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All Stressed out Moving into the right home

Right At Home Daily: Take It And Run: Getting Organized
By Meg Crane for Right At Home Daily

Your offer has been accepted, so now how do you cope with the million thoughts racing through your mind?

Start by taking a deep breath. You probably have six to eight weeks to prepare for the purchase of your home. You'll need to deal with changing your address, finding movers, cutting off utility service, packing up boxes, giving stuff away, buying new equipment and furniture, registering for schools, changing locks, and perhaps finding the grocery store in your new neighborhood.

What's more, once you arrive in your new home there will be a whole new list of things to buy and do.

Process and Paperwork Before the knot forms in your stomach, there are tangible ways to reduce this stress.

Start by creating a countdown list:

1. Six to eight weeks before the move, solicit bids from movers or call truck rental companies. Decide what you'll keep and make a list room-by-room of what you'll donate, what you'll pack and what you want the movers to do.

Next, if you're moving to a different city or state, make sure you sign a release allowing your doctor to give you your family's medical records, and call the vet for your pet's records. Get a printout of all prescription drugs and copies of other records from lawyers, accountants and stock brokers.

2. Four weeks before moving day, contact your insurance companies and banks to apprise them of your move. Issue change-of-address cards to friends, relatives, magazines, charge accounts, clubs, newspapers, and the post office.

3. During your final two weeks before the move, notify utility companies, including cable and telephone, to arrange for hookups in your new home and disconnections in the home you're leaving. Pick up all dry cleaning. Return borrowed items and get back anything you've lent. Defrost the refrigerator.

4. On moving day, have someone watch the kids. You might want to hire a service to clean up after you leave or to spruce up your new home before you move in. Don't forget to take alarm codes, garage door openers, instruction manuals/warranties and keys to the closing if you're selling your existing home.

Post instructions for the movers in your old and new homes. Give phone numbers where you may be reached at all times -- a cell phone number is best. Check each room to make sure nothing is left behind, and don't leave your old residence until the moving company is finished there.

Once you arrive at your new home, check utility hookups. Take out your inventory list and make sure the items are there and in the right rooms. Make note of any damages or scratches in case you have to make an insurance claim. Nothing says damage better than a photo. Have your camera, digital camera, or video camera handy.

Hammer Need help moving? Visit our forum to get recommendations on movers from other home owners.