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It doesn't matter if you're moving for the first time or the twentieth time, be prepared to dedicate a considerable amount of time planning for it once you've set a move in date. This moving guide is a basic breakdown of all the necessary steps for a successful relocation. It's generally agreed that you should start getting everything in order well in advance, including the packing process. These steps are presented under the assumption that you have already decided on a moving service.

One of the choices you will eventually have to make is the type of moving service you wish to hire for your move. Naturally, there are benefits and downsides to every moving option, so it's about determining which will best suit your move: full service movers, storage services, or truck rentals. Refer to our other articles about moving quotes, costs, and companies for more detailed information.

Once you've made your travel and storage arrangements, it's time to get your paperwork in order. One of your first tasks is informing all of your service providers, utility companies, and the post office about your change of address. If you're planning on moving to a different state, check the requisites for obtaining a new driver's license and complete auto registration. Get a manila envelope to store all of your receipts for moving related expenses since many of which are tax-deductible. Have your doctor or health insurance provider to refer a primary care provider for you. Take this time to get any important documents such as your pet's veterinary records or any school records. Also, be sure to transfer or close your bank accounts.

Keep to Pack or Sell for Cash
Moving is the best time to decide what to keep and what to sell. Hosting a yard sale is a great way to recoup some of your moving costs, and get rid of your old clothes and items collecting dust in the closet. Make a list of all the things you intend to keep and everything you want to sell. It's not a bad idea to advertise your yard sale in your local newspaper and post up flyers in your neighborhood. The yard sale will be your best bet to make some quick cash. Although yard sales and swap meets preclude bargaining, set your respective prices at twenty to thirty percent of the original price. Have visible price tags on all of your items and group them together to sell them in a bundle. If it proves unsuccessful, consider selling your undesirables at consignment stores or online. You can always donate your leftovers to charities.

Most full service movers offer packing help, but you can pack the majority of your belongings yourself. With the exception of high value and extremely fragile items, you can adequately pack and prepare your belongings for transport with the right packing materials. One general rule to keep in mind is to distribute a uniform weight amongst all of your boxes, thirty pounds is a good number to go by. Heavier items should be packed in smaller boxes and vice versa. Purchasing moving kits tend to be more cost-efficient than buying packing supplies individually, unless you already have some on hand. Pack one room at a time instead of packing several items in different rooms at once. Always pack the things you won't need immediately first, leave all of your essentials such as toiletries till the last day. Don't forget to mark which boxes are fragile and which boxes should not be transported by your movers. Keep your valuables with you. This includes jewelry, important documents such as your passport, and your check book amongst other things. You should have a packing plan prepared to gauge your progress every week as moving day approaches.

Moving Day
Once you've finished packing all of your belongings and cleaning out the house, collect all of your house keys and garage openers. Write down all of the alarm codes for your real estate agent or the new owners. Make notes on the final readings for your utilities and arrange childcare or pet care on the day of your move. If you plan on hiring a full service mover, be sure to clear any possible obstructions that may get in the movers' way. It's common courtesy to tip your movers, so be sure to have some cash on hand. It's a good idea to have a prepared list of all of your high value items for the movers. Most full service movers will do a walkthrough, so take this time to point out any boxes you don't want them to transport and fragile items that require special handling. Your movers will point out any boxes they think should be repacked, so keep your packing supplies handy. Take your time reading over the Bill of Lading before signing it. Once your movers are done, make one final walkthrough before you close the door behind you.

- Patricia Donald is a frequent contributor to Free Moving Quote.

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