By Anessa Cohen

Now that you have found that great house, the fun begins. It is time to get down to preparing all that great stuff that you own for the move to the new place. How easy or how difficult that will be really depends on how much stuff you have accumulated and how you tackle your preparation for the actual move.

I realize what you are thinking you will read is, of course: “The first thing to do is go from supermarket to supermarket to find good packing cartons, and then post on the Five Towns Shuls group asking anyone with extra packing cartons to call you.” Well, yeah, that is a great start, but other than creating a roomful of empty packing cartons, what have you achieved towards actually getting your stuff ready for the move?

Here are some other handy tips to consider in preparing for the move.

Still have clothes that fit you three sizes ago hanging in your closet? Are there drawers or cabinets in your present house that are so full of junk that you do not even remember what is in them? Do you still have boxes of stuff in the garage that you haven’t opened since your last move? How many years ago was that? Yup, it is time to bite the bullet and sit down and go through all this stuff. Why would you want to move stuff you don’t want or need? Go through your house and throw away or donate whatever you can. Not only will this make your job easier in the long run, but it will save you money. Less to move means less to pay the movers. It also means less to unpack and store, only to be forgotten once again.

Unless you are lucky enough to hire movers who are going to pack for you, this is a task that you will want to get a head start on as soon as possible to ensure a smooth moving day. Start packing up those rooms in your house that you use the least — guest rooms, storage rooms, the basement, closets, etc. Get a room packed up as much as possible — do not forget to label the boxes accordingly — and then move on to the next room.

Use plenty of newspaper or bubble wrap for fragile items so they do not get broken during transit, and clearly label the cartons “fragile” as well. Each box that you pack should also be labeled with its final destination: living room, children’s bedroom, kitchen, etc. Packing cartons without labeling will create a moving-day nightmare from which it will take you months (if not years) to recuperate, trying to figure out what is in each box strewn around your house after the movers leave them.

Make a list of all your utilities and services, such as electric, gas, water, telephone, as well as cable, internet, newspaper, the gardener, etc. All these services should be called and canceled at your old address and new services scheduled at your new address. While you are at it, do not forget to forward your mail at the post office.

Moving day can be a complete balagan! Pack a box with your bed linens and all your immediate essentials, and have the movers set up your beds first before anything else is done. When everything is finished being unloaded into the house, and you are falling off your feet with the endless landscape of cartons in front of you, you can leave everything for the next day and collapse into your beds to get a fresh start the next morning.

Do you have pets? The last thing you want when you move is to lose a beloved pet in the process. Be sure to lock up any pets so they can’t get loose during the loading and unloading of the moving truck. Keep the pets in an empty room that is clearly labeled “Do not enter: pets inside.”

As you start to unpack, try to focus on finishing one room first; I always vote for the kitchen. Somehow, if the kitchen is more or less set up, everything moves along in a painless fashion. As you unpack and need a cup of coffee or to prepare a meal, with the kitchen ready to be used you can relax and regroup in between unpacking boxes. (By the way, I think this is a Jewish thing, since most authorities that give tips for moving opt for setting up a room you can quietly sit in and have a cup of coffee, but I do not see relaxing in a room with a cup of coffee if the kitchen is not set up, while the kids are yelling that they are hungry and there is nothing in the refrigerator. So I changed it.)

Talking about the refrigerator, if possible, turn on the refrigerator and go to the supermarket a day or two before the movers actually bring all your stuff. Having a full refrigerator comes in handy as moving day proceeds and everything is slowly unloaded from the moving truck.

Welcome to the neighborhood!

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to


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