With a bit of preparation, fall can be a great time to move. Home prices are dipping, and movers and contractors may offer deals. A plan to deal with weather issues, autumn holiday avoidance, and kids recently back to school will make a fall move much easier. Here are some tips from bitter personal experience on gracefully getting into your new home.
Weatherproof Your Fall Moving Boxes
In much of the country, the fall can be rainy. Early autumn is the end of the Atlantic hurricane season. Consider lining some of the moving boxes with plastic sheeting, especially those containing books, clothes and other items that need to be kept dry during the move. Old dry cleaning bags or trash bags work well for this. When the mover sets the boxes out on the sidewalk in a downpour, the contents will be safe.
Schedule Your Moving Date around Fall Holidays
Fall is full of holidays: Labor Day, the Jewish High Holy Days, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. During some autumn holidays it will be difficult to find boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and other supplies in closed stores, and traffic will be heavy. Be aware of major events – sporting events, conventions, concerts – that may create traffic hangups. If you’re moving near a college campus, find out when homecoming weekend is. Pick a moving day and time that allows you to avoid holiday hassles, and provides a grace period of a day or two on either end of the move.
Utility Checks Vital for Autumn Moves
Well before the moving date, check with gas and electric suppliers to make sure utilities will be turned on. As part of the inspection, verify that the furnace or heat pump has recently been tuned up. If the new house has oil heat, find suppliers in the neighborhood and plan to get a tank fill-up within days of your move-in date. Nothing spoils the charm of a new house like an ambient temperature of 45 degrees. If the new house is blessed with a fireplace, confirm that the chimney has been cleaned and inspected recently, and arrange for a delivery of wood.
Keep Fall Gear Accessible During the Move
An autumn move may be across seasons and climate changes. Keep cold weather gear such as sweaters, boots, hats, gloves and warm jackets easily accessible. While packing, keep special items such as Grandma’s turkey platter and Halloween décor clearly labeled so they can be quickly unpacked. Consider gardening needs as well; make sure it will be easy to find the leaf rakes or leaf blower and bulb planter.
Support System for School Kids
A fall move may necessitate changing schools barely into the school year. Help children to keep in touch with friends, whether through webcam and skype, or a planned visit to the old neighborhood over the holidays. Expect a period of adjustment and provide family support. Find out about availability of activities the child enjoys, whether scouting, sports or school clubs, and help them to get involved in their new community. Make a point of participating in special events such as fall fairs, and enjoy hiking or sightseeing in the new area to give the children a new sense of home.
With planning, preparation, and a sense of humor, a fall move can be breezy and a great way to make a fresh start before the New Year.