Moving sounds like a fun adventure at first, but things sometimes look bleak once half your life is in boxes. You’re not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 35.9 million people moved between 2012 and 2013. If you’re embarking on a long-distance move, you’ll need all the help you can get. Start with these tips to help smooth the process!
1. The One-Year Rule
Whether it’s a long-distance move or a move across town, follow the one-year rule. If it’s been sitting in your attic or basement collecting dust for a year or more, do you really need it? If not, get rid of it instead of paying to move it!
2. Boxes, Boxes and More Boxes!
There are a couple of ways to collect boxes for your move: raid every grocery store in town or buy them from your moving company. Grocery store boxes come in every shape and size, which makes them hard to stack, and they’ve not usually very sturdy. Remember that free isn’t necessarily the cheapest option if it means you’ll need to replace a set of fine china because a box disintegrated.
3. Pack what You Can in Advance
This isn’t just a matter of making sure your Christmas ornaments are in boxes. You can pack your day-to-day decorations well in advance, too. Your home might look boring with the decorations packed away, but on the bright side, you’ll be able to stay organized and make sure your valuables are safely packed.
4. Hire Help
Despite careful planning and packing, there will always be daily necessities that can’t be packed too early – think food, dishes, cleaning supplies, clothing, toiletries – the list goes on! You can either pack it all anyway, and spend the coming days and weeks living out of boxes, or you can hire professional movers, (such as us!) to pack it all on moving day. A team of movers won’t set you back too much, and they will minimize the chaos leading up to your move.
5. Do You Really Need to Pack It?
Some stuff may not need to be packed. For instance, if you can leave clothes in dresser drawers during the move, you’ll save space in the moving van. Since most moving companies charge by volume and not by weight, you’re likely to save on moving expenses, too.
6. Ship It or Forget It?
Do you really want to take your 20-year-old refrigerator along with you? By the time you pay the movers to load and unload it, plus the cost of the space it will take up in the moving van, you may discover that you’ll actually save money by purchasing new or gently used appliances in your new hometown.
7. Move in the Off-Season
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, June through October is the most popular time for people to move. Clever movers will plan their move sometime between November and the following May to take advantage of off-season discounts on van rentals, moving crews and more!
8. Plan for Everything
A cross-country move can take a few days. Don’t count on hotel rooms being available in whatever town you happen to stop in each night. Instead, plan your route and make reservations in advance. Take cash or warn your bank that you’ll be traveling so that your account isn’t flagged for suspicious activity.
9. Give Yourself Time to Adjust
Once you’ve arrived at your new home, don’t expect to start your new job the very next day. Money is important, but so is your sanity. Give yourself at least a couple of weeks to unpack and investigate your new neighborhood.
10. Think about Your Pets
A move is stressful for humans, and it’s even more stressful for your pets. Plan to stop regularly for potty breaks, find hotel rooms that allow pets, and pack a travel bag with all their care necessities, toys, familiar-smelling blankets and anything else that will make them more comfortable.
There are plenty of horror stories about long-distance moves, but your move doesn’t have to be one of them. With careful planning and the help of an experienced moving crew like ours, you can count on a stress-free move!