Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor®
Philadelphia Main Line Homes and Real Estate
Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties
Relocation Specialist
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E-mail: jp4re@pahomes.com
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Subject: Planning A Moving Experience For Your Family

We all know moving is a lot of work, even when you hire professionals. But if you start the moving process early, you will find it can be a positive experience for your entire family. Begin with pre-moving planning and organizing. Perhaps you can appoint one family member who can and will coordinate the move without procrastinating.

Here are several tips you can use that may help you save time, money and frustration.

What, Where, and When Decisions. Before you call a moving company, decide: What, Where, and When... early in the planning. What's the best way to dispose of items you don't want or need in your new home? Identify furnishings that won't fit and things your family has outgrown. Keep receipts if you give to charity.

Try to arrange your move during the least busy period of the month. A high percentage of moves occur during the last week, and the busiest months are in the summer.

Who Will Move You? Before you decide whether to move yourself or to have a professional move you, answer these five questions: Do you have adequate physical strength and endurance? Do you have at least two helpers, at least one who is stronger than you are? Can you be sure to have adequate time off work to complete the move on schedule? Will your homeowners policy cover potential loss in case of accident en route? Can you carry everything through doorways, up stairs without damage?

If you plan to use a moving company, you may want to ask your real estate professional if they have information on discounted programs or special offers. Frequently, your real estate professional can put you in touch with a moving counselor who will refer you to the van line company best suited to handle your move.

If you decide to move on your own, you your real estate professional should be able to refer you to attractive discounts on truck and equipment rentals.

Packing for Your Move. Packing is both art and science -- art in combining just the right items in each box to arrive damage-free, science in producing an inventory that enables you to quickly find anything you need at a moment's notice after arriving in your new home. Some helpful hints:

When possible, combine items that will go together in your new home. Pack heavy items in smaller, heavy duty cartons.

Clearly mark room destination on the top and at least one side of every box.
Remember, your mover won't know which child is which, so tag bedroom boxes with "BR-1" or "BR-2" and tape the same tags on appropriate bedroom doors.

Be sure to have these items readily available: children's health records (schools require proof of immunization), documentation for your lender including back tax returns, last two pay stubs, bank statements for last six months.

Pets, Plants and Perishables. Moving is especially tough on pets. Have them groomed one day prior to moving day and make plans early for their transit to your new home. Some states don't permit plants to cross the state line. You may want to plan to give away your plants to people in your old neighborhood who you know will appreciate them. Four weeks prior to moving, begin the process of winnowing down your freezer's contents to avoid trashing large quantities of food.

Records, Valuables, Notifying Utilities. Gather records and memorabilia and make plans to move them as carefully as possible. Make sure you take special care of family, medical and tax records; diplomas; school records; family genealogies; pictures; business, social organizations and other memorabilia.

Notify utilities, magazine publishers and others before the move. Check this list of businesses to be notified: electric power company, water company, natural gas supplier, local telephone companies, long distance telephone company, cable television company, Internet providers, stock brokers, mutual funds, credit cards, banks, magazines, newspapers, book clubs, religious organizations, country clubs, health clubs, social organizations and fraternal organizations.

Moving Ideas for Kids. Everyone knows moving is stressful to adults. For children, a move can be downright frightening. You should communicate openly and realistically with all family members about your move as early as possible.

Be sure to tell children what is happening and include them in the process of selecting the new home, if possible. If children feel included in the decision-making process, and "take ownership" of their new home, the transition will be much easier for them. Help them to visualize themselves in their new home before you make the move.

Bring pictures from the new home and school, as well as special things about the area, according to their interests. Ask a new coach, scout leader or teacher to call your child. Talk with your child about the enhanced quality of life that your new home can bring and invite them to ask questions.

Allow them to bring a special symbolic item from your old home or neighborhood. Don't try to get rid of children's favorite items at this time, even though it might make moving simpler. And you should never throw away personal belongings behind a child's back. Talk through with your child what goes and what stays. Allow them to make decisions by limiting their choices.

Share the excitement and responsibilities for the move with the entire family. If every family member takes responsibility for an age-appropriate part of the move, yours can be an easy move.

For more ideas on how to make for an easier move, you may obtain a free copy of PRS EasyMoves® Magazine by calling (800)643-7732. The magazine is designed to help you organize, understand, and facilitate the entire process from selling your existing home and buying a new one, to moving tips, decorating ideas, and assistance with furniture placement. With careful planning and thoughtful implementation, your moving experience can bring you to your new home safely and happily.

"Real Service in Real Estate." For a personal consultation on buying or selling real estate, Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor® can be reached at (610) 642-3744, e-mail: jp4re@pahomes.com. Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors® is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.

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