As someone who recently moved halfway across the country a year ago, and then moved to yet another state just a few weeks ago, I feel fairly well qualified to offer tips that will help make your relocation just a bit easier. If you’re planning a big move for a new job, or simply for a change of scenery, these tips will make your experience a bit less painful. Read on to find out how it worked for me!
Sell everything that isn’t bolted down
When we realized we were going to be making a cross-country move, my wife and I decided that almost everything had to go. We sold all of our furniture, electronics, dishes, and gave away anything else we thought we could live without. Bottom line, this is a good time to take a look at the things you own and decide how much of it you really need. We realized that we had accumulated a lot of stuff that we didn’t really care so much about. It felt pretty good to purge before the big move.
The Internet is Your Friend – Use it
The turnaround time on our move was quick, so we didn’t have weeks to spend looking for a new place to live. This also meant that we didn’t have much opportunity to travel to our soon-to-be-new city to look at houses. We had to rely on the Internet. We used all the regular housing sites to look at what was available, what fit our needs, crime stats, schools – everything vital to making the move. Then, sight-unseen, we chose the perfect place, put down a deposit and headed out west.
…But Don’t Overuse the Internet
We Spent a LOT of time in that short week and a half we had scouring the Internet for reviews, videos, photos, statistics, and anything else we could find about the areas we were interested in moving to. The problem with that is you’ll only get part of the picture – you get what different properties want you to know about a place, or sometimes biased reviews from tenants who might be angry about something that wouldn’t even matter to you.
For our second move, we didn’t want to do the sight-unseen thing, so we decided to go with temporary housing. This allowed us to visit different neighborhoods without being locked into one until our lease ended. Doing this takes some of the stress off, making the entire process that much easier.
Flying? Strategically Choose Your Airline
Did you know there are some airlines that will allow you to bring extra bags without an additional fee? Be sure to research things like that in order to transport the important things you need to keep near you when you’re making the move. Flying is already enough of a pain – take the time to ensure that you’ve got a comfortable seat, all the things you need in your suitcases, and enjoy a stress-free trip to your new home.
Driving? Pack Only What You Need
If you’re going to do a drive, take my advice from earlier – only pack the things you absolutely need. Space can be at a premium if you’re doing like we did and filling up your car for a cross-country drive. We didn’t get a moving truck – we just packed up the things we knew we needed, and headed out. It was a relatively stress-free way to do it.
Remember to pack a bag of things you’ll want handy – phone chargers, extra clothing, snacks, music, water, insurance information (especially if you’re a speeder) – things like that.
Take Your Time When Roadtripping
If you can spare it, take your time on the drive to your new home. Since my drive was from the Midwest to California, there was a lot to see. I was able to take it moderately slow, and got to spend some time seeing sights I hadn’t had a chance to see before. It was well worth taking an extra day or so. If you do the same, you probably won’t regret it.
Keep The Important Stuff With You
It’s good to have the important documents you need right there with you on your trip. Insurance docs, birth certificates, tax info, bills, photo ID – keep it in a bag that stays with you – you never know when you’ll need it.
There you have it – a few tips to make your big move just a little easier. Have some tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments below!