Moving Tips Ease Your Pain

I know the moving season is almost over. But, I've had folks write me with their horror stories and extra tips for moving this summer, ideas I feel compelled to share.

These aren't the typical tips, such as taking care of the dogs, cleaning the house, packing your undies and the like. Instead, these tips deal specifically with the physical move and ways to make it easier and less stressful for folks moving hundreds of miles.

First Of All -- Sell All That You Can

Don't hang onto all the stored clothes, books, old records, etc., just because you might need it someday. Have a humongous yard/garage sale and just get rid of it. Besides freeing you up from household items that you're children or grandchildren will throw away anyway once you've made that final move, eliminating extraneous items will put some road money in your pocket and save you money if you're hiring a moving company, which charges by weight.

What you can't sell, give away to a charitable organization. All household items have some sort of value and this value can be deducted from your income for tax purposes. Besides helping less fortunate families, you'll also cut your tax bill.

If you have grown children, urge them with threats to cut them out of your will, to come get their own stuff and store it in their own basement or closets. You're their parents, not their personal storage facility.

Fix Your Cars And Vans

A couple weeks before you leave town, get your vehicles in the shop and have them looked over for the coming long trip. Of special interest are the tires, anti-freeze and the water pump. If your tires wouldn't pass inspection, then change them. Flush your anti-freeze to keep your vehicle operating cooler and have the air conditioner checked if you're traveling during the hot months. Also, check the water pump. This is the instrument that pumps the coolant through your engine. No water pump, no coolant and, eventually, no engine.

Check Insurance

Check out your auto insurance and homeowners insurance policies to make sure you have enough coverage for your trip between houses. On the auto insurance, ask for a road-side assistance rider, if you don't have it already. Many insurance companies offer this nifty coverage for just a few bucks. If you break down during the trip, they have a 24-hour phone number to call for assistance, and then it's covered by your provider (depending on your deductible).

Find out from them if you're covered for damage caused to a rental truck, if you're moving yourself. If not, find out how you can get such coverage. If your company won't offer coverage, then get it from the rental company.

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