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Little Things Matter: What You Need to Do Before You Move

by Mary Leigh Howell

You've checked out the kids' new school system, timed your commute to work and scheduled your cable TV, phone and high-speed Internet connection.  Everything's in shape for a tip-top move.

But before you load the moving van, be sure to review little details that can turn out to be big irritations later.

  1. The Home Office
    That upstairs bedroom overlooking the garden would make a perfect home office. Before you set up headquarters there, you might want to investigate some of the robust small business options available through your cable provider—including that additional office phone line. You can’t afford to miss closing the deal with a big client.
  2.  Rugs come first
    Putting down rugs after the furniture has been placed is an exercise in frustration and a great way to strain your back. To make sure you aren't tucking rugs under heavy pieces of furniture after the movers are gone, consider the "last in, first out" rule.  Put your rugs into the moving van last, after all the furniture has been loaded. When it comes time to unload,“Voila!” Your rugs will be the first things out.
  3.  Neighborly conversations
    We've all heard horror stories about the neighborhood dog that barks all night or the people who never close their shades. Never. Spend some time talking with neighbors on each side of your new home, and ask them the things they love most and least about living there. That way, if there's a noisy canine, at least you'll know to buy ear plugs.
  4.  Picture-perfect arrangements
    Your old living room was square-shaped. Your new living room is square-shaped. But the furniture just doesn't look the same. Take a picture of the furniture arrangements in each room of your old house before you move out. When it comes time to re-create the same arrangement in your new home, you'll have a picture-perfect guide. New arrangements still not right? Remember that paint colors and available light can dramatically alter perception.
  5.  Water pressure
    A hot shower after a long day of moving is quite the tonic for sore muscles. Unless you discover your faucets have more trickle than force. While your realtor's not likely to let you take a shower during a final walk-through, be sure to check water pressure in each bathroom and the kitchen. Turn on showers, tubs and sinks for a few seconds each.  Flush toilets. If there's low pressure or restricted flow, examine shower heads and nozzles for deposits or debris. Not the problem? Have a good plumber check the water system before you move in.
  6. Insurance issues
    Are you buying a home in an area prone to forest fires, floods, earthquakes or hurricanes? Check with your insurance agent to confirm what's covered in your homeowner's policy. In some cases, you may benefit from additional coverage for certain hazards or acts of nature.
Mary Leigh Howell specializes in communications for the home, furnishings and garden industries.