Americans move an average of 11 times in their lifetime. Packing up and moving out of your home is a big undertaking. Especially when you have accumulated years of “stuff”. Moving across town is tough. But moving across the country? Now that can be stressful. I moved from Texas to Florida last year and I learned a lot of definite “to-dos” and even more importantly, “what not to-dos”. If you’re planning on relocating to a different city or even state, here are some things to think about before making the big move.
Get rid of stuff…and early on.
Sometimes you’re pressed for time and selling your things may not be an option. But if you have enough time, I highly recommend decluttering early – and that includes big-ticket items like appliances and furniture. In Texas, we had a gas dryer, washer and fridge that we took with us to Florida. But we were moving from a 2,200 sqft home to a 1,100 sqft apartment so many of our things had to go to a storage facility. In hindsight, I really wish we would have gotten rid of most of our appliances because now that we’re moving into a bigger home, all of the appliances are included and we’re no longer in need of our old ones.
Undoubtedly you will want new furniture and appliances when you move. It might be best, and a lot less expensive, to move with the bare essentials versus an entire house worth of your belongings.
Find a good mover and have them pack you up.
One decision I’m glad we made was to hire a highly recommended mover who provided a packing crew. A good mover will have a dedicated truck driver that manages the entire packing process and makes note of every single box that goes into his truck. They should also have you sign off on each box, which are typically numbered. When they unload your things at your new home, they should have you check off each box to make sure all your belongings made it. It can be an intense process but with the right company, they can make packing a lot less of a headache.
But be forewarned, you need to really think about what items will be moved into your new home and what items will be moved into storage (if you’re storing many things). We didn’t really think about this and about half of our dishes and kitchenware ended up in storage.
Figure out how you will arrive at your destination.
We had the option of flying to Florida or driving. We also have 3 dogs to worry about and decided that instead of a road trip with 2 cars in tow, we’d get our cars delivered and fly with our pets in the cabin. It cost a bit more but you can’t beat convenience. And by the time it was time to leave Texas, we were so exhausted that we didn’t want to add a 1,200 mile trip on top of everything else.
Moving takes a lot of planning and preparation. Talk to your friends and family to find out the best movers and services in your area and map out a plan from start to finish, taking into account the monetary aspects. Things can add up quickly so make sure to budget your money as well as your time! Keep in mind that if you belong to a credit union, they may participate in CO-OP Shared Branching which allows you to bank at participating locations nationwide. Once a member, always a member.