Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Now, for the next challenge: moving. This is a great time to weed through your possessions carefully and dispose of any clothes, furniture, and fixtures you no longer want or need. Donate them to a charity, hold a garage sale – but if you don’t want them anymore, don’t move them.
Are you going to pack yourself or hire professionals? If you’re filling, you’ll need the following list of materials. Moving companies and overnight mail businesses can furnish these specialized items, including wardrobe boxes for clothing and heavy-duty boxes for china and other breakables. Liquor and computer stores are also good sources for sturdy boxes.
It would be best if you started collecting the following materials:
- Boxes of all sizes
- Plastic bags
- Non-shredded newspapers
- Packing tape
- Bubble wrap
- Tissues paper
Packing 101—A few guidelines
- Cushion the bottom and sides of the boxes first
- Packed items should not exceed 30 pounds
- When packing, go room by room – it will make unpacking easier
- Begin your packing as early in the moving process as you can – it will take longer than you think at a time when you’ll be busy with many other concerns.
- Label all boxes by item and where in your new home they should be placed
- Pack heavy items in smaller boxes and lighter items in larger boxes
- Thoroughly wrap your breakables in newsprint paper, paper towels, or clothing, placing them in dresser drawers, containers with lids, large cans, etc.
- Fill your refrigerator washer and dryer with clothes, linens, and other light objects.
- Tape cords underneath all electrical appliances
- Don’t tape furniture, doors, and drawers, as tape can cause damage; instead, use rope, elastic, or long strips of fabric to secure furniture.
- If you have children, let them feel they are a part of the process by helping them pack their toys.
On a moving day…
Fill one box with moving-day essentials like paper plates, a coffee maker and coffee, hand tools and extension cords, a bucket, rags, soaps, and paper towels. You may also want to set aside a few days’ worth of clothing, food, and other essentials you’ll need before arriving at your new home and packing.
Many families use a change of residence as an opportunity to dispose of many outgrown and no longer-wanted items. It beats taking the items with you; you can even put several hundred dollars in your pocket toward buying furnishings for your new home.
As home inspectors, we are expected to be wise in all matters relating to a change of residence. Even though garage sales are far from our primary field of expertise, allow us to pass on the best advice we have picked up over the years.
Allow plenty of time – three to four weeks – to prepare. Choose a date that will not conflict with holidays or other events that might lure prospective customers away. More people are likely to show up on weekends than weekdays. Your sale is expected to attract more customers if you join with neighbors in a more significant effort with more merchandise. Some homeowner groups sponsor neighborhood sales that are proving popular.
What to Sell
Practical household goods, bicycles, children’s toys and clothes, sports equipment, and garden tools are popular. Adult clothing has less appeal – price accordingly. All items should be clean, polished, and in good repair.
Merchandise your items attractively in neat, clean surroundings. Paper tablecloths offer a pretty setting for glass and ornamental items—cluster things in categories. Place more desirable items toward the back so browsers can notice other merchandise on their way to the most popular items. Have a 25-cent miscellaneous table for young shoppers. Clothes should be sized accurately and hung on a temporary rack.
Locate your appliance table near an outlet so customers can try it before buying. Set aside adequate parking and a place to load large items. Plenty of bags and boxes are on hand for packing and newspapers for wrapping glass items. Ideally, a place for trying on clothing should be provided.
Place a classified ad in the local papers – include three or four more tempting items for sale, directions, and other pertinent details (you may or may not want your phone number). Take advantage of free publicity provided by bulletin boards in grocery stores and other public places. Provide directional signs to your property using an indelible pen. If your house is listed for sale, have your Realtor® hold an open house on the same day, thus increasing traffic for both the house and the sale.
Visit other sales to get an idea of how to price things. Remember that garage sale shoppers are looking for deals, so be prepared to bargain and lower your prices. Precious items such as antiques should not be sold at a garage sale; they are not likely to bring the desired price from bargain hunters. Nothing is too worthless to be valuable to someone, so have a giveaway box for old magazines and other assorted odds and ends.
Post a notice that all sales are final and payment must be in cash. Keep ample change in a cash box in a protected spot. Keep a record of sales, especially when there are several sellers. One recording method that is simple and efficient is to use small adhesive stickers to price items and then transfer the sticker to the name of the seller when the item is sold.
Eight weeks prior
____ Remove unnecessary items from your attic, storage shed, etc.
____ Use things you can’t move, such as frozen foods and cleaning supplies
____ Start a possessions inventory
____ Solicit estimates from three moving companies
____ Call your homeowner’s insurance agent to find out how your policy will cover your move
____ Begin collecting all rolling papers and receipts in a file folder
____ Arrange to transfer your children’s school records
Six weeks prior
____ Contact the IRS and your CPA for tax-deductible information
____ Evaluate your possessions inventory: Can you donate anything? Do you need it all?
____ Notify your friends, relatives, professionals, creditors, subscriptions, etc.
____ Locate healthcare professionals and hospitals in your new location
____ Complete change of address cards via the post office or using online services to include the following:
____ Charge cards
____ Religious organizations
____ Relatives and friends
____ Income tax Bureau/Social Security Administration
____ Insurance broker/lawyer/CPA/stockbroker
____ Post office
____ Clean your closets
____ Hold a moving or garage sale or donate items to charities
____ Choose a mover or decide to move yourself
____ Contact your mover to ask about insurance
Four weeks prior
____ Send furniture, drapes, and carpets for repair/cleaning as needed
____ Gather auto licensing and registration documents, medical, dental, and school records, birth certificates, wills, deeds, stock, and other financial documentation
____ Contact gas, electric, oil, water, telephone, cable television, and trash collection companies for service disconnection and connection at your old and new addresses. Also, ask for final readings
____ Request refunds on unused homeowner’s insurance, security deposit with landlord, and prepaid cable service
____ Notify your gardener and pool service, if applicable
____ Contact insurance companies (auto, homeowner’s, medical, and life) to arrange for coverage in your new home
Three weeks prior
____ Make your travel plans, if applicable
____ Arrange to close current bank accounts and open accounts in a new locale, if necessary
____ Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of your new address
____ Arrange for childcare on a moving day
Two weeks prior
____ Arrange for special transport for your pets and plants
____ Service your car for the trip
____ Contact your moving company and review arrangements for your move
On Moving Day:
____ Carry enough cash or traveler’s checks to cover the cost of moving services and expenses until you make banking connections in a new city, or keep with you an ATM card
____ Carry jewelry and important documents yourself, or use registered mail
____ Plan for transporting of pets
____ Double-check closets, drawers, and shelves to be sure they are empty
____ Leave old keys, garage door openers, and instruction manuals needed by the new owner
At your new address:
____ Obtain certified checks or cashier’s checks necessary for closing real estate transactions (check with title company transaction coordinator for details)
____ Check on Service of telephone, gas, electricity, water, and garbage
____ Check the pilot light on the stove, water heater, and furnace
____ Ask the mail delivery person for mail he/she may be holding for your arrival
____ Have new address recorded on driver’s license and car registration
____ Visit city offices and register for voting
____ Register children in school