From packing up all the family’s belongings to finally hanging that last picture frame on the wall, moving to a new home is a labor of love.
Tedious moving chores like unpacking boxes and arranging furniture become exciting steps that turn an empty house into a full home. Still, there are many steps to take to make relocating as stress-free and positive as it can possibly be, from moving out to settling in.
The first and one of the most important steps is budgeting. Take into account the movers, U-Haul, packing supplies, new licenses and registrations, cancellation fees and other expenses. Establishing a budget will give an idea of how much money the move will cost, and whether there will be enough left over to buy that cool, new sectional.
Update anything and everything with the new home address. From monthly subscriptions and USPS to the bank and beyond, this will ensure a more organized settling-in once the move has been made.
Register to Vote
Once that new address is official, it is time to register to vote. Here is where to go for each county in GTB:
- Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer
- Fred B. Karl County Center
- 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 16th Floor, Tampa
- Robert L. Gilder Elections Service Center
- 2514 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa
- Northwest Regional Office
- 4575 Gunn Highway, Tampa
- Southeast Regional Office
- 10020 S. U.S. Hwy. 301, Riverview
- Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus
- Election Service Center — Starkey Lakes Corporate Center
- 13001 Starkey Road, Largo
- Pinellas County Courthouse
- 315 Court Street, Room 117, Clearwater
- County Building
- 501 First Avenue North, St. Petersburg (Fifth Street North entrance)
- Supervisor of Elections Brian E. Corley
- East Pasco Government Center
- 14236 6th St., Ste. 200, Dade City
- West Pasco Government Center
- 8731 Citizens Drive, Ste. 110, New Port Richey
- Central Pasco Professional Center
- 4111 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Ste. 105, Land O’ Lakes
Research Schools and Forward Medical Records
Research the best schools in the area and find out when tryouts are for the school and travel leagues in the new city. This will make for a smoother and less disruptive transition if the kids have something to look forward to.
Find new general physicians, dentists and maybe even a trustworthy mechanic. Prepare to find reliable replacements for these staples, as well, so that when disaster strikes, they are already lined up.
The Great Purge
Before the packing commences, it is a good idea to clear out every nook and cranny and put together a keep box, a trash box and a donation box, or several. The more stuff that gets thrown away or donated, the less there is to pack, so this is crucial.
Hosting a yard or garage sale is a great way to clear out belongings and gather a few extra bucks to put towards that cool, new sectional.
Organize Movers and Gather Supplies
Get an on-site movers estimate, especially if there are heavy pieces of furniture in the mix. A phone estimate is not always accurate, so it is best to have someone come out to see what they will be working with.
From there, start gathering all of the supplies needed to pack like tape, boxes and insulation for fragile items.
Cancel Old Services and Set Up New
Schedule the cancellation date for current services like utilities and internet and set up the new services at the new home so that they are ready and running come move-in day.
Pack and LABEL
The fun begins. Focus on one area of the house at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed, and be sure to label everything. Leave a few boxes empty for the items used on a daily basis that will not be packed until the last week or last day.
Have a Going Away Party
If the time permits, get together for a little going away shindig with friends and family. Properly closing that chapter of life is nostalgic, important and fun.
Clean Before Unpacking
Ideally the home is clean and ready to move in, but on the off chance that it is not, clean before unpacking. Make sure to reach all of the spaces that the furniture will soon be covering.
Arrange Big Furniture
Get the big stuff set up first and establish a loose blueprint for where everything should go. This can always be readjusted later, but having the furniture laid out will begin to make it feel more like home.
The party begins with unpacking. Remember those labels? They are about to come in handy.
Place each box in the room where it belongs. The same as with packing, begin unpacking one room at a time and generate a loose idea of where everything belongs.
Just like the furniture, this can be rearranged later if the general consensus is that the silverware should be in this drawer instead of that one.
Familiarize with the Neighborhood and Neighbors
Take walks and get out in the neighborhood to scope out the neighbors and say hello. Building a network of friendly faces in the area will bring peace of mind while settling into the new surroundings.
Establish the Lay of the Land
Drive or bike around to find the local grocery store, gym and more importantly, the closest Target. Get a bearing of the surroundings so that running errands does not feel so daunting and unfamiliar.
Check out local intramural sports or clubs, which are a great way to get acclimated and make new friends in a new city, and the local restaurants to find the new family favorite.
Do not forget to celebrate once the last box has been unpacked and broken down. Moving is no small feat, and a reward is certainly in order. Time to cozy in, pop a bottle of champagne and toast to a start fresh in a new home.
By Madison Rae.