Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Family Moving Tips

By Brandi M. Seals

Moving can be difficult, especially when little ones are underfoot. Even without children it can be difficult to remember to get everything done before you take that last step out of your home. With so much going on, be sure to make a check list of everything you must accomplish before moving.

A sample check list might include the following:
Disconnect Cable
Disconnect Phone
Disconnect Internet
Turn of Gas
Turn of Electricity
Close or transfer bank accounts if necessary
Forward the mail to the new address
Inform friends and relatives of new address
Update insurance information
Update your information at work, with insurance, and with your credit companies
Pick up moving supplies (boxes, tape, bubble wrap)
Pack everything
Make arrangements to have your items moved
Check all the rooms, drawers, and cupboards for forgotten items
Make sure the fridge is empty
Clean the apartment or home before you move

As you go along, you will discover more and more things you need to get done. One of the key things to remember is to always keep important documents together. Anything that is of vital importance, like birth certificates, medical records, or adoption papers should be kept separate from the rest of the items being moved. If at all possible, take these important documents in your own car. Do not let the movers take them or let them ride with the rest of your belongings in the back of the rented moving truck.

You will want to become a packing pro. Wrap anything breakable in bubble wrap if possible. If you cannot get your hands on enough bubble wrap or you cannot find any, use newspaper instead. Use a couple of layers and make sure items are not packed too tightly. Overcrowding can cause your items to break.

For large items like televisions, computer monitors or mirrors, use blankets. You have to move them anyway. They might as well do double duty. Wrap blankets around these large items and fasten them using masking tape. If the items happen to get jostled or bumped, the blankets will add a little extra protection.

Aside from your possessions, your children need the most attention during a move. The longer the move, the harder things will be on small children. While there is not much you can do to keep the kids entertained during a long car ride, there is plenty you can do to ease the transition your child is about to go through.

Start preparing your child long before you move. Let the kids know what is going on. Tell them you are moving and explain what that means. It may mean they are simply going to live across town and have a longer commute to see friends, or it may mean they will need to adjust to living in totally different city. Make sure they understand what is going on to the best of their ability.

The next thing that will help ease the transition is to save their room for last when packing. Pack up everything else first. Let their room remain normal looking for as long as possible. When it is time to pack up their portion of the house, have your kids help. Let them help put their belongings in boxes and make sure they leave out a few of their favorite toys. That way they will know where their prized possessions are immediately and they can play with their toys in the car on the way to their new home.

If you will be moving across town or somewhere nearby, try to get some of your belongings unpacked before you bring the kids over. Try to make the new place feel like home from the instant the kids walk in the door. There should be some furniture set up and some of the belongings put away.

Regardless of whether you are moving long distance or nearby, your priority should be to get your child's room set up as soon as possible. Put the bed together, move in the furniture and start unpacking. If all that is not practical because some stuff has not arrived with the movers yet, at least show the kids their new rooms and let them play with the toys they have brought along with them.

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