Braille Monitor                                                                    October 2006


Moving Out

by Marsha Dyer

Jim McCarthy and his wife Terri Uttermohlen assemble Marsha Dyer’s bed at the end of a long day of moving.

From the Editor: Marsha Dyer has been a mainstay of the national staff for more than sixteen years. She arrived shortly after our memorable golden anniversary convention. In the following article she offers some useful advice and important reminders to those who are about to move. This is what she says:

I enjoy immensely working at the National Center for the Blind and have a variety of jobs. One of my favorite tasks is updating our main mailing list database. It includes contact information on every person who receives our publications, the Braille Monitor and Future Reflections. The database also contains numerous other names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses associated with the blindness field.

I have always lived in Maryland and haven't moved very often. Therefore I have always been amazed by the number of notifications that we receive from the post office for people who have moved--not just within their states, but around the country and overseas. I'm here to tell you that blind people are on the move in the National Federation of the Blind! We usually receive 100 to 150 notifications of address changes each month--and that's just for the Braille Monitor. The number of notifications is just as high for Future Reflections, but it is published quarterly.

After ten years of living in the same place, an opportunity presented itself, so I have decided to move. I started thinking it might be useful for Monitor readers contemplating a move in the future to have a checklist that I have found helpful during my moving adventure. (I'm trying to think of it as an adventure; otherwise I would pull my hair out.)

So, if you have searched and found a perfect place to live, have signed a contract or agreement for the new residence, and have decided to make the big move, here are some suggestions for your checklist:

1. If you are renting a home or apartment, notify your current landlord that you are going to move and give sufficient notice in accordance with your lease agreement. (And don't forget to turn in your keys after you have moved out.)

2. Establish the actual day of your move. (I must vacate my apartment by the end of the month, so I chose the last Saturday for the move.)

3. Contact a moving company and reserve a van, or call a rental truck company and reserve a truck for that day. (I rented a truck, which cost $25 plus $.99 per mile. Fortunately I'm moving only five miles.) If you are renting a truck and moving yourself, beg/grovel/plead with your friends and family to help and ask them to reserve your moving date. (If you ask ahead of time, you'll give them plenty of time to plan a mysterious illness or sudden back problem to arise on your moving day, but at least they won't have previous plans.) My son Frank, who also works at the National Center, has able-bodied, young friends willing to help us, and I've asked several coworkers, who have kindly agreed to assist us. I'm going to have plenty of bottled water on hand for my movers during the day and offer pizza and beer and assorted sodas after the move as a grateful thank-you to them.

4. Fill out a change-of-address card at your post office and get a handful of address-change cards while you're at it for friends, magazines (especially the Braille Monitor and Future Reflections), and miscellaneous publications you would like to continue to receive.

5. Notify your gas and electric company, and arrange a convenient date to have the meter connected in your name at the new location and turned off at your former one. (This will cost me $30. My rental lease states that I must pay the gas and electric bills until the end of the month in which I move.)

6. Notify your telephone company, cell phone company, and long-distance carrier. I use Verizon, and my home telephone number will change with my move. It's good to have your new phone number ahead of time because a lot of the companies you inform of your move will also want your new telephone number. (My telephone company is charging $40 for disconnecting and reconnecting my home phone.)

7. Contact your insurance companies: home, life, health, and car.

8. If you have television cable service (I use Comcast), call them to arrange a convenient date to have your service disconnected and reconnected. (This will cost me a whopping $108.)

9. Notify the state motor vehicle agency (for identification/license card purposes), IRS, Social Security, Board of Elections (voter registration), your employer, bank, lawyer, doctor, dentist, hair stylist, school, drugstore, and every other person, place, or thing you can possibly imagine who might just want or need your new information in the next millennium. Also, if you have an IRA, mutual fund, etc., notify these companies as well.

Moving is inconvenient, expensive, and just plain not fun. How anybody can find enough boxes, pack up his or her belongings, avoid muscle pulls, notify the world, and move more than once every ten years is mind-boggling to me. Yet hundreds of people in the National Federation of the Blind manage to do it every month. I salute you all.