The months leading up to your long-distance move can be a stressful time period. From coordinating details, managing finances, and ensuring everything gets from one place to another safely is a huge responsibility. By keeping the end goal in mind and coming up with a plan to address some common stressors associated with moving, you can keep pushing forward and easily transition into your new place!
Create a plan
Depending on your particular situation, setting a plan well in advance can help you to better prepare for last-minute changes or challenges that arise. Of course, this can be difficult to do if you are moving on short notice, however, if you have the opportunity, use the time to your advantage. By creating a solid plan in the months leading up to your move, you can feel more at ease about this major change. For example, researching and scheduling your moving company, packing up items that you don’t use every day, making necessary travel accommodations, and using up your refrigerated items can all be beneficial to plan well in advance of your moving day.
Make a budget
When you decide to take the plunge and relocate, there are many emotional and financial factors to take into consideration. Remember that there are going to be other financial costs that you may not regularly pay for and you don’t want to be surprised by these. For example, you might find a temporary increase in what you spend on groceries for the first week or two after moving. With everything that needs to be done, the last thing you want is to have to cook! Try to allocate a slightly higher budget for this until you are fully settled in your new home.
Another atypical expense that you may incur, depending on where you are moving to, is painting or having a professional cleaning done. It can be significantly easier to paint your new living space without all of your belongings in the way, so be prepared to buy items like primer, paint, brushes, and tarps. After the walls are freshly painted, you might want to consider having your space professionally cleaned to remove any dust, dirt, and debris that the previous owner had left. Even if you choose to do this yourself, be prepared to spend money on cleaning products that you might not usually account for in your budget.
Update insurance policies
When you make a long-distance move, there are certain financial changes that are necessary to make. One key consideration is updating your insurance policies so you don’t have any surprises once you actually move. For example, talk to your car insurance provider and let them know that you’re moving because sometimes your rate can either be raised or lowered depending on the demographics and statistics of the area. This will give you a better idea if you need to shop around for other carriers when the time comes.
Additionally, consider reevaluating your current life insurance policy, if applicable. For example, if you are switching jobs and unable to transfer your employer-sponsored policy, it might be beneficial to look for a private life insurance policy. Furthermore, if you are purchasing a new home when you move or purchasing a home with a different value than your current home, make sure that your policy reflects this new amount. If something unexpected were to happen, you want to ensure that your family would have enough financial resources to maintain their current lifestyle. Making a long-distance move and entering this new chapter of your life is a good time to ensure you have enough safeguards in place.
Keep an inventory list
While moving to a new area is an exciting event, it can also bring about certain stressors, especially in regards to packing. While you most likely will pack all rooms together (all bathroom items together and all kitchen items together, for example), it can be easy to forget what items you have or where more universal items have been packed. By making an inventory list of what items are in each box, you can save the hassle of not being able to find something you might need, and can also keep you organized when purchasing any new items for your new space. Start by writing down items on your list as soon as they are packed, and tape the list to the top of the box when done for easy access.
Another important thing to remember when moving is to keep a checklist of people you need to notify of your move. This is especially important for your employer, the IRS, and the DMV. Outside of these, you also need to notify your bank and any credit card companies, any subscriptions you are signed up for, and the post office. Lastly, make sure you are keeping in touch with your family and friends, who will want your new address for any care packages or holiday cards!
Clear out unnecessary items
As you are packing and getting ready for the move, it is important to assess what items are necessary, and which items are able to be discarded prior to the move. You may have a junk drawer full of odds and ends that have been collected over the years; this would be a perfect time to part ways with items that are outdated or you simply don’t need anymore.
This same mentality can be used when judging the need for clothing, children’s toys, or linens. When packing, bring extra boxes for donation and garbage, and box these items up appropriately. Packing for a big move is the perfect time to be practical with what you truly like and want, versus those items you’ve held onto without wearing or using. Consider packing sentimental items last, as you don’t need the added stress of determining if these items are making the move with you early on in the packing process.
Research the area
After all of the work you’ve put into packing, relocating, and unpacking, it’s time to meet your new neighbors! Many areas have social community events to not only help you get acquainted with your new neighborhood but also to get you familiar with the people in your community. Events like scheduled garage sales can help you sell any extra items you are looking to get rid of, and cook-offs are a great way to exchange recipes and make connections. While it may not seem to be an important part of your move, this small act of community can benefit you in the long run, especially if you will be in the area for a while.
Making a long-distance move can be exciting, but it can also be demanding. By putting thought into the process and starting preparing early, you can make this experience easier for yourself and your family while maximizing your time spent.