So how can you reduce the hassle and heartache of the Big Day?
John Katz, CMO of FlatRate Moving, the Nation’s “Greenest” moving company, gives us some helpful and very useful advice (FlatRate Moving and Storage is the Nation’s premier provider of all-inclusive pricing for moves large and small and the leading proponent of fair and honest pricing practices. FlatRate is one of the first moving companies in the country to convert to alternative energy).
The first order of business for a move (after the location is set, of course) is to begin the packing. This can feel like the most time-consuming and daunting of all the tasks. So here are some pointers to help you along the way:
John’s Top Packing/Moving Tips:
· First, pack up what you don’t use: Items such as books you do not need can be packed right away. Keep your list up-to-date. Do not make the boxes too heavy for a person to carry, and place heavier objects at the bottom.
· Label all boxes and supplies, and try to pack things in categories (this makes the unpacking process much easier as well).
· Get a good night’s sleep the night before.
· Order boxes and moving supplies early so you can start packing: Moving companies provide boxes that are purpose-made and easily marked. If your moving company allows you to return unused boxes, order more than you think you’ll need (by 20%). Likewise, do not scrimp on tape. It is inexpensive and prevents boxes from splitting open. You need fresh felt tip pens for labelling. Use coloured ready-stick labels to designate boxes for their respective rooms.
· Document your media connections: Take photos of or make notes on how your media equipment is set up: television, sound equipment, modems, and computer equipment. Keep track of your remote controls and wires so you can locate them quickly in your new home.
· Make arrangements for pets: Moving can be particularly stressful for animals. You may want to consider leaving them with a friend or using a professional pet boarding service.
· Plan to care for your valuables and vital documents yourself: Most homeowner’s insurance will not cover property in transit. It may be desirable to insure certain items separately. Remember to take photos in case you need documentation to support loss or damage claims. If the items are irreplaceable (family heirlooms) or complicated to replace (passports and birth certificates), carry them with you.
· Put On Those White Gloves: If you are packing up without the help of movers, purchase a pair of white gloves (as well as bubble wrap, tape guns, foam, garbage bags, old newspapers, coloured Post-It notes, tags, etc.). When it comes to collector’s items, from a baby grand piano to a Picasso, a family heirloom, or even a wardrobe that consists of designer labels such as Prada, Chloe, and Jimmy Choo, it’s vital that these items maintain their mint condition or else they will depreciate in value or become ruined for life.
· Keep your moving receipts for income tax deductions: In many cases, moving expenses are deductible from federal income taxes. If you are moving because of a change in employment, you may be able to claim this deduction even if you do not itemize. Consult your tax preparer. Also note that there is an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers in the economic stimulus plan, signed into law by President Obama. To learn more, visit http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/.
· Start a book about your upcoming move, and keep it in one place: Create a “Move Book” using a large noticeable notebook to centralize all the important details of your move. It should contain any lists you make, including that of labelled boxes. Supplement this with a computer printout of box contents. E-mail this to yourself as a backup so you can also access it remotely.
After the packing is all finished, a good moving company is a must. John tells us, “Good companies guide you through the process and minimize surprises on moving day. They have local knowledge and a proven track record, and they can also advise you on receiving building permissions.”
Even though a move can be tough, we can still keep the environment in mind. John tells us why FlatRate Moving is the leading “Green” moving company. He says they have “eco-friendly trucks, which are designed to reduce the harsh emissions that diesel-run trucks generally produce [and] are very important to moving green. The trucks operate with Diesel Particulate Filters, which reduce hydrocarbons by 50 percent and particulate matter by more than ninety percent over the current 2004 emission standards.
“In addition to these eco-friendly trucks, donating clothing, furniture, and housewares to charity is another green moving must. FlatRate has launched a program in which our clients are able to donate gently used clothing to a charity by placing them in specially marked up-cycling boxes on the day of their move and [that] offers customers free lightly used recycled boxes for their move, not only reducing costs for the consumer but extending the lifespan of the materials.
“And don’t forget the moving facility itself. Through the addition of the new solar power system in FlatRate’s Bronx facility, we anticipate generating close to 100 percent of the building’s energy from the solar panels. This is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint, saving the equivalent of approximately 4,654 gallons of gasoline per year.”
So whether you’re on your first or your thirteenth move, it doesn’t have to sap you of all your strength and money. Follow John’s tips, and your transition may just make you want to pack up and do it all over again.