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GUIDE TO MOVING AND PLANNING




We hope that you find this an invaluable resource to help you plan your move in an organized and stress free way. There are numerous guides to help you with your move depending on your families personal circumstances. Please click on the articles that interest you! 




1 ) Once You Have Purchased Or Sold Your Home

2) Preparing For Your Move

3) Detailed Moving And Planning Guide

4) Moving With Kids

5) How To Move Your Pets

6) Places To Notify of Impending Address Change


1) Once You Have Purchased Or Sold Your Home


Select a moving company - Call Several Movers to find the best deal and schedule a preliminary date for your move.

Get closing costs estimate from Lawyer or Notary -Ask for an estimate early to help you budget for your next home. Get a final statement a week before the closing date and review it carefully for accuracy.

Complete Change-of-Address Cards- Notify the Post Office of your change of Address and sign up for their mail re-direction service- They also offer notification cards that you can fill out manually and mail to your friends, family and businesses. We suggest that you only send these when you're certain of your closing date.
We offer a free change of address email notification service to our Buyers and Sellers. Simply send us your contacts email addresses and we will send a broadcast email card of your new address to all of your friends and family with a picture of your new home!

Contact Utilities -Schedule the disconnecting of utilities at your old home and the reconnecting of utilities at your new home. Don't set a disconnect date until closing week, to protect yourself against last-minute delays. Remember to Schedule connect date well in advance, so many clients end up without phone or cable because of wait times. You can reach all Utility Companies through our website, BCHomesAndRealEstate-School & Community Guide ,   or at Relocate Canada

Confirm Closing Date -Schedule your move. Remember to get quotes for movers as their services & prices can vary. -Confirm closing time the day before

Call your Lawyer or Notary and ask for a final list of what you need to bring -Review the final closing statement . Compare this final statement to the estimate you received a few weeks earlier. Ask lawyer/notary to explain any large discrepancies and check with us if you don't get satisfactory answers.

Take your checkbook -You can usually pay small but unexpected closing costs-such as last-minute photocopying charges-with a personal check.


Confirm with your Realtor the Time and Date to meet at your New Home!


2) Preparing For Your Move 


1. You can save money if you do most of the packing yourself . Limit yourself to non-fragile items such as books, linens, clothing and shoes; and Replaceable items such as plates, dishes (not fine china or expensive silverware), and small kitchen appliances. These items will be cheaper to replace in case of damage as opposed to hiring workers for the extra labor. Leave the furniture, mattresses, and heavy appliances to be packed by the mover. 

2. The heavier the item, the smaller the box it should occupy. Don't toss everything into one huge box. It will make the hauling much more difficult. A good rule of thumb is if you can't lift the box easily, it's too heavy! Keep the weight of the box under 50lbs and remember to always lift with your knees, not your back. 

3. You should never let the movers pack your jewelry , family heirlooms, or other priceless items. Should they be lost or damaged, the insurable value will not come anywhere near the value you would place on them. Such items include jewelry, sports memorabilia, photo albums, and various hobby collections. Pack these items yourself and take them with you, either in the car or as carry-on luggage if size allows. 

4. Get the proper boxes for your items - the right sizes and strengths. Have enough wardrobe boxes, as they'll save you ironing time later. You can pack t-shirts and jeans in suitcases and regular boxes but you don't want to pack your fine clothing such as suits or dresses in the same place. Save space by tossing in shoes at the bottom of the wardrobe box, but be reasonable. Don't let the box become too heavy or susceptible to fallout from the bottom. Purchase the padded dish boxes with dividers to protect your fine china. For your replaceable and non-fragile items, save money by using the free boxes that you can obtain from supermarkets and wrapping the items in old newspaper. 

5. Take the time to pack everything carefully . It is important for you to buffer and separate the fragile items that you pack with old newspaper, bubble wrap, sheets, blankets, pillows and towels. Wrap each fragile item separately. Fill in empty spaces to minimize movement during transit. Pack plates and glass objects vertically, rather than flat and stacked. Purchase strong tape- not masking tape but either duct tape or the plastic and strapping tape that movers use. 

6. If you are shipping items. For the safety of your items, movers are required to inspect each box tendered for shipment. Immediately point out to your mover each and every box that you packed yourself, especially if they're fragile or valuable. The mover will advise you on whether the boxes need to be repacked in sturdier, more appropriate boxes. They have the right to refuse to load any box they deem improperly packed. Any improperly packed boxes must be repacked either by you or the mover. All repacking services are additional costs. However, if you agree to use used boxes, they may give them to you for free. Professional moving companies use only sturdy and reinforced cartons. Although the boxes you can obtain from your neighborhood supermarket may be free, they are not nearly as strong or padded. They are more susceptible to causing damage to your valuables in transit. Keep in mind that movers are not liable for items they didn't pack. 

7. To protect themselves, movers will not disconnect your major appliances. Before the movers arrive to pack and load, unplug and prep your refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer. Also prep your computer and back-up your important files. 

8. Movers will not transport living things such as your plants or pets . If you do not wish to give them away, don't forget to prepare them for the move. They will need a "plant/pet suitcase" of their own. 

9. Movers will not transport or allow you pack hazardous materials . These items include: paint, thinners, solvents, oils, varnishes, firearms and ammunition, bottled gas, propane, lamp oil, anything flammable, explosive or corrosive, motor fuels and oils, nail polish remover, bleach and aerosol cans. Also note that spilled sesame oil leaves a terrible stench on nearby items. 

10. Make the loading process easier and more organized by designating a room in your home/apartment, preferably the one closest to the door, in which to place all of your boxes. Keep related boxes together since they'll end up in the same room. This will help cut on the carrying time and make the move much more efficient. 

3) Detailed Moving And Planning Guide 

• Pre Planning Your Move .  Plan the move as early as possible.. If you are able to move at any time of the year, don't wait until summer, the peak-moving season. Consider also that the first and last few days of the month are extra busy. If you plan to sell your house, get it on the market as soon as possible. If renting, give your landlord timely notice of your moving date.

• Keep a record of all expenses related to the move , Canada allows moving expenses if your move takes you closer to work. Fill out the Personal Household Inventory for each room. This is important for establishing the amount of declared valuation for the shipment and as a permanent inventory for insurance purposes. List, as nearly as possible, the year of purchase and original cost of each item. Attach any invoices or records of purchase to the completed inventory. Prepare a separate high-value inventory if the shipment will contain articles of "extraordinary" value. 

The following list includes items that might fall into this category : 

• Antiques 
• Art Collections 
• Cameras
• China Collections 
• Computer Equipment 
• Crystal 
• Figurines 
• Firearms 
• Jewelry 
• Manuscripts 
• Oriental Rugs 
• Silver 
• Stones or Gems 
• Tapestries 
• TVs or Stereos 

ESTIMATE OF MOVING COSTS 

• Unless you have been given a binding estimate where a firm cost is established in advance,the exact cost of a move cannot be determined until after the shipment has been loaded on the van and weighed. The weight on which charges are based is calculated by weighing the van before and after loading. The total cost of the move will include transportation charges, any charges for declared valuation, plus charges for any extra services performed at your request.All of these charges are based on tariff rate schedules. 

OWNER'S RESPONSIBILITY 

• It is the owner's responsibility to see that your mechanical, electrical equipment and appliances are properly serviced for shipping prior to the arrival of the moving van. For safe moving, have these items prepared by a licensed or properly trained technician. This service may be performed by a technician of your choice or by qualified personnel of the moving company. If the owner has failed to have an item serviced, the van operator may load and haul it, but will mark the inventory sheet, "Not Serviced-Loaded at Owner's Risk." 

SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY - Working with the Mover 

• Have the moving company conduct a household goods survey in order to furnish you with a written estimate, although the final cost will depend on the actual weight of your household goods after they are loaded on the van. 

• Before the removal list arrives, inspect the property . Include the garage, patio and any storage shed. Decide what to move and what to discard. Remember the cost of moving an item may be greater than the cost of replacing it. 

• Decide whether you want to do any of the packing or have it done by the moving company's experienced personnel. Show on the removal list everything that is to be moved. Specify articles that are to be packed so the estimate will include these charges. Any items that are later added to the shipment will add to the cost estimate. Transfer of Personal Records • Arrange for closing or transfer of charge accounts. 

• Check personal insurance policies to see whether moving is covered. Transfer fire, theft and other personal property insurance to ensure coverage at the new home. 

• Obtain transcripts of the children's school records and credentials from school authorities or secure transcripts of school records if you prefer to take them along. 

• Gather medical and dental records including vaccination data, medical prescriptions, dates of last examinations, history of past illnesses and so on. 

• Ask your doctor and dentist to recommend colleagues in the new city. Be sure to check current telephone numbers and addresses of physicians, dentist and hospital, which will help when transferring your records. 

• Obtain letters of introduction from your church, organization, club, and business associations. 

• Transfer, sell or resign memberships in clubs or associations.  

•Report your move to any lending agency with which you do business.. A lender's permission may be required to move personal property in which the lender has an interest. 

FOUR TO SIX WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY  Planning Your Packing 

• If you plan to do the packing yourself, start collecting suitable containers. You can purchase specialized containers from most moving companies, such as: 

• Small cartons for heavy items (books, record albums, and tools). • Wardrobe containers 

• Large cartons for bulky items (pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys). 

• Medium-sized cartons for bulkier but not so heavy items (towels, linens, and small appliances) Collect other packing materials 

• White paper 

• Tissue paper 

• Paper towels 

• Non-printed paper 

• Newspapers 

• Tape or Strong twine for sealing containers 

• Scissors or Sharp knife (keep out of children's reach) 

• Felt marker to mark containers 

• Notebook & Pencil for listing contents 

• Labels or Stickers (Available from moving company) 

• Set goals and deadlines to ensure that all packing is complete by your moving day. You may want to pack one room per week. Attach a list of contents to each carton. 

• Separate and mark goods that will go into storage. Consider having a garage sale to dispose of unwanted items. 

• If you donate clothing or household goods to charitable organizations, get receipts showing their approximate value for tax deductions. Remember that the cost of moving an item may be greater than replacing it. 

• Begin to use up large supplies of canned goods and frozen foods.

 

PLACES TO NOTIFY OF ADDRESS CHANGE


• Electric • Gas • Telephone 

• Doctor • Dentist 

• Accountant • Lawyer 

• Insurance Agents • Life • Health • Fire • Auto • Boat • Motor Vehicle Department 

• Established Business Accounts • Department Store Credit Cards 

• Finance companies • Banks 

• Government and Public Offices 

• Publications • Newspapers • Magazines 

• Credit Card Companies • Bank cards 

• Relatives and friends • Business associates 

• Book and record clubs 

• Schools and colleges • Church 

TWO TO THREE WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY 

• Let the post office know your moving date and new address. If you do not have a permanent address by the time you move, the post office will hold your mail and forward it upon written instructions from you. 

• Phone the local business office of the Telephone Company. They can make arrangements for service in your new home and, on request, give out your new number when your present number is called. 

Contact all Service Companies as listed : 

• Electric • Gas  • Cable TV 

• If possible, arrange to have utilities connected before your arrival. 

• Arrange for air or rail transportation and hotel accommodations as needed. Have your car prepared for the trip-tires, brakes, lubrication, oil change, and tune-up-as needed 

• Dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, pressure cans or paint thinner. 

• Drain oil and fuel from your power mower and other machinery. Discard partly used cans of oil, paint, syrup or any other substance that may leak. Carefully tape-seal and place in individual waterproof bags any jars of liquids or semi- liquids you do not wish to discard. 

• Have rugs cleaned that are to be moved. Leave them rolled and wrapped when they are returned from the cleaners 

• If draperies are to be moved, have them cleaned and ready for alterations that might be needed in your new home. 

• Collect items that are being cleaned stored or repaired (clothing, shoes, watches). 

• Return library books and anything borrowed from friends or neighbors. Also collect things you may have loaned. 

• Decide what to do with your houseplants. 

• Soft goods such as blankets, pillows, blouses, shirts and lingerie may be left in drawers. Pin clothing to hangers if it is to be moved in wardrobe cartons to keep it from slipping off. 

• Pianos and organs need to be prepared for moving by a specialized technician. 

• Make arrangements to have utilities disconnected on moving day : 

• Electric

• Gas 

• Cable TV 

• Plan to keep your telephone in service through moving day in case last minute calls are necessary. 

• Take pets to the veterinarian. Make sure identification tags are securely attached to the pet's collar. THREE DAYS BEFORE MOVING DAY Instant Aid Box Pack a box for instant needs on arrival. Mark the box "To be loaded last and Unloaded first."Package each group of items separately in labeled paper bags.  Here are some suggestions. 

• Cleaning Supplies: 

• Snacks & Instant Foods for quick meals 

• Coffee Pot Coffees Teas 

• Small saucepan 

• Aluminum foil 

• Instant creamer, sugar, salt 

• Bathroom Towels and face cloths 

• Toilet tissue 

• Facial tissue 

• Soap, hand lotion, deodorant 

• Toothbrushes and toothpaste 

• Reading materials 

• Cellular telephone 

• Light bulbs 

• Flashlight 

• Hammer, screwdriver, pliers, assorted nails and screws 

• Shelf paper 

• Trash bags and ties 

• If moving with Children -Coloring books and crayons &  A favorite toy or two 

• Complete a "Take-with-Me Inventory" checklist. 

• Take the telephone directory with you for contacting former doctors, dentists, suppliers, etc., and for preparing holiday card lists. 

• Pack suitcases for the trip to the new home . Put in extra clothing for emergencies. 

• Consider packing a picnic lunch to eat while traveling. 

• Take along snacks such as fruit and cookies for the children. • Include towels for a quick cleanup. 

• Arrange for a baby-sitter for moving day, or have older children look after the younger ones. 

MOVING DAY- Loading Your Belongings 

• Be on hand when the movers arrive. Otherwise, it is important to let the moving company know to whom you have given authority to take your place. Be sure this person knows exactly what to do. Remember the person may be asked to sign documents obligating you to charges. 

• Accompany the van operator through the house inspecting and tagging each piece of furniture with an identifying number. These numbers, along with a description of your goods and their condition at the time of loading, will appear on the inventory. 

• Be sure the condition of each item is recorded and the van operator has a clear understanding about what is to be loaded last. It is your responsibility to see that all of your goods are loaded, so remain on the premises until loading is completed. After making a final tour of the house to be sure no items have been overlooked, check and sign the inventory. Get your copy and keep it in a safe place. 

• Check to see the van operator has the exact destination address . Be specific as to where and how you can be reached pending the arrival of your household goods. 

• Leave the phone connected throughout the moving day . Leave a note listing your new address in a conspicuous place in the house so the new occupants will be able to forward any of your mail inadvertently delivered to them. At Your Destination 

• Contact the destination Moving Company , whose name appears on the forms signed, as soon as possible and indicate where and how you can be reached. 

• Make sure the house is ready for occupancy before the van arrives. If you have not already done so, contact the utility companies and make necessary arrangements for service. Ask if any of them provides free appliance connection service. 

• Be on hand to accept delivery of your household goods. Otherwise authorize an adult as your representative to accept delivery and pay the charges for you. 

• Inform the Moving Company of the person so authorized. On the day of delivery, the van operator will attempt to contact you by phone and make an appearance at the residence if unable to reach you. If no one appears to accept the shipment within the free waiting time, the goods will be placed in storage at the owner's expense. 

• Check your household goods , as they are unloaded. If there is a change in the condition of the property from that noted on the inventory at the time of loading or if any items are missing, note any damage and/or missing items on the van operator's copy of the inventory sheet. 

• By signing the inventory sheet , you are acknowledging receipt of all items listed. Personally report any loss or damage to the moving company agent at destination immediately. (You must file the claim yourself; the van operator cannot do it for you.) 

• To save time and confusion , place a floor plan of your new home at the entrance the movers will use, indicating where each piece of furniture should go.Then unloading, each piece of furniture will be placed as you direct, including the lying of rugs and setting up of bed frames, box springs and mattresses. However, appliances and fixtures may not be installed. At your request and additional cost, the agent may arrange for this service and for refilling of waterbed mattresses. 

• To prevent possible damage , television sets, other electronic equipment and certain major appliances should not be used for 24 hours after delivery, allowing them time to adjust to room temperature.  If you have paid for unpacking, you are entitled to unpacking service and removal of the cartons.


4) Moving With Kids



Highlights: End Well: Treat endings as importantly as beginnings. Stay Close: In a time of insecurity the family is the best source of security. Keep the Kids Involved: Let them have a role to play and real choices to make. Be a Model: You can teach your kids how to handle change in healthy ways. Have Fun: A good plan is the best ingredient.

 

How to Make it Easier For Them by Katharine Canfield


Moving can be as challenging as it is exciting. If you are moving to a new city or just changing neighbourhoods that mean a new school and leaving friends behind it can be more emotional for kids then it is for adults. Because children are still learning how to socialize and how to effectively get their needs met, children need caring adults to listen and help them adjust to their new home, now more than ever. If you're a parent contemplating a move, this article's for you. By considering a move in three stages - before, during, and after - and thinking about your children's needs during each stage, you can make a big difference in how your kids feel about the move and how they adjust afterwards. 


BEFORE THE MOVE: PREPARING

 
  • Tell your children about the move as soon as you can. The more time they have to think about and prepare for the move, the easier it will be for them.
  • Give your children a chance to express their feelings, and try to be honest about your own feelings. Most children will feel some anger, sadness, or worry about the move. These responses are natural, and kids who have a chance to express them will work through their doubts more easily. Gently tell your children about any sadness you may feel about leaving or uncertainty about a new home, job, or city. This will reassure them that they aren't alone in having worries or concerns.
  • Help older children prepare a list of phone numbers and addresses of close friends, relatives, and other important people in their lives. Knowing they can stay in touch with these people is an important part of a successful move.
  • If your kids are old enough, let them participate in decision making. Have the kids keep a notebook of potential new homes with the positives and the negatives listed.
  • If you are able to, before you move take your children to your new home and explore the new neighborhood and town or city together. If this isn't possible, take pictures of your new home, the schools your kids will attend, a nearby park, and anything else that would be interesting to them.
  • Make a scrapbook containing pictures of your pre-move home, friends, and other mementos of your life together.
  • Call the principal of your children's schools, and try to set up a meeting with their teachers or, if they're in junior high or high school, guidance counselor. The new school may even be able to give you names of students in your child's class who live near your new home. If so, you may want to drop by to meet them and their families before you move in.
  • Try to line up some activities in which your child can participate after the move: a sports team, music lessons, art classes, a scouting troop. Not only will activities like these keep your children involved; they'll also help them to feel like part of a group - an important aspect of settling in. Try to sign up for more than one activity in case one falls through or doesn't go well.
  • If you can, try to meet families in your new neighborhood before you move. Being familiar with people when you move in will help your children feel more at home.
DURING THE MOVE: REMEMBER WHAT'S IMPORTANT 
  • Throughout the move, stay as upbeat and calm as you can; a good plan makes this possible. Your own mood will impact other family members, especially babies, who are particularly sensitive to their mother's feelings. With older children, it's important to be honest about some of the uncertainties you have, but also to be generally optimistic about the move and the positive ways it will affect the family.
  • Involve your kids in the packing. Older kids can put their own belongings in boxes, and kids of all ages will enjoy decorating the boxes containing their things. Doing so will also make finding your children's things easier once you're at the new house!
  • Try to stick to your routines. Have meals at the same times as always. If your kids nap, encourage them to lie down at the usual time. Keep to the normal bedtimes.
  • Don't pack things that your children treasure. Take special blankets, beloved stuffed animals, favorite books, and other prized items in a separate bag or box that you can bring with you in the car or on the plane when you go to your new home.
  • Help your children say good bye to the important people in their lives. For their friends, a pizza or make-your-own sundae party is a fun way to celebrate the friendship. An album or poster with photos of good times together will add to the celebration. If your children are comfortable, encourage hugs at the end of the party. With neighbors or other special adults, you may want to set up a time to stop by and say good bye as a family.
  • Expect the unexpected: few moves go smoothly, anticipate trouble (predict it!) and have a positive, "can do" attitude.
AFTER THE MOVE: GETTING SETTLED
  • Don't spend too much time unpacking - at least not right away! Sure, the essentials are important to unload and you want the house to feel settled. But wait on the less important stuff. In the first few days, take time to enjoy your new home with your family. Take walks. Check out local restaurants and take-out spots. Introduce yourselves to your new neighbors. Spend time at the park.
  • Be on the look-out for neighborhood kids, and help introduce your children to them. If it's comfortable for you and your children, invite some of the neighborhood kids over for pizza or a video.
  • Let your children have some input in planning on the new house, especially in choosing things to buy for their rooms. Even if you don't follow through on their ideas, it's important to listen to what they think. Be tactful if you choose another option, and let some decisions be entirely up to them - for example, the placement of their bed or the color of the rug or paint in their bedroom.
  • Get involved: church groups, synagogues, YMCA and activity clubs, etc. enable socializing. If a couple of months have gone by and your child seems unusually troubled, ask a doctor, guidance counselor, or principal if you need a referral. Signs that your child may need help: unusual academic difficulty; ongoing irritability; trouble with peers; changes in sleep or eating habits; a generally despondent mood. Give them time, this behavior can last for 4-5 months for teens.
  • Above all, listen. Try to be there when your kids get home after the first day at their new schools, even if it means having to leave work early that day. Regularly ask how things are going, and take time to listen. Sometimes kids have a hard time opening up; spending relaxed time together may help them to bring up whatever is on their minds.
  • For children and adults, it takes time to feel at home. With your understanding and patience, your children will be reassured that, after a while, things will get easier; everything won't feel so new; and that home is, after all, wherever the family is.


5) HOW TO MOVE YOUR PETS 

If pets are a part of your family, remember that moving, whether down the block or across the country, is just as stressful for them as it is for you. But this stress can be greatly reduced with good planning and the tips that you’ll find here. "Animals can sense and react to stress just like people," says Dr. William Fortney, a veterinarian at Kansas State University. "Anything we can do to make it easier on them can make recovering from the move easier on us." Here are some suggestions from top veterinarians, zoo experts and experienced pet owners on how to minimize the stress of moving with pets. Read the general guidelines, then check out the specific pets that make up your family’s menagerie: 

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Keep your pets’ routines as regular as possible as you prepare to move. If you normally feed, exercise or play with them at a certain time, continue to do so. During the final crunch of moving, you may find it works best to keep your pet either at a friend’s house or a kennel, reducing the chance of your pet getting upset and running away, or in the case of cats, hiding in a box about to be shipped. Keep some form of identification on the pet at all times and be sure you have current pictures along with a written description available. This will reduce a lot of stress should your pet escape. If the length of the move requires the animal be provided with food and water, be sure the food is bland and easily digested and that the water comes from your home supply. Changing diet or water sources are common causes of diarrhea and vomiting from upset stomachs. If in doubt, check with your veterinarian for food recommendations. Prior to moving, schedule a visit with your veterinarian for a thorough physical exam, making sure all vaccinations are current, especially the rabies vaccination. While at your veterinarian’s office, get copies of your pets’ records and check to see if he can recommend another veterinarian at your new location. If your pet is on any medication be sure to have an ample supply so you won’t run out before getting settled in your new location. Also discuss with your veterinarian whether your pet should be tranquilized during the move. If so, get enough to try it out prior to the move to be sure the dosage works properly. Since each state has different laws and regulations regarding the importation of animals and some counties and municipalities have their own ordinances, check with a veterinarian in the new area to be sure your pet complies. It is important to do this several weeks before your move to allow time for all paper work to be completed. Temperature extremes should be avoided. In most cases, it’s best to transport your animal in a sturdy, insulated carrier to help regulate the changing temperature. Never leave a pet in a hot car during the summer time or a cold car in the winter. If you are transporting the pet by plane, try to book a direct flight to minimize the time the animal may be sitting outside the plane in inclement weather conditions. Some airlines provide counter-to-counter service so your pet will be carried on and off the plane by an airline employee. While this service costs a little more, it may be worth it for your peace of mind. 

CATS 

Cats are notorious for getting into trouble during the moving process since they are particularly sensitive to stress. "Stress for a cat involves three things," says animal behaviorist and psychologist, John Wright, author of Is Your Cat Crazy? "It involves reaction to novelty -- cats don’t like novelty. They like sameness. It involves reaction to unpredictability -- cats don’t like events to be unpredictable. The third thing is the degree of control-- cats don’t like to be out of control. When you move, you have a high degree of all three, until things settle down." For these reasons it is particularly important to maintain your cat’s normal routine. During the move itself, keep your cat confined to one room with food, water, a litter pan, some favorite toys, and the carrier you plan to use so your cat can get used to it. The door should be locked or have a large, "Do Not Open" sign on it, so the movers won’t inadvertently let the "cat out of the bag." Transport your cat in a well constructed cat carrier large enough to have room for food, water and a small litter box. Upon arrival at your destination, place the cat and carrier in one secure room with at least two doors between the cat and the outside. Open the door of the carrier and let the cat decide when to come out. Allow your cat to become acclimated to the one room before releasing him to the rest of the house. If the cat scurries for cover when you open the door, wait a day or two longer, then try again. Let the cat explore other rooms of the house when it meets you at the door. If your cat is accustomed to going outdoors, wait several days after arriving at your new home before letting the cat out, placing him on a leash or harness for short exploratory trips. After 2 or 3 days of these trips, you can begin to let your cat out on its own. 

DOGS 

Dogs are generally easier to move than cats since they aren’t as affected by the stress. A few special considerations to keep in mind include being prepared to clean up after your dog at rest stops. Carry a roll of paper towels and disposable plastic bags. Place a piece of paper towel over the solid matter, and your hand in one of the plastic bags. Pick up the towel and solid matter and pull the bag down over your hand and towel, turning it inside out. Then, twist, seal and dispose. If you have a small dog and plan on flying to your new home, he may be able to fly with you in the passenger compartment if he is small enough to fit into a carry-on bag that will fit under the seat. Check with the airlines for details. If you are transporting a larger dog by plane, try to book a direct flight to prevent your pet from having to spend long periods in a distant airport, and have someone scheduled to pick up your dog at the other end. Never leave any pet in the car for more than a few minutes. This is especially important during warm weather. If you are carrying your dog with you in the car and plan to stop overnight, be sure to call ahead to find a hotel that accepts pets. 

BIRDS 

Birds need a health certificate to enter most states and depending on the species may be required to have tests done for certain diseases. Since these regulations can change, it is important that your present veterinarian verify these requirements well in advance of your moving. If you will be taking your bird in the car, maintain a warm, constant temperature since birds are particularly sensitive to temperature changes. It is possible to carry the bird in its cage as long as you have a cover for it to prevent drafts and keep the bird in a darkened setting to reduce the bird’s anxiety. If you have an excitable bird, it may be necessary to cushion the cage or crate with a soft material to reduce self-inflicted trauma. Place slices of apple, grapes or other fruit in the cage to supplement the bird’s water supply and be sure they have adequate places to perch.

FISH 

If you have a small number of fish and are moving only a short distance, you can move them to their new location by using plastic bags half filled with water and the other half with air. Place the bags in an insulated container such as an ice chest or Styrofoam container to help maintain a steady temperature. For a larger number of fish or for transporting over a greater distance, 5-10 gallon plastic containers can be used. First, fill them with water (either salt or fresh water, depending on the type of fish) and change the water often to remove any toxins that might leach from the plastic. On moving day fill the containers half full with water and place the fish in the water, about 1-2 fish per gallon. If your trip is going to take more than a couple of days, it’s best to invest in some portable aerators to keep the water well oxygenated. Do not keep the containers in the car overnight since the drop in temperature is likely to be too severe. 

REPTILES 

If you are going to ship a venomous snake, it must be placed inside two sturdy boxes or a box inside a wooden crate. With non-venomous ones only one box is needed. Be sure the containers are well insulated and contain air holes for ventilation and are clearly marked with both the common and scientific name of the species. If you are transporting your snake in your car, be sure not to leave it in the car overnight. Take it into the hotel room (be sure they allow pets), and let it soak for about an hour in the tub. (You will have to take turns.) The easiest pet to move is a turtle, which can be overnight expressed in a well cushioned, insulated box with air holes. American Tortoise Rescue (http://www.tortoise.com), a nonprofit organization founded to provide for the rescue of turtles and tortoises, recommends using overnight mail. Be sure to write "Fragile, Live Cargo" and "this side up" on the outside of the box to increase the chances of a softer ride. You can also place leaves or grass inside the container for added cushion and to give the box a more homey environment. Remember to keep the surroundings of all reptiles moist but not wet. Dampening a cloth and placing it inside the container is the best approach. There may be government regulations regarding the shipment of reptiles, so you may want to check! 

SMALL MAMMALS 

The best way to move small mammals such as mice, gerbils, guinea pigs and hamsters are to keep them in the car with you and in their normal container. Take their water bottle out to avoid it leaking and soaking the bedding. At rest stops, check the animal and place the bottle back in the cage so it can drink. Be sure to maintain a comfortable, steady temperature even if it means parking your car away from the rest rooms to get it under the shade of a tree. These little critters are comfortable at about the same temperatures people are so if you are cold or hot, they are too. 

PET ROCKS 

Probably the only pet easier to move than a turtle. Be careful to not let your pet rock out of its box while you are driving the car. It’s simply too easy for them to cause an accident by slipping under your gas or brake pedal.
Kim Robbins & Gord Karpinsky
Kim Robbins & Gord Karpinsky
REALTOR®