chapter in your family’s story.

  1. Move in.  Yes, obvious, however, don’t be surprised when you move into your new home that you discover some slight blemishes you hadn’t seen before the last owners moved out.  Contracts generally state the property will be left in “broom clean” condition for the new owners.  This does not mean spotless.  So when you find a few scuff marks on the walls don’t panic.  This may be your opportunity to give the interior a fresh, clean coat of paint, and have the carpets steam cleaned or even replaced.
  2. Store those important closing papers.  If nothing else they will help you and your tax preparer establish deductions on your next round of tax returns.
  3. Protect it, and everything in it.  You undoubtedly obtained a new homeowner’s insurance policy for the new home.  Great start.  Now complete a video inventory of all your personal belongings in the home as part of your documentation for the insurance company.  Speak to your insurance agent for tips on how best to complete your video, and be sure to keep your video log in a safe place like a safety deposit box at a bank.

Ugh, Time to Unpack!

The movers, like Elvis, have left the building.  Beds are assembled, the family is exhausted, and it’s getting late.  You are finally all moved in to your new Edmond or Greater Oklahoma City area home, and all in all you have to admit it was a job well done.  Everyone has earned a good night’s sleep.  See you in the morning…

You wake, and even though it was your first night in a new home you slept straight through till morning.  Then you sit up in bed, and that’s when your heart sinks.  Your first thought is you’re surrounded by moving boxes.  Your second thought is no better: every room in the house is inundated with boxes, and suddenly you’re not quite so ready to attack the day.

Here are a handful of tips to make the insurmountable unpacking job seem less like a mountain of work:

  1. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so your unpacking job doesn’t have to be completed in 24 hours.  If you keep this in mind the task at hand will be less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
  2. Unpack essentials in the kitchen and bathroom first.  When nature calls there’s no time to search for toilet paper.  Unpack needed toiletries, hand soap, towels, and the first aid kit for the bathroom, and like handy essentials for the kitchen so you’re prepared when break time comes around.
  3. Take care of the family/living room next.  Sketch out where furniture goes first instead of moving these bulky items more than you have to.  Unpack enough to where you feel like you at least have one room in your new home where everyone can congregate together comfortably, with seating for all, and without fear of a tower of boxes falling on them.
  4. Assist children in the placement of heavy furniture, bookcases, etc. in their rooms, then empower them to unpack and set their rooms up to their liking.
  5. You may very well have set all the family beds up on the first night.  If not, why not have a family campout in one room by pushing mattresses together on the floor and starting your unpacking challenge out as an adventure?

New City, New Home

You’re all moved in, mostly unpacked, and you start your new job in your new city on Monday.  The problem is that was last Monday.  Or was that two, five, or ten Mondays ago?  For some reason – whether it’s the nature of your business, or maybe you’ve just always been a shy person – it’s been difficult to turn your new house and your new city into a new home.  If you’re moving into Edmond or the Greater Oklahoma City area, or you’ve already been here for some time, here are some tips to get plugged into your new community and start turning all those neighbors and coworkers into friends and extended family.

  1. Volunteer.  If you often find it difficult to step out of your comfort zone for your own benefit what about for someone else’s benefit?  Check with local food share programs, churches, etc. for opportunities to donate your time helping others and you might just discover a personal connection with other local like-minded people.
  2. New to you.  Visit new restaurants, patronize local small businesses, or take a different route home.  This small step outside your normal routine forces you to see what else is out there.  You never know, you might discover your new favorite after-hours hangout, sushi bar, or pizza parlor.
  3. Join a club, take a class.  Fitness can be fun, and a social opportunity.  So you’re not into lifting weights.  So what?  What about ballroom dancing, fencing, yoga, or a spinning class?  Try something new, meet someone new.
  4. Old habits.  What activities did you participate in in your old city?  Why not pick up where you left off?  If you used to play on the company softball team, does your new office have a team?  Do you like live music?  Check with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for sports leagues, non-athletic social opportunities, and events supporting the arts.

Moving With House Plants

Before the move:

  1. At least a week before moving day you want to make sure your Greater Oklahoma City house plants are free of pests.  If you discover you do in fact have bugs you still have time to treat the plant and get rid of the problem so you don’t have to take it along with you and your plant to your new home.
  2. Transplant your plants into non-breakable pots for the trip and avoid unexpected messy clean-ups along the way.
  3. Prune plants back for the trip so they are easier to move.  This works well for most house plants, except for ferns and succulents.

Moving day:

  1.  Last in.  If your plants are being stored in enclosed containers for the trip be sure there are holes poked in the top of their boxes.  Consider draping a damp cloth over leaves for the trip to help them retain moisture, and as with children and pets, make your plants one of the last things you load right before hitting the road.
  2. Along your travel route be careful to keep the moving vehicle interior from getting too hot or too cold.  If you’re moving during the summer be sure to park in the shade during rest stops.  For the winter, park in the sun to help keep the vehicle warmer while you’re inside visiting restrooms and purchasing snacks for the next leg of the trip.
  3. First out.  Just like making the plants the last thing you load prior to your departure, make sure they’re first off the van or truck when you reach your destination.  Get plants out in the open and watered, but be careful not to over expose them to the sun, especially if you’re new home is in a new climate.