House & Home

Use the Internet to Simplify Your Move to a New Home

Posted July 9, 2016 3:25 p.m. EDT

Moving is a pain, no matter how much you’re looking forward to actually being in a new home. The move itself almost invariably requires many weeks of intensive planning and plain hard work. To make things worse, most of the advice you find focuses only on a small part of the whole house moving story -- decluttering and packing. But what about all the endless organizing you’ll have to do (groan!), both before and after the move? Use the Internet to make the process much, much simpler. Here are 7 ways.

  1. Find a home. As of 2014, forty percent of house hunters turned to the Internet as the first step in buying a home, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors. While we highly recommend working with a real live broker in your destination city, you can streamline the purchase process by viewing real estate listings online. Once you have narrowed down all the housing choices to “the” one, you’ll be able to sign your offer to purchase and other legal documentation with ease, using electronic signature technology such as DocuSign or eSignLive.

  2. Hire a mover. One of the most tiresome aspects of a major move is having to make what seems like thousands of telephone calls. So forget the phone and facilitate the hunt for a relocation company by doing your initial research online. Check websites for prices, availability, and terms and conditions. Don’t neglect to read the customer reviews to see how other clients’ house moving has gone.

  3. Make lists and schedules. Throw out those little crumpled sheets of paper, please; we guarantee that they will not make you feel more competent. Instead, make a countdown-to-moving-day calendar and assorted lists – what to pack, inventory of each box as it gets filled, whom to notify, which new items you’ll need to order – with a convenient cloud-based service, like Google Sheets. You’ll be able to access them from any computer anywhere you find yourself along the way.

  4. Record important documents. Just about any move is bound to involve a certain amount of chaos. Ensure that you have backup copies of all your essential documents – tax returns, sales contracts, insurance policies, birth certificates, health records, and so on – readily accessible in case the originals somehow get misplaced in the confusion. Store them in a virtual online safety deposit box for a small monthly fee.

  5. Set up services. Google “utilities” and other household services in your soon-to-be hometown. Find out whether your current providers operate in that locale. Depending on the results, you can arrange to either transfer services, or cancel them at your former home and have them connected at the new address … all online. Do be sure to find out how much lead time is required for connection and disconnection.

  6. Find help. There is a fair to excellent chance you will need some kind of help to make your future house or condo comfortably livable. A move tends to entail odd jobs galore, everything from hanging pictures to connecting your stove. While your relocation is still in the planning stages, use the Web to look for a reliable handyman in the area where you'll be living. You can even request and compare multiple bids for specific tasks.

  7. Equip your home. Get an early online start shopping for just about anything you’ll need for your new home: small and large furnishings, bedding, hardware supplies, even groceries. If you’re not quite sure what you want, save the items to a wish list and change it whenever you please before confirming your order. Arrange for delivery on, or shortly after, your move-in date.

Laura Firszt writes for

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