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RISMEDIA, July 28, 2010—The van line community lost a lot of drivers during the economic downturn, and that is creating a backlog this summer as van lines are unable to keep up with demand. In some cases, families are being put on wait lists for up to two months. That can be a pretty stressful situation…especially if a deal can fall through because the homeowners weren’t able to vacate by close date.

To ensure homeowners have a stress-free move and you have a stress-free closing, here is some advice:

Get quotes now. Know options so clients are ready to book when they receive an offer.
Set a date. Schedule with chosen van line as soon as possible.
Be prepared. See the tips below to get ahead of the game and tie up loose ends.

Create a Household Inventory
One of the great benefits when planning a move is the opportunity it provides to take stock of the items you have acquired over the years.

This can be done by creating a household inventory—a detailed descriptive list of household goods showing the number and condition of each item.

In addition to ensuring all belongings arrive at their destination, the inventory list is invaluable in the event of natural disasters, fire or theft.

An up-to-date, accurate record of all important documents and household goods goes a long way to providing peace of mind on moving day—and beyond.

Important Documents
Get all critical documents together and have copies made. Keep all original documents with you throughout the move, including:

-Birth Certificates
-Marriage Licenses
-Social Security Cards
-Insurance Policies & Wills
-Deeds & Titles
-Stock & Bonds Certificates
-Household inventory list

Record Belongings
Make a record of your belongings. Use a video camera and a digital camera to create an accurate visual record of goods and their condition.

-Record the total amount paid for an item and where it was purchased (this is where saving receipts comes in handy).
-Record serial numbers and brand names for all electronics.
-Record any distinct features regarding the items being recorded.
-Record expensive pieces of clothing, kitchen items, tools and anything else of value.
-Make copies of your inventory list when completed. And, give copies to your insurance agent.

This inventory can be used in the event of a fire or other disaster. Serial numbers, values, where they were purchased and photos of said items can help you in the event of a recovery need.

Save a copy in a secure location online, or give to a friend or relative in case you lose the original.

Be sure to keep the originals with you on moving day with your other important papers.

And Don’t Forget Houseplants
Decide what you want to do with houseplants. You can either move them yourself (look into rules and regulations regarding transport of houseplants across state lines first), or you can give them as gifts to friends or family.

Take your pets to the vet and make sure all of their shots are up-to-date. Carry all appropriate documentation with you and your pets on move day. Ensure that rabies tags are attached to your pet’s collars along with contact information in the event your pet gets away from you in unfamiliar surroundings.

Retrieve & Return
Retrieve your items from the cleaners and from storage. Return all library books and rented movies.

Return items you have borrowed and collect items that have been borrowed. Get items from safety deposit boxes and close accounts and arrange for new accounts at your destination.

With a little advanced planning, a family relocation can be a fun adventure for the parents, kids and their Realtor.

For more tips and checklists on moving, visit, or call 800-617-1918 and ask to speak with a move advocate.