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On the move? A few tips to make the transition easier

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Moving is never easy and the process can be exhausting when transferring all of your belongings from house to house. Adding children and pets into the equation can make moving even more stressful.

Whether arriving or departing, an organized move is the key to success. Below are a few tips from Balfour Beatty Communities to help make your next move stress-free.

Packing tips
· Use the right size boxes
· Put heavier items on the bottom of boxes, lighter items on top
· Don't leave empty spaces in the box
· Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box
· Label each box with the room it's destined for and a description of its contents
· Tape boxes well
· Bundle breakables
· Consider other items that will need special treatment
· Limit cartons, when possible, to a maximum weight of 50 pounds
· Provide plenty of cushioning to absorb shock

Moving with children
· Keep your children in the loop and talk openly about the move. Filling your children in on the big change sooner rather than later will give them extra time to process. Be available to talk and let them express their concerns openly. A writing journal may also give them the opportunity to write down favorite memories and jot down their thoughts and feelings.
· Explore together. Spend time researching the area to see what fun things there are to do in your new town. You can also research sports and community activities in the area, such as events held by the Balfour Beatty Communities' LifeWorks program. For school-age children you can also review their school calendar to see if there are any upcoming interesting activities.
· Get them involved with the packing process. Organize a special box with their favorite things and unpack this box first so that they feel at home.
· Prepare for goodbyes. Collect email and street addresses as well as phone numbers from friends and neighbors. You can even prepare a message book for your child with well wishes from neighbors and friends to prepare them for their new journey.
· For the move itself, make sure to have plenty of entertainment available such as car/plane-friendly games, CDs, books/magazines, healthy snacks and a portable DVD player.

Eco-friendly move
At Balfour Beatty Communities, we take sustainability seriously. Below are a few suggestions to help you relocate responsibly.
· Condense and simplify your belongings. The less you have, the less you have to move. To lessen the load, try hosting a yard sale to earn a few dollars for your upcoming adventure or donate your belongings to a local charity organization.
· Think ahead by starting to save newspapers and coupon flyers early. They are perfect for wrapping your knickknacks and won't cost you extra money. You can also save bubble wrap, packing peanuts and padded envelopes from various purchases.
· Invest in reusable bins or trunks. If you prefer using cardboard boxes, visit local stores to see if they have boxes that may have otherwise been discarded. Be sure to recycle your used boxes when you are finished with them.

Pass on the water bottles. Moving boxes and furniture can be a strenuous activity and it is important to stay hydrated. Consider purchasing a water filter or reusable water bottle. If you do use plastic water bottles, be sure to recycle!

Moving with Pets
· Reach out to your current vet for a copy of your pet's medical records as well as any travel advice or vet recommendations in your new area. They may also offer some tricks to lessen the stress caused by traveling.
· Prepare new ID tags for your pets with your new address. If your pet is micro-chipped, make sure the database is updated as well.
· Pets like routine and will notice any unusual activities such as packing. Try packing over an extended period of time to lessen the anxiety for both you and your pet. Set up a familiar place in your home and maintain your usual feeding and bathroom break schedule.
· Stress has been known to cause misbehavior in pets and sometimes even causes them to run away. Make sure to have a recent photo on hand in case this unfortunate event occurs.
· For small animals kept in cages, to prevent draft and keep them calm, be sure to cover the cage with a cloth.

Let us help make your arrival or departure transition in family housing as smooth as possible. Contact your local Balfour Beatty Communities management office for more information.