Moving Tips for Americans in Motion

May is National Moving Month, beginning the busiest moving season of the year, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.

More than half of all residential moves take place from May through August. Last year, more than 35 million Americans moved, over 11 percent of the population.

Some 21.6 million, moved within the same county. Another 7.5 million stayed in-state, but crossed into another county.

Almost 1.3 million Americans moved abroad. Very nearly half of all those who moved were either between 30 and 44 years old, or under age 16.

Understandably, the greatest reason for moving is the wish for a new or better home or apartment. Nearly 12 percent of movers are doing so to establish their own household, while the least reported motivation is seeking a change of climate.

Here are some moving tips to make your life easier:

Throw it away, now: Moving day is no time to decide what stays and what gets thrown away. Do this in advance by doing a little “spring cleaning” well before the move. This will also help you to organize things for easier packing.

Segregate Personal Information: Moving time is prime time for identity thieves. When you do your sorting and cleaning, segregate out any documents containing personal information. This includes old bills and bank statements. Shred anything you are throwing away.

Sort and Schedule: Also, when you do this cleaning, sort things for packing (especially fragile things, for donation and for selling. If you are selling things, do it now. It takes time to sell on Ebay or craigslist, but the money you make can really help offset the cost of the move.

Line Up Your Boxes: Boxes can cost you a fortune if you have to buy them. Liquor stores are a good place to find good boxes that are “moving size”. Also, find tape and other packing materials at good prices by shopping in advance.

Find a Legit Mover: Moving scams succeed when people are in a hurry, and hire movers without doing due-diligence. They also succeed when people are too cheap to hire a reputable mover. Avoid suspiciously low bids, or companies that bid sight-unseen. Check companies with moving.org – which is run by the moving industry’s trade group; and protectyourmove.gov, a federal watchdog website.

If you organize yourself in advance your move will go much smoother. Big tip: Don’t wait until the last minute.

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