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A Few Easy Ways to Take the Headache Out of Moving

Moving from one house to another is always a challenge, but it doesn't have to be a nightmare. Here are some simple tips on how to get it done with minimal stress and strain.

Look at the alternatives: having a moving company, for example, versus renting a truck and doing it yourself. Whichever alternative makes most sense for you, get bids from more than one vendor. A few days before the moving company is scheduled to arrive or your supposed to pick up your rental truck, call to confirm that everything is on track to happen when it's supposed to.

Prepare your change of address cards in advance and send them out as soon as it's appropriate to do so. The post office, utilities, companies and people you do business with, city, hall, friends, and relatives should be notified of your move.

Get an early start on packing by concentrating on seldom-used items first. Each box should have it's contents and the room those contents belong in written on it clearly. Take a hard look at things you seldom or never use and throw away as many of them as you can. The more you throw away is one less item to clutter up your new home.

Use your extra towels and linens to protect your breakables. When your supply of these things is exhausted, crumpled newspaper makes and excellent substitute. Write Fragile on all appropriate boxes.

Put your valuables (such as jewelry) and important documents (birth certificates, car titles, etc.) aside in some safe place where they won't be misplaced.

When the house is empty, go back for a thorough final inspection. Check closers, crawl spaces, basement, attic, out-of-the-way nooks and crannies of all kinds. Have a second person make the same inspection separately.

Change the locks on your new home and clean it thoroughly. Most sellers leave their homes in "move in" condition, but some do not. Changing the locks is a safety precaution. You never know who has keys that the seller may have forgotten about.

Decide in advance where you want the heavy furniture. Changing your mind after the movers have departed is no fun especially for your back!

Locate all fuses, circuit breakers, and water and gas meters and electrical valves and switches in your new home. Turn on all the appliances, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning units when you first move in. Do this even if it's in the summer, and you don't need any heat.

List the phone number of the local police and fire stations, doctors, nearby hospitals. Put a copy by each phone and enter in your cell phone.

Above all, plan it out. Make a schedule you can live with and then stick to it. Preparation and forethought will help you keep everything under control and finish the move with your sanity intact!