How to Move Long Distance: An Interstate Moving Survival Guide

Some people look at moving as an adventure while others find the entire process traumatic. No matter how you feel about your move, you can take steps to make it as painless as possible. While moving to a new home can be exciting and difficult, moving to another state involves even more red tape and planning. Here are a few tips for a seamless move.

Five Tips to Surviving an Interstate Move

1. Do your research.

It’s tempting to fall in love with a place and decide you want to live there, but living in a tropical paradise is not the same as spending a carefree week there on vacation. Wherever you decide to go, do your research before making any changes. Then, find a job and housing in the new location, or make sure you have enough savings to pay for the first three months of living expenses. If you have children, look for houses in good school districts.

2. Plan.

Most moving companies and real estate offices have detailed checklists with all the things you need to consider. How much money will it cost to move? Will you handle everything or hire a moving company? Will you drive to the new location or ship your car? Do you have friends and family to help, or are you on your own? You’ll need to plan for everything from your mail and utilities to arranging for pets. A big binder is a good way to keep your papers organized from start to finish, but a portable file box also works well. Save receipts, copies of contracts and estimates, checklists and other information.

3. Clear the clutter.

First, make a list of the necessities you’ll need in the new place. Choose what will go, and then get rid of the rest. Traveling light will make the move easier and less expensive, and you’ll have fewer boxes to unpack when you get there. Have a yard sale, list your items on a local website or donate them and get a receipt for a tax deduction. You’ll save on labor and packing supplies, and you can use a smaller truck.

4. Choose a moving company.

Your budget may be the deciding factor for a do-it-yourself or a professional move. It all depends on how much help you have, how much you need to move and how far you’re going. You’ll also need enough time between your old job and a new one if you plan to do it all on your own.  Vet New York movers and ask at least three to visit your home and give written estimates. Before signing a contract, ask the Better Business Bureau if they have complaints about the moving or rental company you’ve chosen, and copy their moving guide. You’ll need insurance coverage for your possessions, and a policy that offers full replacement is safer than the minimal amount required by federal regulations.

5. Get the new place ready.

Figure out how much time it will take the truck to arrive, allowing time to unpack and settle into the new place. Arrange for someone to turn utilities on, have health records for family and pets handy, and keep school records nearby. You’ll also need access to cash or bank accounts for emergencies or paying movers and landlords. Before the move, cancel utilities and subscriptions for services like cable TV and ask the post office to forward your mail to the new address.

When you arrive, don’t forget to get a new driver’s license in the new state. Meet your new neighbors, look for doctors and social activities in your new home, and celebrate. You might even put that bottle of champagne and corkscrew where you can find it without unpacking kitchen boxes. Then, enjoy.

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