Miami is one of the world’s most exciting multicultural cities, offering sun, sand and style. Famous for its miles of white sand beaches and lively nightlife, the city offers cultural attractions, museums, concerts and sporting events. Enjoy world famous boutiques to enhance your shopping experience. Miami is made up of many distinct localities, including South Beach and Key Biscayne, historical Coral Gables, fabled Coconut Grove and the high-rise condos of Brickell Avenue and Downtown Miami.
Tell Your Family and Get Them Involved
Statistics say that the number one reason why people move is for a job or to start a new career. Often, the decision to move doesn't really feel like a choice as companies order the transfer or prospects are more favorable in another city or state. The move may be better for you, but what about your family? Telling family members that it's time to move can be a difficult discussion to have, so including them early on in the decision is a good idea.
How to Tell the Kids
Tell them early.As soon as the decision has been made, tell your family. This is one of the most-asked questions by kids when moving news is announced: when did you decide this? Letting them know that they are the first people to hear of your decision will provide some assurance that they matter.
Hold a family meeting.Ask everyone to stay at the kitchen table after dinner, or turn off the television and hold it in your family room. Just make sure all members are present. We suggest not breaking the news at a restaurant or other public forum as children need to be able to express their emotions freely. Try to do it in a warm, open environment where everyone feels comfortable. And to ensure children don't worry about the subject of your news, don't announce the meeting unless it's a regular occurrence in your household. Make it an impromptu get-together.
Set ground rules.If you've never held a family meeting, set some ground rules, rules that everyone can agree to. Do this at the beginning of the meeting and write down the rules where they are clearly visible. Encourage everyone to add their suggestions then come to a consensus. One such rule might be: "Do not talk when someone else is talking" or "No facial gestures or side comments." The list is endless.
Remain open.Allow your children to be upset. Let them ask questions. Let them storm off to their room. Above all, let them talk. Children need to know they've been heard.
Be very clear that the decision is final.Keep this in mind later during the move when you start to get cold feet. The most important thing is to always show your children you are sure of the decision and to always remain firm. Wavering on your decision or expressing doubts will cause your children to worry and to feel even more uncertain then they do. Take your cold feet to a friend or journal or discuss it with your spouse or partner when you're away from the house. And don't whisper in bed at night so little ears can hear.
Give them as much information as they need.During your discussion with your children, make sure you let them know the general details of your move, including where, when, why and how. If they want to know more, they'll ask. Too many details may overwhelm them. Give them time to absorb the news before you start giving them too much information.
The meeting is about them. Give them time to absorb the news and to ask questions if they choose to. Answer the questions honestly. If you are unsure of an answer, tell them that. Let them know that you want them to tell you how they feel, what they think and what they expect will happen. Open up the discussion and allow for dialogue amongst all family members. If needed, take turns speaking. Just make sure that everyone has a chance to voice their opinion, including the very smallest family members. Don't allow the oldest children to steer the discussion, although they are looked up to by younger members, try to allow everyone some time.
Reassure them.Tell your children that you're all in this together, that the move will be something that they all work together for, that you'll need their help. Let them know that if they are worried or angry or frustrated, you will help them through it.
Be positive.Tell your children the good things that will come from this move, and why it will be better for the entire family. Give them the advantages to moving. Be positive, but also realistic. Don't make promises you can't keep and don't exaggerate just to generate excitement. Be honest.
Set regular meeting dates. It's a very busy time, but after the initial meeting setting regular meeting dates. This will give your children a routine, knowing they'll have other opportunities to talk and ask questions. As time progresses, these meetings can be used to update everyone on what's happening with the move, to provide more details and eventually, assign tasks. Regular dialogue will also encourage open communication, letting children know that they are part of this important event.
Hiring A Good Moving Company
Hiring a good moving company is a lot harder than first imagined as there are so many to choose from. Where do you even start? Start by doing some research, most of which can be conducted right from your computer. Select at least 5 companies and interview them over the phone.
Most companies have websites that list their services, service history, destinations they will move to, and approximately how much it will cost. This is a great place to get background information and to start compiling a list of potential companies. Most companies will list contact information, including e-mail addresses, allowing you to ask questions and be provided with a written response.
Ask around. Most people you know have moved once or twice in their life, so ask friends, family and colleagues if they can recommend a company, or if there's a company they don't recommend. Both lists are invaluable when choosing a mover.
If you don't have anyone to ask, the best place to start your research is on MovingScam.com. This is a website dedicated to revealing moving scams before they happen to you. Check out their articles, and in particular, their message board where individuals will post on moving company problems and warnings. This is a great resource and a great place to post your questions and to find answers.
Contact the Better Business Bureau. Find out if any of the companies on your list have generated any reports. Information you get will usually contain any grievances filed and if the grievances were resolved successfully. It's rare that a company does not have any unhappy customers; the key is to ensure that if there were complaints, that in the end, the customer was satisfied with the result. Read the report carefully, and if you're thinking of using a company who had a grievance filed, ask them specifically about this case and how it was resolved. Depending on the severity of the complaint, you may choose not to pursue this company.
Go to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website and find out if your potential mover has a Department of Transportation (DOT) number. This number ensures that the company is registered with the Department of Transportation.
What to Ask the Moving Company
Before you even have the company do a walk-through of your home, ask these questions while you have them on the phone. This is your chance to interview the company to see if they are going to meet your needs.
Registration NumberThe moving company should have a registration number with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), called a USDOT number (US Department of Transportation Number). If a company only travels within one state, than they may not be registered. You can check online with FMCSA.
Rates and EstimatesAsk the company what their rate is; most companies will provide a rate per pound and a distance rate. If the company offers a quote based on cubic feet – do not hire them.
A company estimate must be based on weight if you're moving long-distances. For short-distances, some companies will charge a per hour rate. Both the hourly rate and the poundage rate will not change, whereas the estimate can, depending on the type the carrier provides. Keep in mind that the moving company must give you an estimate in writing and they must provide you with a copy. The estimate must include all charges and both you and the mover must sign it for it to be an agreement. The estimate must also indicate the method of payment and be dated. You can read more detailed information on estimates by going to the articles on binding estimates and non-binding estimates.
SubcontractorsSome of the larger movers subcontract to a smaller company. If this is the case with the company you are thinking of using, ask for the subcontractor’s name and if the company uses several subcontractors, ask for a complete list.
If the mover is uncertain, ask them to find out and get back to you. This information should be readily available and should not be withheld. If subcontractors are used, make sure you check out the drivers to ensure you'll still receive good service. Most subcontractors are local movers who have purchased their own truck for transport.
Additional FeesFind out if there are any additional fees or when additional fees apply. Some companies will charge extra for awkward items, or if the destination does not have easy access, or if the load has to be hand-carried over a certain distance. To avoid such costs, note any larger items and pre-arrange where the truck can park, if there are any stairs. If you are moving to a condo or high-rise, investigate any possible obstructions such as elevator usage and load restrictions. These extra charges are called flight charges and long carry charges. They should be discussed with your mover ahead of time. If you're well organized, have arranged for parking and elevator usage, these charges should not apply.
If your old or new residence is not accessible for a large carrier truck or van, you may need to have the mover arrange for a shuttle service, which will also incur additional costs.
Additional costs may also include fuel surcharges or transportation surcharges if you are moving to a remote area. In addition, if your belongings cannot be unloaded on arrival, they may need to be stored. Storage-in-transit fees will be charged along with warehouse handling charges. Try to avoid either by ensuring your new residence is ready on time.
Additional TransfersFor long distance moves some companies may transfer your belongings from one truck to another. Additional transfers increase the possibility of damage and loss. Keep this in mind when you are choosing your carrier and ask beforehand. Also, if you are moving during the winter or rainy season, find out if the company protects against water damage.
InsuranceAsk detailed questions about insurance. The moving company will provide insurance at an additional cost. Insurance is usually based on weight, so you will need to assess the value of your goods versus what the insurance policy will provide should your belongings arrive damaged or not at all. Standard coverage is 60 cents per pound and is usually not enough to cover the true cost of the damaged item. Before you purchase more insurance, look into your home insurance to see if they offer additional coverage for moving.
Packing/Storage ServicesFind out how items are protected and labeled. Most companies will shrink-wrap your sofa and provide a free blanket wrap service; smaller companies may charge for this service. Ask how items are labeled and how they will be identified on arrival. Make sure you keep an accurate list of all your items, number of boxes, single pieces and odds and ends. In addition, ask up front if the moving company expects appliance service charges, and if they do, ask about their policies for preparing appliances for transport to see if you can either do it yourself or find someone who'll do it at no cost. In most cases, companies don't charge for standard major appliances, but will for any extra item.
If you require storage, ask the company if they provide storage services.
Usually, the larger companies do and this can save you time and money by having the truck drop off your items for you. It's a good idea to check out the storage facility beforehand.
Complaints and ClaimsAsk the company if they have any unresolved complaints or claims against them. Most will give you a history of complaints and claims, and if they were resolved satisfactory for the client. Details won't necessarily be provided, but if there are some outstanding issues, ask for more information about why and the nature of the complaint and claim. Also, ask how many claims and complaints they've had; this is a good indication of their incident record.Ask for Referrals/RecommendationsMost reliable companies will automatically provide you with letters of happy clients. And although anyone with a printer and computer could generate supportive documents, you can usually assume they are legitimate and factual.Make note of anything suspicious. And above all, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
Set Up a Moving TimelineIf you set a timeline for your move, you'll find it easy to check off tasks week by week to ensure you don't forget anything such as booking a babysitter, getting shots for Fido or calling the city for a parking permit for the move.
Preparing to move
There are few events in life more demanding than preparing for a move. The happy anticipation of living in your new home can be squelched when you begin to consider the effort of packing your grandmother’s china or your rare record collection. But take heart: the initial anxiety can be significantly relieved when you follow a few simple steps.
First, plan ahead - way ahead. Careful planning can make the difference between a chaotic moving day and an organized, easy transition when the moving van arrives. Check and re-confirm the scheduled closing date. Make a list of all records that need to be transferred and utility companies that must be notified. Take a long hard look at your possessions and then weed out everything you haven’t used in over a year. Next, have that obligatory garage sale which offers the double bonus of relieving you of more objects to pack and giving you cash to cover last-minute minor expenses. Remember that you’re paying someone to carry away everything you choose not to take with you. Finally, make it fun. A moving party gives everyone an excuse to spend time with you while helping you prepare.
Before The Move
Even after all our moves, from city to city, across the country and even internationally, I still get a little overwhelmed when I think about the next move. To help get a handle on all the things you need to think about, organize and make happen, this handy guide is a great place to start. Once you've read through these steps, you'll see that it isn't really that bad after all. Just remember to keep breathing, stay focused and try to take time to be excited about the upcoming change.
8 Weeks Before You Move
It's just two months before you say goodbye to your house, your neighborhood, family and friends. By now you may be feeling a little overwhelmed, not to worry. Just keep this handy list next to your side and with a bright red marker, tick off the items as you complete them. Soon you'll find yourself actually looking forward to moving day!
Purchase a journal or use a binder to keep notes on your move. Include "to do" lists, reminders, phone conversations and what you've already accomplished.
Obtain a floor plan of your new residence and decide what household goods you want to keep.
Select a mover.
Will you need to purchase additional insurance? Find out how much the moving company will cover, then contact your insurance agent and ask if your homeowners or rental policy can apply to moving your household goods.
Establish a file for all moving papers and receipts.
Arrange to transfer or obtain your child's school records.
If you need to use storage facilities, check out your options, compare prices and book the space.
Make a running list of people you need to notify of your change of address. Keep it handy (on the refrigerator) so you can add to it as the days tick by.
Start looking at what, if any, packing supplies you'll need. Make a list, and if you're ordering off the internet, order your supplies now.
Purchase a lockable box and/or file box to keep important documents. Start collecting and sorting your records. Keep adding to it as you begin to pack.
Complete any home improvements/repairs you have agreed to do.
4 Weeks Before You Move
With a month to go before the big day, you may be feeling like you'll never get it all done, but you can! All you need to do is take a breath, stop looking at the big picture and start concentrating on the small steps.So, big breath in. Big breath out.Repeat 10 times.Now, grab that red marker and let's get down to the things that should get done in the next two weeks.
Contact your utility and service companies to arrange the date when your service can be disconnected, and if needed, the date it is to be reconnected in your new home. This can include telephone, internet, heating, water and electricity. Make sure you ask that services be disconnected after your move date. There's nothing worse than the power being cut at 8:00 a.m. and the movers are arriving at 9:00 a.m. and they really need to move those boxes from the basement.
Make all your travel plans such as flights, hotels or calls to family members you might need to stay with at your destination or along the way. If you're flying your pets, make sure you have the necessary documents and carriers.
Decide what needs to travel with you, including clothing, games for the kids, books, toiletries, etc. Always plan for an extra day or two if you're driving, just in case you get a flat or decide to take a detour.
Once you've decided what will travel with you, do a test run to make sure it will all fit in your luggage, backpack or the trunk of your car.
Begin dismantling any outdoor furniture or children's play areas, including slides and swings. Check the garage and storage areas to determine what needs to be packed. These areas are often overlooked when packing the rest of the house.
Start finding new homes for your plants, if you know they can't go with you. If you are moving plants, make sure you know how they'll be transported.
Cancel subscriptions to local newspapers, magazines, bottled water or any other home delivery service you currently receive.
Complete an IRS change of address form.
If you're driving to your new home, get a detailed map and plot out your route. Write out directions and give them to your movers.
Keep packing! By now, you probably have a few boxes packed, maybe more, and they're starting to get in the way. If you have a spare bedroom or study or enclosed porch - any room that you don't use on a daily basis - designate that space as your "moving room". Boxes you've packed, items that need to be moved, can all be stored here. And if this isn't a space that's used much, pack its contents first so you'll have more space to work in.
2 Weeks Before You Move
Two weeks to go... You’re almost there! This is the most stressful period, when it feels like there will never be enough time to finish everything. Maybe it's time to call in some help. Rally some friends or family or neighbors, offer them a glass of wine and hand them a box. Most people are glad to help out, plus it gives them all a little extra time to spend with you before you leave.
Safely dispose of all hazardous household chemicals like paint, oil and solvents.
Start eating items in your freezer and pantry. Try not to buy too many groceries right now or if you have to, only buy essentials and items that you'll eat in the next two weeks.
Pack up your garage, shed, and basement. These areas sometimes take longer than expected so it's better not to leave them until the end.
Continue packing. Try to label each box with what's inside, where it goes and any special instructions. Be as detailed as you can. This will make it easier when you're unpacking to know what needs to be unpacked first. You can even put a big bright sticker on the boxes that contain your essentials, for easy identification. Just make sure you put the sticker on at least two sides.
It’s Moving Day – What to Expect
Set your alarm early because it's moving day! This is the day you've been waiting and planning for for the past eight weeks and now it's finally here.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep, take the children to a babysitter or neighbors, drink lots of coffee and get ready for the final tasks in your soon-to-be old home.
Pack up the remaining items such as the bedding and towels.
When your movers arrive, go through your home with them to ensure that any fragile or large items are identified. This will help the movers ensure your things are properly loaded and protected
Make sure you've placed all itemsnotgoing with the mover in a separate place with all boxes well marked. You could possibly keep one bathroom for just such purposes, making sure there is a spare washroom or that the facilities can still be used by both you and the movers. If you're driving to your new home, items can be loaded into your car before the moving company arrives.
In case the movers have any questions, be present when your items are tagged by the moving company to ensure everything is marked properly. You'll also be signing the final document outlining which items were loaded on to the truck. It helps to confirm each piece before it leaves your home.
Before the moving truck pulls away, do a final thorough check to ensure everything has been loaded.
Make sure the moving company has your new address and a contact telephone number in case they need to reach you.
Check all paperwork before you sign the bill of lading. Keep your copy of the bill of lading and inventory list in a safe place.
Do any last minute cleaning.
Leave your new address and contact information for the new tenants or your landlord so that any stray pieces of mail can be forwarded.
Take one last look around, shut off all lights, say goodbye and lock your front door for the very last time.