Welcome to TNT Transport Services

Moving Tips

Convenient List of Necessities

  1. Vehicle Pre-shipping Checklist
  2. Shopping List
  3. Helping Kids Move
  4. The Moving Process
  5. Packing
  6. Last Minute Checklist
  7. Moving Your Pets
  8. Unpacking
  9. Garage Sales

When first moving into a new house, you may find that a lot of the things you’ll need for the first week have been tossed, forgotten or misplaced. For your convenience we’ve compiled a list of necessities and separated them into categories to check off. We suggest that you pack these items in a box that can be put in your car. Or else, make sure it is the last box put on the moving van so it can be found easily and brought into your new home right away.

Vehicle Pre-shipping Checklist

Auto Moving

Pre-shipping Checklist

  • Vehicle Washing
    In order to expedite origin inspection, please present the vehicle to your auto transporter in clean condition. This allows for quick and fair evaluation of the vehicle prior to shipment.
  • Fuel Level
    The fuel level of the vehicle transported should be about 1/4 of a tank. This is because auto transports are weight sensitive.
  • Personal Items
    Auto transports are weight sensitive, so there should be a minimum of personal effects in the vehicle being transported. This also reduces the potential for theft.
  • Antennas
    Antennas should be lowered or removed. Temporary antennas such as cell phones or CB radios should be removed.
  • Keys
    The US DOT requires that all keys be provided for the vehicle. This includes ignition, truck, glove box, and/or other keys.
  • Alarms
    Alarms should be turned off. If there are special instructions required to start a car or to disarm an alarm, please let your auto transporter know.
  • Luggage Racks
    Non-permanent luggage, bike or ski racks should be removed.
  • Cracked Glass
    Point out any window nicks, scratches, chips, or cracks to your auto transporter.
  • Climate
    Vehicles should be prepared for the new climate conditions. This may include engine coolant, transmission oil and other fluids.
  • Spoilers
    Spoilers, fairing, air dams or other low hanging items should be removed to expedite loading on the transport vehicle.
  • Car Phones
    Car phones and removable radios should be removed from the vehicle.

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Shopping List

Things You Should Have On-hand

  • General
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic or styrofoam cups
  • Plastic utensils
  • Can opener
  • Snacks
  • Telephone
  • Small phone book for new town
  • Local map
  • Important contact names and numbers
  • Toilet paper
  • Shower curtain
  • Medications
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Extension cord
  • Cleaning supplies:
  • Broom
  • Glass cleaner
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Scrub brush
  • Trash bags
  • If you have children:
  • Toys
  • Diaper supplies
  • Formula or snacks
  • Extra blankets
  • Change of clothes
  • If you have pets:
  • Carrier
  • Leash
  • Toys
  • Treats and food
  • Food and water dishes
  • Litter box and litter
  • Pooper scooper
  • Tools:
  • Hanging nails
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Box cutter
  • Pen or marker

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Helping Kids Move

What are your kids concerned about?

  • Preschool children tend to worry about being left behind or separated from their parents.
  • Kids aged 6 to 12 can be concerned with how their daily routines will be affected.
  • Teenagers are concerned primarily with fitting in and having their social life disrupted.

Ideas for easing their concerns include
Communicate with your child about what the new house will be like. Take them on a visit of the new home and neighborhood, but if you can’t, take lots of pictures or videotape it to make them feel more comfortable with their future surroundings. Get information on the schools and childcare available in your area. If you can, visit the school with your child and meet some of the teachers. Click here to learn how to choose a school. Try to get your child involved in the moving process. Have them pack some of their own special belongings and younger children can decorate the box with stickers and/or markers. Be sure to keep this “box of necessities” close at hand during the move.

Make plans together on how to decorate their room. You may want to leave their surroundings the same, but this could also be a great time for change. Maybe let them pick a color of paint for their new room or a new bed set.

Ask your child what some of the favorite things in their life now are and try to make those happen at the new house. Most kids will have lots questions, so answer them in a positive way and be understanding of the fears they’re facing. Focus on things for them to look forward to, like a first snow or their own room!

Starting over in a new place is never easy. If possible, find pen pals in the new location before you move so your child will have someone to interact with and learn about the area. Contacting the local Chamber of Commerce for pamphlets on the area is another great way for your family to sit down together and visualize what the new town will be like. Click here to find your Chamber on the web.

Leaving friends behind may be one of the harder things your child has to do. Throw a going away party with their friends and take lots of pictures to make a nice scrapbook for them to look back on. Give them a stationary set or prestamped cards so they can stay in touch with friends too.

Just think, when you relieve the stress your children are feeling, you reduce your own stress and are able to focus more on other aspects of your move

How To Choose The Right School
By Meredith Field
One of the most important decisions that every parent makes is choosing the school that is best for their children. And the decision can be very complicated.

  • What is the curriculum?
  • What are SAT scores?
  • How many children sit in a classroom?
  • What grade does computer education start?

While no one person can tell you what the “best” school is for your children, The School Report which is researched by the National School Reporting Service, is a good place to start. The School Report is designed to give you important information about schools in over 14,000 districts across the United States. You will receive a detailed overview of curriculum, sports, clubs, scores, district size, teacher experience, elementary & middle school programs, plus much more. The “For Your Information” page provides a glimpse of the personality of the district by listing awards, recognition’s, new construction, special programs, and more. The School Report combined with your research using the suggestions below, should enable you to narrow your choices down to just a few possibilities.

Using the report will help you work through the complicated question, “which are the best schools for my children”?

Some tips you can use when you begin to narrow down your choices are:

  • If the district has a magnet program that you are interested in, ask the Magnet Director how long the waiting list is and if your child will get in.
  • Contact the Director of Computer Education to find out the student/computer ratio and if the district’s teachers have participated in a computer training program.
  • Contact the Parent/Teacher Organization and find out how active it is in each school. Studies have shown that children’s academic success increases when parents are actively involved in their education.
  • Make an appointment with the principal for you and your children to visit the school. Arrange to go when school is in session so you can observe a normal school day. This is your chance to learn the personality of the school.

Evaluate if your kids would feel comfortable.

  • Check classrooms for interested and smiling faces.
  • Look at the projects and student artwork on the walls.
  • Do the students dress like your kids and do they look friendly?
  • ake sure to note the style of dress for the first day of school. (see “Help Your Children Adapt to a New School”).

Most importantly, be sure to talk to your kids during and after the tour. They will probably notice things you don’t and it will help them adapt if you choose the school. Click here for additional resources on helping kids adjust to a new school. There are many things that can be used as indicators of a good school. But the very best indicator you have to identify a really good school for your children is your intuition and good common sense.

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The Moving Process

Helpful Moving Information

  • Pre-move
  • When is the best time to move?
  • How do I select which moving companies will provide me with a moving estimate?
  • When should I begin contacting moving companies for estimates?
  • What happens when an estimator comes to my home?
  • How do I find a local agent or truck rental dealer?
  • Pricing and Paperwork
  • What is a binding estimate?
  • What is a non-binding estimate?
  • How is the cost of my shipment calculated?
  • How should I pay and what are the payment methods?
  • What is an order for service?
  • Bill of Lading
  • Inventory

Pre-move
When is the best time to move?
The busiest times for moving companies are during the summer months, May 15 – September 15. At the end of these months, the volume of shipments is extremely heavy. This is the case for all professional moving companies. Take all the factors into consideration when deciding on the best time for you to move. If you have some flexibility in your schedule, provide the moving company with a five day window for loading your shipment. This will allow the individuals who schedule the drivers and crew members greater flexibility when scheduling your move. If possible, be flexible with your destination timeframe as well. Keep in mind that you most likely are not the only shipment on the truck. If you stay flexible, it should make a difference.

How do I select which moving companies will provide me with a moving estimate?
Ask your neighbors, friends, coworkers and family members if they can make recommendations. Investigate each of the movers you select with the Better Business Bureau. Good service is the best measure of a good mover!

When should I begin contacting moving companies for estimates?
Try to provide the moving companies with as much notice as possible, especially if you are moving during the busy season as noted above. Six weeks from the actual move date is not too early for estimators to come into your home to complete what they refer to as a “visual survey of your household goods shipment”. Add even more time to make a decision if you are obligated by your employer to submit estimates for approval. Try to decide which mover you will use four weeks from your actual load day. Call the mover to confirm your booking and schedule your packing, loading and delivery dates. This timeframe can be shortened in the off peak season which is September 15 through May 15.

What happens when an estimator comes to my home?
The estimator will arrive at your home to complete the visual survey of your items. Once this is completed, the estimator will calculate the weight, packing cost and any other charge related to your move. Remember that the estimator must clearly see what you are moving in order to provide you with an accurate estimate. Crawl spaces, attics and cluttered closets can be deceiving, so organize your house before the estimator arrives. Don’t be alarmed if the estimator goes through all your cabinets and closets or looks under beds and on top of cabinets. He or she must be able to see what is moving and possibly needs packing. If you know of items that are out of view, be certain to point them out to the estimator. If there are items you will be eliminating, be sure to point them out. One word of caution that can save you a great deal of trouble on loading day. Get rid of all items you do not plan to move. Otherwise, there may not be enough space for your shipment. This will not occur on one or two small items, but if you anticipated eliminating an entire bedroom suite and do not do so, it is quite possible that this could violate the integrity of your binding estimate and/or cause the driver to run out of space.

How do I find a local agent or truck rental dealer?
This is easy Call 1-800-USA-TNT1. We’ll be happy to steer you in the right direction.

Pricing and paperwork
What is a binding estimate?
A binding estimate is a contract that specifies, in advance, the precise cost of the move based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. If additional services are requested or required at either origin or destination, the total cost will increase. Ask your professional estimator if unplanned events are charged COD to you. Unplanned events can include delivery obstructions such as the truck being unable to get close to the house because of power lines or low hanging branches, elevator or excessive flights of stairs. It is important that you understand this in advance, as you will be asked to pay the difference, often at time of delivery.

What is a non-binding estimate?
A non-binding estimate charges you according to the actual weight of your shipment and the actual cost of the services that are performed. You will still go though the estimating process to determine what your shipment may cost. To verify the weight of your shipment, the driver will weigh his trailer prior to loading your shipment. Once your shipment is on board, the drive will weigh his trailer again. All other charges will be calculated at your origin address. If there are any additional charges that are incurred during the delivery process, the driver will provide you with the an additional cost. This is a rare event, but it may occur.

How is the cost of my shipment calculated?
If you are moving to a new state, the charges are based on the weight of your shipment and mileage. These are referred to as the transportation charges. There are a variety of different charges that could appear on your estimate, so be sure to ask your estimator to explain each item charge for you. Some of the additional charges that may appear include packing, crating, valuation or coverage, bulky article charge for oversized items and extra labor. Again, be certain you understand these charges so that you can accurately compare the estimates you receive.

How should I pay and what are the payment methods?
Tariff provisions require that all charges be paid before your shipment is unloaded at destination. Payments can be made using cash, certified check or money order. Other payment options such as a credit card can be arranged. Discuss these options with the estimator and/or the customer service representative assigned to your shipment. In the event that your employer is paying for the move, the employer may prearrange to be billed via invoice. Whatever works for you is great. Just be sure to have this all worked out prior to packing and loading. If the method of payment is not established prior to load day, it can cause you problems on delivery day.

What is an order for service?
All movers are required to prepare an Order for Service before they transport your shipment. The order for service provides you with written confirmation of the services that you requested to be performed in conjunction with your shipment. It lists the agreed upon dates for the pickup and delivery of your shipment and the amount of valuation that you requested, along with any special services that you ordered and a place and telephone number where the mover can contact you during the move. The order for service also shows the charges that you will be assessed for your move. If you are moving under a non-binding estimate, the order for service will indicate the amount of the estimated non-binding charges, the method of payment for the charges and in case the actual charges exceed the non-binding estimate, the maximum amount that you are required to pay at the time of delivery to obtain possession of your shipment (you will have 30 days following delivery to pay the balance of the charges due). If you are moving under a binding estimate, the order for service will show the charges that you will be required to pay at delivery, based in the binding estimate and the terms of payment. You and your mover must sign the order for service.

Bill of Lading
Every mover is required to prepare a bill of lading for every shipment it transports. The bill of lading is the receipt for your goods and the contract with your mover for their transportation. The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy of the bill of lading. It is your responsibility to read and understand the information on the bill of lading before you sign it. The bill of lading identifies the mover and specifies when the transportation is to be performed. It also specifies the terms and conditions for payment of the total charges and the maximum amount required to be paid at the time of delivery if you are moving under a non-binding estimate. Information regarding the valuation of your shipment and the amount the mover will be liable for in the event of loss or damage is also shown.

Inventory
The driver will usually inventory your shipment as he or she loads it (but it’s not required by law). When completed, the inventory provides a detailed, descriptive listing of your household goods and the condition of each item when received by the mover. Be sure that everything listed on the inventory is correct. This is not always the easiest task, as you will find things written on the inventory like PBO, which means packed by owner. The contents of this carton can’t and won’t be listed because the driver is not able to see inside each and every box. You will also find CP on a line item in the inventory. This means Carrier Packed container. These are two important listings.

You will also notice that in the middle column on the inventory form a line that has many letters and numbers associated with a specific item but it may make no sense to you. This is where the driver uses inventory code to make note of the condition of that particular piece. To understand this code, look at the top of the inventory sheet for the legend that explains what that code means. SC , scratched, C – chipped, 3 , right side if piece and 8 for the top of the piece. This is a simplified way for the driver to make note of any irregularity or existing damage. Remember, this inventory is for you to keep track of what is loaded and the condition of each item. If damage occurs on a particular piece during the loading process, get the inventory tag number on that item and make a note in the far right hand column on the line that corresponds with that piece. This is the document that will be scrutinized when the claims process is initiated so it is important to have the damage clearly noted.

This inventory should be also used at destination when your shipment is delivered. Use the inventory to verify the articles that are delivered and again note an exception to the condition of the items as they are brought into your home. Point out the damage to the driver.

What often occurs is that a piece of furniture has been in your home for many years and you grow accustomed to looking at it in a certain place and in a certain light. When you bring that same piece into your new home, you may notice damage that may have been there for a long time. The driver will have noted the scratch or chip at your origin residence. If you are not sure if it was existing damage or new damage, ask your driver to explain the condition of the piece as he noted on the inventory during the loading process. This is the quickest way to clear up what is new damage and what was there all along.

Most drivers are very careful about the way they handle your items and the inventory is their safeguard against felonious damage claims. Use this inventory as a positive tool to make sure that you are protected just as the driver will use it to protect him or her.

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Packing Your Items

Packing Tips

Whether you’re packing for yourself or letting others do it, it’s always important to plan ahead! In either case, you may want to see to fragile or valuable items. But please note movers are not responsible for damage to boxes you’ve packed yourself.

Before you start
You might want to create an informal schedule of what things to pack when. Most importantly, plan for a box of “Open First/Pack Last” essentials like:

  • Utility knife essential for the rest of the job
  • Dishes, flatware, especially glasses
  • Pillows, bedding, towels
  • Cleaning products, paper towels (which you can also use as packing material)
  • Medication and essential toiletries (soap, toilet paper, shampoo)
  • First-aid kit
  • Address book or PDA
  • An alarm clock or clock radio
  • A small lamp or flashlight
  • Cellular or plug-in phone (for emergencies)
  • Important papers (bank statements, prescriptions) or computer files

Packing Supplies
If doing your own packing, here’s a checklist of supplies you’ll need:

  • Boxes, boxes, boxes! Start collecting early you’d be surprised how many you’ll need. Copier paper, computer and liquor boxes, as well as orange cartons, are your best bet. The more you can collect beforehand, the better they may take up space but they’re a great money-saver.
  • For clothing, best to purchase large garment boxes (about $15 each). They have sturdy crossbars across the top so you can hang your suits, dresses, coats, etc.
  • Clear plastic bags are great for small stuff and you can easily identify their contents.
  • Packing tape you can’t have too much. Don’t forget to tape the box bottoms.
  • Masking tape is excellent for labeling or securing covers around larger items.
  • Twine or sturdy cord for tying up cords and boxes and framed items.
  • Labels help you and the movers unload boxes to the right room. Use colored labels to instantly identify each box. And don’t forget the markers.
  • Foam peanuts, newspaper, paper towels or bubble wrap.
  • Small tools, like hammer or screwdriver, for disassembly.
  • A notepad to record and color-code what you packed. Keep this with your important documents.
  • And remember many moving companies sell sturdy and/or custom boxes.

Packing Tips
Doing it yourself will save you money but consider a moving service. It’ll cost but you’ll definitely save a lot of time and receive a professional packing job.

  • Label and/or code every box! It’ll streamline your unpacking if you identify and unpack room by room.
  • Start early with a couple of boxes each day. It helps to pack a room at a time.
  • Distribute with heavy items no box should be over 50 lbs.
  • Use smaller boxes for heavier items (like books) for better manageability.
  • Heavy items go in first.
  • Cover clothing with plastic against moisture or dust.

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Last Minute Checklist

Things to Remeber

One of the busiest days of your life is about to arrive. Are you as prepared as you should be? Try to complete all the tasks below prior to move day so that you can be home during the loading process. Many times the driver will have questions that only you can answer. It is important that you or someone you’ve designated be available throughout the loading process.

Clearly mark and set aside items you don’t want loaded
This will remind you to tell the driver what not to load as you conduct your preload walk through. Make sure your important paperwork pertaining to the move doesn’t get packed and shipped with the rest of your household goods.

Pack special items for the kids
Have the kids pack a box of their “special” items. Point this box out to the driver so it’s one of the first to be unloaded. You may want to arrange for someone to take care of the kids (and pets) while the movers are packing and loading your items. Have the care-giver bring the kids back home prior to the truck leaving as it important for young children to understand where their belongings are going.

Get rid of trash and flammable items
Eliminate as much trash as you can before moving day. Last minute garbage will inevitably build up the day prior to and the day of loading. Try making a deal with a neighbor to use their trash container for your last minute debris. Many items that are considered flammable are not going to be loaded by the driver and crew. Understand what these items are so that you are not stuck with trying to get rid of them on day of loading. If you are uncertain what items can’t be loaded, ask your estimator for a list. Because most household cleaners can’t be transported, they will be available for you to use throughout the day. Remove items from inaccessible areas like crawl spaces or attics.

Reserve a parking space for the moving truck
If you live in a congested area, recruit some friends and park all of your vehicles one after another in a space close to your home and do not move them until the truck arrives. The closer the truck can get to your house, the better your chances are of not incurring a long carry charge.

Clear walkways

  • Remove all door and floor mats
  • Remove all rugs. The crew will protect the floors with a specially designed floor covering that does not slip
  • Remove low hanging items such as wind chimes or hanging plants
  • Disconnect the spring on the screen door so that it stays open during the loading process
  • If you had the moving company pack for you, work with them to keep walkways clear for the driver and crew

Point out special items
Once the mover arrives, point out items that are most special to you during the walk-through. All your items will be handled professionally, but take a moment to show them which ones mean the most to you. Point out the boxes you would like to have unloaded first, if they are not going into storage. These boxes may include kitchen and bathroom items, or your children’s toys. See our list of last-minute items.

Take care of your driver and crew members

  • Consider the needs of your driver and crew members! It is not necessary to prepare an elaborate meal, as this is the last thing you will have time for. Still, run out and get some breakfast rolls or cookies and order pizza for lunch. It is a nice gesture and will be warmly received.
  • Keep water and soda on hand for yourself and the crew. On very hot summer days, provide Gatorade or some type of sports drink. These men and women work hard, handling your most important possessions. A cool drink can really help.
  • Advise the driver and crew where to locate the drinks and food so that they do not have to ask each time.

Advise the driver and crew which rest room you want them to use. Tipping? Should you? It is completely up to you. Many individuals do tip the driver and let him disperse the portion to the crew that they think is appropriate. You decide!

Before the driver leaves
Make sure you understand all the paperwork you are signing before the driver departs. If there is something that is confusing to you, ask your driver to explain it before you sign it. Provide the driver with your destination contact information. Take down any information the driver can provide such as his cell phone, pager and satellite tracking information. If something changes, you won’t have to wait to be contacted. Ask the driver if your shipment is the last he/she will be loading. Find out when the last shipment goes onto the trailer. This will give you an indication as to when they will be departing for your new home. Ask the driver about his/her plans for delivering your items. Find out as many details as you can prior to the driver leaving your residence.

If the driver attempts to give you a delivery date, keep in mind that it is really only an estimate at the time of loading. Many factors can change the schedule for the driver, so try to remain flexible. Ask the driver to call you with changes so that you can adjust your plans accordingly. If you have a delivery spread (a sequence of 2 or more days that your shipment can be delivered on and still be considered on time) understand that you can and may be delivered on any one of those days.

Take one last sweep of the house before the driver leaves. Look through all closets, shelves, in the garage, attic, crawl space, storage unit, under the stairs, on the walls and any place else things may be hiding. You do not want to find out, after the driver is on the way, that something was left behind.

You did it! You made it through loading day! Give yourself a pat on the back to congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Although relocating can be one of life’s challenges, it is also an adventure. By guiding your child through this experience with knowledge and patience, the transition can be a piece of cake! The home you are moving from may be the only one your child has ever known. There’s a sense of familiarity there, not only with the house, but everything around it. The neighborhood friends, parks, and schools will no longer exist for them. That’s why moving can be especially troubling for children. But if parents understand what their child’s concerns and needs are, a lot of distress can be avoided.

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Moving Your Pets

Caring for Your Animals

Getting through the emotional stress of moving is difficult enough for adults and children. But what about pets, a species with whom we can’t even level? Pet owners are often baffled by their pets’ behavior during and after a move. Sometimes it’s a personality change, a regression in housebreaking habits or a sudden unexplained illness. Even if you don’t notice something that dramatic, there’s no question that your faithful companion is feeling stress. How do you move your pet and keep the strain to an absolute minimum — both to yourself and your beloved pet? If you’re planning a cross-country move by air, call the airlines first — before you make any reservations — and find out which ones allow pets as “animal passengers.” Approximately 750,000 pets make airline trips every year. Most of the major airlines, such as American, Delta, Continental and Northwest, will allow animal passengers provided outdoor temperatures are within a certain range. Pets may be brought on board with their owners as “carry-on baggage,” or placed within the cargo section of plane as “checked baggage,” weather permitting. Airlines also have established regulations regarding the number of pets permitted per flight, both on board and in the cargo section; as well as number of pets permitted per passenger; and size and weight limitations for carry on and checked baggage. If at all possible, book a direct flight to avoid the additional stress of plane changes.

If you’re contemplating having your pet travel in the cargo section of the plane, you may want to consider first that because this area is in the belly of the plane, you won’t have access to your pet at any time during the flight. While the cargo area is both heated and pressurized, this area isn’t lit, so unless you tranquilize your pet first, the experience is likely to be traumatic. And you should note that the safety of some varieties of tranquilizers has been questioned. These substances can have a dramatically different effect upon your pet at high altitudes. The federal Animal Welfare Act defines the guidelines for the transportation of animals by air, ground and water; however, as an added protection, some airline carriers take a particularly strict approach and require passengers to submit a certificate of acclimation form signed by their veterinarians, permitting the animal to be in temperatures below 45 degrees; as well as an interstate health certificate.

As your moving date approaches, try to maintain your pet’s routine, including feeding, exercise and play times. When you begin to box up your belongings, and particularly when the movers arrive, you may want to consider recruiting a friend to pet-sit to avoid undue stress for your companion. Make sure your pet is wearing updated identification, and that you’re carrying some kind of identification for your pet, including recent photos. If your pet escapes at any time during your move, you’ll be prepared.

Veterinarians also recommend that if you pack a water supply from the home you’re leaving. Changing water sources could cause your pet stomach upset and ultimately, dehydration. Keep your pet’s food as bland as possible; this isn’t the time to experiment with new brands or varieties. Check with your vet for his or her recommendations. Bring your pet for a thorough physical exam prior to your move, and make sure you obtain your pet’s updated records from your vet. If your vet can’t refer you to a new health-care provider in your new hometown, call the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) at (800) 883-6301 for a list of local veterinarians in your new hometown.

Another tip
Several weeks before your move, find out what the regulations are in your new home state regarding the importation of animals. These laws often vary from state to state and even among counties.

Written by Courtney Ronan

Courtney Ronan is a freelance writer who contributes a weekly column profiling various communities. She also writes a weekly review of real estate related web sites. Courtney’s career in journalism has included recent stints as managing editor of Agent News and as associate editor of Texas Business magazine.

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Unpacking

The Settling Process

Your move is now two-thirds of the way done! The last part is unpacking and getting settled into your new home. This can be the phase that takes the longest, but can also be the most fun. Unpacking gives you a chance to get the house organized – you know, the way you’d like to keep it all year, but it never works out that way.

When you start wading through the sea of boxes, there should be a method to your madness. The following are a few simple steps to make the unpacking process easier. And remember, you don’t have to unpack everything right away!

Unpack one room at a time
Begin with the kitchen so that you can have a snack to fuel your fire. Items that you won’t be needing right away can be set aside to unpack at a later time when you can better gage the right setup. This is also a good time to line your cabinets and drawers.

The bathroom should be next. Get your toiletries out and make sure the toilet, faucets, etc. are operational. A few things you should definitely have are a shower curtain, toilet paper and soap.

If the bedrooms aren’t set up the first night, don’t sweat it. Have a family camp out instead! It is helpful to have major pieces of furniture placed before unpacking. Then putting things away will be a cinch! The person who’s room it will be should make the area feel comfortable and personal to them. Setting up an organized closet is another great thing to do when moving in.

The living room should be a combined effort of everyone in the household. There will be a lot of items to be placed and electronics to hook up. This is a good time to consider the practicality in wirings. For example, the entertainment center will have to be in close proximity with the cable outlet.

Having an organized garage is a daunting task for most. But if you start by setting up shelves and hooks for placement of tools, yard supplies, etc., you might curb the tendency for making piles. After all, we are hunter gatherers!

Additional tips
If you’re setting up a computer or stereo equipment, you may want to consider purchasing a surge protector for the safety of these items and yourself. Collapse boxes for storage or recycling.

Take Note
Take inventory of everything you have to make sure nothing has been lost. If you have any broken or damaged items, make sure to keep them as evidence. You must file all insurance claims within a certain amount of days after the move, depending on your particular company’s regulations.

Start a log of home repairs and maintenance that need to be done.

Play interior designer
When getting ready to shift furniture around in the living room and bedrooms, it’s a good idea to make a sketch of the room with squares representing where you would like certain items placed. Erasing an armoire, rather than lifting it, could save you a trip to the chiropractor! Click here for use of our Room Designer tool.

Placing furniture so the room feels open and functional is an integral part in getting settled into your new home. Your house probably won’t look like what you’d envisioned for a few more months, but taking those few important steps now will help prepare you in the plans to come.

Add style! Consider painting rooms a different color, or stenciling around an archway.

  • Brighten up a room with self-adhesive wallpaper borders.
  • Refinish old cabinets or add new knobs.
  • Hang pictures properly by measuring right the first time.
  • Add potted plants for extra color or to fill empty corners.

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Garage Sales

Planning and Implementing a Successful Garage Sale

This tutorial is designed to assist you in planning and implementing a successful garage sale. There are many benefits to conducting a sale but you will need to ask yourself the following questions to be certain that this undertaking is for you.

  • Do you have the time it takes to organize a garage sale?
  • Are your items worth selling and is there a market for what you have to offer?
  • Is your home’s location conducive to a successful garage sale?
  • Will you have some help on the actual day of the sale?

Once you decided to conduct a garage sale, you’ll realize it can be rewarding both financially and personally. Not only will you make money from the sale but you will also lessen the cost of shipping your household items to your new location. Eliminating unnecessary items will really help set the tone for the entire moving process by lessening the size of your shipment.

First steps
Check to see if your homeowners association has rules about conducting a sale. Some communities do not allow you to have a sale of any type.

  • Call your local village hall or municipal center and inquire if there are permitting requirements.
  • Find out if your homeowners insurance covers liability for injuries a consumer might sustain while on your property.
  • Consider a block sale. Ask your neighbors if they are interested in having a sale of their own. This will help keep you motivated, it is fun to share ideas and the potential for a larger turn out is far greater.
  • Check to see if your community has a website where you can post your ideas.
  • Before hanging signs, be certain your city or town allows you to do so.
  • Try to round up some help for the day of the sale. It is difficult to conduct a sale on your own.
  • Start saving shopping bags, plastic grocery bags and boxes. Get organized.

Let’s start getting organized by deciding what you will sell.

  • If you have not used it in the last five years, you probably can live without it. Go ahead and sell it!
  • Make a list of all the items that you want to sell. Don’t be afraid to add those items that are no longer of use to you to the list.
  • Consider that it may be more expensive to ship certain, larger items than it is to just sell it for a minimal amount, particularly if you will not need this type of item at your new home.
  • Items like snow blowers are not necessary in some parts of the country. If you plan to ship it, understand that you must follow guidelines, such as purging fuel from the machine, when preparing the blower for shipping. The gas can you have used to refill the snow blower can’t be transported, so you will need to purchase a new one. Is it really worth all the trouble or can you sell it, make a few dollars and buy yourself a new lounge chair to use while basking in the sun in your new home – where it does not snow!What to sell!

Listed below is the TNT Transport Services list of items that seem to sell quite well in a moving sale. Remember, what is junk to one is a treasure to another. Use common sense. If the item is in decent shape and possibly useful, although somewhat unusual, give it a try. You may want to put a fairly low price tag on it to assist in selling it.

  • Appliances: large and small
  • Audio, visual and photography equipment
  • Baby furniture, equipment & toys: be certain baby items are in proper working order. If there is any question about the integrity of the item, it is better to discard than to take the chance of causing injury to a child.
  • Books
  • Bottles and jars
  • Canoeing and fishing equipment
  • All kitchen items
  • Records, CDs and videos
  • Furniture
  • Games, bikes and toys
  • Garden tools
  • Lamps, mirrors and pictures
  • Lawn and patio furniture
  • Musical instruments
  • Plants: Most professional moving companies will not take your plants as part of the shipment. Some states do not even allow you to bring them in. Unfortunately, because of the extreme temperatures inside the trailer, the plants often suffers irreparable damage and dies within weeks of arriving at your new home.

Take those plants out of your good pots. Put them into inexpensive, plastic pots and sell them in the sale or give them away if they do not sell. Take the proceeds from the sale of the plants and buy new plants with the money you made. Perhaps invest in some plants that are indigenous to the new area you are moving to. Experiment with something different now that you have the chance to start all over again. Be adventurous!

  • Rugs and carpets
  • Sports and exercise equipment

Set the price!
One good rule of thumb for pricing items for a garage sale – be sure to price items according to there worth to others, not their worth to you. A good way to do this is by asking a friend or family member (outside of your immediate family) to assist you in setting the price. It helps in establishing realistic pricing to ask for the assistance of someone who is not emotionally attached to the item.

  • Charge about 20 percent of the original cost. If the item is in good working order and/or excellent condition, the price is fair.
  • Used clothing and books usually bring in a lower price.
  • Leave some room for bargaining when pricing your items.
  • Be sure to inform the buyer of the items you are selling that do not work. Let them know it is an “as is” price.
  • Be certain to secure a tag to each item and record the costs on a sheet. This will assist you in keeping track of what you have sold and if for some reason the price tag should fall off.
  • When you look at the items that you want to sell, be honest. There are some good items and there are some “not so good” items. That’s okay. A way to ensure that those undesirable items will sell is to bundle them!
  • Sell items as a lot or bundled. Put one or two great items in with one or two not-as-great items and sell them as a lot.

Bring in the buyers
Treat this garage sale like a retail business. Merchandise your items in an appealing way. Think about the times you have gone into a store and were attracted to article of clothing because of the way it looked on the mannequin or accessories on a piece of furniture. The presentation does matter, so put some thought into it.

  • Wash, iron and neatly fold or hang all clothing.
  • Put like items together on the table or shelf.
  • Use signs to draw the potential customer to certain sections of the sale.
  • Organize the items as you see in a store.
  • If you are having a joint sale, be sure to mark your items with your own color tag but again, keep all like items together.
  • Polish silver or brass.
  • Clean all glasses and mirrors.
  • Basically, make items look appealing and they will sell.

Advertise cleverly and aggressively
Use signs, balloons, flags and banners and get them high enough off the ground for the average motoring public to see.

  • Use the Internet, it is the fastest and cheapest way to reach a big population.
  • Run ads in the neighborhood paper.
  • Puts signs on billboards in neighborhood stores.
  • Distribute announcements.
  • Use a map on your street signs to assist potential customers in finding your home.

Be safe
Garage sales attract honest buyers and the odd, dishonest person. Keep that in mind on the day of the sale. Here are some tips on safety.

  • Have two people present, if possible, in the sale area.
  • If you are able to do so, position all your items outside of the garage and close the door. It is best that you do not allow people access to the inside of your home.
  • Keep the money that you will use to make change, on you at all times. A fanny pack or money belt works great for this.
  • Keep the doors to your residence locked.

Wow, you did it!
Congratulations! You completed a successful garage sale. If there are items left over, consider donating them to the Salvation Army, AmVets or local charities.

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