Top 12 Things to Do Before Moving Out

From the moment you decide to move to the moment the moving truck shows up, you will be met with a variety of tasks to accomplish. In fact, the number of moving chores and packing jobs can become so overwhelming you may get easily confused about what things you need to do before moving out, and when you need to do them. To better tackle all your moving tasks, and make your move a success, here are the top 12 most important things to do before moving out.

1. Research packing supplies and tips on packing. This will help you prepare yourself with everything you need in order to properly pack all of your belongings.

2. Sort through your belongings, organizing everything into three main categories: “To Keep”, “To Donate/Sell”, “To Throw Away”. Remember, the more items you move with you, the more it will cost in terms of the amount of supplies you will require and how much it will cost to ship all of your possessions. By donating, selling or even throwing away any items you no longer have a use for, you will save money on your moving shipment, spend less time packing, and may even make a few bucks on those belongings you decide to sell.

3. Make a moving budget. This will help you decide what kind of move you can afford. Be honest with yourself about your finances, and ask yourself some important questions. “Will you be able to afford professional packers and movers, or will you need to stick to a self-move with just you and help from your family and friends?” “Can you afford to buy all of your packing supplies, or do you need to locate as many free moving boxes as possible?” Figuring out the answers to questions like these will help ensure you stick to your budget instead of drowning in expenses.

4. Designate a specific spot for all of your important moving documents, such as a brightly colored folder. This will make it easier to keep everything together so you won’t lose anything and also so you can access any documents quickly and efficiently. Be sure to keep this folder with you at all times so you don’t lose it during the stressful, and often chaotic, hustle and bustle of moving day.

5. If you are moving out of a rental property, be sure to let your landlord know about your plans to move, as soon as possible.

6. Figure out how to properly pack and ship certain items, such as those that are fragile and need to be handled with the utmost care. When researching this subject, consider what specific packing supplies you will need, like bubble wrap, packing paper, protective blankets, and other cushioning materials.

7. Get a moving estimate. To do this, contact a few reputable moving companies near you. An in-person estimate is best, so schedule a time for movers to come to your current home to help create a more accurate estimate for your move. Be sure to let them know how many items you intend to move and what fragile items, if any, you may have that will require more movers or special moving tools or supplies. Also be sure to inform them of any obstacles that may hinder your move – flights of stairs, a long distance from your door to the moving truck, etc. All of these things will make an impact on the cost of your move and what your chosen movers will need to come prepared with the day of the move.

8. Prepare your old home – and new one if possible – for moving day. Many things can happen during a move, from scuffed floors and damaged walls, to personal injury, etc. This being said, you will want to ensure the property is protected. Cardboard is a great tool to use because it provides cushion and protection to all sorts of things. Cover floors and carpets with it to help eliminate dirt and other problems from occurring. You can also wrap cardboard around stair railings and sharp corners to help keep them protected from large furniture, and other items that are being moved about.

9. Pay extra attention to how you wrap and carry large, bulky items, such as couches, tables and chairs. To avoid damage to your belongings, property, and yourself, be sure to wrap any protruding areas, like table and chair legs, with extra protective layers. If possible, remove these pieces and wrap them separately to make them less awkward to move.

10. Find out ways you can save money during your move. One way is to opt for a self-move with free help from family and friends. Moving boxes and other packing supplies is another great way to save money when moving. Check grocery stores, liquor stores, and bookstores, which have a continuous supply of boxes.

11. Create a move-out cleaning checklist. This will help guide you through the steps to take to leave your old home in good shape. If leaving a rental property, this will help ensure you get your deposit back, which will be more money in your pocket for your move.

12. Change your address with the many companies and people who should be aware of your whereabouts. Some include: utility companies, banks, the post office, schools, the department of motor vehicles, family and friends.

For professional moving services and more pre-move tips, click here.

Helpful Tips to Create a Moving Checklist

When you’re preparing for an upcoming house move, your brain can become a cluttered and jumbled mess as you fill it with more and more tasks you must accomplish before the big day arrives. Not only will this cause the stress of your move to become overwhelming, but it can also cause errors to occur – important jobs forgotten, chaos and injury, etc. So what can you do to combat these problems and make your move less overwhelming? While moving house will never be completely stress-free, there is something you can do to tone down the tension – create a checklist.

Making a moving checklist is an essential step to take to help guarantee a successful relocation. Lists will help you organize all of your activities, from scheduling a moving truck and moving help to packing all of your belongings easier more efficiently. What’s also great about checklists is that they are useful no matter what type of move you are having – local, interstate or international.

Here are a few ideas on how to make a moving checklist:

Use pen and paper. When making a checklist, it is always a good idea to start with pen and paper. This will help get your mind focused on the task at hand – moving. Since paper lists can be incredibly hard to keep up with, and hard to read, be sure to only use this method for a first draft.

Create a Word document or Excel sheet. After you have your first draft written out on paper, you can then transfer it over to an MS Word or Excel document via your computer. Don’t forget, though, that your electronics will eventually need to be packed, so at some point, our next step will serve you well – printing them.

Print your list. Printing your checklists will provide you with easy-to-read copies of your checklists. There are also many websites out there that allow you to print pre-made checklists. These lists usually cover all of the most important moving-related tasks and items, but know that they are unable to be modified, which means you may still need to make a few lists of your own.

Use your phone. Considering your phone will typically be with you at all times during your move, it may be the optimal place to keep your checklist(s). Saving a PDF file on your phone is one way to keep your list(s) handy. Another is to download a moving app, such as the My Move app for iPhone, Android and the Kindle Fire. Not only is this app free, but you can either use pre-made checklists or create your own. You can also check completed tasks off as you do them.

Now that you know some convenient ways to go about making a checklist, here are some things to consider adding to it.

Household Items Checklist

First, make a checklist with all of the household items that need to be moved. Be sure to group all of the items that need special handling together – fragile belongings like electronics, antiques and china, or bulky items such as pianos. This will allow yourself and professional movers to better prepare for the job, including how many movers will be needed and what tools or equipment may be required.

Also on your household items checklist, you should include things that are unable to be packed or moved by professional movers, such as plants and hazardous materials (gasoline, pesticides, motor oil, etc.). Having these items on your list will help you decide if you should really take them with you on your move, and if so, to remind yourself to find a safe way to do so.

Packing Checklist

Packing will be one of the most frustrating and time-consuming jobs to accomplish when moving. Having a detailed checklist that includes all of the belongings that are to be packed will benefit you greatly.

If you decide to pack your belongings by yourself, it is a good idea to include on your list the supplies you will need to get the job done. This will help ensure you have all of the materials you need so you won’t have to keep running to the store for things you’ve forgotten.

If you are hiring professional packers, you should also add to your checklist any items that may require custom crating, such as valuable paintings and sculptures.

Utilities Checklist

Before moving, you will need to notify important utility and service providers of your change of address. Here are some that you should add to your checklist:

  • Government Offices: State/Federal Tax Bureaus, Social Security Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles, City/County Tax Assessor.
  • Utility Companies: Electric, gas, water, internet, cable.
  • Personal Accounts: Bank/finance Companies, credit card companies, insurance companies.
  • Personal Service Providers: Doctors, dentists, accountant, lawyer.
  • Subscriptions: Newspapers, magazines.

You will also need to change your address with the Post Office or fill out their online form for address change.

Kids Checklist

Moving with kids can add a lot of extra stress to a move. You want to ensure they are well taken care of throughout the moving process, and also that none of their belongings get left behind or lost in the shuffle. So make a checklist designated just for them. Include on it everything from collecting school and doctor records to a rundown of all of their possessions.

For more helping moving tips, check out our blog.

Post-Moving Mistakes to Avoid

After months of planning, packing and stressing, you have finally completed the relocation process. Congratulations! You are probably truly relieved and more than ready to venture into the post-moving process of making your new house a home. As exciting as it may be, there are a number of post-relocation tasks to tackle in order to turn your home into a safe haven, for refuge from all of life’s challenges and uncertainties, and a comfortable place to spend quality time with the people who matter most to you. Adapting to your new surroundings and turning your new place into your dream home is easy to achieve, as long as you avoid some of the most critical – and common – post-moving mistakes.

If you are planning a residential move, familiarize yourself with the following mistakes to avoid when moving into a new house, so you can come up with an efficient strategy to steer clear of them.

Not Inspecting Belongings

When your belongings show up at the doorstep of your new home, you may be so relieved they arrived safely that you forget to do a post-move check. This includes inspecting delivered boxes, checking them against your inventory list, confirming they are properly sealed and also that they are in good condition. It is also your responsibility to examine larger household items for damage and to double-check all valuables.

If anything is broken or missing, you must report it to your moving company immediately. Waiting can lead to problems between you and your movers, and you may also be unable to file a complaint against your moving company if too much time passes. Not only does this mean your belongings are damaged or that they didn’t arrive, but it also means you will not be compensated.

Not Securing Your Home

Safety is crucial to your family’s well-being, as well as to your personal belongings (house included!). When you move into your new home, it is very important to take adequate measures in order to secure it. Follow this checklist:

  • Change all door locks and install a security system to keep thieves and trespassers away from your home.
  • Install fire alarms and smoke detectors in strategic locations, and supply a fire extinguisher on every level for safety in the event of a fire.
  • Ensure stairs, balconies and other places that present a falling hazard are well secured.
  • Keep your property in good condition by checking fences, shutters, chimney, roof, gutters, etc., and fix any problems to ensure your home is protected against weather mishaps.

Unpacking Incorrectly

Hopefully, you have managed to avoid at least some of the plethora of common packing mistakes when you prepared for your move. Keep up the good work, and make sure you avoid mistakes when the time comes to unpack. Here are the top unpacking mishaps to avoid:

Rushing. The mountain of boxes that need to be unpacked can lead to unpacking in a rush. But hasty decisions and impulsive actions can result in chaos, wasted time, accidents and injuries. To unpack successfully, don’t rush! Instead, take your time and think through each step.

Procrastinating. Moving is exhausting, which can sometimes make unpacking hard to accomplish. But refusing to unpack and remaining buried under piles of boxes is never a good idea. The sooner you unpack and arrange your home, the easier access you will have to all of your belongings. Your new place will also become an enjoyable home much sooner. Making this final effort to unpack will help bring your moving adventure to a successful close.

Cleaning after Unpacking. The thought of cleaning your new home may seem much less exciting than unpacking, but it’s a very important step to take before the unpacking process occurs. Cleaning is the best way to rid your home of dust, debris and germs, so be sure to have your cleaning supplies conveniently accessible to easily tackle this post-moving step.

Missing Deadlines

If you move to a new state, it is important to do these three things:

  • Transfer your driver’s license
  • Register your vehicle
  • Update auto insurance

Each state varies for how long you have to get these tasks completed – some are as short as 10 days. Before you miss the deadline, visit your local DMV as soon as possible, otherwise you risk being charged fees or facing trouble with the law.

There are also some other important tasks to accomplish post-move, including:

  • Registering to vote
  • Transferring prescription medications
  • Updating bank accounts
  • Insuring new property

For more pre-move and post-move tips, click here.

Importance of Creating a Moving Inventory List (Part 1 of 2)

Over the years, we acquire a lot of stuff, and keeping track of it all is definitely not easy. This is especially true in certain situations – like moving to a new house. Moving is a stressful event, and the only way to tone down the crazy and keep things under control is to be organized. One way to stay orderly during a move is by creating a detailed moving inventory list that contains all the household items and personal belongings you intend to take with you. Having a practical checklist like this to refer to when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your relocation will make your moving experience much more manageable. Continue reading to learn why creating a moving inventory list is vital to a safe, well-organized and stress-free move.

Why should I make a moving inventory list?

There are obvious benefits to having a personalized moving calendar – it prevents you from forgetting something important and helps you optimize every aspect of your move right down to the second the moving truck arrives at your door. But have you ever considered creating a moving inventory sheet, too? You may think it is not worth the time and effort, but believe us, once you start the actual moving preparations, you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that a home inventory list is indispensable. Not only will it help you stay organized and keep track of your possessions, it will also allow you to estimate the cost of your move and unpack quickly and easily after the relocation. Here are the top ways an inventory list will be of great help:

Visual representation. Most likely, you don’t realize how much stuff you actually possess – or what exactly it is. By creating a home inventory list, you will be provided with a visual representation of your belongings. It will also help you decide which items to take to your new home and which ones to get rid of prior to your move.

Estimate costs. Whether you ship your items or opt for a moving company, the cost of your move will depend on the total weight of your shipment. An inventory list will help you easily estimate the weight of your items and get an accurate idea of the final moving cost. It will also help provide your movers with all the information they require in order to assess how much time they will need to complete the job, what extra services will be necessary, etc. Knowing these specifics will allow your movers to come up with an accurate and final price of your move. It will also properly prepare them for your relocation so they can perform a safe and efficient move.

Packing supplies. Once you have a complete inventory of all items to be packed for your move, you will have a better understanding of the packing supplies you will need, the amount of time you will require to prepare your items for shipping, and the special handling requirements necessary to ensure the safety of your belongings.

Keep track of belongings. The amount of items you and your movers will be in charge of on moving day will be huge. The best way to keep track of your belongings is with a moving inventory list. As each box, household appliance, and piece of furniture is loaded onto the moving truck, you will be able to check off each item to ensure everything is taken on the road to your new home. This is just as important post-move, because you will be able to check your items against your inventory list upon delivery and immediately know if something is missing.

Insurance. Before you move, it is a very worthwhile idea to insure your belongings with a notable insurance company. It is also strongly recommended to note the estimated value of every single item you plan to entrust to your movers in your moving inventory list. This includes a clear statement of the condition of each item, along with photos, videos, warranties, maintenance receipts, authenticity receipts, etc. A moving inventory list will help you better determine the value of your belongings and the type of liability coverage that will best protect you. It will also help you file an insurance claim if any items get damaged or stolen during your relocation.

Now that you have learned the reasons why creating a moving inventory list is so important, move along to our next blog, which will provide you with step-by-step directions on how to make the ultimate inventory list.

How to Create a Moving Inventory List (Part 2 of 2)

In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of making a moving inventory list. This blog will provide you with the basics of how to create a moving inventory list.

Before you begin packing, you must stop, look and document. These are the key things that you must do in order to create a moving inventory list. Here are some tips.

Room by room. When making your inventory list, document all items in one room before moving on to the next room. This will provide maximum efficiency and better organization. If you prefer to list items sporadically among rooms, be sure to create separate inventory sheets for each room for good organization.

Document major items first. As you begin your inventory list, be sure to document major items first. These items include furniture pieces, household appliances, large electronic devices, etc. Once you have completed this, you can then proceed with your list by documenting smaller or more insignificant belongings. When writing down all of your belongings, be sure to note any items that will require special handling during the moving process. This will help better prepare your movers for moving day.

When making an inventory list, you do not need to document every single possession you own, like individual books, pieces of clothing, office supplies, and other odds and ends. Instead, your inventory list should include all large, valuable and sentimental items. Also note that your inventory list will become one of your most important possessions during your move, so be sure to keep it in a safe place at all times.

Details. Whether you choose to write everything down on paper or use a spreadsheet program via your computer, you will want to set up an inventory template to make it simple to use and limit confusion. Here are some essential columns to use when creating your template.

Column 1. State the name of your item.

Column 2. Give a description of each item. Make each description as specific as possible, providing information, such as: quantity, material, make, model number and any other distinctive features that may be of use to you or your movers.

Column 3. State the current condition of each individual item – and don’t sugar coat it. Inspect each item and be objective, noting the actual condition of every item. Document any pre-existing damage and include all applicable documentation, like warranties, receipts, certificates, appraisal statements, photos, etc.

Column 4. List the estimated value of each item. This is an important column on your inventory list as it will be used to establish the limit of your movers’ liability for loss or damage of an item.

Column 5. Column 5 should state the designated new location for each item on your list. By listing the specific room or location where each item on your list should go in your new home, your movers will be much more efficient; it will considerably speed up the unpacking process.

Column 6. The final column on your inventory template should be designated for any personal notes you may want to include about each of your items. For example, if you have numbered any boxes or containers, be sure to also note the number of these boxes or containers in this section of your inventory.

Visuals. Along with your written moving inventory list, another way to increase its effectiveness is to include visuals. Adding visuals, like pictures and/or videos of your belongings, will provide proof of their condition and will also better capture distinctive features of each item than written descriptions can. Just remember, visual records of your possessions are meant to accompany your written moving inventory list – not replace it.

Copy, save and backup. Once you have created your moving inventory sheet, be sure it doesn’t get lost or damaged during the chaos of your move. So always save, backup and make copies of your list. Also play it safe by keeping copies of your list in different locations, like in a folder, a filing cabinet, and even in the glove compartment of your car. For those who opt for a digital file, be sure to save your list to a jump drive or store in it in the cloud; you can also email it to yourself.

Another good idea come moving day is to compare your inventory list to the one prepared by your movers. This way you can check to ensure everything is correct.

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The Complete Guide to Moving to a New State

No matter where you are moving, it’s never easy – especially when moving to a new state. The process is long, tedious and stressful – as well as exhausting. With so many things to do before moving to a new state, you are probably at a loss for where to even begin. Luckily, at ABC Movers, we are here to help you tackle your relocation and come out of it with a smile on your face. To keep yourself organized during all stages of your cross-country move, read on to gain access to our guide to moving to a new state.

What to Do Before You Move

  • If possible, visit your future city/state in advance to get an idea of what to expect.
  • Research the cost of living, housing costs and career opportunities in your new state – specifically your new city.
  • Explore renting and purchasing options, and secure a place to live.
  • Unless your job is the reason for your relocation, try to secure a job before your move.
  • Set a moving budget.
  • Research moving companies: read online reviews; ask friends, family, coworkers and neighbors for recommendations.
  • Contact moving companies and ask for an in-house cost estimation.
  • Hire a top-rated state-to-state moving company.
  • Look for ways to cut moving costs.
  • Discuss any additional moving services and costs with your chosen moving company.
  • Carefully review and compare any relocation offers, including additional services offered.
  • Request all moving-related paperwork in advance to avoid unpleasant moving day surprises.
  • Create a detailed home inventory of all items you will take with you and those you will leave behind.
  • Pack, pack, pack! – Be sure to prepare a few “open first” boxes to help you survive the first few post-move days (clothes, toiletries, phone charger, etc.).
  • If traveling with pets and plants, decide how you intend to transport them to your new location.
  • Gather any required documents/certificates from your family physician and vet. Also obtain your child(ren)’s school records.
  • Cancel all current subscriptions to utility providers and services before moving day. Arrange for the disconnection of main utilities, like water, electricity, gas, etc., and transfer them to your new home.
  • Change your address with the post office and have mail forwarded to your new address.
  • Decide how you will get your car to your new home – drive it or use a reputable auto transporter.
  • Discuss the upcoming move with your children and how it will impact their foreseeable future.
  • Finalize plans for moving day by calling and confirming appointments with movers, etc.

The Cost of Moving to a New State

Moving costs money, which, for most, is a big concern. This is perfectly understandable. There are several important points to be aware of when it comes to the average cost of moving to a new state. While the price of a local move is calculated on an hourly basis, the cost of moving cross country is estimated based on relocation parameters.

  • Move Distance – When relocating to a new state, there is a direct ratio between distance and price. This will stand as a set price because, as you know, you can’t shorten the distance of your move.
  • Items Transported – The factor that will have the greatest impact on the price of your move is the number and weight of your household items. To cut costs, it’s a good idea to seriously consider which belongings to bring with you and which to leave behind. The less you bring, the lower the price.
  • Additional Services – Extras rarely come without a price, so watch how many additional services you decide to tack on to your moving bill. Examples of add-on services include packing and unpacking, post-move disposal of packing supplies, disassembly and re-assembly of big furniture, etc.

Important Post-Move Tasks

Now that you’ve learned the main principles of how to move to a new state and potential cost factors you can focus your attention on preparing for some important post-move tasks. Here are the top five things to accomplish after you move to a new state:

Find a healthcare provider. Amongst the slew of things you’ll need to accomplish post move, you’ll also need to find yourself – and your family members – new healthcare providers. You’ll also need to find a veterinarian for any pets you may have. Begin your hunt with the help of recommendations from your former doctor or friends. Searching online is another idea, that will provide you with knowledgeable reviews from patients.

Register your car. Along with getting an updated driver’s license when moving to a new state, you will also need to register your car (neither of these things can be done online). Sometime during your busy post-move schedule, you will need to take a trip to the DMV to get these two things resolved. All states impose different deadlines for when these things are required to be taken care of, so be sure to find out how long your new state allows.

Unpack. A quick glance over the endless piles of boxes stacked high around your new home will show you how much you still have left to do to finish up your move. But, there is some good news – unpacking is usually a much faster process than packing. You can also do it on your own terms without a deadline looming over you.

Get to know your new home. Once you finally find yourself inside your new home, the new logistics and mountains of boxes may be overwhelming. To familiarize yourself with your new surroundings, it is wise to explore your new home. Locate your fuse box and main water valve in case of emergencies. Also look for signs of pre-existing damage or pest infestation, check for any potential problems, and make sure your home is secured against unauthorized access and forces of nature.

Moving to a new state can be stressful, but with this helpful guide, you are on your way to a successful move.

Your First Apartment: Post-Move Essentials

first apartment - PHOTO 2There are many things to look forward to in life, and one of the most exciting is the day you move into your very first apartment. If you’re headed to college or just starting out in the world of relying on your own income, you more than likely don’t have the means to buy all of the brand-new items you dream of owning. Hopefully your family will help pitch in and provide you with a few odds and ends, but there will still be a lot of things you need to get for your new home. Here is an outline of post-move essentials.

Furniture

Moving into your very first apartment comes with lots of daydreams about how you want to furnish and decorate it. But, there’s a solid chance you won’t be able to purchase a houseful of stuff right off the bat. At first, you can get by with the bare minimums – like a bed, couch and table. If you don’t already own must-have items like these, then you should place these things on the top of your new-apartment checklist.

Kitchen

When it comes to the kitchen, everyone requires different supplies. For example, someone who truly enjoys cooking will need many more pots, pans and dishes than someone who tends to just grab food and go. Here are some things you may need.

  • dish soap
  • dish towels
  • paper towels
  • trash bags
  • pot holders
  • sponges
  • silverware
  • dishes (plates/cups)
  • cookie sheets
  • measuring cups/spoons
  • microwave
  • toaster

Bedroom

Aside from filling your closet with all of your clothes and ensuring you have a bed to sleep on, your bedroom only needs a few standard items when you first move in. They include:

  • blankets
  • pillows
  • sheets
  • full-length mirror
  • storage containers (for under bed/in closet)

Bathroom

For most, aside from bath/shower products, the bathroom is one of the barest areas in a home. To make it feel more complete when you first move in, here are some essentials it will need.

  • hand/bath towels
  • wash cloths
  • shower curtain and liner
  • bathmat

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Moving Checklist: One Month Prior to Move

 

One-Month Moving Checklist - Blog PHOTOIt’s T-minus one month to moving day. You may think that is plenty of time to get everything done, it will fly by at warp speed. To accomplish all moving-related tasks before the moving truck arrives, follow our useful checklist below.

Select Mover / Confirm Arrangements. There may be several moving companies in your area, but there are even more people who need to move. Trucks run out and movers get booked, so don’t delay. One month prior to your move, select your moving company and get written confirmation of the date, time, costs, and so on of your move.

Begin Packing. Hopefully, you have already started gathering supplies before the one-month marker hits, because now is the time to begin packing. With a house full of things, it can be difficult figuring out where exactly to start the packing process, so try this. Begin by packing all things that are seldom used – muffin makers, waffle irons, etc. You won’t miss the things that you rarely use, so go ahead and get them packed up and out of the way.

Plan, Organize, Label. Packing and moving can become disastrous really quickly. Mountains of boxes everywhere, piles of things to pack strewn around, trash that continues to build up – the list goes on and on. To avoid moving mayhem, opt for the more efficient route by planning, organizing and labeling everything. It may take longer than just throwing everything into boxes, but the pay-off will be huge – pre- and post move.

Separate Valuable Items. Before everything gets lost in the shuffle of moving boxes, packing paper and piles upon piles of to-save and to-donate items, go ahead and collect any small valuable items first. Jewelry, important documents, etc. should be placed in a safe box, and if possible, personally transported to your new home. This way you keep valuables separate and in your possession.

Change Your Address. To keep everyone informed of your soon-to-be location, go ahead and change your address by visiting the post office, or go online at usps.gov. This way you won’t risk missing any important bills or surprise packages getting “lost in the mail”.

Other important parties that should be notified of your change of address, include:

  • banks
  • employer
  • credit card, insurance and utility companies

For more ways to make your move a success, click here.