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Making Your Home's Relocation an Adventure
By Bob Lipply, Lipply Real Estate

Moving to a new home is an exciting experience. When the move means you will be relocating to a new area, the experience becomes an adventure. There won't just be a new house to settle into, but new roads to navigate, new schools to research, new people to meet, new towns to explore -- a whole new world for you and your family. Then there's the daunting task of packing and organizing the move. One could get pretty overwhelmed in a short period of time. Below are some suggestions and tips to help make your move stress free and maybe even fun.

Where to start for relocation information?

The Chamber of Commerce can be a great place to start. They can answer your general questions and send you a map of the area. Getting information on things to do in the area can generate excitement about your move and get you motivated for this adventure. Find out what the local newspapers are and start having them delivered to your current home. It's a great way to learn what's going on in your new town and get a feel for the new locale. A newspaper is also a way to check local real estate ads to see what's selling. For kids, there may be information on summer camps, sports teams, tennis or swimming lessons. For adults, there may be information on the local music and theater culture.

If you have children, you will most certainly want to research information on the schools. You can start by going to the school board website for links to individual schools. You may want to find out if the schools in the area are rated by a grading system, and take this into consideration. For instance, public schools in Florida are graded according to how well students have mastered the Sunshine State Standards, measured by the FCAT tests. Another thing to take into consideration is if the schools are part of a "Choice System," as opposed to a neighborhood school system. In this case, you are able to choose a school by registering by a certain date. Some schools have waiting lists so it is best to find out all this information in advance. Once you have narrowed the search down to a few schools, start calling the school guidance offices for specific information on registering your child. This will give you time to gather all the school records & medical records you will need for your move.

Once you have decided on a specific neighborhood, see if there is a neighborhood association. Members of these associations are involved in all aspects of the neighborhood including planning and development. They can be really helpful in providing you with information on everything from education to crime rates and neighborhood watch programs. Many neighborhood associations have websites that you can access, as well as newsletters.

Check out the local YMCA. There are usually lots of activities available to families, such as open swim, fitness classes and even child care. Also look into the local libraries for free seminars, book talks and movie nights for teens. Try to enjoy the learning process. Check out the map, make lists of new places to explore and get your bearings well before you move in.

Where to start for the packing and moving process?

The earlier you start getting ready for your move, the better. Planning ahead and making to-do lists can help make the job of packing up and moving smooth instead of stressful.

This is a great time to get rid of all that extra stuff that has been accumulating over the years. Take a look through the basement, the attic, the garage and each closet. Make a list of the things that you no longer need. Be ruthless. If there are clothes, toys, or books that haven't been used in the recent past, it's time to let them go. Consider having a garage sale or selling items on eBay. Donate clothing and toys to a local shelter. Libraries and schools are always happy to accept books, videos and music CD's. This is a great time to declutter and lighten your load.

As soon as you know your approximate moving date, start calling moving companies. It's always a good idea to get estimates from two or three companies. Try to get referrals from friends and neighbors. If you are a member of AAA, consider using their Consumer's Relocation Service to manage the move. Decide which furniture you will be taking with you. It may cost more to move that old couch than to buy a new one, so consider if something is really worth keeping.

It's never too early to start collecting boxes. Some moving companies offer recycled boxes free of charge. Or, place a request on an on-line trading site such as freecycle.org or craigslist.org for free boxes; you may find someone who is looking to get rid of their boxes. Packing boxes slowly, even one or two a day, will help in the long run. Start by packing the things you can live without for several months. Pile up boxes in the room where they belong and label each box. You might consider renting a storage unit to store the boxes until moving day. This is especially valuable if you are in the process of showing your house while it is listed for sale. The less clutter the better!

By starting to declutter and pack up boxes early on, you will feel productive and in control. Keep up the good work and stay upbeat. Congratulations, it's just the beginning of your new adventure!


Bob Lipply
lipply@tampabay.rr.com
http://www.lipplyrealestate.com