Moving can be a big stress—right up there with the really horrible stuff like divorce and job loss. So even in the best circumstances, household anxiety is high and everyone's nerves are out there competing to be the last one stepped on. If you are like the vast majority of the population, the thing that keeps you awake during the night is the physical move--a weeks or months long process that threatens to consume all of your time. It is mind boggling for even the most organized and minimalistic family; you've got to sort and purge and wrap and get boxes and figure out how to put everything in the boxes and disassemble furniture and then actually move it all from origin to destination.
This is where a professional, full-service moving company can help and let you focus on your new home, new job, new schools, and new day-to-day schedule. Whether you're relocating across the neighborhood in Oklahoma City or across the country, every single thing in your old house must be packed up or given away. A lot of people focus on the part of the move that involves loading the moving trucks and going down the street, but like most household projects, the preparation is the iceberg and the actual moving day is only the visible tip. A seasoned team of professional full-service movers can help you navigate that iceberg for smooth and stress-free sailing right up to your new front door.
First, you've got to locate the right moving company for you. Ask your friends or your realtor for referrals, and interview a few companies to decide on the right fit for you. If you have never hired movers before, there are a couple important questions to ask.
-Are you licensed and insured? Ask to see a current copy of their commercial policy.
-What is your damage liability, and are there options for expensive items? Professional movers should inventory all your items and point out existing damage or weak spots before they wrap, these days they will take pictures, too.
-Can I pack some of my things? Do you really pack dirty ashtrays? Lots of folks want to pack up really valuable or delicate items themselves, and most packers are okay with that. However, the pros really know how to wrap fragile items so there is a lessor chance of breakage, and to put those items in boxes so they are secure but not too tight (fun fact: threading packing paper through the handle of a coffee cup or mug and stuffing packing paper into it reduces the chance the cup will break). And most professional movers will ask before they pack up full trash cans--the ashtray might have happened but it's likely an urban legend.
-Will you disassemble beds and furniture and assemble them in the new house? Full-service movers are experts at disassembling and reassembling anything from dressers to beds. There are not many things in life which are a lot more pleasing than a man who knows the tricks of those little cams and bolts. Also, the movers bring their own tools so you are not sorting through boxes to locate the screwdrivers.
-Do you charge a flat rate or can I select and pay for certain services? Again, most movers will work with you on services. However, you may pay more for piecemealing the services. If you think you'll save here and there purchasing your own packing supplies, or taking apart furniture, you may want to add up the numbers. When you factor in that you'll pay more at moving supply or big box stores and have no idea how much you will really use, and may make umpteen trips, paying the professional packers do it is usually the lower cost option.
Now that you've employed the best movers—you're on their schedule for packing and moving--you can check that off your to-do list and move on to the nitty-gritty of beginning life in a new residence.
If you are moving locally in Oklahoma City, you are lucky in that you can keep the nuts and bolts of your life the same--same bank, dentist, gym, etc. But if your relocation is not right around the corner and you have got to start rebuilding your network from scratch; the good news is that without the move worry taking up your every waking moment, you can get going on all the things that turn a new town into a home town.
The devil is indeed in the details, so here's a cheat sheet to help you prioritize. Now is the time to gather all your documents that are spread all over and condense them into a folder, either digital or a hard copy. You'll need birth certificates, social security numbers, medical and immunization records, driver’s license, passports—at some point during the move and settling you'll need to have these items on hand. Changes in federal and some state laws require two forms of photo government ID, so yes, you do need to locate your passport and make sure and renew if it is out of date.
If you have got kids in school, getting them sorted into their new environment as smoothly as possible is very important. Call the local Board of Education to confirm the documents you need to register in the system. School districts have different policies regarding attendance; some have rigid boundaries and others are more fluid. If you're curious about magnet schools, you will need those guidelines to register for special programs. For proof of residence, you will most likely need a copy of your deed, mortgage, or lease to confirm your address, and most likely a utility bill as a secondary form of verification. Also, remember the appropriate immunization records and transcripts from previous providers.
Ask your current doctor for referrals in your new area—there is sometimes a trusted buddy from medical school they can recommend. As so many practices now are part of large corporate networks you may be able to make an easy transition to a practice; if not your insurance carrier can direct you to in-network practices. It is likely to be hit or miss to find the right pediatricians, internists, orthodontists and witch doctors, but be understanding and you'll find a good match. Do not forget about switching over your prescriptions; chances are good that you will just have to change to the new location and stay with the same company.
Utilities and Maintenance
Your realtor should be assisting you to ensure all your utilities are turned on and working properly when you get to your new house, but you are the one who has to set up the accounts and schedule service. You've got the basics--power, water, and gas--where there is one provider and that's it. Most towns have numerous options for things like internet, telephone and cable service, and if your incumbent provider does not service your new area you'll need to find a new one.
If your new neighborhood has a Homeowners Association they will have all the relevant information on items like trash pickup, mail delivery and lawn maintenance standards. If you manage your own yard now might be a good time to upgrade the mower and blower, if not ask around for a good service.
Most states have a fairly narrow window for changing your address on your driver’s license, so take care of that as promptly as you can. Your cars should also be registered in your new county or city; taxes vary greatly and you may discover a decent decrease or increase in your property taxes. You can update your voter registration at most license offices, and get the address of your new polling location.
As you can see, simply re-assimilating your life for a move is a full-time job, so why would you take on the stress of the physical move when you can have a full-service moving company handle that for you? Research the right pros for your move so you can make time for the crucial stuff--like finding a dry cleaner and car wash close to the gym!