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Tips on moving home

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      12.11.2011 16:17
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      Its such hard work!

      Just recently I moved from my old two bedroom flat in Weston Super Mare. I actually loved the place but when I originally (a year and a half ago) took the tenancy out (as it was rented) I was sharing with my best friend. Sadly though it didn't work out for us. It started off ok, like many things do but then she got mentally ill really badly, I was ill myself with loads of different ailments and I couldn't cope anymore. She was suicidal and up the hospital all the time, she was untidy, unkempt and all we did the rest of the time was either argue about bills or hate and resent each other and a couple of times it resulted in violence. In the end I had no choice but to throw her out, sod it about the money I thought I'll have to move as well. (Just to mention though now she is recieving treatment, got a nice flat of her own and we are mates again lol).

      I thought moving would be easy. Wrong! With not a big budget I was left viewing really disgusting bedsit type places costing in excess of £450 a month in really bad areas. My parents came down to help me look and one ceiling almost collapsed on top of my Mums head just as we were viewing it. The last thing I wanted to do was leave Weston but I started to think maybe I should go back to where my parents live, my hometown, Coventry.

      I had to struggle for two months to pay the rent on the flat I was in as I was completely stuck but in the end I found the lovely 2 bed flat I am in now and couldn't be more pleased about the move. Its in budget, light, airy and modern with loads of space for lil old me and my 4 hamsters and one of the bedrooms is now a lovely big dining room! In the end it all came right but not without heaps of worry beforehand.

      Now I needed to be out of my property asap. Although I was looking and I knew I had to move I didn't pack anything or do anything. Then I literally got the keys to this place and my landlord wanted his keys back asap to the old flat and I was literally left with a whole flat to pack in one day and I may be single guys but I sure have a houseful of stuff!

      So here are my tips (which I didn't follow!) which I would next time lol.

      Transport:

      With huge items to move this wasn't going to be easy for me! Again on a budget I knew that for a flat full of stuff, from a professional company I was looking in excess of £500 and not only did I not have that kind of cash I needed to be moved immediately as well! However I asked around people I know and found a guy who my mates family all use regularly so he got a good recommendation. He said £150 and I said £100 and I won the day! Do be clear though on what you want. For a £100 I offered 4 other peoples services to help move it all so if you want a whole move done for you, it will probably cost more.

      Packing:

      Get boxes in advance and lots of supermarkets and take aways i.e McDonald's are usually happy to give you some for fee (they gave me heaps of em!), course you can buy them online (Google) or post office and places. I had loads of boxes from various places and the best I found was the McDonald's ones. I added extra support to all my boxes with masking tape on the bottom and put holes for hands with a Stanley knife to the top of each. Try not to pack random (like I did!) and write on each box what room it is for wherever possible (Like I didn't do either lol).

      Packing Essentials Boxes:

      Pack one box to sort of keep with you. Pop in it a kettle, mugs and tea, coffee, sugar and teaspoons and the likes. I went shopping the night before the move and bought bread and butter and some ham and a couple of packets of biscuits and things like that and put them in the box too with a tub of mustard and some side plates. We didn't have time to stop and get and eat take aways with the mad rush we had but of course you probably do need to eat at some point so be prepared theres nothing like a hungry workforce if you have one lol. My biggest priority was all my hamsters stuff as they come first!

      Cleaning Kit:

      Another box that you will, no matter how much you've cleaned the property prior to moving into it....need. Again my situation was weird! I was told that this flat I was moving into had been cleaned and we (me, my family and my best mate) thought that meant we'd have to just come in and give it a quick spruce up. On the day of the move I saw the place for the first time in broad daylight and realised we had issues and the place was absolutely minging! My box packed contained lots of clean clothes and bleach and the likes and that was the first thing that came into this flat.

      Changing Addresses:

      Contact all bill issuers as soon as you leave the property. Gas, electric and don't forget to change your addy on your tv license and things like that. Meter readings need to be taken so you don't end up paying other peoples bills in the future, take meter readings at your new place and call them in as well so your not paying other peoples debts off. Make sure you know about water and if its a standard bill, or meter.

      Familiarise Yourself:

      One of the first things I did was knock my neighbours either side and introduce myself and apologise for the racket coming from my new flat. You may not want to do this but me, I'm nosy and I wanted to see who was living next to me. I chatted to mine about the neighbourhood, they told me where my bin was and what time the post came to our building and things like that. I wanted a couple of people to know I'm here and think its always nice to say hi!

      Don't Panic:

      You can only do what you can do. My move was pretty hard with cleaning up both properties in one day, one to hand back to the landlord so I'd get my bond back and this one to move into. However I did learn a huge lesson in being more organised in the future an swear I will be. I still have some boxes over a month since moving that I haven't got round to completely emptying purely because they have random bits and pieces in!

      Enjoy!

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        05.04.2010 19:02
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        I HAVE A PROBLEM THAT NEEDS ADDRESSING

        There are reviews here and loads of internet articles with advice, about switching utilities, forwarding mail, surveyors reports, stamp duty and etc; etc; etc.

        So I am being a wee bit naughty in giving moving advice- and coming at it from my viewpoint and not the norm.

        Most of us will move at some point in our lives and just remember the well coined phrase- location, location, location. That is not the location of your new abode that I am referring to- but where your head is- moving is a great opportunity to sort out your life as a whole.

        I want to suggest that you find a new point in your life and look upon the move as a new beginning.

        Once the crates are unpacked and the new curtains bought and in situ. Then let your new world begin. You will have had time before the move to plan your plan. Make it a good 'un.

        Let me give you some ideas.

        I have always been the type of friend who is always available, I will drop anything I am doing if a friend wants to go out or pop round- when I move this is the perfect opportunity to stop doing this and I will be taking it.

        I also miss out on doing things, taking a recent example, a friend said weeks ago they wanted to see Avatar in 3d and we should go, adding they couldn't commit to when. End result I haven't seen the movie. From the move I shall be saying I would love to go with you, let's put a date in our diaries. If they say they cannot- I shall say ....ok let me know in the next few days- let's say by Friday, if they say they cannot or by Friday they haven't committed I shall make plans to go alone.

        I plan to have a full diary, and if you want to see me, get your booking in- because I am moving to get a life. I have even invented a new diary entry- it is called a SIFARDAY- that is a Staying in For a Reason Day. I could be staying in because I have things to do, because I want to rest- whatever, but I will be in because I want to be, not because I have failed to plan anything.

        Right now if you asked me " what did you get up to last week?", I would struggle to form a sentence of any interest. From my move it will be several paragraphs. I am on a budget, but feeding the swans and ducks on a river walk , or going on the cycle path for a country ride is not expensive. I am not getting it together right now because I have got into a very deep rut, but this move is the ladder to get out of the canyon I find myself in.


        I have researched the town I am moving to and already have notes in my diary of events I will be attending later this year and next year . I know for many people being spontaneous works for them but it doesn't work for me. Life is too short and I want to live it.

        I am going to have to be strong as I know of one friend who will not tolerate advance planning, but I am not going to sacrifice my fun to accommodate her adversity. Not any longer.

        In addition I am going to get my health sorted and get myself fitter- slowly but surely. I am going to increase my knowledge, do my family tree and take up gardening and painting. I will be baking my own bread and biscuits etc; and have ordered a book to enable uses for herbs other than culinary.

        I am not going to have the time or the energy to do all this at once , but I do have more time than I have led myself to believe. There are 126 hours that I am awake, so saying that going to work takes up 45 of those hours that leaves - 81 hours-so even if household thingys take up an average of 3 hours a day- I still have 60 hours to live my life and even more time during holidays.

        So what I am saying is don't let a move just be a change of address, if you are like me, not happy with where your life is now, then let it be a change of life.

        Wishing you all every health and happiness in your new home.

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          02.03.2010 19:06
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          Stay calm and enjoy your new home

          Having moved house a week before Christmas a year ago I thought i'd share my tips with you for, hopefully, a stress free move -

          Research the area you are looking to buy in, look at the prices of houses selling in the area (www.nethouseprices.com is a good website to see sale prices rather than estate agent's asking prices).

          When you've found a house you like, visit the area during different times of the day and at the weekend to make sure the noise etc are acceptable for you.

          Ask the vendor / estate agent about the area, council tax bands, whether there is a water meter at the property and anything else which may be of interest to you in the area.

          When it comes to putting the offer in, negotiate where you can - the worst they can say is no.

          I would recommend getting a removal firm to move everything from your current house to the new house, get them round as soon as you can to measure up so they know how many boxes / men / vans they will need.

          Remember to contact your solicitor and mortgage company as soon as you can and get everything moving. Keep pestering them if you don't hear back from them - that's their job!

          Contact the Royal Mail in plenty of time to ensure you get your post redirection sorted in time.

          Then, it's a case of contacting everyone else, here's a few to get you started -
          TV License
          Council Tax
          Gas
          Electricity
          Sky TV
          BT
          House Insurance
          Bank
          Water
          Car Insurance
          Your employer
          Friends and family

          Then on move day it's a case of letting the removal men pack everything up (ours even packed a mug with a tea bag in - luckily we hadn't made the cuppa yet!). It's best top keep a few essentials with you in your car - toilet roll, tea bags, milk, kettle).

          Once you've got the call to say all the money has gone through, then they keys are all yours. As I said I moved a week before Christmas, so as I had guests for Christmas dinner I had to unpack all of the boxes asap but I think this was the best thing as I couldn't put it off, so unpack as soon as you can!

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            25.10.2009 11:42
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            My Top Tips

            I have recently moved home and would like to share my tips so that maybe someone can benefit and avoid just a little of the stress moving home involves!

            I have moved home before (on quite a few occasions) but this time found it very stressful. So here is my tips-

            1) Don't start to pack boxes to early. I would start ten days before moving. My advice is to clear out all your cupboards etc. throw out stuff you don't want and have it ready to pack. In my experience, any earlier and you end up unpacking again looking for things, especially if you have children
            2) Don't estimate sizes in your new home, always try and obtain exact measurements. For example don't assume that your tumble dryer will fit in the space because it looks the right size. I did this and it meant lifting a heavy dryer from one house to another and then having it in my bedroom until I get another one that actually fits in the kitchen. Sound like common sense I know.
            3) Over estimate the amount of money you will need. Never underestimate, especially if you are on a tight budget. I found that for the first few days every time I stepped out the door I was spending money, its all the little things that you don't consider.
            4) Always ensure you have plenty of help. I had lots of help and it made things so much easier. I try to be independent but I know now there are things that I am physically unable to do, like lifting a tumble dryer down a flight of stairs.

            Hope this helps someone. 9 weeks later and I have more grey hair than ever lol.

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              06.05.2009 23:43
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              Get as much help as you can get, or can afford!!!

              DON'T!!!!!!!!
              Lol no I am kidding! This is just the way I'm feeling at this minute in time as my poor little flat is full of boxes and all my shelves are empty!!

              Yes thats right in two days time I am moving from our flat to a nice little house! I can't wait but my goodness, the moving process has already been stressful!!!

              We currently live in a rented two bedroom apartment. Its nice, but its on the top floor of a 3 story building with no lift, and its right next to a railway line so its very loud in the summer when you have your windows open! We've only lived here for a year, but we feel we need to move out. And so we found a nice 2 bedroom terraced house, its only down the road, less than a mile away, so its not too far to move everything, but its far enough for a new start!

              We got the house two weeks ago, so the last two weeks has been a gradual packing phase, planning everything, getting all the calls made to change addresses over etc. And geez its been stressful!!!

              We thought we would start to pack straigh away as soon as we got the confirmation we were moving, we got our boxes out, and started to pack the bits up that we weren't going to need, books, DVDs, games, some clothes, some kitchen stuff which wasn't a necessity. And I thought it would be an easy process when it came to these last few days...boy was I wrong!!!!!!

              Yesterday was my fixtures and fittings day! I went around with my husband taking down all the shelving units, photos, etc etc which we put up a year ago, and filling in the holes, as well as emptying the bathroom of the nic nacs which we wouldn't be using in the next 2 days. And as I was going around the flat I realised just how much we had still to pack. So I decided that today I would start packing everything else up- we were going to do it tomorrow, my husband got the day off work, and we were going to do it all then, but I thought I'd get a head start.

              In 6 hours I have packed 4 boxes, packed up every item of clothes I have bar two sets of clothes for the next two days, I have even packed away my make-up!!! lol And I have even labelled the boxes in order of which they need to go in the car!! Lol, but STILL i have sooo much to do tomorrow! Or so it seems, I can't even think what else needs doing...but I know that its still going to be so stressful tomorrow...and sleeping on just a matress after taking the bed apart for the removal men really isn't going to help!!! haha.

              Ok, my advice for anyone out there who is moving home and wondering how to get it done the best way is:

              Well first option- this is expensive, but pretty much stress free...geta removal company who will do a complete move, they literally come in pack your boxes, and ship it all to your new house, where you can be waiting, or you can even go away for the weekend while they do it!!! You have to shop around as not all removal companies do it, but I know some do as we phoned up a few about moving our bed, sofa etc, and one of them asked us if we were packing our own boxes, or if we wanted them to do the full move! I was tempted...! haha, but as I say its expensive, seeing as its costing us £150 for 4 hours work (and this is cheap!) just to move a bed, sofa, TV, table and chairs...I'm going for around £500-£1000 for a full house move, if not more. But, if you have the money and you really do want a comlete stress free move, I really do suggest it!!!!!

              The second option, is what we have done- order a man and a van (ours is £25 an hour plus an extra £50 for fuel which is quite cheap!) to move your bigger stuff and maybe some of your heavier boxes, and then pack up the rest of the stuff yourself and take it yourself (or pay for an extra hour for the man in a van to move the boxes too). Now, as I said I had two weeks to get everything sorted, but I don't think I utlised this time properly.

              If I was to do it again, I'd pack every single thing I wasn't going to need in the next two weeks over the space of the first week or so, that way your last week can be spent taking things down, taking things apart, and packing away the final bits. But beware you'll still end up witha house full of boxes!!!

              Luckily we have a spare bedroom where we can throw all of our boxes which is good as it means the boxes have only started to spill out today!

              We're lucky in that theres only me and my husband, and as we've only lived here a year, we don't actually have that much "stuff", you know the bits that kind of accumulate over the years, I got rid of all that when I moved in with my husband so we don't have that much stuff to take, but still its been stressful.

              My main advice is to take your time, don't leave it til the last minute, make sure you get as many people you know to help you move. I'm unlukcy in that my husband works nights meaning he's not here at night, and he's sleeping most of the day, and that my family live 60 miles away so I can't even rope them into helping!!!

              Good Luck moving! One thing I do know is that its all going to be worth the move and I cannot wait, and the excitement is over-running the stress!!! :-D x

              NB: Don't go out any buy boxes from storage places! They turn out to be very expensive!!! Many supermarkets and fast food restaurants are happy to give you the boxes for free as they tend to go straight into a recycling bin anyway, so ask around! The storage place boxes should be the very last resort if you cannot get any for free anywhere!! They over charge for something you could get for free, plus your helping the environment by re-using the shops boxes!

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                20.03.2009 00:35
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                Well this is something that ranges from being an exciting experience to being hell on earth.

                Well this is something that ranges from being an exciting experience to being hell on earth. I have only moved a handful of times and when this has been from rented accomodation it has been fine and not too stressful and when i got my first house this was ok too however when i moved the last time i think it was one of the most stressful things that i have ever done!! People had said this to me in the past and i had not believed them however it was soo hard to co-ordinate the estate agents and the solicitors and it felt at times that if i wasn't on the phonce asking people what was happening then we would never move.

                I think that if you want to have a less stressful move you need to not have a date in mind about when you will move and just take things as they come!

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                  04.03.2009 17:45
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                  Good luck!

                  When you have to move you have to move. But oh my, can it be a traumatic experience! Here are some things that you might expect:

                  1) The unexplained law of expanding stuff
                  All those years of living in a capitalist world has meant that you have rather a lot of possessions. But who would have known it until you got those moving boxes out and started packing it away? All those magazines! Old newspapers! 15 different brands of shampoo stashed away! 8 different cleaning products for the same purpose! Drawers full of items which appear to have no purpose! When packed up, these things magically expand to fill a much larger area than they ever could before. Physics has no known explanation for this phenomena.

                  2) The law of the broken item
                  No matter how carefully you move and how much time you spend doing it or how many hundreds of helpful friends are there to aid you move, something of relative importance will get broken. That ceramic jar containing your great-grandmothers ashes. That flower pot containing the orchid that your boyfriend just gave you for valentines day. That glass statue of Tony Blair. And what will be even worse is that when it gets broken, someone will ask "Where is the superglue?". Packed away!! But in which box? And at that present moment, the superglue decides intelligently to pop out of existence so as to never be found again. The broken item sits in a box, waiting for an indeterminate period of time.

                  3) "How did we get that in here in the first place?"
                  Yes indeed, how did we get that in here in the first place? It's so big! It's so heavy! It doesn't fit through the door! By a stroke of universal luck, it is usually your favorite piece of furniture.

                  4) The hole in the wall
                  This doesn't happen to everyone, but there is another little known law of the universe. Walls sit there waiting to get holes in them when you have the least amount of time to repair it. And especially if you have a deposit down on a rental house, your wall is practically humming with excitement over the prospect of the impending hole.

                  5) New neighbors
                  When you arrive and start unpacking, neighbors will likely come over and introduce themselves. It is usually at this point that you would least want to meet new people, especially those that you will have to live next to and have staring in your window for a substantial period of time. You are tired and your hair looks like a space shuttle launch. The neighbors will tell you things you want to hear ("it's pretty safe") and things you don't ("we like to keep our lawns mowed weekly 'round here" and "watch out for the guy at number 32").

                  6) You will likely promise to yourself: "I will never move again!". Yet you will, and the cycle will repeat, only with more stuff, more broken things, more nosey neighbors and more holes in the wall!

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                    16.12.2008 13:14
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                    A cheeky checklist

                    So the removal Van has just turned into the street, although you've been planning for months, packing for weeks and panicking for days, you have that feeling that you have forgotten something. Use this top 10 list to do a double check, and a triple check.......
                    1. TOILET ROLL. Put a spare loo roll somewhere accessible, you just know when you reach the new house, amidst the boxes and unpacking, someone will need the bathroom only to find...no loo roll!
                    2. TEA SPOON. Ok so you have managed to struggle everything out of the van, up the stairs and now you're in your new home surrounded in boxes and you're glad you packed a few teabags and the kettle handy, but what about the teaspoon, it's OK if you followed this list!
                    3. CHEQUE BOOK. To pay the removal van men, otherwise your stuck in the back of the removal van trying to search through boxes.
                    4. CHANGE FROM DOWN THE SOFA. We all know we loose all out change down the back of the sofa, so get a hold of it before a)the removal men do or b) it falls out while the removal men are moving the sofa, hits them on the head and they end up suing you.
                    5. SCISSORS. Simply to open the boxes you so lovingly took weeks to pack and tape up so that they were secure, too secure to be opened by hand, hence the scissors.
                    6. CHARGED MOBILE. To ring the take away for dinner, ring the removal van as you realise you have left something in the van etc.
                    7. OVERNIGHT BAG. A change of clothes and a wash kit kept handy means if you can't be bothered to start unpacking - you don't have to. Well not until the next morning.
                    8. A BOTTLE OF WINE. To celebrate, wash down the above take away and relax, forget your troubles and well it's the only thing you can find to drink.
                    9. THE KIDS. Well you told them to go and play (i.e. get out of your way) and now the van is all packed and ready to go. Just don't leave them behind in your mad panic to get everything in the van.
                    10. YOUR HEAD. Enough said really!

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                      12.10.2008 18:30
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                      By no means comprehensive - but a few tips

                      Like a lot of people reviewing in this section, I am a serial house mover - currently in my 22nd home, and have moved 8 times in the last 10 years. I'm hoping to stay put for a bit now! I have moved to the other end of the country (Highlands to Cornwall, Devon to Edinburgh) and also just a few streets away. Moving house is very stressful - you've got all the worry of whether the contracts will exchange ok, or if renting you're probably wondering whether you missed anything major about the new property (did it have central heating?!) or if the last tenants will have left the place in a mess. Here are a few tips to make the move go more smoothly.

                      ****Boxes****

                      Collect boxes plenty in advance, you are going to need more than you think, and you probably can't have too many. Ask around at work and also ask local shops if they have any going spare that they could put aside for you. To store them, flatten them and slide under a bed. A removal company will often supply boxes, but they may charge, and even if they don't they usually only give them to you in the last week, which is no good for planning ahead. If you haven't been given enough, it may be worth buying some boxes, especially if you might move again in the not too distant future.

                      The best boxes I ever had were some flat pack ones with handle holes at the side and a separate lid. I was lucky enough to get given them by a friend who acquired them from work. As they were all the same size they stacked brilliantly, and the lids meant you didn't have to tape them, and could easily identify what was inside by sneaking a peek.

                      ****Packing****

                      Start packing in plenty of time too, all the stuff that you don't need on a daily basis - I usually seem to start with books, as they are easy to pack and make you feel like you're making inroads! However, don't forget that your put-away possessions will take up much more room in your house once they are in boxes, so plan where they are going to go, and if possible put boxes into cupboards and shelves.

                      Talking of books - they're heavy, so pack them in smaller boxes or fill only the bottom half and fill the top with lighter things. For kids books for example, top up the box with fluffy toys. If you have loads of crockery it may be worth investing in a roll of bubble wrap (available from places like Viking and more more economical than buying sheets of bubble wrap. Don't use newspaper because it is likely to leave print marks on everything - just what you need in your new home, to wash all your dishes as soon as you get there! Alternatively you could layer crockery with towels or other linen, so that you've nothing to dispose of at the other end.

                      A tape gun for the brown tape can be useful if you can pick one up cheaply, this means you aren't forever trying to find the end of the tape, or wrapping yourself up in it. Label your boxes on the top (to be seen when carrying) and on the side (to be seen when stacked), not only with their contents but also with the room that they should be taken to - especially important if you have a removal company moving you, or even friends helping. It may be faster to print out sticky labels. You should number the bedrooms and on moving day stick a label on the doors of the new rooms, so that all your possessions end up in the right place, saving you time and energy later.

                      Don't leave packing to the last minute - it is surprising how little we actually need in our daily life, so there is no excuse for not getting almost everything boxed several days before moving day.

                      ****Clearing Out, and Bin Bags****

                      Start clearing out before you start packing - it really is amazing how much rubbish people can accumulate. Be ruthless and don't take things with you that you haven't looked at or used since the last move. You need to do this in plenty of time because you need to sort things into eBay/car boot, charity shop, or dump piles. If you leave it to the last minute you'll be exhausted and a lot if useful things may end up in landfill as a result!

                      It helps me to have a colour code for bags - for example carrier bags to go to the charity shop, black bags to go out for rubbish, and thick green gardening bags for soft things like cushions, soft toys, curtains, bed linen. This way you avoid accidentally throwing out a bag of favourite teddies, and arriving at your new home with a bag of last week's potato peelings.

                      ****Letting People Know****

                      Of course, it is important to make a list of all the banks, utilities (don't forget your meter readings), friends and relatives and so on who need to know that you have moved. But inevitably you are going to forget someone, or you'll tell British Gas and they won't bother putting it on the system (I speak from bitter experience...) so my absolute top tip is to remember to redirect your post. This gives you a bit more leeway, a month, 3 months, or more, and is well worth the charge. Arrange this with the Post Office a couple of weeks in advance - remember this one even if you don't remember any of the others and you should be ok!

                      ****On the Day****

                      Moving can be very stressful for children too, so if you can, farm them out for the day. My children were always convinced that something precious would be left behind, so it is a god idea to let them take a final look around the empty house to reassure them that really everything is in the van. Put kitchen essentials into a crate that can be easily accessed once you get there (kettle, mugs, tea, coffee) and if you can, make a picnic, or else establish where your nearest take away will be. If you are super organised you may wish to arrange for a supermarket deivery to fill your new cupboards.

                      Happy Moving!

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                        11.10.2008 23:49
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                        Overall moving is stressful but if you're organised it doesn't have to be.

                        I have moved 4 times in the last few years so Iam now a pro at moving lol. One thing I advise is don't leave packing to the last minute as you think it wont take long well it will and you will be doing this for hours and hours and will be getting very frustrated. If you start packing gradually weeks before then it wont be so stressful as you can just pack a box here and there just make sure you don't pack up anything that you will need. Make sure you use decent sellotape to do the box up as theres nothing worse then having a box full of plates and the bottom caving through same with bin liners. Make sure you label your boxes up well even if you just put a number on it starting from 1 to however many boxes you have and write a list on paper of everything you put in each box with the box number. So least then you are organised and it will be alot easier when you get to your new place. Make sure when packing you wrap fragile things up well so they don't get broken. When you arrive at your new place try put all the boxes together and unpack one box at a time rather then a bit from each box as you will have stuff everywhere. Also the biggest tip is if anyone asks if you want any help say yes.

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                        04.01.2006 20:42
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                        Don't lose sight that a new house is kind of fun!

                        Top tips on moving house.

                        Tips here for the rental mover and the house buyer.

                        I recently bought my first house but realised when moving I’d moved house 13 times in the last 10 years so there’s probably something useful I’ve picked up somewhere.

                        1. Give notice for rental properties – I know it’s obvious but look at the small print early on. You may have to give a clear calendar month rather than a month. It’s expensive if you get it wrong.

                        2. Moving yourself isn’t too hard. I’ve always moved myself but until recently I didn’t own a sofa. This is now my subtle hint to myself (and the fact I have an, albeit unrelated, bad back at the moment) that I’ll hire people to do it for myself next time. Honestly though, hiring a van and doing it yourself isn’t as big a deal as people think. Consider it, especially if you live in a flat, we almost paid for removal last time but being on the second floor more than doubled the estimate.

                        3. Get organised. Start preparing a month in advance. Get some boxes in, buy or borrow a tape gun and start chucking out things you don’t need. Be ruthless. The worst thing in the world is opening up a box in the new place and thinking “I paid to move this in cash and sweat… why?”

                        4. Go to the post office and get your post redirected. You need to do this a bit in advance or else you might miss a few days. Even if you think you’ve changed your addresses, it’s worth doing for that “D’oh! I’d forgotten about the mobile phone!”

                        5. Work through your address book finances and think of people you need to tell your new address to. Remember any pension schemes, insurance, TV licensing, Inland Revenue, Electoral Register, DVLA, subscriptions etc. If you have to get a parking permit for your new place, get it sorted.

                        6. As you pack your boxes, sounds daft but write what’s on them or what room they’re for. Helps loads if you’ve got friends, relatives or removers to help you. Otherwise expect a “so this box goes where?” question every 2 minutes.

                        7. Remember whatever budget you have for a deposit / fees etc, add 10 – 20% if you can. Moving house, especially if you’re buying is surprisingly expensive. Even if you have cash left, you’ll be surprised how much needs doing to the most fixed up of houses and a bit of extra cash around will really help, otherwise you’ll be stuck in a rut of bad wallpaper for ages.

                        8. Pack a bag for moving. Include toilet rolls, toiletries (include deodorant, you’d be very stinky after lifting boxes otherwise), toothbrush, lightbulbs (some people take them), candles etc.

                        9. Do you know how you’re getting the keys? Trust me, breaking in is not how you want to start but it’s what happened to us. Make sure that the people leaving don’t post the keys through the door if you’re going to need them.

                        10. Rent at the moment? Then clean, clean, clean. It’s true that different rental agents will have different standards but I have a leave it as you found it policy. Unfortunatley if you have a miserable landlord, they will find an excuse to take some of your deposit off you but you can minimise the damage. Check the small print in advance. The last house I moved out of, they insisted we had the carpets cleaned. It wasn’t in the contract anywhere but in the end they only charged us £30 so we caved in as we had so much to do. Unfortunately for them, they took the £30 off the deposit they’d originally quoted which was 1.5 times the rent, but we’d bargained them down so they lost out. Ha. Even if you’re not renting, you’ll need to run down your fridge and freezer and clean them out. Some people say you can move frozen food but it’s risky and if you can avoid it, I would.

                        11. Leave the kettle and some mugs and milk out till last. Nothing beats a cup of tea for the troops.

                        12. Finally take one last look round when everything’s out and keep your eyes open. Look for clocks, photos, pictures, notice boards, bathroom cabinets, rugs, look in sheds, garages, lofts etc.

                        13. Then wave goodbye! Make sure you assemble the bed at the other end and the rest can wait. You want your first night to be a comfy one.

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                          05.09.2005 14:02
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                          With a bit of organisation, your house move doesn't have to cause a headache

                          I have lived in five countries and have moved house nearly 20 times. In the last 15 years, I've only hired a removals firm once; the rest of the time I've done it myself with the help of a few friends. While it is very stressful, I've come up with a few ways to cut down on the hassle - and I'd like to share these with you.

                          1. Upstairs, downstairs
                          Everything you move has to go through your front door, so it makes sense to have your belongings as close to the exit as possible. Make sure you get everything down from the loft (or up from the cellar) before moving day. After all, if it's in the loft, you probably don't use it every day, anyway.

                          Put the boxes in a room you can do without for a while and stack them three or four high. Try to keep the piles relatively even, so they won't fall on you or your children. (This has happened to me before and it was a pain to have to restack all the boxes).

                          2. Clear the clutter
                          When you're moving things out of the loft or cellar, be ruthless and clear out anything you haven't used in the last two years. The same goes for the garage and for the garden shed. Every piece of tat you keep is one more thing to load and unload. By the end of move day, you'll wish you hadn't bothered. This is one my partner learned the hard way. The last time we moved, he insisted on moving a rickety piece of furniture which we ended up taking to the tip on move day. Take it from me, the last thing you want to do is add any extra trips to th schedule.

                          There is one advantage of moving, though. It's a good time to 'lose' that unwanted Christmas or birthday gift. (Remember not to look too sad when you explain what happened or you might get a replacement.)

                          3. Plan your van
                          When hiring a van, don't cut corners. Spend a bit more and get a van with a tail-lift. That will cut down on the backache and will be invaluable, especially for the larger furniture items. Buy or borrow a heavy duty trolley of some kind and you'll have almost all the bases covered. When booking a van, look for a company that will allow you to either pick it up the night before the move (to get a head start on the loading) or return it the day after (so you can collapse into bed at night without watching the clock).

                          4. Box clever
                          Keep packing boxes small and manageable and your back will thank you. The boxes that reams of A4 paper come in (you can get a few from your office) are perfect for packing books, CDs, DVDs, tapes, records (if you've still got them) and other small items. The ones with handles are best.

                          Check out your local shop and ask them to save the boxes that snacks and chocolates are delivered in. They'll need to be reinforced but they're a good size as well.

                          For all the mums out there, the Pampers multipack boxes are strong and solid (and they have handles).

                          Finally, book boxes (the smaller ones, of course) from your local bookshop. These are difficult to get hold of but when you use them you can be sure that your stuff won't fall out mid-move.

                          5. It's a wrap!
                          To avoid breakages, wrap your fragile items very carefully. The best packing items are newsprint and bubble wrap. If you can get it, beg or buy large sheets of unprinted newsprint or ends of rolls from your local printer. If you can't you'll have to start saving your Sunday papers (the bigger, the better). There's always more stuff to be wrapped than you think. Bubble wrap is also a safe, clean alternative, and if you get really bored, you can pop a few bubbles while you wrap.

                          All mattresses should be wrapped, otherwise you'll be sleeping on dirt for years. They're quite heavy, and you'll usually drop at least one corner. (After three moves in the rain, my old pale yellow mattress was quite filthy.) Black bin bags and packing tape are useful for wrapping large items such as these, but even better are big dust sheets from your local DIY shop.

                          6. Label, label, label
                          Don't just label boxes by where they're going; mark where they've come from as well. You'll have a much better idea of where to find that elusive vase for the welcome flowers the new neighbours have brought you, because you'll know exactly where that was in the old house. Label boxes on the top and at least two sides so you won't have to lift every box to find out what's in it. Make some signs for the new house (Bedroom 1, Bedroom 2, Office etc) so your move-day helpers will know where each box should go. Otherwise, they'll just put stuff down anywhere and you'll struggle to find it.

                          7. Essential services
                          Get together a 'move day essentials' box. This should have a kettle and enough mugs for everyone who's helping you move, as well as coffee, tea and sugar (those packs you get at hotels are perfect) and a carton of UHT milk. A bottle of mineral water is also a good idea, as are a couple of snack bars and a roll of toilet paper.

                          Another essentials box should have your hammer, drill, screwdriver set as well as a few nails, screws and wall plugs. A couple of light bulbs may also come in handy, as will a roll of bin bags and some large dust sheets in case it's a wet day (you don't want mud all over the new carpet, do you?)

                          I've found that these steps work for me. Moving is still stressful, but I don't tend to have breakages (except on purpose) and I can usually find my belongings easily.

                          Happy moving!

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                            06.06.2004 19:14
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                            • "I feel so dirty!"

                            As I?m sure most of you will know, moving house is a very stressful experience. As I come up to my forth house move in 2 years on Tuesday, here?s a few things I have found to make it that little bit easier if you?re a student in university accommodation. @ Banana boxes are very handy when it comes to packing, as they are durable and easy to stack. They also have two handles either side of the box thus making them easy to transport as well. Make sure that there is the standard brown paper inside though as this will prevent things from falling through the small hole at the bottom of the box. @ Start packing at least a week before you move depending on how much crap you?ve accumulated over the years. Trust me, it takes AGES! @ Leave things like the radio, kettle and TV until last as they will be extremely useful if (more like WHEN) you want a break. (Don?t forget to leave a few mugs out too.) @ As well as having different boxes for different rooms (i.e. packing all the kitchen stuff in some boxes, bedroom stuff in others etc.) try to categorise the rooms as well. For instance you could try putting all of your CDs in one box, books in another, photos in another etc. @ Wear old clothes you don?t mind getting dirty as you?ll look and feel like a dust bunny after you?re done for the day. @ Remember to have your post forwarded to your new address. @ If you receive a letter from the accommodation office asking you to leave by a certain date, keep it. You can use it to get a partial refund on your TV license (if you have one). @ Lock all doors and windows securely before you leave. @ Try to do all of your laundry a couple of days before you move out, this way it makes it easier when you arrive at your new place and also gives you one less thing to wo
                            rry about when you unpack. @ Put all your important documents together, preferably in a locked box packed tightly away in a box/suitcase you know that you?ll need as soon as you unpack. @ Wrap all breakables up in newspaper or bubble wrap. @ If you have to take anything apart to transport, use tape to stick the screws onto the thing itself so that you won?t get confused with a huge muddled pile of screws, nuts and bolts. @ If you?re living in a house and someone on the ground floor has already left, ask for their keys. If you shift your stuff into their old room periodically, then it makes it easier to pack the car before you leave. @ It?s common courtesy to clean the house before you go, so whip out the vacuum, broom and mop and get to work on everything and anything that looks dirty. As far I know, I think I?ve covered every aspect of a student move. If not, let me know and I?ll gladly change it. Thanks for reading. ======== Courstesy of I Like Blue. "I'd add that you should inform your University/College, Bank and other important organisation you're involved in/get mail from of your change in address with as much notice as possible, and from general moving experience myself, usually about a month or so as you just can't trust beaurocracy to get it done quickly AND efficiently. Unless you only have a few books then it probably isn't wise to put them all in one box as regular visits to a chiropracter to sort out your bad back could be expensive ;) Also, if you have no paper or bubblewrap for your fragile objects then using your own clothes/towels acts as effective padding and protection." Thanks! PS. Lift with your legs, not your back!

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                              09.07.2002 06:29
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                              I’ve just completed the 11th move of my life and regrettably not the last so when it comes to moving I know a thing or two. Five of those moves have been during my adult life and every one of those have been a DIY experience. We all know moving is one of the most stressful experiences in life and if you’re taking all the work on your shoulders you’ll want it to be as pain free as possible. I’ve found the key to this is efficiency and organisation. I’m a slave to lists, lists for shopping, lists for things to do lists for bills and lists for dooyoo, you name it, if it needs planning I’ve got a list! But in this case I would have to stress how beneficial a list can be – it’s a must. I’ve never owned a house so my experience is from a renting point of view and for the purpose of making this opinion as useful and accurate as possible this will be the basis of my guidance. 1) One home or two One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is regarding the property you now reside in and the new one you’re moving to. Virtually all tenancy agreements require a notice period before it terminates and these can range from a few weeks to 3mths leaving you with the dilemma of when to inform your landlord. You will want to avoid either paying double rent or being without a residence altogether so timing is important. Picking up a local paper will give the impression that finding another property should be a quick and easy process but the reality is somewhat different most of the time. Tips – Virtually all adverts in the newspapers are with letting agents and not private landlords. I’ve found that even on the day the newspaper comes out most of these properties being advertised will have already gone. If you are happy to let through an agency then register with as many as possible and keep calling frequently to prevent getting lost in the paperwork.
                              When you do get an appointment to view a property go as quickly as possible. We’ve lost out a few times when the people with an earlier viewing time than us took it before we even got a chance to look. If you are interested but don’t want to commit initially make sure they are aware of this so as to get first refusal. If you’re renting unfurnished then measure up, you may find yourself with a whole lot of annoying problems on your hands if your current fixtures and fittings don’t fit in your new home. 2) Get that list ready When moving property there are a lot of people you need to inform especially bills you’ve probably forgotten about thanks to direct debits! Make a list of all the companies and services you need to inform and their numbers then tick them off as you go. If your tenancy agreements are going to overlap remember that some bills you will need to pay twice. You’ll need to re-organise every aspect of your life from doctors and dentists to schools. Tips – Don’t forget: Water rates, TV license (you are NOT covered in your new home even if you’re still paying under your old address - it must be changed), gas, electric and council tax. Phone companies need notice to reconnect and disconnect a phone so remember to do that in advance. Add to your list all the bills, catalogues, friends and family you will need to inform. Get together a collection of bills as they come in before the move, that way you will have all your customer reference numbers as well as the phone numbers. Before you pack up make sure you put other important documentation aside – dental, medical and school records. Anything you will need to register i.e proof of ID as well so you won’t have to root through box upon box to find them. 3) Redirect your mail As soon as you know your new address it’s a good idea to get your mail redirected, it takes up to 5 work
                              ing days to take effect so unless you’re confident your old landlord will forward your mail get it done before you leave. Anyone you’ve forgotten to tell will then come through your new mailbox giving you a little reminder to change your contact details. You can choose how long you want the service for and the fee is reasonable just pick up a form from your local post office. 4) DIY moving If you’re going to do the moving yourself you’re going to need friends or family to help. If you don’t want to buy packing materials try different shops that stock bulky goods, they will quite often be happy to give you some although supermarkets tend to be a bit useless for this purpose. If you want to buy them then a good tip is to try storage companies. Most have a varied selection to choose from as well as bubble wrap, tape, furniture covers etc. We boxed up a 3-bedroom house at a cost of £130 for all packing materials. Pack sensibly and mark the boxes well, it can help immensely if you know which box the object you want is in and you won’t need to unpack everything immediately. For moving day itself I would recommend hiring a Luton van at approx £60-80 a day and you only need an ordinary driving license for it. The driver will need to be over 25 though and a security deposit (around £500) will be required. Either a debit or credit card can be used although I recommend credit if you can, on a debit card the deposit will be taken from your account and credited back to you 24-48hrs after you return the van. A Luton van will take approximately 2 trips to empty a large 3-bedroom house. Tips – book in advance and phone around for quotes, especially try some of the smaller companies where you will get a much more competitive price. Check the mileage allowance, if you go over your allowance it will cost you approximately £0.45 per extra mile which adds up. We’ve found though that m
                              ost of the smaller companies are very lenient about this. Start as early as possible. You’ll be amazed how much one house can really contain and it’s the smaller items that take the most time. Those cupboards that seem so small take hours to empty and organise. Take this opportunity to have a good clear out but don’t overdo it, it’s easy to get carried away and later regret it. It’s much less stressful to spend time living in a house full of boxes than it is to try to pack up an entire home in 2 days – trust me I’ve done both! 5) Let someone else do it if you can. If you’re only going a small distance or you’re having your moving costs paid by your employer etc then take a big portion of the stress off by hiring a removal company. Virtually all require either an estimator to visit the property or you to fill in a self-assessment form and return it so it can be very hard to get quick quotes. You may find that hiring a company from your destination rather than your current area is cheaper and if you have a small house or flat you can try to go as a part load. We had a quote of £1000 to move a 3-bedroom house (small one) 130 miles, DIY cost us £500 including packing materials and petrol so it’s a big difference. Tips – anything you hold dear don’t let them within a 100 feet of, valuables, family heirlooms or anything you’re strongly emotionally connected to that is destructible move yourself if you can. Getting a range of quotes can be time consuming and frustrating but it’s worth it to get the best deal which can save you hundreds of pounds at the end of the day. 6) Easing the stress on children A move for anyone is stressful but for children it can be awful especially if you are moving to a whole new area. Try to get them familiar with the area if you can before you move. Do your research into things like schools and fa
                              cilities before you move and prepare them. For younger children continuity seems to help and try to avoid stressful situations in their company. Tips – try to make the move as beneficial for them as you can, clubs where they can meet new friends are a good idea for example. Do as much of the moving and organsing as you can before moving the children in, if they can stay with a grandparent or friend while you do this that’s a good idea. I’ve found that by setting up my daughter’s rooms as closely as possible to resemble their old rooms it’s limited the stress caused by their new environment. Also remember your pets, a new home can be very upsetting for them too. 7) From one landlord to another Before you sign on the dotted line make sure you read your tenancy agreement so you know what you are responsible for and what they are. Some landlords are very easy going with alterations to the property and maintenance expectations others have very strict guidelines. It helps if you get along with your new landlord and make sure you know how to contact them if you need to. Renting through an agency will give both you and them more security but at a cost. If you rent privately then you need to be careful and know your rights before you enter any agreements. Tips – take photographs of your new property of any damage that is in place when you arrive. I’ve been caught short on this before and it can all turn very nasty if you’re not careful. When moving out of your old home make sure you leave yourself enough time to clean it top to bottom so that there will be no stressful comebacks. That is the biggest difference between renting and owning your homes – when you rent you are responsible for putting straight any wear and tear on the home that is not considered expected. Check your new and old tenancy agreements to make sure you’ve done all that is required – you m
                              ay be responsible for the garden/interior paint work/windows etc. MY EXPERIENCE One month ago my husband decided to accept his new offer of a job, one week ago we moved in. The three weeks in between were hectic and stressful but by getting organised I think we survived well, finding a house, moving everything ourselves and getting settled in our new place. I think my biggest piece of advice when moving is to find a place you really like. It sound obvious but when you are working against the clock it’s easy to move to an area you haven’t researched properly or into a house that you thought seemed ok. It’s especially easy to do that if you’re renting because it’s not permanent. I’ve moved to some places I’ve loved and some I’ve hated and I think that as far as standard of living and happiness goes if you don’t feel happy in your surroundings (neighbours, area, actual home etc) then you’re going to find it very stressful and upsetting leaving yet another move on the cards. I’ve also found that although doing the work myself was much harder it was soon forgotten when I had extra money left over to toast my new home with a few beers and a takeaway! HELPFUL WEBSITES: www.yell.com – Yellow pages online - use it to find out all the amenities in your new area, doctors, schools etc. www.housingnet.co.uk – A list of properties, helpful guides and other information. www.assertahome.com – A good list of properties. www.themovechannel.com/sitefinder/rental_property/default.asp – a superb guide as well as a comprehensive list of websites

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                                23.03.2002 02:50
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                                Well I am not going to call myself an expert in moving but after 5 moves within 3 years I can surely dig out few tips for you. The secret of a successful move is organisation. Mind you sometimes things are left out but making a list of what to do or not to do will help a lot. Whatever the size of the move it is a difficult transition so you want it to be the least possible stressful so here is mine. It is simple but very efficient. All you need is a sturdy notebook (spiral bound is my favourite) and a pen: MOVE PLAN *Get in touch with gas, electricity, phone companies to finalise your bills and In the same time you can look out on Internet for cheaper prices in your region and arrange to get connected when you’ll be settled in. *Update your details for insurance policies, banks, GPs, dentists. Be aware your premiums (I am talking about insurances here) might go up or down depending on the area you’re moving to. *Book an appropriate van for the removal. Determine the size of the truck you need and how long you need it for. Hire companies will generally guide you. And if at all possible get one with a tail-lift, so much easier to load things in. *Make necessary changes for libraries, video shops, sports clubs, toddlers groups, schools, community centres, council tax office, electoral list…and return all items you may have borrowed to those places. This may not belong to this paragraph but it is still important to point out that if you recently ordered something through mail or internet make sure you notify the companies about your forthcoming details changes. *Arrange for childcare if necessary. Spare a bag of toys for your children to keep them busy on the moving day *Packing: good time to get rid off all those unwanted piece of junk you accumulated in car-boot sales by holding a stall yourself and spare the coppers for a well-deserved dinner. Packing n
                                eeds to be thought too because it’ll save you time, stress and hassle. Try to make an inventory of what you’ll be taking with you in your next place, stock up strong boxes (easily found in superstores you can ask your local store to keep some for you), tape, labels, bubble wrap, newspaper, markers and keep them handy. ~~~~When you make boxes, use towels, linens to protect fragile stuff. Label each box with its content and the name of the room it is going in. tape is very important especially for binding frames together with screws and other small bits so make sure you have plenty of it. When it comes to bulky things, secure draws, sharp corners, shelves, doors and put all the loose parts in organised labelled zipped bags~~~~ *Household bits: oh yes it’s not because you move you have to leave a mess behind you so be prepare to do a minimum for cleaning up but also make any needed repairs and don’t forget to defrost the freezer (and why not clean the oven). *Loading the truck: the most strenuous and probably the most dangerous part of the move. Wear gloves and long sleeves shirts to avoid being hurt, if you have safety shoes put them on, do not try to lift something on your own unless it is very light. Do not bend but squat, take your time carrying things around, watch out for steps…. put heavy boxes at the bottom line of the van and lighter ones on top so they won’t get crushed. Try to balance the weight in the lorry; don’t forget that at the end you will have probably to drive it. *Financial side of the move: everybody knows that moving can be rather expensive so budget it properly. Avoid using removal companies if you can and ask for friends and family to help out. Keep some money aside for hidden costs (whatever they can be) After reading this opinion I think I put the essentials down. Now it is to me to get ready. I have 2 weeks before moving into my new home and I
                                can’t wait. It’s a mortgage this time and not a rental so I am definitely more excited. The downfall in all that is my physical condition. Expecting a baby in 3 months I have been assigned to the coffee bar and table lunch but I insisted to supervise the work…it’ll be fun to tell people what and how to do. I hope those hints will help your move to go smoother than you think and good luck.

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