When it comes to relocation, moving across the country is the ultimate test of your organization skills and, yes, your sanity. It is even harder when you are being forced to move within a tight window. You’ll need to get all your local affairs in order, supervise the packing, and make sure that you have a home waiting at the other end, all at the same time. If you are planning a cross-country move, the following are a few tips that can help.
You’ll Have a Lot To Do. Work With a Plan.
Moving across the country is not the same thing as a move within the city. You will literally be ripping your life apart and starting with a fresh slate, with almost nothing, save your belongings. For a smooth transition to your new location, you will need to find a new apartment or house, get familiar with new streets, and figure out where the closest stores are located. Getting a new apartment or home in particular is very important. It is best to begin your search months before your trip. This will give you the opportunity to review prices, speak with property managers or realtors, and learn more about the neighborhood.
If you own your home, taking time to plan will also give you the opportunity to put your home on the market or find suitable tenants, depending on your needs. Two weeks before your moving date, you should have finalized plans for your new home. You should also contact the utility company and make arrangements to have them turn off your power, gas, and water a day after your moving date.
You Have Less Time Than You Think. Start Packing Early.
Technically, it is possible to pack for a cross-country move in less than a week. If you do, however, odds are that you are likely to forget several important items. Packing on short notice also increases the chances of you transporting junk halfway across the country. For a more efficient move, professional movers advise that you begin packing at least a month before your moving date. This will give you enough time to sort your items. Moving is a great time to trim the clutter from your life. Plus, you should remember that the weight of the items you move will affect your costs.
Take inventory of the things around your home and group them into four piles: things that you will be moving with, things that you will donate, things to toss, and things to sell. For the last group, you can make a little extra cash by organizing a yard sale two weeks before your move. If you have not used an item in over a year, you should either get rid of it or sell it. It is also a good idea to separate the delicate items from those that can handle abuse. Pay special attention to where you keep your sensitive documents and breakables. Those are a lot harder to replace.
Moving Is Expensive. Research Moving Companies.
Four weeks before your moving date, start your search for a moving company. Create a shortlist of the different companies available to you and compare their prices. Take into consideration the different ‘moving options’ offered by such companies. For instance, some companies drop off moving pods, which let you handle the packing at your own speed. Other companies offer professional movers who can assist with the packing and loading of your items. Do not neglect to consider the truck that will be used to carry your items. It should be reliable and strong enough to handle the length and demands of the trip. The moving company you choose should also be licensed to travel between states.
Prepare Yourself Mentally.
Most people have no idea how traumatizing moving can be until it is done. You are likely to experience a mixed burst of emotions during the early days. However, you can reduce the impact by preparing yourself mentally for the move. A good tip is to view your relocation as an adventure. Do not get discouraged when you run into difficulties, and don’t walk around the bare rooms in your empty apartment. It will take a while for you to settle into your new location, make new friends, and adjust to the pace of the city. However, with time and the right frame of mind, you will adjust to life in your new home.
When In Doubt, Put Some Items In Storage.
You do not have to move all your items at once. Sometimes, it is best to leave most of your stuff behind until you can access your new home and figure out what exactly you need. Your current sofa may be the wrong fit for your new home, and if you are moving to a warmer climate, you may not need as many blankets. Storage is also a good option if you plan to return home within the next 12 to 24 months. It will save you the cost and tedium of having to move your items twice across the country.
The Bottom Line
Moving across the country will push you out of your comfort zone. But you can make the process smoother by preparing well in advance. Having a ‘To Do’ list is invaluable. A good tip is to schedule your move any time between Tuesday and Thursday. Those days are considered off-peak periods because fewer people move then. You’ll be able to get better rates, and have your choice of a wider selection of vehicles. You may also want to handle tasks like getting insurance and changing your driving registration before your move.
Which brings up one final tip: once you arrive, instead of driving, spend the first couple of weeks moving around on foot. It is not only a great way to stay fit; it is also a good way to familiarize yourself quickly with your new city.
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