The Ultimate, No-Panic Guide to Moving in 2 Weeks.


guide-how-to-prepare-when-moving-in-2-weeks

Are you moving in 2 weeks and still not ready? There’s no time for lecturing; you’ve got a lot to do in a less-than-ideal amount of time.

However, it is doable, and yes, you can still move. 

At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s extremely important that you avoid panicking right now. 

Because now it’s time for action.

In the third episode of our Master Your Move series, Erin, our Austin Market Manager, is back with the best advice for moving out in a time crunch

Here are Erin’s top tips on how to prepare for a moving company within two weeks—whether you live in an apartment or a house!

P.S. Don’t forget to download the checklist for moving in 2 weeks!

Top Things to Do 2 Weeks Ahead (No Matter Where You’re Moving)

Two weeks will fly by fast, and spots fill up quickly.”

Erin. 3 Men Movers Market Manager, Austin

You probably thought you had more time. After all, two weeks can seem like enough. 

But, it really isn’t… Especially considering everything you have to do, like: 

  • Find a moving company
  • Donate or get rid of anything you don’t want to take with you
  • Packing everything you own (including the supplies, closing/taping and labeling boxes) 
  • Handle other move-related errands (like changing your address, vehicle, or voter registration, setting up new utilities, etc)
  • And finally, the actual move day

Not to mention unpacking and setting up your new place, or shopping around for anything you need to get settled.

Remember, you’re also competing with hundreds of other people who need to move due to expiring leases!

So, if you’ve done absolutely none of the above, take a deep breath, read on, and download the checklist for moving in 2 weeks!

General Tips For Moving in 2 Weeks:

Erin highly recommends some key steps to prepare for moving company in just 2 weeks No matter where you’re moving to or from:

  1. Book a mover as fast as possible. This is extremely important during peak moving seasons (like summer) when tons of people are moving. Not sure what to look for? We’ve got just the right questions to ask—especially if you want to move quickly—and how to find a legitimate company.  
  2. Clearly label the contents and anything fragile. 
  3. Check on parking or truck access from the street. Make sure you speak to your landlord or neighbors first to avoid any conflicts.
  4. Schedule any necessary appointments as far in advance as possible (e.g. reserving an elevator, hiring an electrician, locating cleaners or specialty disposal, finding contractors to disassemble certain items like playground or workout equipment). You’ll also want to note the times.
  5. Get packing supplies. Take stock of the easily damaged things you have, (like TVs, mirrors, glasses, artwork, jewelry, etc.) If you’re packing yourself, buy or repurpose supplies that can make packing easier: strong boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, blankets for wrapping, bubble wrap, leg casters, box dividers (or clean towels) for glasses and dishes, and plastic wrap or tarp for transporting live, potted plants.   MASTER TIP: Break out and use the boxes or cases that your devices came in (e.g. TVs, jewelry, lamps, cookware). 
  6. Call your moving company and check your appointment. If movers haven’t already done a virtual or in-person walkthrough, take photos or video and send it to them yourself. This is especially key if you’re using the company’s packing services.  MASTER TIP: Open all closets, cabinets, doors, and drawers so the company can accurately gauge how much they’ll be packing and/or moving. Review your quote with them and ask about any additional fees not outlined that could be tacked on after your move for certain reasons.
  7.  2 nights & 1 night before moving: get a good night’s rest, because sleep deprivation adds up and leaves most people less than alert. Trust us, you don’t want to be grumpy or groggy while you’re moving.
  8. Pack up the last things you’ll use in the morning. Toiletries, cosmetics, medication/vitamins, snacks, dog food, kid’s supplies—think of everything you know you’ll need to use on move day that won’t go on the truck. Keep them easily accessible by using a backpack, suitcase, or duffel bag and toss it in your car. The same goes for live, potted plants; make room in your vehicle, because they can’t legally be transported in a moving truck. MASTER TIP:  Wrap plants and tarp your floor so the soil doesn’t spill.
  9. Make sure you have your payment ready. When you first book and sign, all scheduled charges should be explained and documented upfront. You definitely don’t want your move day to arrive and you’re unable to pay. Legally, moving companies can retain your items on their trucks until you can pay as agreed in your contract. No one likes being in that situation, so make sure you have enough money to cover your move (you can always call the mover later if there’s an issue!)  MASTER TIP: If payment is a problem, save yourself and your moving company some awkwardness and cancel or reschedule for when you’re ready. 
  10. Check labels & move boxes out of the way. Clearing a path for your movers to get to and from your apartment door is the best way to make your move faster.  MASTER TIP:  Make sure any fragile items are clearly marked on all sides of the box with an arrow facing upwards. 
  11. Do one last sweep with movers before leaving. The worst feeling is leaving something behind. (Plus, it’s a nightmare if you’re moving long-distance!) Avoid this by doing one final sweep of your entire apartment or home. MASTER TIP:  While moving, leave open all closets, cabinets, and drawers to make sure you and your movers don’t miss a thing. Get a step ladder to check on top of kitchen cabinets where a lot of people often place decorations. 

Download Your Free 2-Week Moving Checklist 

Whether you’re moving from a house or apartment, this free, 3-page guide will help you prepare in under two weeks. Simply click to download!

start preparing to move in 2 weeks with this checklist

 

Preparing to Move From an Apartment in 2 Weeks:

If you’re making the move from an apartment to a house, you’ll have some specific things to consider. Most likely, you’ll have more time constraints moving out than moving into a neighborhood.

According to Erin, this is the best way to prep two weeks before moving from an apartment. 

As soon as you know you’re moving out of an apartment:

  • Repair any and all damages. This is a big one because apartments will charge you for damages after you’ve moved out (even if they were already there). While you still live in your apartment, it’s 100% free to notify your leasing office about existing damages and have them repaired!
  • Make necessary reservations at your apartment complex. You might be required to reserve an elevator, parking spots, or do certain things before you move. The complex may also need to adhere to certain procedures or do things like install hangers in your reserved elevator for the movers. Talk to the leasing office in advance and give them ample details. 
  • Clean your apartment thoroughly. Tackle the biggest, dirtiest jobs first (do a bit every day). That way the lighter cleaning can wait until move day so you’re not overwhelmed or in the way. You could even get your deposit back if it’s clean enough! MASTER TIP: schedule your move so you have an extra day to intensively clean your apartment after all the furniture is gone. 

5-7 days before moving from your apartment:  

  • Start packing everything. Being overwhelmed is a major factor of stress during move day. Packing early eliminates that. Moving companies often offer packing and/or unpacking if you don’t want to do it all on your own. At 3 Men Movers, we not only offer both services, but our unpackers will organize everything so you’re prepared to start living.
  • Declutter & see what you can sell/give away. This is a great time not only to pack, but to go through any junk or things you no longer want that can be donated. Certain clothing consignments may be able to give you extra cash for your unwanted attire, or you can drop them off at nonprofit centers.  

2-4 days before moving from your apartment:  

  • Revisit your apartment office & recap your move day. Is there anything you forgot to tell the leasing office? Perhaps there’s something your movers told you that changes your plans a bit? Either way, let your office know. On the flip side, inform your leasing office how your move day will generally go and ensure all your reservations still stand, uninterrupted. Review parking options and the permitted loading areas, then relay this info to your moving company. (You don’t want movers wasting any time trying to determine where to park or load). 
  • Wrap up any major cleaning and repairs. Even if you’ve booked your move so that you have an extra day to clean your empty apartment, you should still have most of it done. Repairs should definitely be done at least a day before movers set foot in your apartment. 

The same day you’re moving out of an apartment:  

  • Communicate with your movers. While they should have all the important information before they arrive, it never hurts to check twice. Call the company when they open and ask if everything is on schedule
  • When movers arrive, show them everything. Like where certain things are, (e.g., stairs, parking and loading dock, elevators, etc.) Also, during peak seasons, some highly-requested crews may be busier than normal. If you’re not the first appointment of the day, this could push back your move start time a bit—especially if the previous job had more items than expected or if they weren’t totally prepared. 

Preparing to Move From a House in 2 Weeks:

If you’re moving from a house, you do have more flexibility as far as time and parking availability. But there are still some ways you can specifically prepare if you’re two weeks away from moving and not ready. 

As soon as you know you’re moving out of a house:

  • Start packing right away. You might have fewer time constraints than an apartment-dweller, but none of that matters if you’re not packed before move day. Start cleaning and clearing out old junk, too. You’ll likely have more unwanted stuff if you live in a house rather than an apartment. 
  • Talk to your neighbors. Communicate with your neighbors in advance so there will be a spot for your movers’ truck. You don’t want your movers to have to compete with other contractors or personal vehicles if your neighbors are using services or hosting gatherings on the same day. Your move will definitely take longer if crew members have to walk from down the street to move items out of your home.
  • Book your move at the appropriate time. While you don’t have to worry about handing over the keys to a leasing agent right away, you still should be considerate. So when you’re scheduling your move, keep in mind any conflicting information you uncovered while speaking with neighbors. 

7-10 days before moving from a house:  

  • Get repairs and contracting services done. If you’re renting, ask your landlord about repairs. 
  • Thoroughly label and number your boxes. As listed under the General tips, you should already have gotten moving boxes and supplies and started packing. Besides simply writing ‘fragile’ on your boxes, number them to match the rooms they will go into at the new place. (More on that below).

5-10 days before moving out of a house:

  • Schedule contractors to dismantle any special or expensive items. Certain furniture and equipment must be dismantled before moving (like grandfather clocks, light fixtures, Peloton bikes, gun safes that are bolted into the floor or need doors removed). 
  • Get the proper equipment, casing, boxes, wraps, etc. for any instruments, jewelry, ammunition).

1-2 days before your move from a house:

  • Communicate any obstacles getting to your home. When your moving company opens, give them a call to let them know if there’s anything out of the ordinary. Is your street clear? Are your neighbors doing construction or expecting lots of cars on the street? Will there be any hills that movers have to traverse while hauling your stuff to the truck? What about low-hanging trees or cables?
  • Assist with a virtual walkthrough. Send your moving company photos of how much stuff you need to move. A simple cell phone photo of each room will do, but remember to snap your closets, cabinets, dressers with clothing, and outdoor furniture. Knowing how much and what you have to move will help the moving company send you the right crew and inform you of any fee changes. No one likes surprise charges after moving!
  • Check on any storage facility restrictions.  On move day, the clock will be ticking and most movers charge hourly. So waiting on any mishaps at a storage facility could end up being expensive. If you’re moving things into or out of storage, make sure a facility manager is there in case you have issues. It’s also vital to know whether the storage company restricts moves after a certain time
  • Do your laundry. This goes without saying, but no one wants to transport dirty clothing. 
  • Clean & disconnect appliances. Any appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators should be disconnected at least 24 hours in advance of your move. Some movers will assist you with this, but many others won’t (movers generally aren’t trained to do that kind of thing).  Moving companies will often ask you to waive liability so they aren’t responsible if anything goes wrong. If you need help with disconnecting and reconnecting a washer or dryer, ask your chosen moving company during booking.  MASTER TIP: For dryers, make sure the vent is thoroughly cleaned before installing it in your new home. 
  • Set up utilities in your new space. Set up or transfer your cable, internet, water, gas, and electricity before your move. In some areas of Texas, like DFW and Houston, you can choose your electricity provider and shop for the cheapest electricity rate.

The same day you’re moving out of your home:

  • Charge your cell phone. Before—or even during—your move, the moving company or crew may need to get in touch with you. Keep your cell phone on you and charged at all times so you and your movers don’t miss any important news.  Don’t forget to turn up your ringer volume!
  • Prepare everything you need to use that day. If there are things you know you’ll need (like snacks, medications, or your toothbrush) keep them separate in a backpack or tote bag.
  • Do a walkthrough before & after moving furniture. It seems repetitive, but we can’t stress this enough: open every closet, cabinet, and drawer before your movers start and after everything is moved out. Before you head off to your destination, don’t forget to do one final walkthrough with your movers to ensure nothing’s left behind. It’s also crucial to clear out any drawers with clothing or drawers before dressers get lifted and shifted on a dolly, so items and inner parts don’t rip or break. Make sure the movers do a final check of the truck after you move into the new space. 
  • Label the doors of each room to match your boxes.  Using a sticky note, copy the numbers you put on the boxes to denote where each box will go at your new place. This will prevent movers from constantly having to ask where you want every box placed, and will generally speed up your move.  

*Special Note on When to Pack a House: 

We typically recommend that you start packing a house one month in advance. But if you have a house to pack and haven’t done anything at all, start now

How much time you dedicate to packing and how much you have to pack are huge factors in how long your move takes. 

Will you spend 8 hours a day packing over the course of one or two weekends? 

Do you work such long hours that packing by yourself for 12 hours isn’t possible? 

MASTER TIP: Here’s a quick guide to packing in advance by home size with a standard amount of belongings:

  • 2-3 bedroom home + standard amount of items: 3 weeks – 1 month ahead
  • 3-5 bedroom home + standard amount of items:  As soon as you know you’re moving. 

 

Wrapping Up

If you’re worried about having a last-minute move and have only two weeks to plan—relax

The best thing you can do now is to pack, find a mover, and follow this guide to moving in 2 weeks


Suffering Domestic Violence? Here’s How to Move Out Safely.


moving safety tips for survivors of domestic violence and abuse

For victims of domestic violence, the COVID-19 pandemic presents another obstacle when trying to leave toxic situations and move out.

With stay-at-home orders, job losses, financial and emotional hardships, and lack of resources or support, moving out and escaping an abuser unharmed can seem like an intimidating effort.

“What we do know is that because of COVID-19 there has been a dramatic increase in domestic violence1, not only in our county but around the world. We also know that most of the area shelters are full and because of the epidemic are not accepting new clients, so it is a particularly dangerous time for victims who are still with their abusers.”

Peggy Wright, Director of Sexual Assault & Counseling Programs at Fort Bend Women’s Center

 

Read on to see moving tips for those escaping domestic violence, and download the moving safety guide designed to help abuse survivors plan a safe relocation.

A Survivor’s Guide to Moving Out Safely

If you’re experiencing domestic violence and need to leave quickly, you may be too anxious or frightened to hash out the details.
So, below is a plan to follow. If you don’t have time to do everything on this list—that’s okay. Oftentimes, people escaping abuse don’t have days or weeks to plan.

Pick out what works for your situation and whatever you can do to stay safe.

If abuse has escalated to the point that you fear for your life or that of any children in the house, please call 9-1-1.


Before Moving: Plan Your Exit

If you live with an abuser, you may not feel you have the courage to move out yet. 

And that’s okay

Even before you’re ready to take that first step, planning is critical.  Doing it early—even if you’re not prepared to leave as soon as possible—will boost your chances of success.

Here are some tips from movers and our friends at Fort Bend Women’s Center:

  • Set aside money when you can. Shelters offer services free of charge. It’s still a great idea to have your own money to access depending on how you are moving out and your post-move plans. Things will be easier if you have money to access independently. Try setting up a checking or savings account in your own name at a bank that is separate from your partner. 
  • Gather your most important and valuable items. It doesn’t have to be all at once, but set aside what you can, whenever you can.  (Example: extra car keys, car title/lease paperwork, emergency cash, insurance cards, birth/marriage certificates, social security cards, health records, extra medications, debit/credit cards, extra clothes, children’s clothing or supplies, any evidence of physical abuse— like photos, journals, notes, medical or police records, etc.). 
    • Store them in a private place. Private, as in, ONLY you have access to it. Do not leave this with anyone close to your abuser or any place where your abuser could easily find it. (Examples: a personal lockbox, a backpack, with a trusted friend or family member, or in a safety deposit box in a bank your abuser doesn’t know about). 
    • Make copies of any documents your abuser is likely to notice is missing. 
  • Create a code word, phrase, or signal. If you have children or other loved ones living with you and your abuser, they need to know exactly what to do when you say this. You should also do this with any trusted friends, family, or neighbors you can call on stay with or help you leave. (Examples of a plan: Go to a neighbor’s home, ask your school staff to call/text me, call grandma). In case you’re in a situation where your abuser is closely monitoring your every move, or listening, create a code term that sounds natural but is unique to you and your loved ones. You should also practice what to do in case of danger—especially if you have kids. 
  • If possible, get your own cell phone. The chance that an abuser has secretly installed a surveillance app on their victim’s phone is extremely high. Many IPS (intimate partner surveillance) apps can be installed without even touching a cell phone. According to MIT’s Technology Review, one survivor even recounts how opening a photo texted from her ex-boyfriend gave him total access to her cellphone—including her apps, current location, emails, passwords, camera, and even social media accounts. If you can get your own phone, use a passcode that can’t be easily guessed.
  • DO NOT ditch the compromised phone, (this could enrage the abuser). Use it for simple tasks, but do not use it to call/ search for movers or domestic abuse resources. 
    • Suspect you’re being spied on? Don’t bother paying for anti-spyware apps since most can’t find all the creepy software, and the abuser could react violently. The only way to remove it is to factory reset the phone, and that will remove all your current apps and settings. It’s best to get a cheap phone that allows you to privately text, browse the internet, plan your move, and make calls to police or family violence centers. 
  • Can’t get your own cell phone? Keep the Fort Bend Women’s Center hotline number handy: 281-342-4357. They suggest “saving it under something innocent like the name of a restaurant [or business] you like.
    • To plan your move, use a public computer at a library, school, or friend’s house. If you know where you’ll be moving, set up mail forwarding through your local United States Post Office, or do it online for $1.05. If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, you can get help from a shelter when you’re there. (Log out of all services and clear your history when you’re done.)
  • Research how you’ll move. Will another trusted adult be helping you move? Will you hire a moving company instead? Make sure that whatever company you choose has domestic violence policies in place (what we call “privacy moves”), and that the movers have undergone criminal background checks. We call these “privacy moves” because we take every precaution to protect your privacy—which is vital in cases of abuse. No one who calls will be able to discuss details of the move just by using your name. In fact, you’ll be issued a personal file locator number so only you can review the move information.  CLICK FOR MORE ABOUT PRIVACY MOVES. 
  • Know your options: call shelters in advance. This is important to learn the policies about whom they allow to stay or visit. Even if there isn’t room, a shelter can often refer you to another place. Hotels are often used to house people escaping abuse when centers are full, and staff members will assist with meals, health care, child care, pet care, education, job training, counseling, waivers for utilities and phone service, legal help, longer-term shelter, and more. 
  • Shelters may be able to help you with pets.  Take any evidence you gathered previously, (like photos or medical records of abuse). Besides legal help, you’ll also want to ask if the shelter is pet-friendly. Typically, service and support animals are welcome. If not, you can leave your pet with a trusted friend or family member out of the abuser’s reach in case (s)he tries to retaliate. Shelters may also be able to connect you with resources on fostering your pet if necessary. Fort Bend Women’s Center, for example, has connections with the Houston Humane Society and can help make arrangements for fostering or sheltering pets.
  • Know the best time to leave. If you live with your partner, ask yourself: when do they go to work or leave the home for extended periods of time? Are there any rooms you feel safe in that you can exit from in case you have to move quickly? If you don’t live with your partner, consider: When is the best time for you to be alone or have privacy?
  • Avoid posting or messaging anything on social media about your plan. You’ll need to memorize important information, like phone numbers or addresses of trusted neighbors, friends, or family. If you have children, tell them to memorize it too. Agree on a code word/phrase that will let everyone involved know what to do when it is used

On Move Day: Time is of the Essence

When survivors of violence leave their abusers, it can be a dangerous time. But you are strong enough to make it out! These steps will help make it easier on the day of your move. 

  • Confirm the details with your movers & others. Whether you’re hiring pros or supporters to help you move—or getting out by yourself—review how you want your move to work. Go over your code words and escape plan with children or people who are helping you move. Use a public computer (like at a library or at most shipping stores) to print out the destination in case your phone is being spied on. 
  • Make sure your essentials are ready to go. In a hurry? Grab the essentials that you packed previously and go. Remember those copies you made? Leave them in case you have little to no belongings to move and don’t want your abuser to quickly catch on that you’ve left.
  • If you don’t have boxes (or the money to get them): ask your local grocery store. These will probably be somewhat worn or less sturdy, and you’ll probably only be able to use them once, but it’s a good fix if you have no money. Your moving company can also provide these—especially if they have packing services.
  • Lock up anything that could be used as a weapon. Make sure they are as hard to reach as possible (Example: putting things like guns, knives, or bats in a safe, on top of kitchen cabinets or in a toilet water tank.) Also, review where your exits and windows are in case you have to run to another room.
  • Review your destination. Will you be leaving unexpectedly? Where will you go and how will you get there? Have your printed directions ready—especially if you think your cell phone is being used to spy on you.
  • If you have children at school and can’t pick them up before moving: ask the front office to change release privileges so an abusive partner cannot pick them up after finding out you have left. Sometimes when abusers feel they have lost control, they may try to lash out and retaliate by hurting your loved ones. Do this at the day and time you’re planning to leave a shared home.
  • Ditch the compromised cell phone. Remember: it’s highly likely that your abuser is spying on your location and whatever info passes to/from your phone. Once you are safely on your way to your destination, that is the time to ditch it or do a factory reset. But first, log out of every online and app account you own.
    • NOTE: Resetting your phone will remove your current apps and settings, so you’ll have to download and log into them again. Some apps you should avoid downloading again (like certain email apps) and only access them through a computer.
  • Update each account password and its security questions—something the abuser can’t guess. Do this for your email account first, since social media and other apps will often send location info to your email to authorize any changes.
  • Unable to discard the compromised phone? Disable your Bluetooth, Bluetooth scanning, and location (usually called Location Sharing in your Settings or menu bar) so your phone cannot communicate with other devices. Look in Settings to ensure Bluetooth scanning is disabled, as apps can use it to share your location even if you have Bluetooth turned off. Check each application in your privacy and security settings to ensure suspicious-looking apps cannot access and share your information. Download Google Voice, a free service that generates a virtual phone number for you to make and screen calls or texts.
  • Ensure that no one can make changes to your wireless service. If you are the account holder for your wireless service, call and ask them to put additional security measures in place, or change your verbal PIN. If you are setting up a new service, inform them of your situation as many providers will waive fees.
  • Have your personal phone easily available & set up Emergency SOS. Moving out due to domestic violence can be scary, so it’s necessary to be prepared. Using the SOS feature is easy and will call the police first, then alert your emergency contacts in case you are in danger.
  • In case of danger: use your Emergency SOS buttons or call 9-1-1 . Use the secret code/phrase/signal with any children or people who are helping you move. Do not run to where your children are in case your partner tries to hurt them. If you must go to another room, make sure it has an exit.
  • If your abuser shows up unexpectedly—or is already home when your helpful friend/movers arrive— they should be prepared. For movers, this means acting on their privacy move policies. (Example: at 3 Men Movers, this includes appearing as if they have the wrong house). For supporters helping you move or children, this means acting on your emergency code word plan or calling 9-1-1 in case your partner becomes threatening or violent. 
  • Have in-car navigation? Disable it. Turn off any GPS navigation in your car or if you have it on your phone. 
  • Reach out to your safe place. Wherever you’re going—be it a shelter or a loved one’s home—reach out first to see if they can provide you with any help or transportation to your destination.

After Moving: Protect Your Future

Follow these post-move privacy tips to securely embark on a new, brighter future. 

  • Get & keep copies of your protective order. Depending on their funding and access to lawyers, shelter or domestic violence attorney may be able to connect you with a family violence attorney or help you fill out paperwork—but you may have to persistently check on the status. Children and pets can be included on these orders, too. Carry a certified copy of the protective order with you everywhere you go. Addresses may be on these documents or police reports, so consider using a P.O. box or a friend’s address for your mail. Be careful who and where you submit your new phone number and address. 
  • Ask for service deposit waivers. Getting a break for a while will help you gain financial independence and avoid returning to toxic partners who make you feel like you can’t succeed without them.  In Texas, the deposit for utilities (like gas, electricity, and wireless/phone service) can be waived or reduced to a monthly basis. The requirements include getting a letter signed by Certifying Entity and faxing it to the utility company (you can use faxes at any shipping/postal store). According to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, entities that can sign utility waivers are
      1. Family violence centers
      2. Treating medical staff
      3. Law enforcement personnel
      4. Office of Texas District or County Attorney
      5. Office of the Attorney General
      6. Grantees of the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation 
  •  Change up your routine. If you take the same route to/from work, take a different route. Avoid going to the places your abuser knows. If you normally work or shop at night, try switching to the daytime. The most vulnerable time for survivors is when they leave and the abusive partner has lost control. Ensure your abuser can’t predict where you’re going. This will be easier if you’re moving a lengthy distance from where your abuser lives.
  • Notify your workplace. You just did an incredibly brave thing by choosing a better future! Someone else’s choices shouldn’t change that. Give a photo of the abuser to your work supervisors, security staff, or coworkers that you trust and work closely with at the same times. They don’t have to know the details, but they should be aware that (s)he isn’t allowed near the premises to harass, stalk, or threaten you via a protective/restraining order. You can also alert authorities at your children’s school, even if you changed their schools
  • Unlist your new phone number. Lock down new emails or social accounts. It’s common for abusers to show lots of remorse or even cry in order to get back into your life. This is a manipulative tactic to regain control, and they may also try this through mutual friends or family. Unfortunately, you’ll have to make some changes to avoid caving to pressure.
    • First, set up two-factor authentication (this is available on almost all Internet-based accounts).
    • Next, do a social media cleanse, like blocking your abuser and their friends, not allowing yourself to be tagged in photos without review, not sharing any location tags/check-ins, etc. so they cannot see where you now live. If you share mutual custody of children, it’s more complicated. Shelters can connect you with a family violence attorney who can assist you further. Call your wireless company and ask to change or unlist your new phone number.
    • Finally, avoid doing business with companies who state in their Privacy Policies that your personal information might be sold for marketing purposes. 
  • Set up security in your new space. Pick security systems (like cameras and alarms) with motion-sensitive lighting and backup that won’t fail in bad weather or can’t work without WiFi. You’ll also want to make sure a simple laser cannot disable them. Security system companies may also be able to help survivors settle in with discounts or a monthly waiver. Replace wooden doors with steel or metal doors. Secure doors windows, garages, and doors with security bars or locks so they can’t be opened from the outside.

 


How to Get Help For Domestic Violence

If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation and needs help, please contact the following: