You’ve decided to move—or it has been decided for you. Now what?
Here’s my handy dandy list of obvious questions you may not have thought of yet:
- What will you need in housing?
- What do you want?
- How much can you afford?
- How can you get more information right now?
Let’s get more specific.
A notebook helps you think. It guides your thoughts along organized paths. You can start your own Smart Moving Notebook with a blank notebook. Begin organizing and writing your answers to a variety of questions and concerns that pop into your head as you think about moving. The first thing to write in your Smart Moving Notebook is a list of your needs. Here are some examples to get you started:
- A place within a 30-minute commute of Reedsville
- A master bedroom and a bedroom for each of the two children
- More separation between living and sleeping areas
- A utility or back room where Bart can clean up from playing with the gorilla
- Wheelchair access to a bathroom for Aunt Tillie’s stay during the winter
- A place in which we can put a small greenhouse for growing salad vegetables
- An uncomfortable sleeping room for out-of-town guests
- A neighborhood in which I feel safe
- A neighborhood in which the kids can walk to school
- A community where I can use my skills as a hospice volunteer
- Enough room to hold our traditional family holiday get-togethers
Remember that a need is a personal requirement. Something you regard as an absolute necessity in your new location may be only a want for someone else. That’s fine.
For most of us, the Needs List will be much shorter than the Wants List. Both will also be unique. Make sure that you gather the needs and wants of everyone who will be moving with you. Yes, even consider the needs and wants of your iguanas.
To get you writing in your Smart Moving Notebook, here are some popular wants:
- A low-maintenance yard so that we can spend weekends at the beaches
- Room to entertain friends and family
- A place to store my classic car during the winter months
- Proximity to Ariakne University
- A hobby room for your Peruvian blow-dart collection
- A cellar or pantry to store granny’s preserves for the next generation
- A local Internet provider
- A world-class library
- A world-class tavern
Keep a record of all your moving expenses. If your move meets certain criteria, you can deduct the expenses from your federal income taxes. To learn more, call the Internal Revenue Service (800-829-3676) or visit their Web site at www.irs.gov and request Publication 521 titled “Moving Expenses.”
Moving costs money. It may involve the cost of a full relocation service or just a six-pack for your packing crew. If you’re lucky—or have an impressive job title—money to move may not be an issue in your decision. The employer will take care of all moving expenses, food and housing costs in transit, and some real estate fees. For most people, however, money is an issue—and a stressful one.
- How are you going to pay for getting from here to there?
- Is it really cheaper to hire Two Dopes and a Dolly Moving Company?
- Where will you stay if your new home isn’t ready?
- Can’t you just buy an RV and become a nomad?
- Should you get full insurance coverage on your beer can collection?
- How much is it going to cost to live there versus here?
The point: Get out your No. 2 pencil again and start making notes about the money issues.
Is there room on your credit card for all of this?
You’re going to need lots of friends to pull off this move. Most of your moving friends you haven’t met yet. They are movers, moving trade associations, rental equipment companies and agents, real estate and rental agents, chambers of commerce folks, packers, and other folks.
If you have access to the Internet, the American Movers Conference at www.amconf.org/ has lots of information for folks considering moving.
Who are these people and how can you ensure that they’re honest? The search begins today. If an employer hasn’t already decided who the mover will be, you have a few important choices to make: Consolidated Amalgamated Worldwide Transfer and Storage…or Billy-Bob’s U-Pack We-Hack Moving and Pizza Delivery Service.
The best place to start looking for good moving resources is with your current friends. Whom do you know who has recently moved? Especially, who has made a move similar to yours? A local mover may be unqualified to relocate your belongings to Denpasar, Indonesia. If you are moving to a new city, talk with your employer or other contacts about their moving experiences. You may quickly discover who will make the move a dream—or a nightmare. A real estate agent at either end of the move can serve as an experienced advisor.
Beware of efficient packers. Our son came in from his last day at school as the packers were working. He laid his coat down for a moment. We next saw his coat when it was unpacked at our destination.