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Relocating

What a job! You have to completely relocate to a new city, and maybe a new country. Where to live? Where to send the children to school? How to establish your new life in a new culture. We will refer you to a caring agent who understands and can help.

Staying organized is key to a relaxed move. Lists are helpful, and many moving companies provide checklists that will help remind you of all the things you need to do during a move. There are many Web sites that offer moving tips and checklists on the Internet.

A month or more before you move, contact a moving company if you will be using professional movers. Ask friends for referrals. Get several quotes and ask for references. Be sure to check their coverages, and be very specific on what their charges are and what is included. For instance some movers charge more if stairs are involved, or if the move occurs during a weekend.

Consider the kids. If you are relaxed, they won't get as tense, but they should definitely be involved in the process. Keep them posted on the steps of the move, and allow them to help by packing their own things. All kids struggle with a change in routine so you'll want to give them some extra attention at this ime. If possible, enlist other family members to help keep them busy and provide encouragement.

This is the time you want to start using up stores of frozen or canned food and cleaning supplies, as they can be inconvenient to move. Get all the supplies you need, such as boxes, tape and bubble wrap and slowly start packing the things you aren't using.

Two weeks before you move, arrange to have the utilities switched over to your new address (then double-check to be sure it was done). Review the home that you will be moving into to be sure that there are window coverings and other essentials, and that it is clean. File your change of address with the Post Office, banks and insurance companies.

One of best ways to reduce stress during a move is to allow some extra time if at all possible. This means having a few days to move your possessions, and clean up the property before the new occupants move in. If time is short, clean as you pack: pack up a room, clean it, and close the door.

Be sure to watch out for your pets. Many animals escape during the commotion of a move. They should be kept in a closed room that is off-limits, or even sent to the house of a friend or relative. If a pet gets lost or injured, it will dramatically add to the stress of a move.

Don't bother to move things you no longer want or need. Sell them or give them away. This may be the time to indulge in some new furnishings! Pack up the remaining items in boxes, labeling them as you go so that you can unpack them in order. If using professional movers, they may need to do some of the packing for insurance reasons, but you can label the boxes as you supervise the move.

Videotaping or photographing your things is a good idea just in case you need to make an insurance claim. You may also want to record the condition of the walls in tight areas. Even the best moving companies can have mishaps.

You will want to keep certain things with you: small, valuable possessions such as jewelry, important documents and a record of the serial numbers of all electronics. If you can, transport glassware and pictures yourself. This will reduce the potential for breakage and give you peace of mind. You should transport your house plants, and many people also prefer to move their own computers


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