Moving tips for 2- and 4-legged family members

If the worst thing you can think of is having to pack up all of your belongings and move them to a new home while adjusting your family (two and four legged members) to a new neighborhood, then brothers and sisters, we’ve got some tips.

Before we start, you might be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before from real estate ‘experts’ who – if they even have to move – barely lift a finger because they just hire movers and trainers and so forth. The truth is, Tina, Diane, Luca and Ruger are your neighbors and are with you in solidarity. Recently, Diane, Ruger and their family did this exact thing, and, well, we didn’t hire help. In fact, we expect to be living out of boxes and managing a very confused doggo for the foreseeable future. But, we learned quite a bit throughout the process, so here are a few tips that might be able to help you during your next move. Without further a-poo, here are some lessons the Wuerth family learned during their (continued) move.

Before moving day

We highly recommend if it’s at all possible as soon as you go under contract on your new home, take your four-legged friends to their new neighborhood. If your pooch is anything like our buddy Ruger, it won’t be an easy couple of walks because – “OH WOW, SO MANY NEW SMELLS!” However, as hard as it will be, this will help get you dog acclimated, somewhat, to your new home.

Our move was somewhat local and the cost to rent this 26 foot U-Haul truck for 48 hours, plus mileage was pretty reasonable.

On the non-dog note: we moved all of our belongings (within reason) to the main floor of our home. Yes, we lived with boxes piled in a staging area (aka living room) for a few weeks, but it was super helpful on moving day. Also, if you are renting a moving truck like a U-Haul you can rent it for more than one day. We had the truck for 48 hours and it took a lot of pressure off of us when it came to loading and unloading the truck.

Final walk thru day

In this market, many homebuyers are walking into the home they purchased for only the second or, maybe, the third time on the final walk thru. You may find there are smells you didn’t first notice, or toddler fingerprints, or dog snot all over doors and windows. While this might be disappointing after spending an extraordinary amount of time sprucing up your own home for the move that you have to do even more cleaning, if you think of it as part of the “making the house your own” process, it’s a little more manageable. If you find yourself in this situation, we feel ya, and we have some tips to make the cleaning go quick.

Here are the three items that literally saved the day:

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Honestly, if they charged $100 for a box of 9, instead of the $9, we paid, I’d have gladly paid it. They truly are magic. From scuff marks on the stairs to crayon on the bathtub walls, to dirty fingerprints on all of the doors, the magic erasers did it all.

Bar Keepers Friend. I’m probably late to the game on this one, but I just started using this product in the last couple of years and it’s never let me down. A little elbow grease and Bar Keepers Friend will clean your flat top electric range so it sparkles like it’s brand new, all of your faucets, and even your bathtub. I don’t want to bore you too much raving, so for more uses for this amazing product, click here.

Powdered Tide. Here me out. I was skeptical too, but I found this Instagram page that touted the benefits of powdered Tide (NOT liquid) for general cleaning purposes, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve used it to clean kitchen floors, bathtubs, and even outdoor patio rugs, and it leaves a very pleasant smell.

Moving Day(s)

There, I said it: Days. It was 95 degrees on the weekend we moved. Stay hydrated and take your time. If you’ve asked friends to help, make sure you provide enough food and drink to sustain their efforts – more than just beer and pizza. This is just common courtesy.

Organized chaos. This is our “staging area” after almost a week of moving.

When unpacking your vehicle, if you can put boxes and items into the rooms where they belong right away, then do so. Otherwise, have a staging area where you can put your belongings while you figure out where they will go. Ours was the garage. Truth be told, it still kind of looks like the photo above.

On a dog note: If you can find someone to watch your pet while you remove everything they know from their old house and move it to a new house, do so. It’s a stressful time for them. They may have sensed something was going on, but really have no way of knowing. Ruger stayed at his BFF’s house during the day and slept at the new house at night during our two days of major moving. Also, when you first take your pooch to their new home, don’t be surprised if they have an accident right away. They are overly excited. It’s not their fault. Just be prepared. For those of you who have cats, I highly recommend you put your cat in one room for the first couple of days (weeks, depending on your cat’s personality). Let them relax into their new space and when they’re ready to explore, let them. Make sure they know where their litter box. Depending on your cat, this may or may not be a stressful time. Ours made it a little less than two nights in her quarantine room before she started literally batting at the door to get out.

Final thoughts

On a dog note: Expect your daily walks to be a little more high energy while your pet adjusts to their new surroundings. Our new home is surrounded by houses with two dogs in each. (I’m kind of feeling pressure to adopt a brother or sister for Ruger!) The dogs seem to be working it out themselves. I don’t speak dog, so they all seem cool with each other. As for the new people and smells, honestly, the best advice I can give is to get outside and stay there. This seems to be working for Ruger, but adjust to you and your dog’s own personal comfort level.

On a non-dog note: Be kind to yourself. It probably took you more than a weekend to accumulate all of your stuff, so expect it to take more than a few days to find the right space for all your things. Spend some time outside meeting neighbors, their kids, the mailman, etc. Remember, you have the next 30 years to pick the right paint color, update your kitchen, bath, garage, whatever part of the house you want to make your own. So work on one room at a time. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. I started with finding places for important items in the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. We’ll paint next. (However, if you’re lucky enough to be able to jump in and start painting before moving in, totally do it.)

And remember, your real estate agent is there for you even after settlement. If you find yourself in a situation where something major wasn’t disclosed, don’t hesitate to contact your agent.

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