Category Archives: Move Day Tips

How to prepare kids under 10 for a move – tips and tricks from a child psychologist

published by on October 14, 2017After You Move Tips, Before You Move Tips, Move Day Tips, News

Family unpacking cardboard boxes at new home

MovingCompanyReviews note:   We’re delighted to have Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, write this post for us.   Dr. Brown Hasbrook is a well known Child Psychologist in the Chicago area, and recently moved with her three children.    Her post below gives some fantastic tips and tricks on how to make the moving day (and the weeks leading up to it!) less stressful with kids.

It is not surprising that moving is listed as one of life’s most stressful events! After all, you are not just relocating your physical belongings, but you are leaving behind your community, your friends, your schools, and all the well-worn paths you created over the years! Moving becomes more complicated when children are part of the equation. Now, you don’t just have yourself and your worries with which to contend (e.g., How do I find the local grocery store, Will I make friends, etc.), but also a whole host of concerns from your children and their different perspectives. As you embark on this exciting journey, it is important to keep routines as consistent as possible.

When my family relocated from Chicago to a nearby suburb, our children were 3, 5, and 7 years old. Knowing that much of parenting lies in the marketing, I knew that how I presented the upcoming relocation to the kids was important. I also knew that I was serving as the main model based on my attitude and behavior about the move. On a basic level, they knew a relocation was impending given the “For Sale” sign in front of our condo and the numerous, quick clean up toys and flush the toilet sessions before showings. Since we know that change is challenging for everyone, especially if you perceive that you have little or no control over things, my husband and I tried to involve the children in an age-appropriate manner from the outset.

Let’s face it, looking at prospective houses and schools is tremendously easier without children present. Once we narrowed down the town, however, we felt it important to bring them along so they could share their input and visualize their “new life” in the suburbs. Seeing their new school, new neighborhood, and new house greatly managed expectations and appeared to help the move feel less scary! We requested a meeting with the principal so our kids could see a smiling and friendly face belonged to the leader of their new school. As always, they noticed things that my husband and I might not have noticed. After these trips to visit houses and schools, instead of rushing back home, we always made time to stop at local parks to play. Again, a new fond memory at a park made it easier for the kids to imagine playing at that park with their new friends sometime in the future!

We also took time to talk to our children about their feelings regarding leaving the only home and city they knew. We tried to validate their feelings of sadness, fear, and excitement by saying things like, “Thank you for telling me about your worries about making new friends. That is a really normal feeling to have when you move to a new town. Mommy feels the same way too, but I know we are a friendly and kind family. I am sure we will make friends really quickly. Just watch!” This ongoing, open conversation was really helpful as my youngest child expressed sadness regarding “really missing” her toys in the future. We reassured her that all her toys were moving with us to the suburbs. Had we not created an open conversation, we would not have known that she thought her toys were being separated from her! That brings me to my next point, make sure when packing items, that your children’s most beloved possessions (for younger kids it’s usually a lovey or blanket) are not packed in a box, but carried with them or you, if possible! Those items can serve as a great source of comfort (we, psychologists, call them transitional objects) during a stressful time! Make sure to mark the boxes with children’s bedding and toys accurately so they can be the first boxes unpacked in the new house! Involve your children in setting up their new bedrooms. Why not give them control wherever you can by allowing them to select paint colors, to choose furniture placement, and other unimportant details!

Finally, allow your children to connect with their old friends when appropriate. In today’s digital age, it is easier than ever to FaceTime, text, or call friends. The timing of visits and playdates is important though. If your children return to their old schools, or old friends’ houses before they have established enough connections or roots in their new community, it can be painful and delay their adjustment.

Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist


How finding a great mover took me 3 years.

published by on May 5, 2015Before You Move Tips, For Business, Move Day Tips, News

The semi arrives (yes, a semi!)

Moving sucks

Some research says moving counts as one of the top 5 most stressful things you can do.  I believe it.

I’d like tell you a story – a story of how I spent 3 years finding a great mover.

First, some background.  I moved more than 15 times in my life.  Early on, I would move myself.   As I acquired more stuff and got a bit older, I hired movers.    Every single time I tried to find a mover online, I thought to myself, “wow, moving is the industry the internet forgot about.”   Why could I not search movers?  Why could I not read verified reviews? Why could I not see photos of movers, or get any info on them at all?

When you search for other things online, reviews, prices, photos, and other great information guides you to an informed decision.   I wanted an Amazon, or Orbitz, or Tripadvisor, or Cars.com, or HomeFinder for moving.   Heck, I would have settled for a list of licensed movers in my area.    Instead, I constantly ran into a blind lead form – one that asked for all of my personal information, without showing me any of the movers that would contact me. You know what happened when I submitted that lead form?   I got called by not one, not two, but by SIX movers.  Argh!

Making it better

3 years ago, Shannon Cullins, then HomeFinder’s VP of Product, and I decided to change things.  We learned everything we could about moving, and decided to build an incredibly trustworthy, consumer friendly service to help consumers find great movers and experience happy moves.  We called it MovingCompanyReviews.com (MCR for short).  Shannon took over as General Manager, and we launched the site in February of 2013.   We launched with a few key features to guarantee we focus on helping people find the best movers:

  • We verify every review with either a moving receipt (called a Bill of Lading), or a move confirmed by a quality moving company
  • We prominently display each mover’s review rating
  • We prominently show every mover’s state and federal licensing information, links to their federal complaint history, and any other pertinent government information
  • We put caution badges on movers with suspect quality, or fraud complaints
A mover listing on MovingCompanyReviews

A mover listing on MovingCompanyReviews

 

See the license requirements for your move type and confirm a mover meets them

See the license requirements for your move type and confirm a mover meets them

 

Finding my mover on MovingCompanyReviews

Fast forward to today.   I moved last week, and found Olympia Moving through MovingCompanyReviews.  Interestingly enough, I chose a different mover than I thought going in.  Reading all of their verified reviews swayed me to them initially, and then their fantastic customer service during the quoting process won me over.

I am happy to report that Olympia made my move wonderful. They were, by a wide margin, the BEST movers I have ever used.   Their attention to detail stunned me.  They wrapped things meticulously, carried things extremely carefully, pointed out existing damage before wrapping or moving anything, and went way above and beyond what I expected.  For example, they expertly squeezed an huge armoir into a bedroom by taking some of it apart and putting it back together again.   Every other mover who moved that armoir just gave up, or damaged walls trying to shove it in.   The Olympia crew took such great care that we had no damage to any items, or any walls, other than a tiny smudge here and there.

The semi arrives (yes, a semi!)

The semi arrives (yes, a semi!)

Here’s the best part – they estimated 12 hours for the move, and it only took them 8, so we saved a bunch of money versus our quote.

I almost forgot the icing on top – I got a free pizza from MCR by leaving a voice review about my move.  Nothing tastes quite as good as a free pizza on move day.

My best move ever

It feels great building something that makes a difference.  Moving delivers loads of stress.   Having the fantastic movers from Olympia made this move much better and much less stressful than any other time I moved.    I’d like to thank the whole MovingCompanyReviews team for their work the last few years, you guys rock.

Planning to move soon? Find your mover and get free estimates at MovingCompanyReviews.com.

 

 


Insider Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Move

published by on September 24, 2014Before You Move Tips, Move Day Tips

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Moving can be a tough process, no matter if you’re moving out for the first time or settling into your “forever” home. We’ve compiled our top insider tips and tricks to create a stress-free move experience. Read more below!

MovingDayTips

 READ HERE: Top Ten Moving Day Tips

MovingWithKids

READ HERE: Ten Stress-Busting Tips for Moving With Kids

HappyMoveDay

READ HERE: Top Ten Happy Move Day Tips and Tricks


Top 10 Moving Day Tips

published by on May 5, 2014Move Day Tips

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After weeks of coordination, prep and careful planning, it’s finally here. Moving Day! Keep these stress-buster tips in mind for a successful move.

10. Pack a first night kit

You have a long day ahead of you, and the last thing you want to root through boxes for is essentials at bedtime. Pack a bag, clear bin or box that’s easily accessible with everything you need for your first night in your new home: change of clothes, bedding, comfort items for kids, snacks etc.

9. Label your boxes

It’s common to label your boxes with what it contains, but be sure to also clearly mark which ROOM they’re designated for as well. Write or apply labels on all sides, that way you’ll be able to read them when boxes are stacked and easily direct the movers as they unload.

8. Take a pic of your electronics before disconnecting 

You might be in a hurry to get everything packed and loaded on the truck, but take a minute to snap a picture of the back of your TV, computer and any electronics with complicated wires and hook-ups. Now you’ll have a visual cheat sheet for how to hook everything back up at your new place.

7. Empty and defrost your fridge for 24 hours before you move

Remove everything from your fridge and give it a thorough cleaning before unplugging it at least a day before your move. The last thing you want to welcome into your new home is unpleasant smells.

6. Keep high value items with you, not in the moving truck

Even if you have move protection, you likely have precious heirlooms or sentimental items that are irreplaceable. Keep these with you and plan to transport them in your car so you don’t have to worry about potential damage or loss. This includes sensitive documents such as financial info.

5. Give yourself plenty of time to get the job done right 

This seems overly simple, but you can save yourself a lot of stress by starting your day early and leaving plenty of room for each critical step of the move process. Move day should be focused on moving out of your old home and into your new one. Don’t limit your time window by adding on extra coordination headaches, such as utility set up.

4. Know your inventory 

Your moving company will provide you with an inventory confirmation and Bill of Lading, which details everything that should be moved that day. Look over all paperwork carefully and don’t sign anything you don’t feel 100% about, it’s never too late to ask questions. It’s also a good idea to know how many boxes you’ve packed so you can make sure all your belongings arrive at your destination.

3. Keep cleaning supplies and garbage bags handy 

With lots of foot traffic in and out of the house, unpacking and potentially anything left behind by prior residents, it doesn’t hurt to have cleaning supplies handy to get your new digs move-in ready. Your kitchen and the bathrooms will probably be the most used throughout the day, so start there.

2. Clear any obstacles for your mover 

If you’re moving to a house, the moving truck can probably park out front. But if you live in an area with limited street parking and other regulations, make sure you have a spot for your movers to safely park and have secured proper permits if needed. Same goes for reserving an elevator if you live in a condo – the idea is to help your movers do their job. Efficiency will translate in cost savings for you, if the movers can finish on time or even before your estimated window.

1. Get FREE pizza on move day by reviewing your mover

The last thing you want to worry about today is putting food on the table. Haven’t unpacked your cookware yet? No problem! Get FREE Domino’s pizza today when you review your mover and provide a move receipt. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you :)


Tipping Etiquette for Move Day

published by on August 2, 2013Move Day Tips

Movers work hard - Show them your appreciation!

To tip or not to tip? On move day, that is the question.

And actually a pretty common one based on our completely anecdotal and not-at-all-scientific office poll. Based on our scouring of moving sites and other consumer forums, it seems like there’s much ado about this topic and tons of confusion. So we’ll do our best to break it down for you.

Read more…


10 Stress Busting Tips For A Happy Move Day With The Kiddos

published by on June 4, 2013Move Day Tips

happy move day

To put it lightly, moving day is going to be insanely busy. Add kids to the mix and you have a lot to worry about. Here are some ideas to keep the whole family happy and calm on an otherwise chaotic day.

happy move day

Make Move Day happy for the whole family.

1. Have the kids decorate their boxes

Give your kids some stickers and markers and let them make the boxes their own. Just be sure their name/room is readable for you and your movers. Make sure there is no question which room gets their sheets or their favorite toys.

2. Pack a first night box

Remember that aside from basic essentials, your child probably has special items that would go a long way to making them comfortable in their new space. If little Bobby can’t sleep without his five favorite stuffed toys and blanket, make sure these are easily accessible along with these other common favorites:

  • Pajamas
  • Favorite toys
  • Favorite books for bedtime
  • Favorite snacks
  • Nightlight
  • A sheet or temporary window covering if their new room has different conditions than what they’re used to
  • Clothes for the next day

3. Give them a job

Making them part of the team lets them feel like they have an important role and keeps them busy and focused. Jobs like watching the family pet, giving the movers water bottles or wiping off surfaces in the new place will keep their minds off of the confusion of arriving in a new place.

4. Leave a surprise for them in their room

If possible, have their favorite stuffed animal or toy unpacked and waiting for them in their room when they arrive. Print a sign with their name to post on the door – anything to help the new place feel special and more like home.

5. Put them in charge of the checklist

If they can read, give them a checklist of things to be completed before leaving the old place. Ask them to check rooms to make sure everything’s been packed. If they can’t read, try giving them pictures of stuff to look for.

6. Pack a Move Day Survival Kit

You’ll need one too (and yours may involve cocktail fixin’s) but for the kiddos, make sure you have snacks on hand and anything they can’t live without. Keep first-aid supplies available. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever climate you’re moving in, have sunscreen or extra hats and mittens.

For older kids, let them play DJ while unpacking. Anything’s more fun with some happy tunes. With babies or toddlers, take a cooler or insulated box/bag in the car with the food essentials like fruit, milk and formula.

And don’t forget the toilet paper and cleaning supplies (save yourself a run to the store by having these handy items ready)!

7. Hire a sitter or invite a family member to help

You’ll be busy directing the movers to rooms, keeping track of the keys and supervising all critical aspects of the move. If you have a friend, family member or sitter available, ask them to be buddies with your kids for the day. You’ll be more relaxed knowing someone else is keeping them busy and fed.

8. Be ready for a change in schedule

With your family leaving town at once, things might not go exactly as planned. Little ones will probably miss their naps. If the schedule goes off-track, try to make up for lost time and be ready to deal with frustrated kids. Remember, it’s only temporary and you’ll all be enjoying your new home together soon enough.

9.  Don’t forget about the day after

You remembered the First Night Kit, but don’t forget you’ll still be acclimating to the new place in the morning. Hungry kids are grumpy kids. Plan on heading out for a nearby breakfast joint or clearly mark a kitchen box with stuff you’ll need first thing in the morning like bowls and cereal.

10. Have fun!

Create a scavenger hunt or map of the new place for them to check out. Try the neighborhood park or ice cream place. If that last pile of boxes can wait, give yourself a chance to drop the move from your mind and spend time with the family around town. Because it’s not really about the move, but moving forward with new memories.

Happy moving!

Bonus - We know moving is hard and we think you deserve a treat. How does a free coffee sound? Review your mover now through June 30 and we’ll thank you with a $5 Starbuck eGift Card once we verify your review.