How To Replace an HVAC Air Filter

Bob and Sue’s Home Maintenance Tips

Part 1: How to replace an HVAC air filter
By Bob and Sue Russo

The “return air intake” in your home sucks the air from inside your home back into your HVAC unit, which keeps your house toasty in the winter and cool in the summer. If the air filter is clogged, your HVAC unit needs to work harder to keep you toasty or cool and your utility bill will take a hit. Note:  You may also hear the term “return air intake” referred to as the “cold air return”. Old-time, northern transplants may use the second term, because they are more accustom to using furnaces. If you have a new home in North Carolina you have an HVAC system. This article with video will show you how to replace an HVAC air filter in just a few minutes.

We just heard a story tonight about a young couple that called their HVAC repairman because their house wasn’t staying a comfortable temperature, only to find out that they needed to change their air filter. They were charged $100 for this service. You can do this yourself for just a few bucks.

The return air intake has a filter that (according to most manufacturers) should be changed monthly but you can purchase filters that are rated to change once a month or every three months.  The return air intake filter reduces dust particles in your home, so if you can write your name in the dust on your coffee table, you’re probably overdue.  Another dead giveaway, is if your return air intake looks like the photo on the right below. YIKES!

HVAC air filter cover

You might want to put this job on your calendar just like you would a doctor or dentist appointment. We change ours about every three months because we buy three-month filters.

If you have a large or multi-level home, you most likely have more than one return air intake.  The same information will apply to all of them.

(PLEASE NOTE In some older homes, the air filter is located directly in the HVAC Unit or furnace. Please refer to your owner’s manual for your HVAC Unit or furnace if you do not have a filtered return air intake as shown above.)

To change the filter, please follow the steps below.

  1. Locate your return air intake and open the door by releasing the clips usually located at the top of the frame.The disposable air filter rests just inside the frame.
  2. Make note of what size filter you have. Ours is 20 x 25 inches. You will need to do this for every return air intake in the house. They may not all be the same size.  Leave the filter in place, close the door and latch…we’re ready to go shopping.
  3. Go shopping! You can buy air filters at Target, Walmart, Home Depot or Lowes etc. We like to buy several and have them on hand. We personally prefer to use the mid-priced filters, but you can buy washable filters for a little more money.

HVAC air filters

We just got back from shopping and realized how confusing this would be for first time home owners. Here’s the net of it. Any of these filters that are the right size, in our case 20 x 25 inches will work. The bottom shelf of this display shows the least expensive filters. These filters need to be changed on a monthly basis. The middle and top shelf filters are three-month filters. The only difference between the middle shelf filters and the top shelf filters is price and how much gunk they actually filter out of the air in your home. We have tried the higher priced filters, but in our experience they clogged up faster and seemed to diminish the air intake slightly. (We are not professional HVAC repair people, so if this point troubles you, you can always refer to your HVAC manual to see what they suggest.)  There is one more option that we have never tried; washable filters. The mid-range filters that we buy cost about $4.00. The washable filters cost about $10.00. With the washable filters, instead of changing the filter, you remove them, separate the screening from the frame and hose the screening off until it runs clear and then reinsert the same filter. This idea sounds like it would be good for the environment, but we looked these up on several HVAC sites and they were not recommended. They indicated that your filter traps bacteria and fungus as well as dust. Rinsing these off does not remove the bacteria and fungus. If you really want to go green there were some suggestions to get around this, for example buy two sets of filters for every return air intake in your home and alternate the washed filter out every other change.  Since we lack the experience with washable filters we would suggest that you follow the recommendations in your HVAC owner’s manual. If they tell you not to use them…don’t use them.   

We should also note that most HVAC Manufacturers don’t recommend HEPA filters because of the dense filtration material used in HEPA filters. Your HVAC units may not be sized to handle the pressure dropped caused by a HEPA filter. The more your filter filters, the harder your HVAC system needs to work. This could cause wear on your HVAC unit and/or your house may not stay so toasty or cool.  Your best bet is to go with the least expensive standard three-month filter. 

  1. Okay now comes the easy part….Installation! Open the door on the cold air return and remove the old filter. Place the new filter in so that the arrows for “air flow” are pointed into the opening. Guide the filter back into the frame and close the door and latch. That’s it!

HVAC air filter installation

Enjoy your beautiful new McKee Home! Bob and Sue

  • Share on Tumblr

Do Tankless Water Heaters Save Money?

By John Rives

You may have heard or read something recently that mentioned tankless water heaters as an energy efficient “green” alternative to the traditional tank heaters. Tankless water heaters are often advertised as being more energy efficient and a good way to save money each month on energy bills. So, do tankless water heaters really save money?

tankless water heater

There is much conflicting information on the subject and it’s very important to read the fine print when it comes to making a decision about which type of water heater is best for your purposes. Is your main goal to use less energy or to save money?

The simple answer is that it is unlikely that a tankless water heater will save you money when you consider all the costs involved. However they may run more efficiently, though even that is not guaranteed, and depends on how they are used.

The initial cost to buy and install tankless water heaters can be up to three times the cost of traditional tank water heaters, and they require regular yearly maintenance unlike traditional tank heaters.

Tankless water heaters have many moving parts and electronic components making them more prone to needing repair as well, so even if they do save money each month on heating bills, it is unlikely that you will ever recoup your costs to buy, install and maintain a tankless water heater.

Depending on individual use, a tankless heater may save up to 20% on electricity or gas per month, however they can sometimes cost more to operate than a well insulated tank water heater. The best way to save money on hot water is to insulate the hot water pipes between the water heater and the fixtures to keep the heat from radiating away while the hot water is moving through the pipes.

There is a common misconception that tankless water heaters deliver instantaneous hot water but that is not the case unless the water heater is installed very close to the plumbing fixture being used. It takes the same amount of time for hot water to travel through the pipes with either type of water heater. Traditional tank heaters actually have hot water ready to go while the tankless heater has to turn on and start heating the water when it detects a demand, so in fact most tankless water heaters will take longer to deliver hot water than a traditional tank water heater.

Pros: Tankless water heaters can be more energy efficient, are compact and take up less space than a traditional tank water heater and can provide continuous hot water over a long period of time.

Cons: Tankless water heaters are more expensive and mechanically complicated than tank water heaters and are not able to deliver as much hot water simultaneously as a traditional tank water heater.

Each situation is different and there are many factors to weigh in determining which type of water heater is best for your purposes. Do tankless water heaters save money? The bottom line is you may be able to lower your monthly electric or gas bill with a tankless water heater, however it will take a long time to recoup your initial costs, and with regular maintenance costs, it’s unlikely you will save money when all costs are factored in.

For more information about the pros and cons as well as energy costs of tankless water heaters, please refer to the following article:

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/are-tankless-water-heaters-waste-money

  • Share on Tumblr

Things to Do with Kids in Fayetteville – Part Two: Indoor Activities

By Joan Ritcher and D’Andra Bennett

Summer is here and that means finding something for the kids to do other than texting and playing video games. Whether your child likes sports, animals, music, technology, nature, reading or academics — or has other interests — there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Fayetteville! These activities are great for those days you are trying to beat the heat.

 child climbing on a wall in an outdoor climbing center

Athletic / Sports

  • The Climbing Place is the largest indoor rock climbing facility in North Carolina. You and your kids can literally climb the walls with over 70,000 climbing holds, 60 top ropes, a massive overhang area, a 300-ft. gym traverse and thousands of square feet of bouldering surface as well as a top-out boulder.
  • Triangle Rock Club is one of Fayetteville’s premier indoor climbing gyms with bouldering and belaying available for all skill levels. The youth programs encourage kids to set and accomplish goals, conquer fears and venture out and try new things, whether your child is an adventure seeker or merely looking to try out the ropes of a new activity.
  • Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving is the closest thing to true human flight as you soar on a column of air inside a vertical wind tunnel. The Youth League teaches kids the aspects of bodyflight while learning in a team environment. For ages two and up.
  • Round-A-Bout Skating Centers feature roller skating, in-line skating and video arcades at two locations in Fayetteville. The 71st Place location also offers Round-A-Golf miniature golf.
  • The Hit’n Mill is a 10,000 sq.ft. indoor baseball and softball training center that also provides instruction and guidance in the principles of teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance and commitment.

Arcades / Laser Tag / Miniature Golf

  • Omni Family Amusement Center is the largest fun center in Cumberland County, offering over 100 games for the entire family. You can also play miniature golf at Mountasia Golf & Games next door and indoor golf at Pirate Black Light Golf.
  • Putt-Putt Fun Center provides fun for the entire family, including Putt-Putt golf, go karts, bumper cars, bumper boats, batting cages and arcade games. They also offer group pricing, party packages and daily specials.
  • Chuck E Cheese’s is a great place to take the kids for everyday fun or for special occasions. It features games, rides, prizes, food and entertainment that children of all ages will love.

Museums

  • Fascinate-U Children’s Museum is a hands-on children’s museum in downtown Fayetteville where children can explore and learn through sight, sound, touch, role playing and interaction with each other and their environment.
  • Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum is the hub for history in downtown Fayetteville. Located in the beautifully restored 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot, the museum has two floors of engaging exhibits from pre-history through the early 20th There is a model train room, steamboat interactive and re-created station agent’s office. The Museum Annex next door continues Fayetteville’s story with automobiles and airplanes, including vintage cars and a re-created 1920s gas station.
  • Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex is Fayetteville’s premier historical facility, including a museum with exhibits of North Carolina’s rich history; the 1897 Poe House, a late-Victorian house museum; and Arsenal Park, the remains of an ordnance factory that served both the Federal and Confederate governments.
  • Airborne & Special Operations Museum preserves the extraordinary feats by airborne troops and special operations forces with artifacts, life-size dioramas, AV displays and a new motion simulator.
  • Airborne Division Museum presents the history of the 82nd Airborne Division from World War I with artifacts, military aircraft and war memorials.

Spectator Sports

  • The Rogue Roller Girls are Fayetteville’s premier women’s flat track roller derby league. Bouts are held May through October in a family-friendly environment.
    Crown Arena, 1960 Coliseum Dr, Fayetteville, NC

Misc.

  • Fayetteville has nine different public library branches with ongoing events and activities for kids and teens. Go to Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center for more information.
  • The Little Gym offers a diverse selection of summer programs filled with movement, music, learning and laughter for every stage of your child’s development from four months to 12 years.
  • Megaplay Play Center & Party Venue is a new indoor children’s playground and party facility in Spring Lake. A two-level play structure has a variety of activities such as a four-person wave slide, bridges, obstacles and spinning plates, as well as an area with soft play rides and inflatables and a space just for toddlers.
  • Monkey Joe’s is an indoor bounce house facility that offers bouncing, sliding and jumping fun for kids 12 and under. The Mini Monkey Zone offers age-appropriate activities for toddlers.
  • Play Date is a convenient hourly drop-in childcare facility that provides various activities addressing the cognitive, social and physical development of children 12 months to 12 years.
  • Greg’s Art Pottery & Gifts is a paint-your-own-pottery studio in downtown Fayetteville where your children can paint their own pottery or take a pottery class. Starting this summer there will be Children’s Punch, Paint & Party events – drop off your kids while they paint a canvas painting.
  • Just Claying Around gives your kids a creative outlet where they can paint their own pottery masterpiece. Come as a family or drop the kids off for Kid’s Night so you can have some well-deserved time to yourself.

There are many activities in Fayetteville to keep your child busy and satisfied, you just have to look around the corner!

Additional source of things to do with your kids in Fayetteville:
http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com/forkids/index.html

 

  • Share on Tumblr

Things to do with Kids in Fayetteville – Part One: Outdoor Activities and Summer Camps

By Joan Richter and D’Andra Bennett

Summer is here and that means finding something for the kids to do other than texting and playing video games. Whether your child likes sports, animals, music, technology, nature, reading or academics — or has other interests — there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Fayetteville!

happy-family-on-their-bike-lr

Outdoor Activities

  • Fayetteville has several parks, trails and recreational facilities. Check out Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation for current information on programs and activities.
  • Cape Fear Botanical Garden has 80 acres of forest and meticulously preserved nature areas of the region’s indigenous plants, trees and wildlife. Many garden areas, including a Children’s Garden and Butterfly Stroll, provide unique educational experiences for young and old alike.
  • Carter Blueberry Farm is the largest pick-your-own blueberry farm in Fayetteville. Grab your kids and some baskets and get ready to enjoy an afternoon picking some of the freshest blueberries in the area!

Arcades / Paintball / Laser Tag / Miniature Golf

  • Fun Fun Fun Arcade & Laser Tag is a great family entertainment spot with over 100 games and rides, laser tag, miniature golf and batting cages.
  • Putt-Putt Fun Center provides fun for the entire family, including Putt-Putt golf, go karts, bumper cars, bumper boats, batting cages and arcade games. They also offer group pricing, party packages and daily specials.
  • Black Ops Paintball, started by combat veterans, is a safe, unique and exciting experience for people of all ages and skill levels. Play a variety of the most popular paintball game types on many different playing fields, as well as enjoy birthday parties or group outings. Minimum age is 10 for paintball and six for laser tag.
  • Black River Paintball offers an exciting playing and training experience on a variety of fields, many of which are developed around movies and video games. They also offer packages for birthday parties or other private groups.

Water Parks

  • Fantasy Lake Water Park has something for the entire family, including tarzan swings, slides, pedal boats, jump tower, diving board, swings, water volleyball and basketball courts, and an area specifically for kids three to 11. Out of the water there’s a basketball court, picnic areas, pool tables, horseshoes and a sandwich shop.
  • Lake Waldo’s Beach has a lake, swimming pools, lazy river, water slides and rope swings, in addition to picnic and camping areas and an RV park.

Athletic / Sports

  • ZipQuest Waterfall & Treetop Adventure is one of USA Today’s top 10 zip lines, right here in Fayetteville! Children 10 and over can zip through the woods while learning about the flora and fauna of Carver’s Falls. (Children 10-15 must be accompanied by an adult.)
  • There is also a variety of bowling lanes and martial arts schools in the area.

Spectator Sports

  • The Fayetteville SwampDogs are a summer collegiate baseball team with plenty of kids’ activities both on and off the field, including Kid’s Camp for children ages five to 13, Field of Dreams for Little League teams, and Fun-Go’s Homerun Haven with bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals and a prize wheel. And between innings kids can participate in the many on-field promotions.

Summer Camps

There are many activities in Fayetteville to keep your child busy and satisfied, you just have to look around the corner!

Additional source of things to do with your kids in Fayetteville: http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com/forkids/index.html

 

  • Share on Tumblr

Planning for Your Move-Part 4 (Moving Day)

Moving 101

Planning For Your Move, Part 4
by Bob and Sue Russo

Moving day is finally here. You’ve gathered boxes, made lists, sorted items and packed a bag. But did you remember what to put in the bag?

From the video you can tell that Bob thought barbecue-stained beer shirts with holes in them were the way to go. Maybe he just planned to party. We also failed on the moving company-inventory process or Bob’s shirts would have made it to our new home!

The inventory process I am referring to can be tedious and time consuming, but it is well worth the effort.

Inventory Process When Using a Moving Company-

  1. The moving company places a numbered tag on everything that’s being moved (boxes, furniture, lamps…)
  2. The moving company creates an inventory list of every item going into their van.
  3. When the van gets to your new home, you will be handed the inventory list.
  4. You will check off the items as the movers bring them into your new home.
  5. Check the inventory list to be sure all items are accounted for.
  6. Sign receipt indicating that all items are in your new home, only if all items are accounted for.

When you signed the contract with the moving company, you had a choice of getting “full replacement value” or a “flat rate by weight replacement value.” The “flat rate by weight” replacement-moving fee will be quite a bit cheaper. If you do choose this option and your item gets lost, you will be reimbursed by the weight of the item, not its actual value. We have always chosen this option and historically it has worked out for us, however our last move from Florida back to North Carolina did not go so well. We had both, a long distance moving company and many willing family members to help unpack in our new home. The “inventory” person changed several times and one of us (Bob) signed off on the inventory as being okay. We lost several sentimental items as well as many decorative pieces…oh and as Bob mentioned, he doesn’t have any summer tee shirts. Remember, checking inventory and making sure furniture is placed in the right room are extremely important. It helps to have one “go to” person for each job.

If you have decided to make the move without the help of a moving company, I hope you have some help! If you have followed the process in Parts1-3 of the Planning Your Move Series, you have labeled each box with its contents and location (for example grandma’s clothes/upstairs room to the right). Doing this will ensure everyone knows where to place each box and will eliminate hearing, “where does this go?” over and over. Keep the stronger people moving boxes and let the other people start unpacking. We do the kitchen first and work from there.

Don’t forget to stop by the store on your way to your new home and pick up some food for your helpers. Deli meat, chips, cookies, paper plates, napkins and liquid refreshments will do nicely. As a courtesy, we also provide food and beverage for the professional movers.

No matter how careful everyone is. Moving boxes and furniture into a home may cause scuff marks on your walls or baseboards. A Magic Eraser or the generic version will do the trick!

Don’t worry if you got a little ding in your wall. We’ll tell you how to fix that later.

You’ve got this! Enjoy your new home! Bob and Sue

  • Share on Tumblr

4 Tips for Moving with Kids

By Miriam Bornstein of Zillow

Preparing for a move can be a daunting task. Whether you’ve outgrown your space, changed jobs or are moving across the country, there’s no way around the chaos that comes with moving. Although there are lots of arrangements that have to be made to move into your dream home, communicating with your child is the most important step when moving.

4 tips for moving with kids

Whether you’re moving into a rental or buying a home in Raleigh, consider these four tips when moving with kids.

  1. Share the News in a Timely Fashion

Set yourself up for success by having an open and honest conversation with your kid(s) that addresses why, when, where and what to expect before, during and after the move. By sharing the news early, your kids will be able to ask questions, prepare for the move and transition into their new home without feeling rushed. While sharing the news may cause some initial anxiety, allowing more time to openly talk about your move is imperative, as this conversation will set the tone for the entire move.

  1. Involve them

Once you’ve discussed that you’re moving, get your kids involved in the packing process. Ease the stress by ordering a pizza and creating a family wish list of the amenities you’d like the house to include. Maybe you’ve always wanted a modern swimming pool or a Mediterranean-inspired living room. After you’ve established a wish list, tour homes as a family to demonstrate that you value their involvement in the process. Together, you can to turn your wish list into a tangible reality.

  1. Create Excitement

Who says change has to be a bad thing? Empower your kids to make decisions about how they want to decorate their bedrooms, or what part of the neighborhood they want to explore. Finding ways for your kids to envision their home will help ease the intimidation of moving. Once you’re moved in, make time for post-move adventures. If you go on nightly walks as a family in your current home, keep the tradition alive by exploring the nearby ice cream shop or local play structures in your new neighborhood.

  1. Stay in Touch

Because moving is a big change, it’s important not to downplay goodbyes. Ask your kids how they want to stay in touch with friends and then propose ways to do so. Thanks to technology, long distance connections are much easier than in years past. Install Skype for video conversations or create an e-mail address for your child to chat with friends. If your kids are young, whip out the markers and stickers for an arts and crafts project that the whole family can get involved in and mail it to one of their pals.

Although moving has its hiccups, clear family communication is one sure-fire way to alleviate some of the concern. Get excited about the move as a family to help kids cope with the overwhelming fear of the unknown.

  • Share on Tumblr

Planning For Your Move Part 3 (Packing and Sorting)

Moving 101

Planning For Your Move, Part 3
by Bob and Sue Russo

Packing and sorting are important aspects of planning for your move. This article will help you prioritize items so you know what to keep with you, what to pack, and what items you might want to consider getting rid of.

Maybe you don’t have an “ugly chicken conversation piece” like Sue, but you get the idea. While you’re packing is the perfect time to do a good spring cleaning. When you pick up something decide which of the following groups your item belongs in:

  • Must Haves: Things you will need in the next few days/weeks. Some of these items will need to travel with you instead of with the movers so keep them handy. See Planning For Your Move, Part 1.
  • Need Later: What you need to keep, but won’t need for the next few weeks. Pack these now. Make sure you label all boxes clearly. What’s in the box and where does it go? For example: KITCHEN- GOOD GLASSWARE.
  • May Not Need: Finally, what you haven’t used for the last six months. Seriously! Think about donating or selling the items that you haven’t used in the last six months. Yes, we know that there will be things that you haven’t used in the last six months that you will want to keep, but this is an exercise to make sure what you move (lift, carry or pay to move) doesn’t just end up in the trash at the other end. (We’re keeping the chicken!)

While you’re doing all the prep work make sure all of your important documents are packed together. If you don’t have a desk file or alphabetized flexible file, now is the time to get organized. Your birth certificate, house deeds, passports, insurance papers, car titles, checkbooks and any other legal documents need to be gathered and these should not be packed for the move. These documents should remain with you during the move.

The final step is to pack the “must haves” we discussed above and referenced in Planning For Your Move, Part 1 (Pack a bag). If at all possible these, as well as your important documents, should travel with you to your new home.

Moving does not need to be stressful and scary. With thorough planning and preparation, moving can be a pleasant and rewarding experience. Stay tuned for the next article in our Planning Your Move Series Part 4 – Day Of.

  • Share on Tumblr

As a Buyer, How do I Pay my Real Estate Agent?

By Jennifer Buckwalter and Charmaine Simmons

When most people begin their home search, they typically enlist the assistance of a real estate agent. With everything an agent does for the buyer, many buyers ask how do I pay my agent? Typically, the seller pays agent’s commission as it comes out of the sales prices of the home.

31624_Photo

A real estate agent does many things for their buyers on new construction homes, including explaining and negotiating the contract, attending the selections appointment and construction orientations, communicating with the Builder on the progress of the home and attending closing. They can also suggest mortgage lenders and home insurance companies. So with everything they do to benefit you, the buyer, it’s important to understand their commission.

The seller makes an agreement with the listing agent on what the commission will be. That amount is added into the sales price of the home. A typical commission can be between 5%-6%. If the seller is offering a total of 6%, the list side will get 3%, and the listing side will offer the buyer’s agent 3% commission to bring a buyer to their listing. If the list agent brings a buyer to their listing directly without a buyer’s agent bringing the buyer, it is called dual agency, the list agent will now get paid a 6% commission as they are representing both the seller and buyer.

For example:

The home you’re purchasing is $200,000 and the commission rate is 6%. ($200,000 house price X 0.06 = $12,000) The agent split can vary, it could be 60% to the agent and 40% to the firm, or it could be 50/50, 60/40, 70/30 or whatever the firm and agent agreed upon. In a 60/40 split, the commission breakdowns would be:

Dual Agent Example

  • Agent: $7,200 (office fees are taken out of this commission)
  • List Firm: $4,800

Buyer Agent and List Agent Example

  • Buyer Agent: $3,600 (plus office fees)
  • Buyer Agent Firm: $2,400
  • List Agent: $3,600 (plus office fees)
  • List Agent Firm: $2,400

Real estate agents make their money from the commission of the sale. So you, the buyer, won’t have any upfront fees for while working with your agent.

  • Share on Tumblr

What causes drywall cracks, nail pops and screw pops?

By Lee Benson

Inevitably, at some point in time all homes develop cracks in the drywall, nail and screw pops as well as caulk separation. So what causes drywall cracks, nail pops and screw pops and will it ever stop? The two main reasons these happen are due to temperature fluctuation and structural settling.

drywall-cracks-and-pops

As the seasons change so do the temperatures inside and outside the home. Depending on when your new home is completed, the inside temperatures between summer and winter can vary as much as 30+ degrees. So as you regulate the temperatures in your home, the materials expand and contract. Cooling the home causes materials to contract while heating the home causes the materials to expand. This will often show up in the form of cracks in drywall accompanied by nail and screw pops and caulk separation. Most of these drywall problems occur within the first 30 days from the time the temperature is regulated.

Here in North Carolina, the temperatures can vary from single digits in the winter to triple digits in the summer. Those major temperature changes contribute to the expanding and contracting of the materials as the outside materials are connected to the inside materials of your home.

The second factor is fairly simple. Your new house will settle. It takes a period of time for a house to settle completely. Usually, the majority of the settling will happen within the first year. The materials used to build your home will give a little here and there resulting in drywall cracks, nail and screw pops and caulk separation. If you are asking yourself, will it ever stop? It will lessen over time, but unfortunately it won’t go away entirely as homes never stop moving.

What can you do to help minimize these drywall cracks and nail and screw pops? Keeping the temperature regulated in your house is the most important way to minimize drywall problems. It’s best to keep the inside temperature somewhere between 60° and 80° F (15° and 27° C), to avoid temperature extremes inside the home.

While drywall cracks, nail and screw pops and cracked caulking are frustrating, it doesn’t mean that your home was poorly built. Repairing them is part of routine homeowner maintenance which will be covered in another article.

  • Share on Tumblr

Planning for Your Move Part 2 (Lists)

Moving 101

Planning For Your Move, Part 2
by Bob and Sue Russo

We have found that creating lists is a vital part of the moving process. List are helpful for a variety of reasons. Creating a detailed list of everything that you need to do will help reduce the stress of the move. If it’s on the list, it’s off our mind until you complete the “to do.” You can keep this list on a piece of scrap paper, your iPad or smart phone if you like, but we have found it very helpful to go “old school” on this one. We purchase a “move” composition notebook, which serves as a temporary file for all our move documents and receipts.

making a list

Yes, just like the type of notebook we used in school. Write down everything you need to do in this notebook. The more detailed you are in your list, the less you need to think about it on the spot. Don’t just say, “call utilities”, write them all out. For example:

  • Does my new home have the same cell service (depending on the move you may need to change providers).
  • Create staging area for our packed boxes.
  • Call old cell provider and cancel service.
  • Call new cell provider and establish service.
  • Cancel old electric service.
  • Call new electric service.
  • Add line item for every utility both old and new.
  • Clean out master bedroom closet (we will talk more about this in item 3 below).
  • Add line item for every room and closet in your home.
  • Take donated items to the Salvation Army.
  • If you are not making a local move, check your calendar for all future appointments and cancel them.
  • Do you need a referral for doctors, etc. in your new area?
  • If you are moving local, and are not planning to hire someone to help, tell friends and family the date you are moving (hopefully you have some volunteers).
  • Don’t forget to check ISP, TV, insurance, USPS address change notice, notify bank regarding address change (some bank documents will not get forwarded), etc.

You get the idea! You may be thinking you can handle a lot of the utility transfers online, but based on our experience some providers insist on talking to you regarding canceling or starting new service. Can’t tell you how many hours we’ve been on hold with utility companies. (Maybe you can be cleaning out the closet while you’re waiting on hold.)

When you make contact with old and new providers, make a note next to your line item in your notebook such as: method of contact, date of contact and results of contact, for example, I called on Monday, June 10 at 11:00 and was on hold for 20 minutes, got tired of waiting and hung up.

This does help! When your significant other asks, “did you call the internet service provider?” You can say, “yes I called on 4/30 at 2PM and they said they do provide service at our new location.” Don’t you look smart. Good for you!

Okay, so one of the best reasons we like the detailed list idea, is the satisfaction we feel when we cross items off the list. If you clean out a closet today or called one utility, cross it off your list! If you leave it on there, it might feel like you didn’t accomplish anything, when in fact you actually did.

Making a list is a tried and true practice. Our teachers and councilors alike have told us if it’s on your mind, write it down. We take this advice to heart when it comes to planning a move.   We recommend that you do the same. Happy planning!

  • Share on Tumblr