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Helpful Tips in Month Defined by Kindness

Pinellas Park, FL - Feb. 4, 2014 – As the Great Recession and real estate crisis continue to loosen their grip on the country, more Americans will be looking to move in 2014 than in recent years and most of these people will be very, very stressed out.

Regardless of the reason for the move, the Employee Relocation Council suggests that moving is the third most stressful event in a person’s life, trumped only by death and divorce.   And considering the top three reasons for a move are new housing, family reasons, and work, some of these people will be making a move while dealing with the emotional strain of a death or divorce.   Unless you have personally been there, one can only imagine how difficult it is to plan a funeral, or deal with a divorce, and complete a move at the same time.

That’s why Michael Plummer Jr., CEO of Our Town America, the nation’s premier new mover marketing franchise, has released the company’s “14 for 14” – a comprehensive list of top moving tips to help relieve much of the stress for new movers.   According to Plummer, these tips are an extension of the heart-felt packages his company and its sponsors send to new movers each and every day.

“For more than 40 years, we have been introducing new movers with reputable and reliable local businesses with our heart-warming new mover marketing program,” says Plummer.  “However, we know that finding new go-to product and service providers is just one of many stressors associated with a move.   So, this year, we wanted to kick off February, a month filled with kindness-related holidays like ‘Thank a Mailman Day,’ ‘Wave at Your Neighbor Day,” and ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day,’ with our “14 for 14” tips to help Americans take more of the stress out of moving.”

Our Town America’s “14 for 14” Moving Tips

  1. Play for the “Long Haul” – Every move is a big move, regardless of whether you’re moving cross country or cross county.   Give yourself at least 6-8 weeks of time to minimize stress and thoroughly prep for the move.
  2. Take Paperwork and Organization Seriously – Let’s face it – few people like tedious paperwork and organizational processes.   However, a move can quickly become overwhelming when important papers, documents, and other items are misplaced.   Take the time to create a binder for all moving records, get copies of all important medical/school/work documents, and plan how you will move all of your personal items.
  3. Don’t Forget Bills and Utilities – It’s easy to forget bills and utilities when you’re simply caught up in pressing tasks related to everyday life, much less when you’re in the middle of moving.   Go ahead and schedule disconnections, connections, and/or transfers for all bills and utilities on the front end so they don’t become unnecessary stressors when you get to crunch time.
  4. Go All-In on the Packing Supplies  Few aspects of moving are more irritating than returning to the store to pick up that extra roll of tape or box at the store.   Don’t go crazy, but stock up on more tape, boxes, padding, wrap, labels, etc. than you think you need.
  5. Cut the Clutter and Reap the Reward!  If you don’t use it, sell it!   Host a garage sale or sell unwanted items online so you can put some extra funds toward the move.   Or, if you prefer, donate the items and give yourself a much needed tax break.   No need to cart around items that can help alleviate the financial burden of your move!
  6. Just Keep Packing, Just Keep Packing – Who doesn’t love a little “Finding Nemo” inspiration?   Use Dory’s attitude as your motivational speech in the weeks leading up to your move.   Divvy up duties with your family, tackle the packing one room at a time, and give yourself a few weeks to get everything in boxes.
  7. Manage and Track your Inventory – Approach this aspect of moving like a store manager.   Include serial numbers for major items in your moving records binder.   Also, use this as an opportunity to determine which critical household items require an upgrade.
  8. Don’t Forget the Mailman! – It may seem trivial, but filling out a Change of Address form at your local post office (or on the USPS website) is one of the most important tasks prior to a move.   This will help protect your identity and ensure no important mail (like paychecks) goes to your old address.   Additionally, it will remind you to change your address with all credit card, insurance, and utility companies.
  9. Keep your Network in the Loop – Don’t keep your friends, family, and business contacts guessing!  Provide your employer, attorney, accountant, etc. with plenty of professional notice so as to protect your career and well-being.
  10. Take Care of Your Car so it Takes Care of You – This is the perfect time to take your car in for the tune-up, oil change and realignment you’ve been putting off.   This is particularly true if you’re making a big move and will be travelling a long distance.
  11. You’ve Got to Have your Essentials – In your packing frenzy, it’s very easy to lose track of essential items like tools, toiletries and clothes.   Set a few boxes aside for these very items and label each one as “Do Not Move” so you can easily locate them.
  12. Take some Time Off – Even if you are keeping your job during your move, plan to take a few days off to complete your move and get settled into your new home.   One of the best ways to reduce the stress associated with a move is to give yourself the time to unpack and organize before getting submerged in your new daily grind.
  13. Clean as You Go – Make things easier on yourself and pick up the trash as you unpack.   If you don’t, you’ll end up with twice the work and a harried unpacking effort will be followed by a frenetic cleaning effort.
  14. Be on the Lookout for Your House Warming Gift! – Last, but not least, make sure you treat yourself with a few rewards for completing your move!   Check your mailbox each day for your Our Town America Welcoming Package full of warm, personalized gift certificates from highly reputable local businesses.   We’ll help you get comfortable in your new home by connecting you with new “go-to” product and service providers who can’t wait to welcome you to your new community with open arms.

Keep Housewarming Traditions This February

Most people think of romance when they think of February.   Maybe that’s because Valentine’s Day, International Flirting Week, Creative Romance Month and National Wedding Month are all February holidays.   However, Our Town America wants Americans to know it’s also a month of kindness.   So, in tandem with the “14 for 14,” we are looking to help Americans nationwide return to housewarming traditions this February by celebrating a few key holidays with their neighbors.

  • Thank a Mailman Day (Feb. 4) – Few people have more thankless jobs than the mailmen who serve your community. Get outside on February 4th, shake your mailman’s – or mail woman’s – hand, and thank them for a job well done.
  • Wave at your Neighbor Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day (Feb. 7) – Today’s neighborhoods are far removed from the backyard barbecues and housewarming gifts that defined neighborhoods of years past. Do something small to change this in your neighborhood on February 7th by sending a card and/or a gift to a new neighbor and smiling and waving at the neighbors you’ve known for years. It should be easy – February 7th lands on a Friday this year!
  • Make a Friend Day (Feb. 11) – February 11th gives neighborhood residents another great reason to bring traditional warmth and friendliness to their community. Take a moment to go knock on a new mover’s door just to tell them hello. It will mean the world to your new neighbor and hey, you never know, you may make a new friend for life!
  • Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) – Our Town America is practicing what they preach this February with a Valentine’s Day-themed act of kindness. In honor of America’s favorite romantic holiday, Our Town America is hosting a Facebook Valentine’s Day contest and inviting fans to submit “smooch” photos with their significant others. The lucky winner who submits the best photo will receive a $50 prepaid gift card from Our Town America.
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb. 17) – Anybody can use a little pick-me-up on a Monday. On Monday, February 17th, spread the love to everyone in your community. Bring donuts to the office. Send your significant other a surprise gift. Offer to watch your neighbor’s dog the next time they’re out of town. It doesn’t have to be crazy – simply do what you can to brighten someone’s Monday!
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