One Month Before Moving
Gather moving supplies, boxes, tape, rope.
If moving far away, make any necessary travel arrangements like
airline, hotel, and rental car reservations. Or plan your travel
route if driving.
Call a moving company or make truck rental reservations to move
Finalize real estate and apartment rental needs.
Place legal, medical, and insurance records in a safe and accessible
Use the Change of Address form to tell the Post Office of your
Give your mailers your new address:
· Friends and family members
· Banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions
· Doctors, dentists, and other service providers
· Provincial and Federal Tax authorities and any other government
agencies as needed.
You can do this by sending them Address Change Notification Cards
or, for magazine publishers and business mailers, by following their
Save moving receipts (many moving expenses are tax deductible).
Order or buy maps of your new neighborhood to familiarize yourself
and your family with your new area. Call me your free metro Metro
MLS street map showing area boundaries.
Plan your moving budget
Two Weeks Before Moving
- Call to get new cable service for your new home.
- Inform long distance phone company of your move. Sign up for long
distance service at your new address.
- Recruit moving-day help.
- Confirm travel reservation.
- Two Weeks Before Moving Inform gas, electric, water, cable, local
telephone and trash removal services of your move. Sign up for services
at your new address.
- Arrange to close or transfer your bank account, if appropriate.
The Day Before Moving
- Set aside moving materials like a tape measure, pocket knife, packing
boxes, tape and markers.
- Pick up rental truck.
- Check oil and gas in your car.
- If traveling, make sure you have tickets, charge cards, and other
MOVING WITH KIDS
How to Make it Easier For Them by Katharine Canfield
Moving can be as challenging as it is exciting. Sometimes more so.
Moving is as hard for kids as it is for adults. They, too, are leaving
behind familiar places and important friends. They, too, are starting
over: seeking new friends and adjusting to a new home, neighborhood,
and school. But because they're still learning how to socialize and
how to effectively get their needs met, children need caring adults
to listen and help them adjust to their new home, now more than ever.
If you're a parent contemplating a move, this article's for you. By
considering a move in three stages - before, during, and after - and
thinking about your children's needs during each stage, you can make
a big difference in how your kids feel about the move and how they adjust
BEFORE THE MOVE:
Tell your children about the move as soon as you can. The more time
they have to think about and prepare for the move, the easier it will
be for them.
Give your children a chance to express their feelings, and try to be
honest about your own feelings. Most children will feel some anger,
sadness, or worry about the move. These responses are natural, and kids
who have a chance to express them will work through their doubts more
easily. Gently tell your children about any sadness you may feel about
leaving or uncertainty about a new home, job, or city. This will reassure
them that they aren't alone in having worries or concerns.
Help older children prepare a list of phone numbers and addresses of
close friends, relatives, and other important people in their lives.
Knowing they can stay in touch with these people is an important part
of a successful move.
If your kids are old enough, let them participate in decision making.
Have the kids keep a notebook of potential new homes with the positives
and the negatives listed.
If you are able to, before you move take your children to your new
home and explore the new neighborhood and town or city together. If
this isn't possible, take pictures of your new home, the schools your
kids will attend, a nearby park, and anything else that would be interesting
Make a scrapbook containing pictures of your pre-move home, friends,
and other mementos of your life together.
Call the principal of your children's schools, and try to set up a
meeting with their teachers or, if they're in junior high or high school,
guidance counselor. The new school may even be able to give you names
of students in your child's class who live near your new home. If so,
you may want to drop by to meet them and their families before you move
Try to line up some activities in which your child can participate
after the move: a sports team, music lessons, art classes, a scouting
troop. Not only will activities like these keep your children involved;
they'll also help them to feel like part of a group - an important aspect
of settling in. Try to sign up for more than one activity in case one
falls through or doesn't go well.
If you can, try to meet families in your new neighborhood before you
move. Being familiar with people when you move in will help your children
feel more at home.
DURING THE MOVE:
Remembering What's Important
Throughout the move, stay as upbeat and calm as you can; a good plan
makes this possible. Your own mood will impact other family members,
especially babies, who are particularly sensitive to their mother's
feelings. With older children, it's important to be honest about some
of the uncertainties you have, but also to be generally optimistic about
the move and the positive ways it will affect the family.
Involve your kids in the packing. Older kids can put their own belongings
in boxes, and kids of all ages will enjoy decorating the boxes containing
their things. Doing so will also make finding your children's things
easier once you're at the new house!
Try to stick to your routines. Have meals at the same times as always.
If your kids nap, encourage them to lie down at the usual time. Keep
to the normal bedtimes.
Don't pack things that your children treasure. Take special blankets,
beloved stuffed animals, favorite books, and other prized items in a
separate bag or box that you can bring with you in the car or on the
plane when you go to your new home.
Help your children say good bye to the important people in their lives.
For their friends, a pizza or make-your-own sundae party is a fun way
to celebrate the friendship. An album or poster with photos of good
times together will add to the celebration. If your children are comfortable,
encourage hugs at the end of the party. With neighbors or other special
adults, you may want to set up a time to stop by and say good bye as
Expect the unexpected: few moves go smoothly, anticipate trouble (predict
it!) and have a positive, "can do" attitude.
AFTER THE MOVE:
Don't spend too much time unpacking - at least not right away! Sure,
the essentials are important to unload and you want the house to feel
settled. But wait on the less important stuff. In the first few days,
take time to enjoy your new home with your family. Take walks. Check
out local restaurants and take-out spots. Introduce yourselves to your
new neighbors. Spend time at the park.
Be on the look-out for neighborhood kids, and help introduce your children
to them. If it's comfortable for you and your children, invite some
of the neighborhood kids over for pizza or a video.
Let your children have some input in planning on the new house, especially
in choosing things to buy for their rooms. Even if you don't follow
through on their ideas, it's important to listen to what they think.
Be tactful if you choose another option, and let some decisions be entirely
up to them - for example, the placement of their bed or the color of
the rug or paint in their bedroom.
Get involved: church groups, synagogues, YMCA and activity clubs, etc.
enable socializing. If a couple of months have gone by and your child
seems unusually troubled, ask a doctor, guidance counselor, or principal
if you need a referral. Signs that your child may need help: unusual
academic difficulty; ongoing irritability; trouble with peers; changes
in sleep or eating habits; a generally despondent mood. Give them time,
this behavior can last for 4-5 months for teens.
Above all, listen. Try to be there when your kids get home after the
first day at their new schools, even if it means having to leave work
early that day. Regularly ask how things are going, and take time to
listen. Sometimes kids have a hard time opening up; spending relaxed
time together may help them to bring up whatever is on their minds.
For children and adults, it takes time to feel at home. With your understanding
and patience, your children will be reassured that, after a while, things
will get easier; everything won't feel so new; and that home is, after
all, wherever the family is.
For more information on moving with children and moving in general,
see the book Smart Moves: Your Guide through the Emotional Maze of Relocation
by Nadia Jensen, Audrey McCollum, and Stuart Copans. Smith & Krauss.
To order a copy for $16.95, call 1-800-895-4331. The ISBN is 1575250861.
MOVING YOUR PET
GET THOSE DOGGIES MOVING:
And Those Cats, Birds, Fish, Reptiles and Small Mammals
by W. Bradford Swift D. V. M.
If pets are a part of your family, remember that moving, whether down
the block or across the country, is just as stressful for them as it
is for you. But this stress can be greatly reduced with good planning
and the tips that you'll find here. "Animals can sense and react
to stress just like people," says Dr. William Fortney, a veterinarian
at Kansas State University. "Anything we can do to make it easier
on them can make recovering from the move easier on us." Here are
some suggestions from top veterinarians, zoo experts and experienced
pet owners on how to minimize the stress of moving with pets. Read the
general guidelines, then check out the specific pets that make up your
Keep your pets' routines as regular as possible as you prepare to
move. If you normally feed, exercise or play with them at a certain
time, continue to do so. During the final crunch of moving, you may
find it works best to keep your pet either at a friend's house or a
kennel, reducing the chance of your pet getting upset and running away,
or in the case of cats, hiding in a box about to be shipped.
Keep some form of identification on the pet at all times and be sure
you have current pictures along with a written description available.
This will reduce a lot of stress should your pet escape. If the length
of the move requires the animal be provided with food and water, be
sure the food is bland and easily digested and that the water comes
from your home supply. Changing diet or water sources are common causes
of diarrhea and vomiting from upset stomachs. If in doubt, check with
your veterinarian for food recommendations.
Prior to moving, schedule a visit with your veterinarian for a thorough
physical exam, making sure all vaccinations are current, especially
the rabies vaccination. While at your veterinarian's office, get copies
of your pets' records and check to see if he can recommend another veterinarian
at your new location. If your pet is on any medication be sure to have
an ample supply so you won't run out before getting settled in your
new location. Also discuss with your veterinarian whether your pet should
be tranquilized during the move. If so, get enough to try it out prior
to the move to be sure the dosage works properly.
Since each state has different laws and regulations regarding the importation
of animals and some counties and municipalities have their own ordinances,
check with a veterinarian in the new area to be sure your pet complies.
It is important to do this several weeks before your move to allow time
for all paper work to be completed.
Temperature extremes should be avoided. In most cases, it's best to
transport your animal in a sturdy, insulated carrier to help regulate
the changing temperature. Never leave a pet in a hot car during the
summer time or a cold car in the winter.
If you are transporting the pet by plane, try to book a direct flight
to minimize the time the animal may be sitting outside the plane in
inclement weather conditions. Some airlines provide counter-to-counter
service so your pet will be carried on and off the plane by an airline
employee. While this service costs a little more, it may be worth it
for your peace of mind.
Cats are notorious for getting into trouble during the moving process
since they are particularly sensitive to stress. "Stress for a
cat involves three things," says animal behaviorist and psychologist,
John Wright, author of Is Your Cat Crazy? "It involves reaction
to novelty -- cats don't like novelty. They like sameness. It involves
reaction to unpredictability -- cats don't like events to be unpredictable.
The third thing is the degree of control-- cats don't like to be out
of control. When you move, you have a high degree of all three, until
things settle down."
For these reasons it is particularly important to maintain your cat's
normal routine. During the move itself, keep your cat confined to one
room with food, water, a litter pan, some favorite toys, and the carrier
you plan to use so your cat can get used to it. The door should be locked
or have a large, "Do Not Open" sign on it, so the movers won't
inadvertently let the "cat out of the bag."
Transport your cat in a well constructed cat carrier large enough to
have room for food, water and a small litter box. Upon arrival at your
destination, place the cat and carrier in one secure room with at least
two doors between the cat and the outside. Open the door of the carrier
and let the cat decide when to come out. Allow your cat to become acclimated
to the one room before releasing him to the rest of the house. If the
cat scurries for cover when you open the door, wait a day or two longer,
then try again. Let the cat explore other rooms of the house when it
meets you at the door.
If your cat is accustomed to going outdoors, wait several days after
arriving at your new home before letting the cat out, placing him on
a leash or harness for short exploratory trips. After 2 or 3 days of
these trips, you can begin to let your cat out on its own.
Dogs are generally easier to move than cats since they aren't as
affected by the stress. A few special considerations to keep in mind
include being prepared to clean up after your dog at rest stops. Carry
a roll of paper towels and disposable plastic bags. Place a piece of
paper towel over the solid matter, and your hand in one of the plastic
bags. Pick up the towel and solid matter and pull the bag down over
your hand and towel, turning it inside out. Then, twist, seal and dispose.
If you have a small dog and plan on flying to your new home, he may
be able to fly with you in the passenger compartment if he is small
enough to fit into a carry-on bag that will fit under the seat. Check
with the airlines for details. If you are transporting a larger dog
by plane, try to book a direct flight to prevent your pet from having
to spend long periods in a distant airport, and have someone scheduled
to pick up your dog at the other end.
Never leave any pet in the car for more than a few minutes. This is
especially important during warm weather. If you are carrying your dog
with you in the car and plan to stop overnight, be sure to call ahead
to find a hotel that accepts pets.
Birds need a health certificate to enter most states and depending
on the species may be required to have tests done for certain diseases.
Since these regulations can change, it is important that your present
veterinarian verify these requirements well in advance of your moving.
If you will be taking your bird in the car, maintain a warm, constant
temperature since birds are particularly sensitive to temperature changes.
It is possible to carry the bird in its cage as long as you have a cover
for it to prevent drafts and keep the bird in a darkened setting to
reduce the bird's anxiety. If you have an excitable bird, it may be
necessary to cushion the cage or crate with a soft material to reduce
Place slices of apple, grapes or other fruit in the cage to supplement
the bird's water supply and be sure they have adequate places to perch.
If you have a small number of fish and are moving only a short distance,
you can move them to their new location by using plastic bags half filled
with water and the other half with air. Place the bags in an insulated
container such as an ice chest or Styrofoam container to help maintain
a steady temperature.
For a larger number of fish or for transporting over a greater distance,
5-10 gallon plastic containers can be used. First, fill them with water
(either salt or fresh water, depending on the type of fish) and change
the water often to remove any toxins that might leach from the plastic.
On moving day fill the containers half full with water and place the
fish in the water, about 1-2 fish per gallon.
If your trip is going to take more than a couple of days, it's best
to invest in some portable aerators to keep the water well oxygenated.
Do not keep the containers in the car overnight since the drop in temperature
is likely to be too severe.
If you are going to ship a venomous snake, it must be placed inside
two sturdy boxes or a box inside a wooden crate. With non-venomous ones
only one box is needed. Be sure the containers are well insulated and
contain air holes for ventilation and are clearly marked with both the
common and scientific name of the species.
If you are transporting your snake in your car, be sure not to leave
it in the car overnight. Take it into the hotel room (be sure they allow
pets), and let it soak for about an hour in the tub. (You will have
to take turns.)
The easiest pet to move is a turtle, which can be overnight expressed
in a well cushioned, insulated box with air holes.
American Tortoise Rescue (http://www.tortoise.com), a nonprofit organization
founded to provide for the rescue of turtles and tortoises, recommends
using overnight mail. Be sure to write "Fragile, Live Cargo"
and "this side up" on the outside of the box to increase the
chances of a softer ride. You can also place leaves or grass inside
the container for added cushion and to give the box a more homey environment.
Remember to keep the surroundings of all reptiles moist but not wet.
Dampening a cloth and placing it inside the container is the best approach.
Since there are some governmental regulations regarding the shipment
of reptiles, consult with A Field guide to Reptiles and the Law
by J. P. Levell. (published by Serpent's Tale, to order call (612) 470-5008.)
The best way to move small mammals such as mice, gerbils, guinea
pigs and hamsters are to keep them in the car with you and in their
normal container. Take their water bottle out to avoid it leaking and
soaking the bedding. At rest stops, check the animal and place the bottle
back in the cage so it can drink.
Be sure to maintain a comfortable, steady temperature even if it means
parking your car away from the rest rooms to get it under the shade
of a tree. These little critters are comfortable at about the same temperatures
people are so if you are cold or hot, they are too.