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Austin Luxury Group’s MOVING PLAN

Austin Luxury Group - The Moving Plan Its a great idea to have a plan BEFORE you move to save your sanity and keep the process moving along smoothly. Get Ready
  • I suggest calling two or three companies to obtain competitive estimates. They will usually want to visit your home, make note of the items to be moved and should provide you with a written estimate. Questions/comments for the moving company representative:
    1. Is their firm bonded and insured?
    2. Is their truck large enough to move all of your items in one trip?
    3. How do they charge? Hourly? Per man? Any travel, truck or fuel charges? How many men will be there?
    4. How many hours do they anticipate it will take to load the truck, travel to the new house and unload the truck?
    5. What type of insurance is included should anything be lost or damaged. Who is the insurer? What is the coverage? Is there a deductible?
    6. Will furniture pieces be shrink-wrapped? (prevents damage)
    7. I suggest that you request an early morning move time, rather than being their second or third stop of the day. There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting in an entirely packed house waiting and waiting for the movers to arrive.
    8. Make certain that you will not have to pay the mover until all of your belongings have been unloaded and assembled at your new home to your satisfaction.
  • Be sure that your entire agreement with the moving company is documented in writing, including all fees, dates and times.
  • Obtain a change of address kit from your post office. Be sure to change the address for each family member. You’ll need your old address, new address and effective date of the change. When you’ve completed the card, it can be placed in your mailbox. This can also be done online at
  • Notify service providers of the date of your move, including (if applicable): cleaning service, pest control, landscapers, pool service . . .
  • If necessary, schedule a cleaning service, carpet cleaners and window cleaners to clean your new home before you move in.
  • Schedule any cleaning at the old home after you’ve moved out.
  • Arrange for utilities at your new home, including (if applicable): electric, gas, water and sewer, trash collection, telephone, cable or satellite TV, fire protection, and irrigation. Try to schedule any appointments with technicians all in the same day.
  • Arrange for switch-over to next occupant or turn-off utilities at old home.
  • Make certain you’ve arranged homeowner’s or renter’s insurance prior to the move. Cancel your existing policy only after escrow has closed.
  • Notify family, neighbors, your place of business, children’s school and others of your new address.
Clean Your Room Before you pack a single box, take the time to assess every room, closet and drawer. It makes no sense to move outdated or unwanted items. Any items you no longer want or need should fall into one of three categories:
  1. throw away
  2. give away or donate- items can be gifted to family, friends or a worthwhile charity. Clothing in good condition is always appreciated by homeless and battered women’s shelters, as well as charitable thrift stores. Many charities will pick up your clothing and household items and distribute them to those in need.
  3. sell- if you have the time, runs ads in your local newspaper or Craig’s List. Local eBay stores will sell your items for you, handle the shipping and send you a check.
Visualize If possible, plan a walk-through at the new house to determine where you will place your furnishings. If you’re the super organized type, you may want to sketch out a layout of each room, noting where the furniture will be placed. If possible, select a guest room or less used area to store lamps, photos, plants and accessories until you’re ready to “decorate” (more on that later). Pack It Up A few weeks before your move, begin packing items you will not need before the moving date (china, crystal, seasonal items, out of season clothing, extra linens . . . ) If you’re packing yourself, obtain boxes on your own or order from your moving company. You will need a variety of sizes. You will also need packing tape, a tape dispenser, a black felt tip pen and a red felt tip marker. As you pack each box, make certain it’s not too heavy. Each box should be labeled with the name of the room it will go to in the new house, and the contents in the box. You may want to use initials or code names for any valuable items. (i.e.- you would not want to label a box “diamonds and heirloom jewelry”!) Place labels in the left hand top corner on the SIDE of each box. That way labels are visible when boxes are stacked. Select a location to neatly stack packed boxes so your home does not become cluttered (i.e.- garage or a guest room). The week before your move, pack everything else, leaving out only the essential items you will need before moving day. Be sure to label the boxes you will want to unpack first with a big red dot on the top right hand corner of the label with your red marker. If you have the luxury of access to your new home before moving day, lucky you! I recommend hand-carrying any fragile items or things you’d prefer to move yourself in advance. You can also make sure that each bathroom has toilet tissue and hand soap. When I’ve had advance access, I’ve moved and set up my entire kitchen using laundry baskets and clean bath towels. This way, your dishes and glassware don’t have to be individually wrapped in paper and boxed, and then washed before you place them in the cabinets at your new home. Just pile them in the basket, cushion with the clean towels and pop them right into the clean cabinets when you arrive. A few days before your move, provide each family member with a laundry basket and a trash bag. The laundry basket should be packed with any items they will need for the few days following the move (clothing, underwear, shoes, socks, pajamas, soap, shampoo, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, medications, brush or comb, hair dryer, other toiletries, backpacks for school, books, toys, special “blankie” or stuffed animals, and any extracurricular items family members may need (i.e.- baseball glove, ballet shoes . . . ). Each family member’s trash bag should contain a mattress cover, sheets, blanket, pillowcases and pillows to make up their bed at the new house, two bath towels, and a washcloth (optional). You will also want to pack a “general” laundry basket with scissors, a sharp knife, paper towels, toilet paper and hand soap for each bath, plastic cups, paper plates and bowls, plastic silverware, dishwasher soap, hand soap for the kitchen, hand lotion, multi-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, cleaning rags, a mini vac, a few zip loc bags, trash bags, a tablet and pens, scotch tape, bottled water and snacks, pain reliever, band-aids, first aid cream, pet bowls and pet food, hammer, and a few screwdrivers. Handwrite or print on the computer TWO 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper, labeled for each room in the new house. (i.e.- Master Bedroom, Master Bath, Dining Room, Study . . .) I’ll explain those a little later. The day before the move:
  1. Finish packing. You do not want to be madly stuffing your belongings in boxes after the movers have arrived.
  2. Clean out the refrigerator and freezer. Have a cooler ready to pack any items the next day that will be transported to your new home.
  3. Be sure you have lots of cold bottled water.
  4. Empty all trash cans and waste baskets. When I was a little girl, our movers loaded a kitchen trash can in the moving van and hauled our trash cross-country!
  5. Make sure each family member has his or her laundry basket and trash bags packed and ready. These should be transported in your vehicle and placed in each person’s closet in your new home.
  6. Pack your vehicle with fragile and valuable items you do not want the mover to move.
  7. Your hanging clothes can be hand carried in your vehicle or packed in garment boxes, as you prefer.
  8. Organize any bicycles, large toys, hoses, large tools, etc. in the garage.
  9. Be sure to have copies of the new house keys made and give keys to any family members or employees you would like to have one.
  10. Prepare a large envelope with all house keys (including those collected from all family members), along with garage door openers, mailbox keys and keys to guest houses, sprinkler boxes, storage rooms or sheds. . for the old house. This should be left in a kitchen drawer for the new owners.
  11. Be sure you have cash on hand to tip the movers tomorrow.
The Whole Family Be sure to include children in the moving process. Explain exactly what will happen in advance. I once sold a house to a family with a darling little girl. She loved to look at houses with her Mommy and Daddy. When they finally decided on a new home and pointed out her new bedroom, she burst into tears. When asked what was the matter, she sobbed, “But it doesn’t have any toys.” Although they’d talked about moving for weeks and she knew she would have a new bedroom, she didn’t understand that she would bring her own bed and toys to the new house. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or family member willing to help, try to arrange for young children and pets to have somewhere to go on moving day. If will be safer and more fun for them and much more efficient for you. If that cannot be arranged, hire a babysitter. Doors and gates are usually propped open on moving day and pets can wander outside, get hurt or lost. MOVING DAY Dress the Part Dress comfortably and wear good supporting shoes. You’ll thank me for this one- remember, you’ll be on your feet all day long. If it will become cool in the evening, remember to keep out a jacket or sweatshirt. Stuff You’ll Need Right Away Don’t lay your car keys and cell phone on the counter. They might get packed or lost. Put them in your pocket or in a drawer (and remember where you’ve placed them). Ladies, before the movers arrive, lock your purse in your car. Be sure that all family members’ laundry baskets and trash bags have been loaded in your family’s vehicles. Your Moving Crew This one is important- when your movers arrive call a meeting. Not with just the supervisor, but with the entire crew.
  1. Introduce yourself. Ask each of the crew members their name and shake their hands. I’ve found that if you treat each crew member respectfully, they’ll return the favor by treating your belongings with respect.
  2. Take a walk through the house, pointing out any fragile items, anything that is not to be moved, and give any special instructions.
  3. Ask that all furniture be shrink wrapped before it’s loaded into the moving van. This prevents damage and keeps upholstered pieces clean.
  4. Explain that all boxes have been labeled and that you have a system at the new house where they will go as they’re unloaded.
  5. Keep your moving crew supplied with cold water throughout the day. At lunch time, make a run for sandwiches. The expense is minimal, you’ll be a hero and your crew will be revived and ready to roll through the afternoon.
  6. Walk through each room and remove all picture hangers from the walls. Store in a zip loc bag for easy hanging at the new house.
Finishing Up at The Old House
  1. When the van is loaded, take a walk through the house in case any items have been forgotten. Check all closets, cabinets and drawers. Look in the attic, any storage rooms or storage sheds and walk around the outside of the home.
  2. Provide the van driver with the address and directions to the new house (or they can follow you.)
Unloading the Moving Van (you won't just thank me for this one. You'll want to give me a big hug later.)
  1. Walk through the house and tape up the signs labeling each room (i.e. on bedroom doors). . If you have made sketches of the furniture placement in each room, they should be taped below the room name sign on the door.
  2. Tape the second set of signs on the garage floor, designating where boxes should go, sorted by room name (now you know why you made TWO copies of each sign). The rooms you’ll want to unpack first should be closest for easy access.
  3. If the mover asks you to pay before the truck is unloaded at the new house, remind them that you have arranged to pay after the move is complete.
  4. Call a quick meeting of the movers. Explain that all furniture will go in the house, but that none of the boxes will. (I learned this one from my Mom. It is THE key to this system.) Let them know that you’ll remain by the front door to direct where in each room furniture pieces should be placed.
  5. Walk the movers to the garage and show them the signs you have taped on the garage floor designating rooms in the house. Ask them to place ALL boxes in the garage, by room. Explain that any boxes noted with a red dot should be placed in front (or on top) for easy access, so that those can be unpacked first.
  6. Ask that all lamps, pictures, plants and accessories go to a designated room or area.
After the Van Has Been Unloaded
  1. Ask that all beds be assembled and that anything thing that has been disassembled (mirrors on dressers, etc.) be reassembled.
  2. Take a walk through the house, making sure that all furniture pieces are in place and do not appear to have been damaged. If you’d like anything adjusted or moved to another room, now is the time to ask for the movers’ help and save your back.
  3. Be sure the washer and dryer are hooked up and the lint hose has been attached.
  4. Be sure any free standing appliances have been plugged in and water and gas lines, if any, attached.
  5. If any items have been damaged, be sure to document the damage on any paperwork you sign. Obtain a copy for your records.
  6. You’ll be asked for payment and to sign paperwork that all items have been moved to your satisfaction. If possible, pay by credit card so that you’ll have recourse later should you discover that any items are missing or have been damaged.
  7. Call all the movers together, thank each one individually and give them a good tip. I am hesitant to give the entire tip to one crew member, as it may not be distributed to the other crew members.
  1. Take the time to eat. If your stomach is grumbling, you’ll feel terrible and probably won’t be thinking very clearly.
  2. Bring each family members’ laundry basket and trash bag into their room.
  3. Make all beds that need to be slept in that night. Don’t wait until midnight when you’re “out of gas.”
  4. Put toilet paper and hand soap in each bathroom.
  5. Place the “general” laundry basket in the kitchen or laundry room.

Unpacking the Boxes
  1. Bring only one box into the house at a time, starting with key rooms and boxes you have marked with a red dot first.
  2. As you unpack each box, place the contents where they will go.
  3. Kitchen items may need to go through the dishwasher before you put them away.
  4. I find it easiest to place a post-it note on each kitchen cabinet and drawer, noting what will be placed inside. This is especially helpful if anyone is assisting you in unpacking.
  5. After each box is unpacked, flatten out any wrapping paper and break down the box.
  6. Place all wrapping paper and broken down boxes in a designated location in the garage, then bring in the next box.
Your Own Décor Store After all of your boxes have been unpacked, it’s time to decorate. (This may be the next day or in several weeks). The good news is that, whatever the time frame, your house has been orderly while you’ve been unpacking because only one box has entered the house at a time. “Go shopping” in your accessory area. Think of it as your own décor store. Remember, just because you placed a lamp or picture in the living room at the old house, it doesn’t necessarily have to be so at the new house. As you accessorize each room, keep an open mind, be creative and have fun.

Most importantly, enjoy your new home!


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