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Planning a Long Distance Move: Tips for Moving to a New State

Smooth out the process of moving to a new state

By Jessica Walker Boehm on July 10, 2014


Move it, move it. The daunting task of moving can be overwhelming, especially if you’re transferring to another state. Quick suggestion: Try practicing scream therapy in the shower each morning to relieve stress.

A better suggestion would be to get organized, since planning is key to any successful outcome. Make a big checklist and be sure to visit the state before you move there, frequenting all potential neighborhoods where you consider locating. Research and visit the best places to live, and check buying and renting options.

Road Trip

Most experts say you should start the moving process two months before heading out, and one of the most biggest priorities is saving on moving costs. One temptation is that you know a friend with a big truck who can help you move, but think it over, says David Johnson of cheapmovingtips.com.

“Sometimes it’s cheaper to hire a company and just lay back as they do all the hard work for us,” Johnson says. “In fact, some studies say that people who hire professionals to move out of state end up saving more money than people asking for favors or doing things their own way.”

Johnson also warns to not necessarily hire the moving company that provides the lowest quote, and always ask for references and read moving reviews.

“One thing to keep in mind is that companies do specials frequently,” he says. “They often come when the company is in its low season, which is late fall to late spring.”

It's Go Time

All right, you've scheduled a mover and now it's time to start thinking about transferring hundreds – maybe thousands – of your possessions to a different state. Most experts say you should become a minimalist.

For example, get rid of that 500-pound collection of sparkly rocks you've saved from every national park ever visited. And instead of towing it cross-country, sell that vintage 1965 Rambler station wagon that would be worth about $1,500 if you ever put an engine in it.

“Decide what to purge. Check all rooms and separate items you should get rid of,” says Alison Cooper of howstuffworks.com. “When that's done, then you're ready to start packing up everything you can live without for the next few weeks.”

Cooper says pack room by room, label all boxes, keep a detailed inventory list, and put heavy things in small boxes and light stuff in big boxes – with heavier items at the bottom of each box. Another tip is use towels or wadded newspaper to fill empty space in boxes – never leave a box half full.

“Also, put together a bag with personal essentials you will need for the first day in the new home, and keep all valuables and important items in your own vehicle instead of with a moving company,” she says. “This should include jewelry, money, checkbooks, credit cards, tax documents and legal paperwork.”

So, good luck moving. A smooth, headache-free move to another state can be as satisfying as eating a delicious breakfast or taking a relaxing ocean cruise. Final suggestion: After you finish moving, why don’t you treat yourself to a delicious breakfast and a relaxing ocean cruise? Use the money you got from selling the Rambler.

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