My wife and I recently completed a move from California to Oregon, and it was less painful thanks to technology. It used to be incredibly painful to move. While much pain is still there, technology has moved a lot since we last moved – about 18 years ago – and at least some parts of the process are much easier now.
For example, with a little foresight, you can actually take your home phone number and saved programs with you. There is a web service that will transfer all your magazines and affinity cards.
Another thing you can consider is furnishing your home. When I first started, I stepped in every two years and I rented my furniture. If I had a small car, it was a matter of packing a pair of suitcases of clothes, packing a pair of luggage boxes, and maybe two car trips. Although I doubt I can ever go back to that which is easy, with the current tools and modified behavior, it is very closely possible.
I will share some comments about our growing experience this week and as always, I will close the week with my product.
Take your phone number
One of the most annoying parts of walking used to be that in every way someone knew how to catch you, and in return you spent a ton of people getting your new contact information. Well, with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol Services), you can take your phone number with you. Just you need to plan ahead.
I have previously mentioned Ooma VoIP service – largely because it usually ranks highest in voice quality. Many people do not know that you can transfer your existing phone number to this service, and then you only carry the Oma box with you when you walk. Presto, your phone numbers go with you.
Yes, this means that you will receive sales calls for services hundreds of miles from where you live now, but you probably haven’t heard those calls anyway. Now you have a great response – they probably do not provide service at your new location.
It can take two months to transfer phone numbers – it took about three weeks for me – it depends on how big your current provider is, so you need to plan ahead. Call quality on the Oma is likely to be as good or better than what you currently have, and, one of the advantages of VoIP is that it tends to cost a fraction of a hard line cost.
You can save a ton of money. I operate my business from my home, so I have several lines. I was able to transfer all of them to Ooma, so working with my phone numbers was not something I had to sweat during this move.
Change of address
There are a ton of warnings about address change scams on the Internet, so we were really careful about choosing a service. The site we loved is Updater.com – it was created by someone who hated the moving process and wanted to fix it.
It lets you forward your snail mail, update your accounts, schedule connections to your utilities and services, search for movers, and share a moving announcement. It covers most of the basics, although you still have to download and file change-of-address addresses for your taxes – something we almost missed doing.
Accounts include your magazines and affinity card accounts, but do not have your bank or credit card accounts. For security, you really need to have that account. Giving any third party access to those accounts would be incredibly dangerous.
You just need to remember which journals you subscribe to and provide your current information, so publications can re-add your old address, and you can give them your new address. Since the post office is communicated as part of this process, your mail is re-sent to the place where you are going.
I should note that even though we used a future date for our move, the post office immediately started forwarding, so keep in mind that the post office cannot read the date of the move on the form.
Your DVR content is playing
If you are using a cable service DVR, you are likely to have days of some saved programs that you have not seen or would like to see again in the future. Chances are, you can’t take your DVR with you, because your cable provider wants it back. If you take it with you, it probably won’t work in your new location.
However, you can move a TiVo, and it will work in your new location.
In fact, when we were trying to live in both houses, I picked up the low-cost TiVo Roamio OTA version – does not carry a cable card and costs only US $ 49. Then I would mimic programming it before packing the box and taking it with me to enjoy in the new home.