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Smart ways to get a move on

April 23, 2006|Terri Sapienza | Washington Post

Summer is quickly approaching, and that means lots of people will be moving. About 43 million people in the United States move each year, according to the Census Bureau, and summertime is the busiest season.

Moving is stressful, but planning can help reduce the toll the process takes on all involved. A few basics: Start early, move on a weekday (when banks, utilities and government offices are open) and keep in mind that the beginning and end of each month are busy times for movers, regardless of the season.

The American Moving & Storage Assn. offers these tips:

* Be available on all loading and delivery days. Movers will have questions.

* Don't close escrow on loading and unpacking days, if possible. This will help eliminate the stress of having to be available for the movers while worrying about closing.

* Fill out change-of-address cards about six weeks in advance.

* Start packing four weeks in advance. If the mover is packing, arrange for it to be done one to two days before loading.

* Set aside valuables. Cash, coins, jewelry, photographs and personal items should be put in the vehicle that you will be taking with you. Or send them ahead via a trackable delivery service.

* And remember: No matter how prepared you are, things occasionally go wrong.

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