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Moving tips: Learning from Hollywood

Hiring a home inspector could have helped Tom Hanks avoid some of the stress of moving in the 1986 film "The Money Pit."

Hiring a home inspector could have helped Tom Hanks avoid some of the stress of moving in the 1986 film "The Money Pit."

We all enjoy seeing the realities of everyday life caricatured and magnified through the lens of a Hollywood camera, and moving has provided some hilarious fodder for filmmakers over the years. But what are some of the steps our favorite characters could have taken to avoid their hilariously bad moves?

In the 1988 Richard Pryor comedy "Moving," the main character, Arlo, and his family head from New Jersey to Idaho, experiencing a Rube-Goldberg-like series of horrible events along the way. The movers turn out to be ex-cons and take their belongings on a road-trip to New Orleans, the man they hire to drive their car across country reveals himself to be a schizophrenic and wrecks the family vehicle, and they arrive only to discover the previous homeowners took all the windows and doors with them when they left.

By thoroughly researching moving companies before a big move, you can avoid Arlo's mistake and make sure your belongings arrive on time and in one piece. Some companies even offer self-move options and will bring a portable storage container to your house where you can pack it up at your leisure before it is shipped to your new home.

The Pixar classic "Toy Story" focuses on a lovable troupe of toys accidentally left behind by their owner during a move. Woody the cowboy and space-ranger Buzz Lightyear overcome a series of obstacles ranging from a giant claw game to mutant toys to a deranged neighbor kid with a penchant for fireworks before finding their way back to their friends.

Considering your possessions are not likely to come to life and make a journey to reconnect with you, it's important to make a plan for packing to help reduce the chances of leaving something important behind. Make a room list before you begin so you can keep track of everything before it's put into a box. Color-coding the boxes by room, and even numbering them, is another way to make sure everything has made it from point A to point B and gotten to the right spot in your new home.

Perhaps the greatest movie about a move gone wrong is the Tom Hanks film "The Money Pit," wherein Hanks and his new wife move into their dream home only to find it leaves a lot to be desired. Floors and staircases collapse, trees fall down and the men they hire to remodel their home act more like a band of traveling gypsies than a professional construction crew.

Before moving into any home, have it professionally inspected. An inspector can alert you to anything that might be seriously wrong with a property before you, like Tom Hanks, get stuck in a new home that's falling down around you.