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Plus, One Extra That Will Make a Huge Difference When You Move
Let’s face it! Moving isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving across the state, street or across the country; there’s a fair amount of stress that comes with getting ready to relocate.
If you have a big cross-country move, don’t panic! We’ve got the top 10 tips to make your long-distance move stress-free.
1. Visit Your New State and City
Whether you’re moving for work or just a change of scenery, you need to take at least one trip to your new city. It’s the only way to become familiar with the neighborhoods, highways, shopping centers, and schools.
You can search the internet for attractions and areas to visit, but the best way to get a good feel for your new city is to get out there and explore the streets with a map and suggestions from the locals.
2. Research Schools
Do you have children in school? Then you need to make researching schools your top priority. If you plan on sending your kids to public school, find a neighborhood in the district that interests you most.
You can find several online tools to help you search for top-rated schools in your new city. Just make sure you’re using a reputable website and follow their suggestions up with your own research.
If you plan to send your child to a private or charter school, don’t be afraid to schedule visits and talk to the staff before you make your decision.
3. Plan Your Budget
Moving to a new state is expensive, which is why you need to plan your budget accordingly. For example, the average cost of a long distance moving company is about $5,000, and that’s if you don’t have a massive houseful of furnishings. Even if you plan a DIY move, you’ll still need to account for expenses like a truck rental, moving supplies, and travel arrangements.
It’s also a good idea to set aside money for unexpected expenses. Don’t forget, it’s custom to tip your movers between 5 to 10 percent of your total move cost. After all, they moved your entire home safely across the country.
4. Research Moving Companies
This is another area that needs your time and attention. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a long distance or local residential moving company; you need to hire trustworthy movers that make moving to a different state as stress-free as possible.
The best movers will come to your current home, assess the weight and amount of your items, give you an estimate, and never ask for money before you move. If a moving company asks for payment before your belongings have made it into your new home, look for different movers immediately!
The moving company you choose should also insure your belongings, so you can be reimbursed if your furniture or other possessions are damaged during your relocation while in possession of the movers.
5. Choose a Moving Date
When you’re moving locally, reserving a moving company is easy. However, booking a moving company for an out-of-state move takes precision planning. Make sure you consider moving company availability, your work schedule, weather, and family concerns when you’re choosing a moving date.
Remember, many people like to choose weekends, holidays, and the summer to move. This can affect your moving company’s availability and how much your move will cost. It might be easier and cheaper to move when it’s not the peak moving season.
The longer advance notice you can give your movers, the more likely they can fit you into their schedule.
6. Order Moving Supplies
Unless you’re paying a moving company to pack your belongings, you’re going to need to order moving supplies. You’ll need moving boxes, foam packing material, bubble wrap, packing paper, and plenty of packing tape.
It’s ideal to start packing at least a month before you move, so make sure you order your moving supplies as soon as possible. If you put off packing until right before you move, you might find yourself stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of work you need to get done in a short amount of time.
7. Pack Things Strategically
When you begin packing, you can’t just start tossing things into boxes. Come up with a packing plan that includes a timeline. For instance, start packing all your non-essential items, like home decor and books, first. Pack your essential belongings last. These include things like kitchen items, hand tools, and toiletries.
While you’re packing your essential items, start creating a moving day bag. This includes important documents, snacks, and keys to your new home. Don’t forget things like deodorant and a first-aid kit, too.
8. Cancel or Transfer Memberships
No one wants to be stuck with a gym membership they can’t use, which is why you should cancel or transfer all your memberships as soon as possible. Most monthly membership programs need at least a month’s notice before you can cancel without a fee.
Make sure you check to see if you can transfer your memberships to your new city. It might be nice to visit a familiar-looking place while you’re adjusting to your new locale.
9. Arrange a Car Shipping Service
One thing many people don’t think about when they are planning a long distance move is their vehicles. You could plan on driving your cars to your new city, but you might not want to rack up the mileage or spend days in your vehicle.
There are plenty of shipping services available to get your vehicle to your new home. For instance, you can use a train service, auto transport company, or hire a professional driver to drive it for you.
10. Forward Your Mail and Transfer Utilities
You can actually take care of both these tasks well before you move. All you need to do is contact your utility company on the phone, or transfer your utilities online. Make sure you remember to transfer your cable, electricity, gas, internet, and security system.
Thankfully, forwarding your mail is easy, too. Just fill out a form online through the U.S. Post Office and choose the date you want to start forwarding your mail.
Get Ready to Enjoy Your New Home
The last thing you need to do is make plans to explore your new city and get to know your neighbors. It may seem intimidating, but getting familiar with your surroundings is the best way to feel at home and start living confidently in your new location. After that, you’ll be living the easy life!