Dear Moving Mom,
Hi there Moving Mom, I’m Lori Reinalda. I’m a mom, grandma and Realtor and I’ve sold hundreds of houses in SE Minnesota. But that’s not what defines me: I was and always will be a mom before becoming a Realtor. I’ve moved my own home 20 times (and many of them with kids at home) since I married my husband Ron (almost 39 years ago) so I think that qualifies me as a professional house-mover! I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned with you. Here are my best moving tips…from one mom to another –
House vs. Home
A house is a place to live. A home happens when you and your family move into a house. Believe me: when I’m showing houses, I can almost instantly tell when my buyer has just stepped into their new home…the one they will call their own. Something magical happens – their eyes light up – they start planning where the kids will sleep, how they can entertain friends, and even where Mom and Dad will stay when they visit. It’s wonderful to be a part of that process.
Finding the right home can take time. Sometimes it’s the first one you see and sometimes it takes viewing a few. Stay focused by making a list of the 5 top “needs” your new home must have and only look at homes that have/could have those things. A few “wants” are okay, too, but the deal-breakers should be the “needs.”
Finding your home can be a fun process! We may get “lost” a time or two, but we’ll find it sooner or later because my home-finding GPS works most of the time! Your Realtor is there to help keep your stress at a minimum by looking ahead and helping guide you around the potholes and speed bumps on the road to your new home. Always offering you the pros and cons that go with all the options you have, but ultimately, if you decide to go too fast over a speedbump or pothole, he or she will ride through it with you.
Worry less, plan ahead more. Ask your Realtor for the utility companies contact information so you can have the utilities transferred. Call ahead and have the cable guy come on moving day – you’ll be there anyway and the kids can get back to normal quickly! Price out garbage collectors: depending on where you live, there is money to be saved on this!
I can tell you this – in the midst of a big change like a move, you can be the rock of consistency. Make sure you eat together and keep it on schedule. It will keep everyone on task, give the kids some structure and ensure that the busyness of the day doesn’t push everyone past their limit. Because of my background as a professional singer, I believe music has a strong influence on state of mind; you can play music that your kids are used to that will help the new home feel more like home. Or maybe even sing to them when they go to bed – start a new tradition!
My Move Can Be Organized and Fun? Really?
Absolutely! I like to do it in two phases – call it pre-packing. Start before you even take a look at your first potential new home – go through closets first, then cabinets, then things on the walls. Label inexpensive totes or boxes by the contents and room they belong to – with day 1 necessities in a box that has a star on it. Label everything – even your kids, you might not remember their names by the end of the day! And speaking of kids, let them help with the labeling – creating some pretty impressive artwork on the labels or boxes! Don’t forget to make sure the movers know what’s fragile and what isn’t – they can’t be careful with EVERYTHING.
Last But (Totally) Not Least
Moving is a marathon, not a race, so pace yourself. Give yourself extra time to accomplish the next task on your list. Make sure you set aside time to eat together as a family (if your adult kids are moving, bring them food!) and go out of your way to pay attention to your kids throughout the process. You’d be surprised how they want to be a part of it so include them in the projects!
So, moving mom, those are my very best tips for you. One thing we always like to do on The Reinalda Team is provide you with a lot of information so you can understand the process. We care about the details and are caring and strong when you need us to be. We want nothing less than to see our clients happy, prepared and successful in their new home!
Lori Reinalda is a Rochester, MN Realtor with RE/MAX Results. She oversees all aspects of The Reinalda Team with great attention to detail. Growing up in a ‘real-estate’ home she has a life-long experience and knowledge of real estate. She is a passionate leader for her clients and her team. Fun Fact: Lori would love to learn to snap her fingers! Read more helpful tips and advice about the real-estate market in Rochester on Lori’s blog.