First Day of your Move

You just moved into a new house. You can’t find anything. There are boxes everywhere. You haven’t eaten in over 24 hours. You just want to sit somewhere that has furniture put together. You are on your last nerve and your husband is looking like a good person to snarl at.

The first 24 hours after you move can be the most stressful and the most productive. Use this awesome list and you won’t end up in divorce court!

Start with Assembly . Get your bed assembled first. This will be your place of refuge.

Fluff the pillows. Once your bed is assembled, throw some sheets on it. Your made bed will be a sight for sore eyes at 2am after unpacking all day.

More assembly. Get your kitchen table, kitchen chairs, living room furniture, roughly arranged. These rooms will always be the first ones you see and where you spend the most time. Get yourself a place to sit and eat before you get too tired.

Unpack your everyday items. In a perfect world, you would have packed a particular box that houses a few essentials like your toiletries, coffeemaker, and towels. Find these things first to avoid a mental breakdown at 6 am when you just want a cup of coffee.

Move the boxes. You don’t even have to unpack yet, promise! Just get the boxes into the right rooms.

Get to know the neighbors. You’re exhausted, you’re sweaty, and you would rather die than make a new friend right now. But for every neighbor that walks by, give a smile and a friendly wave. They are bound to come over and introduce themselves. That 5 minutes break might grant you a friend for life, or at least someone who will always loan you a cup of sugar.

Check the time. I know there’s dust everywhere, but no vacuuming at 2am if you live in a building with neighbors!

Get one room ready. Even if it’s the smallest and least important room, get one room as unpacked and set up as possible. When you’re ready to scream from trying to get the other rooms ready, you can pop into this room and still feel accomplished.

Don’t freak out. Take a moment to get excited about your new space. Get a latte and enjoy your new view and all the exciting possibilities that come with a location change.

I hope this will help you prioritize and not lose your mind. Now breath deep and end relax… it will all get done eventually.

Moving Checklist

So you are moving? What an exciting time. The move can be overwhelming. Planning can make moving much easier. Knowing what you need to get done – and in what order – will help to put your mind at ease when the big moving day arrives.

Here is a moving day checklist to guide you through the process and to keep moving chaos at bay. Many of the items can be done ahead, so do yourself a favor and get organized in advance. If you follow these guidelines and get organized come moving day, you will be ready to handle the whole ordeal, without worry or distraction.

So Get Ready….Get Set….Go!

1. 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 your household goods.

2. Prepare with Children
Have the kids pack a box of their ‘special’ items, things they’ll want to have nearby as soon as you arrive at your new home. You might also consider allowing your child to help fill the box of special items to make them feel like they are part of the move. Point this box out to the driver so that it’s one of the first to be unloaded.

3. Dump 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 trying to get rid of them at loading time. If you are uncertain what items can’t be loaded, ask your estimator for a list. Because movers can’t transport most household cleaners, they will be available for you to use throughout the day. Also, remember to remove items from inaccessible areas like crawl spaces or attics.

4. Reserve Your Spot
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 an additional charge.

5. Clear a Path to Success
Make it safe and easy for you and your movers to get in and out of your house by removing all obstructions.

  • Move potted plants and planters from the front porch, walkways and driveways.
  • 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.
  • Whether or not the moving company packed for you, clear a safe walkway for moving to and from the moving truck.

6. Point Out Special Items
Set these items aside the day before the move. Then, 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 need the most special care. Also, 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.

7. 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 pop on hand for yourself and the crew. On 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 restroom you want them to use.

8. Decide on Tipping
Should you? It is completely up to you. Many individuals do tip the driver and let the driver decide what portion is appropriate to distribute to the crew. You decide!

9. Prep Your Movers
Make sure you understand all the paperwork before the driver departs for your new home. 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 their cell phone, pager and satellite tracking information. Ask the driver if your shipment is the last they 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 and time, 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 two or more days that your shipment can be delivered on and still be considered on time), understand that your goods can and may be delivered on any one of those days.

10. Make One Final Sweep
Take one last sweep of the house before the driver leaves. Look through all closets and shelves, the garage, the attic, the crawl space, your storage unit, under the stairs, on the walls and any other place things may be hiding. You do not want to find out, after the driver has left, that something was left behind.

7 Moving Expense Tax Deductions

Moving is stressful and expensive. There is an upside. You may be able to deduct the cost of the move. Not as good as having your company move you, but helpful non the less. This may help you understand what the rules are. Be sure you understand before you move forward.

Moving can be a costly ordeal. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service allows you to deduct certain expenses from your taxes, so long as certain criteria are met.

1) Do You Qualify?
The IRS only allows you to write off your moving expenses if the move is for job-related reasons. If you are moving because of convenience, you will not be able to receive tax deductions for your expenses.

2) 39 Weeks
The IRS requires that you be employed full time for 39 weeks of the first 12 months of your move in the area of your new job location in order to qualify for moving deductions. It is not required to have spent the 39 weeks at the same job, but rather a full-time job in the area. You will not be penalized by the IRS if you are laid off or transferred again.

3) 50 Miles Rule
The IRS requires that your commute from your old home to your new job location be at least 50 miles longer than your commute from your old home to your old job. To give an example, if you lived 10 miles from your previous job site, your new job location would have to be 60 miles or greater from your old home. Anything less than the 50 miles rule and you will not be eligible to deduct your moving expenses, per IRS guidelines.

4) Employer Assistance
If your employer is footing the bill for your move, it will impact what moving expenses, if any, you are able to deduct from your taxes. If your employer is paying only a portion of your moving expenses, be sure to keep track of the costs.

5) Self Employment
You can still deduct your moving expenses if you are self-employed. If you own your own business, you will need to meet the standard 39 weeks/50 miles guidelines. If you are self-employed, you will likely be required to meet the 50 miles guideline, as well as a longer 78 weeks rule, meaning you will need to work full time in the new location for roughly 20 months to be eligible to write off your moving expenses.

6) Married Couples
For married couples, only one spouse needs to meet the aforementioned IRS criteria to qualify.

7) Deductible Moving Expenses
The IRS has a short list of allowed moving deductions. Here is an outline of what moving expenses you will want to keep track of to write off as tax deductions later on:

  • Cost of packing and transporting household good and personal effects, whether you are moving yourself or hiring professional movers.
  • Cost of insurance for your move.
  • Costs to connect and/or disconnect utilities because of the move.
  • Cost of one-days lodging expense at your old residence after your belongings have been moved.
  • Cost of storing your belongings at a location that is not your old residence. This applies to storing belongings with a family member or in storage in another city where you had lived previously.
  • Cost of storing your belongings for no more than 30 consecutive days after the move.
  • Cost of one trip for you and your household members. You and your household members are not required to travel the same way or the same time.
  • Costs of car travel; you can deduct your expenses for gasoline, oil, lodging parking fees and tolls. You can either itemize your expenses or choose to deduct 18 centers per mile. Deductions for meals, sightseeing or repairs, maintenance, insurance or deprecation on your vehicle are not allowed.

It seems that pizza and beer for your friends is not on the list. But is that the cost of packing….ask your tax adviser. The stress is still there but some of the cost is deductible. good luck on your move and congratulations on your new job.

For more info on moving expenses and your taxes, visit the IRS Web site.

Rick Hazeltine contributed to this post.