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72 Ways to Save on Your Move

ELIMINATE RATHER THAN RELOCATE

While you're organizing or packing for your move, sift and sort. Use a heavy hand toward the trash can, and let common sense and these tips be your guide.

1. The Floor Plan.
If possible, get a floor plan of your future residence, or make one to scale on graph paper. Then try to fit your furniture in. If it won't fit on paper, it won't fit when you arrive. Get rid of it.

2. Color-Coordinate Your Move.
If the sofa just won't match, don't move it. Often you can replace furniture and appliances more cheaply than you can re-upholster or refurbish and move them.

3. Ignore the "I Might Need It Someday" Syndrome.
Don't move the riding mower to an apartment. Part with tools you won't have a place to use. And remember, junk is junk. You don't need a furnished attic.

4. Book Learning.
Condense your library as much as possible. Then investigate the cost of mailing treasured volumes compared to the cost of moving them. The special postage rate for books may save you money.

5. Plan for Plants.
Check with your mover. In some cases, it may be illegal to bring plants into a particular state. Even if it is possible, it may not be sensible.

6. It's Not Dirt Cheap.
If you're determined to take your huge outdoor planters, fill them with miscellaneous items instead of dirt. Same goes with the sandbox. There'll be dirt and sand where you're going.

7. The Shirt Off Your Back.
While one dress or one suit doesn't weigh much, the average full wardrobe carton weighs 75 pounds. So if you're never going to wear it, don't move it. Contact your local Goodwill agency and make a donation -- there may be tax benefits.

8. The Sound of Money.
Hundreds of CDs can make for a heavy box. If your taste has changed from rock to Bach, purge your collection accordingly. Some music stores will buy back your used CDs for cash or store credit. Wrap CDs in a large piece of heavy paper, starting at the paper's edge and alternately folding the paper over one CD and stacking another on top (CD-paper-CD-paper). When you have run out of room on the paper, place the bundle upright in a packing carton.

9. Toys -- The Kids'.
Now's the time to clean out the toy box. If the kids are old enough, give them incentive. Let them stage their own garage sale and keep the profits to buy something special -- after you've moved.

10. Toys -- Yours.
If your treadmill hasn't gone a mile in months, moving it won't help. Consider selling weight-lifting equipment and replacing it at your destination. Remember, weight equals cost. Sell any hobby equipment you no longer enjoy.

11. Food for Thought.
Frozen foods cannot be shipped, so eat up. Consume canned goods and food staples, and don't replenish them. Plan menus to make the most of what you have. Be sure to empty your refrigerator completely and clean thoroughly to prevent odor problems.

12. Handyman Heavies.
The workshop is a storehouse of bulky, heavy items. Evaluate them carefully -- from the tool table to the tools. It might be advantageous to replace the massive workbench, etc.

13. Rugs.
Unless they're valuable, or you're sure they'll fit and flatter your new residence, get them out from underfoot.

14. The Swing Set.
You'll probably come out ahead with your back, your kids and your finances if you replace it rather than move it.

15. Firewood.
Don't take it with you.

16. Cue Clues.
A pool table requires special handling. Your best shot might be to sell it and then replace it at your new destination.

17. Musical Notes.
Pianos and organs also require special handling and should be tuned after a move. If they're an enjoyable part of your life-style, move them; if they're just impressive trimming, you might want to trim your moving cost.

18. Bah Humbug.
Be Scrooge when it comes to special holiday decorations. Don't move what you can't or won't use.

19. Don't Be Fuelish.
Do not under any conditions move flammable items. Empty fuel from the lawn mower, power tools or kerosene lamps. Don't take paints (oil base), bleach, cleaning fluids, lighter fluids, matches, ammunition or any other type of combustible. Check the kids' chemistry set. Butane tanks cannot be loaded into a moving van unless they are certified as being professionally purged. If you have doubts -- don't take it. Better safe than sorry.

20. Can Your Aerosol Cans.
A seemingly innocent aerosol can of hair spray could explode and endanger your whole shipment. Eliminate all aerosol cans -- hair sprays, shaving creams, deodorants, household cleaners, insecticides, tarnish removers, car cleaners and others.

 

LIQUIDATE OR DONATE

Once you decide what you're going to part with, decide how. If you're selling a home, the buyer may be your best customer. Some items that can often be advantageously sold with the home are listed in the next section. There are other ways to make a good riddance -- a good profit in the process.

21. Have a Garage Sale.
Organize it, advertise it and manage it. You'll be amazed to see how profitably your trash can become someone else's treasures.

22. Advertise in the Classifieds.
For more valuable items, it pays to put an ad where the interest is -- in the appropriate classified section of your metropolitan and neighborhood newspapers.

23. Donate to Your Favorite Charity.
Itemize the items and keep a receipt. It may help you qualify for a tax deduction.

 

SELL IT LIKE IT IS

Before you even put your residence up for sale, carefully consider extras that can be included to increase the appeal and the value of your home -- and to cut moving costs. Discriminating buyers will probably want everything but your family portrait. Many extras add more value to the house than they actually cost in the first place. This is even true for apartment dwellers, who may find the future tenant a ready and willing buyer.

24. From Chandeliers to Ceiling Fans.
Most buyers assume that such fixtures are included with the home. Unless there's a special sentimental reason, they probably should be. Bulky, fragile ceiling fixtures require special packing and handling. And this costs money.

25. Appliances.
Consider the age, size and color of your appliances. These are very heavy items, and usually require professional servicing before the move and special installation upon moving in. So, if your stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer or freezer won't fit or match in your new home, perhaps it's time to start anew.

26. Verify Type of Power.
You can prevent wiring damage caused by temperature changes by unplugging all electronic items 24 hours before loading and waiting 24 hours at your new residence before plugging them into an outlet. Check to be sure that you have the proper power connections and sources for your appliances in your future residence. Don't move a gas stove or dryer to an all-electric house.

27. Hearth and Home.
They go together. Special fireplace screens and tools are hard to move and may not fit where you're going. Sell them with your home.

28. Shelving Systems.
If you have a built-in shelving system, leave it that way. No new owner will appreciate holes in the wall where the shelves used to be.

29. TV Antenna.
Re-mounting it is more bother than moving it.

30. From Flag Poles to Basketball Goals.
We've been asked to move them before! Sell them with the house and save yourself time, trouble and money.

 

VALUABLE INFORMATION

31. Arrange for the Transfer of Valuables.
Start with the contents of your safe-deposit box. Carry with you or send by insured or registered mail, small valuables such as jewelry, insurance policies, legal documents, stamp collections, etc. Items of such unusual value should not be included in your shipment. The same is true for important computer diskettes which can warp and become unreadable.

 

MISCELLANEOUS MONEY, TIME AND HEADACHE SAVERS

Once you've organized your belongings, it's time to organize your move. The things you don't do can cost you both money and time. Here's a listing of small details that can save you dollars and headaches.

32. Coordinate Your Move.
Give your mover plenty of notice and, if possible, arrange occupancy dates in your new residence to avoid storage or delays.

33. Notify Telephone, Electric, Gas and Water Companies.
Discontinue service on a specific date. Request final meter reading.

34. Write each utility in the city to which you're moving.
Tell them when you will want service started. Otherwise, you might have to pay hotel rates while you wait.

35. Notify Laundryman and Newspapers to discontinue service.

36. Notify Security Company, Lawn Service, Garbage Disposal Service or any other type of regular service.

37. Check Your Bank and Savings Accounts.
Arrange to transfer deposits so that you don't lose interest. Use your bank as a credit reference.

38. Notify Your Post Office, Publications and Correspondents in advance.

39. Notify Former Employers and the Social Security Administration.
This will simplify obtaining information for income tax purposes.

40. Collect Any Deposits.
Whether it's a landlord or the utilities, it's easier to get deposits back in person than via long distance.

41. Check with Orthodontist, Obstetrician, etc.
If any members of your family require ongoing medical or dental treatment for which you have paid, arrange with the practitioner to pro-rate payments with a professional in your destination city.

42. Check Your Homeowners Insurance.
It may be possible to have it applied to your future residence, or reassigned to the future owners and pro-rate payments. If not, possibly you qualify for a partial refund. Be sure to coordinate insurance so that you're covered in your new residence immediately.

43. If You Sold It, Don't Move It.
Be on hand moving day to make sure that anything which was supposed to go with the home doesn't go on the van. Should you accidentally take items, the new owner may not be understanding. And, it cost to return items!

44. Membership Fees.
Depending on the clubs or organizations to which you belong, you may be able to sell memberships or get a partial refund on dues.

45. Lockers and Cleaners.
Be sure to collect all your belongings in club or school lockers or at the cleaners.

46. Call Toll-Free.
If you're stopping along the way, use the toll-free numbers of major hotel chains to make advance overnight reservations.

47. Check on Car or Installment Loans.
You may be required to notify the lending company of your move.

48. Transfer all Insurance Records.
Verify that your car insurance is adequate, as rates vary from city to city.

49. Close any Revolving Charge Accounts with department stores or specialty shops not located in your destination city.

50. Notify National Credit or Charge Card Organizations.

51. Try to Complete Closing and any other legal matters before you move. It's costly to make a return trip to take care of details.

52. Arrange for Payment of Your Mover at Destination. Unless charges are to be billed to your employer or the cost of your move has been charged to your personal credit card, payment by cash, certified check or money order is required at your destination.

 

THE BETTER THE PACKING, THE BETTER THE MOVE

Professional packing is an added expense, but it often pays for itself in convenience and safety. Your mover has the expertise and materials to pamper and protect all your possessions. Even if you have the time and energy to pack, consider leaving your delicate or fragile items (china, glassware, silver, clocks, etc.) for the professionals. If you're a determined do-it-yourselfer, do it right. Ask your Wheaton Agent about specially designed containers and materials; you can buy them at a minimum cost to assure maximum protection of your belongings.

53. Don't Use Newspaper for Packing.
Newsprint fades easily and could ruin the items it was supposed to protect.

54. Pack Toilet Articles and Medicines separately in small containers. Be sure corks and caps are secure.

55. Don't Pack Too Compactly.
Give fragile items "breathing room" to avoid breakage. You can leave clothing in drawers, but remember -- overstuffing can cause drawers to warp.

56. Arrange for Proper Servicing of Your Appliances.
Contact a professional or ask your Wheaton Agent to arrange service for you.

57. Leave Fitted Sheets on Mattresses to protect them.

58. Spread Your Linens Around.
Instead of putting them all in one carton, use your linens as fillers to cushion other items.

59. Put Heavy Items on the Bottom and them fill up with lighter things. Use smaller cartons for books, cast-iron cookware, etc.

60. Pack Your Current Phone Book to contact friends or businesses in your former location.

61. Indicate Contents on the Outside of the Carton.
If possible, designate which room the carton should go in; it'll simplify things at your destination. Be sure to indicate on the outside of the carton if the contents are especially fragile.

62. Combine Items You'll Need Immediately Upon Arrival in one box. Designate it "Unload First." Include necessities like toilet paper, paper towels, cups, a can opener, soap, etc.

 

SAVE ON TAXES

63. When You Donate Items to Charity, request and keep an itemized receipt. It might help you qualify for a tax deduction.

64. Keep a Detailed Record and Receipts of Your Moving Expenses -- including transportation, lodging, meals, etc. If you are moving because of a change in principal place of employment, such reasonable expenses are deductible. Check with the Internal Revenue Service or your accountant for specifics.

65. Keep a Record of the Costs of Improvements made in your home through the years and any expenses associated with the sale of your home, including realtor fees or classified costs.

66. & 67. Insurance and Inventory.
The two go together. Your possessions are worth as much in transit as they are in your home. Make sure they're insured accordingly. Talk to your insurance agent if you have any questions. Your Wheaton Agent will be glad to give you a complete inventory form. It can save you money moving -- and afterward. The ideal time to prepare this inventory is while you organize for your move. List your possessions and their approximate value. Photograph or videotape your items room by room. You'll probably be amazed to realize what your possessions are really worth. Keep your completed inventory in a safe place. Then if you have extensive household damage in the future, you can establish accurate, comprehensive insurance claims.

68. Pick Your Mover Like You Picked Your Possessions. Very Carefully.
Because it's not just anybody's furniture -- it's your collection. Trivia or treasures, miscellaneous or heirlooms, your possessions are a part of your personality and lifestyle. They're what will make your new home uniquely you. A proven, professional mover is your best assurance of a good move.

69. Don't Be Sold By a Low Estimate.
Estimates are exactly that. The actual cost of your move will be determined primarily by weight and distance, plus the cost of any extra services you require. So if one estimate is significantly lower, be suspicious. That way you won't be surprised on moving day.

70. An Estimate Is Only as Accurate as You Are.
Be precise and thorough when you show your Wheaton Agent what is to be moved, and what, if anything, is not to be moved. Canvass everything from the attic to the basement. The more thorough you are, the more accurate your estimate will be.

71. Check the Record.
Although movers are no longer required by the government to furnish customers with information about their performance, it's a good idea to compare movers. You'll find that Wheaton Van Lines has one of the best records in the moving industry for estimating accuracy as well as on-time pickup and delivery.

72. Ask Someone Who Knows.
At Wheaton Van Lines, most of our moves come to us as repeats or referrals. We are proud of this fact, and strive to perform our services in a way which gives our customers the confidence to recommend us to their friends and colleagues.