Most families will undergo a local move (within the same city) at least a couple times in their life. Reasons like buying a house for the first time, moving to a different neighborhood or larger home, or downsizing after retirement are common.
However, there are times when your situation in life will take you over state lines, sometimes across the country. This obviously requires more planning, organization, budgeting, and time. By taking this relocation one step at a time, you could be saving yourself headaches down the road.
- Visit in Advance
Although internet searches can give you tons of information about a new area, try to make at least one trip to your new location before moving. A tour of the city or town can give you a feel of the area that you will be calling home. Locate neighborhoods in relation to schools, hospitals, parks, recreation and where you will do your shopping. That way, when you return to your current home, you will be more familiar as you search online for a new house.
- Find a Home
Once you have found your ideal neighborhood, work with Dale Frazell to locate the home that will suit you best. Different states have different styles of homes, so it may take some adjustment on your part when deciding on a home that you like. And sometimes it is better to rent first, with a short-term lease, until you are more familiar with your new area and are certain that you will stay. You don’t want to feel rushed or pressured.
Develop a packing strategy and start as far before the moving date as you can. First step is to pare down your belongings, selling, giving away, or discarding anything that you no longer need. Rule of thumb; if you haven’t used or worn it in a year, it’s time to say goodbye. This will make your packing easier. Then start packing from the “outside in” meaning, pack the items your rarely use and work your way in to more and more meaningful items to your everyday life until you get to the absolute essentials. At that point, wait to pack the 2 or 3 remaining boxes which can then be unpacked first when you arrive. Mark these REALLY well, on every side, so you can find them in a mountain of boxes upon arrival. Be sure to pack crucial documents in a separate box and transport those yourself.
- Professional Movers
If you decide to use a professional moving company, be sure to do your research before you hire one. Nightmarish stories abound about companies that overcharge, break things, or never arrive. A few tips for finding reputable movers:
- Registration and Licensing: All registered interstate moving companies in the United States have a unique USDOT number granted by the FMCSA. You can run a USDOT number search to verify a mover’s identity, safety rating, crash information, and inspection summary. https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx
- Experience: A moving company can only survive in business for years if it satisfies its customers.
- Positive Reviews: Good customer reviews on reputable sites are imperative. Weigh the critical ones with the good and decide who you can trust with your belongings.
- Intermediary Stations: If the company has locations in or at least close to where you are moving from and to, that is a potential sign that they will deliver your belongings in good order.
Get quotes from several companies and beware the company that quotes way below market average. And watch out for the company who gives a quote online or over the phone without paying a visit to actually assess your belongings.
First, attend to some necessary details.
- Change your address in important places. Bank, cell phone company, insurance carriers, loan providers, credit cards, online shopping sites, subscriptions, IRS to name a few. And of course, friends and family.
- Obtain new vehicle registration and driver’s license in your new state. Not a fun one, but necessary.
- Change utilities into your name.
Store boxes, if possible, in the garage, which will keep your home free of clutter. Bring them in one at a time to unpack, flatten the box, return for another. Hopefully you marked the most important 4 or 5 boxes, things like coffee pot, bed sheets, towels and other items needed for everyday living. Obviously, you will want to locate and unpack these first.
Start a regular routine as soon as possible and explore your new community. Participating in community events will help you to feel part of the fabric of your new area.
Throw yourself a potluck housewarming party. Invite new co-workers, and close by neighbors. People like to get together and will be happy to bring a dish to share and see your new home. It’s a great way to settle in and make new friends!