Relocating can be a stressful time if you aren’t thoroughly prepared. Moving into a new home in general can be tough, but when you relocate to a new city, town, or state, you take on a whole new set of challenges that can feel taxing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the top five reasons why Americans move are to have a better home, start a family, move to a better neighborhood, establish their own household, or transfer to a job.
Regardless of what your personal reasons are for starting a journey, when you follow the right steps, your journey can be much easier and more seamless than you’d originally anticipated. To make your transition as smooth as possible, here are a few tips you should follow:
Price the Move
Of course, relocating to a new area will be more costly than simply moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. And before you start packing box, it’s best to get an accurate pricing. If you’re doing the move yourself, check different rental truck companies for quotes, and calculate the distance to determine an average cost for gas. Don’t forget to consider insurance along with your final costs.
If you plan to use a moving company, speak to multiple moving services. Be sure to get referrals or read reviews, and watch out for red flags. Reputable companies don’t ask you to fork over a cash deposit in advance, avoid answering questions, or show up late. Pay attention to the company’s level of professionalism, which shows long before they come to pick up your belongings.
Search for Cost-saving Opportunities
According to a study conducted by the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the average interstate move is around 1,225 miles and costs roughly $4,300. With these numbers in mind, it’s important that you identify ways to cut costs along with the way without sacrificing the integrity of services rendered. For starters, as previously mentioned, always speak to multiple movers to get an idea for the best quote. If you’re on an especially tight budget, consider hiring a mover or two on a freelancer’s app like TaskRabbit—just be sure to check out the reviews.
Another way to save is by eliminating and decluttering as you go. Studies have shown that too much clutter has a negative impact on stress levels, and by getting rid of unused and unnecessary items, you’ll both save money and save a bit of sanity. Use apps like LetGo and join various Facebook communities to make money from unwanted items. Ultimately, this will free up space and time, and lower your moving costs.
Make a Moving List
Moving lists are a great way to streamline relocation process. There are plenty of mobile moving apps, but of course, some are better than others, and it’s best to test out different apps to determine what works best for you. For instance, Sortly is considered one of the best when it comes to home inventory management. With this app, you can create folders for each room and itemize everything you own. It’s even possible to add printable QR codes to your boxes, which makes unpacking a synch.
For example, you might use a QR code to label a box that contains your pots and pans. With your smartphone, you can scan the box to load details about what’s inside any closed box. Additionally, listing out what items belong to which rooms in your new home helps your prioritize what’s important. It may not seem like much, but once you list it out, you’ll see exactly how much it is.
Integrate Yourself Into the Community
“Starting over” is rarely a walk in the park. Part of what makes relocation tough is integrating into a new community. When you arrive in a new place, chances are you’re surrounded by strangers, don’t know the neighborhood well, and may not feel confident building a new base. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to make the community transition a bit easier.
Start by connecting with your family, friends, and colleagues, and asking if they know anyone in your new town. You’d be surprised at the amount of connections people know, even if it’s merely friends of friends. Visit local restaurants in a main area of town, where you can get out and wander the streets. Don’t be afraid to talk to business owners and people shopping at the same stores.
In some towns, local coffee shops are a great way to learn about community events. Many neighborhoods also have Facebook groups, and you can also check out Meetup.com to see what meetups are happening in your area—which is a great way to meet like minded people. And lastly, volunteering allows you to meet new people while participating in a good cause.
Align Your Appointments
You’d be surprised at the amount of appointments you’ll have to make when you relocate—especially when children are involved. Many moving-related tasks mean you’ll be handling random duties during the first week or so. This might include taking a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles, setting up your cable and home phone service, last minute home deliveries to finalize your house, finding and meeting with a new doctor, and more. Do your best to combine each of these tasks so you don’t find yourself spread too thin over the next few weeks handling one or two scattered appointments each week.