How to Prepare for a Move Without All the Stress

November 8, 2021 / Posted in How-to
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

When we plan to change our address, we do it for various reasons. It can be a career opportunity, our love life, or any other force that drives us toward the unknown. But nonetheless, it’s a stressful change. So how to prepare for a move and avoid all the fuss from the start?

A couple getting ready to eat
A good moving preparation calls for a celebration

Believe it or not, some people consider that it’s easier to make a decision to change their address than to get organized to move. And statistics say that Americans tend to move a lot – in 2019, around 31 million people have moved, and 3 million US citizens move to a new state each year. So there’s a lot of experience to go around and a lot of tips on how to prepare for moving and completely avoid freaking out. Let’s see what you can find out from this checklist of gathered experience.

How to Prepare for a Move and Get Well Organized – Create a Binder and a General Timeline Checklist

So, how do I start preparing to move out? – you’re probably wondering. The answer is, get yourself a binder. Getting a binder may sound silly to the inexperienced, but you are more than aware that organizing everything is no walk in the park if you have moved before. And having a place where you can keep it all – your to-do list, a general timeline of tasks at hand, and all the important documents related to the move, will help you move efficiently. Your to-do list should go on top of the binder, and it should be a checklist of all the tasks that await you, organized by weeks. Which brings us to the next question – when should you start preparing to move? Preparing on time will enable you to organize like a pro, and you can start your preparatory steps even two months before you leave.

Create a Budget for Long-Distance Moving

The next stop is the money talk. It’s an essential part of everything we do, but it’s also the crucial point in preparations to move to another state. If you don’t thoroughly think through the whole budget, you won’t be sure whether you can afford enclosed auto transport or to have enough for a deposit or a downpayment. Calculate all the expenses, and add a little over the amount, just in case of any unexpected expenses.

A calculator and a pile of coins
Leave some cash so you can tip the movers for a job well done

Call Long-Distance Movers to Help You

If you’re not sure whether to hire movers to help you or to try a DIY move, let us be frank and tell you that investing in long-distance moving services may seem a more expensive solution only at first glance. A DIY move is doable, but it isn’t easy to pull off. You have to rent a truck, pack, load, and unload everything by yourself, pay for the gas, lodging, and meals along the way, and above all, drive. It sounds pretty exhausting, doesn’t it? And in the end, it may actually be too expensive.

If you decide to call in professional help, don’t pick the first movers that show up in your Google search. Instead, be more thorough in your research. A reliable auto transport company or any other relocation specialist should tick off several boxes on your checklist. Their reviews should be impeccable, and there shouldn’t be any name changes popping up in their background check. Once you make up your mind and narrow down your picks to several companies you like, call them so they can estimate the value of household goods and give you a quote.

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Contact Utility Companies and Service Providers Weeks Before the Move-Out Day

Calling the utility companies is something that seems like it could be postponed, as you have more pressing matters to tackle. But trust us, transferring utilities is also something that should be taken care of on time, and that means weeks prior to your move. Neither would you like to leave the heating on and a hefty bill for the next owners, nor disconnected electricity when you arrive in your new home. That’s why it’s important to contact your utility companies several weeks before the move-out date and set the disconnection and connection dates.

It’s important to do this for all the other service providers on time, too, so you can have a stress-free move. Your phone, internet, and cable might be among the first things you’ll need once you move in, and the waiting lists may be so long, you’d have to wait for weeks to get connected. Your internet may be as essential to you as electricity or water because you are a remote worker, so be sure you call your providers.

Notify Everyone Else, Too

Wondering who to notify about your relocation? Besides telling your family and friends (and your boss, of course) that you’re leaving, here’s a list of services and companies that should be aware of your move:

  • The Post Office is always a good place to start. To make it easier for the people that are relocating, they have provided an online form, so you won’t even have to leave your house to do it.
  • The next stop is your bank, where you should update your information. Also, take care of the credit card billing information, which you may also do online.
  • Get your health insurance moved to another state, too. And while you’re at it, notify all the other insurance providers as well.
  • State tax agencies and federal revenue agencies are among the most important institutions that should be updated on your whereabouts. The IRS has an online form for you to fill out, while you should check the state tax requirements on the state-specific website.

Online shopping sites, investment companies, and subscriptions should also be taken care of and updated on your new address. Don’t forget your yoga class, too!

A woman with a laptop and a phone
Contact everyone from your checklist before you move

It’s Best to Declutter Before You Pack

Whether you simply need to downsize for a move or you’re looking for some good moving tips that will relieve you of stress and make the whole process cheaper, the best way to do it is to declutter. Decide what to keep and what goes right into the trash bin. The great idea is to contact your relocation company and get a list of items movers won’t move, so you don’t pack any unallowable items. If you want to keep some things as bulky furniture that won’t fit into your new home, consider investing in a storage service, where your stuff will be safe and secured for as long as it suits you.

Set Aside Some Items in Good Condition That You Can Donate and Help Someone in Need

While you’re decluttering, you can also consider donating unwanted items. There are probably many things that are still usable but which you don’t want anymore, and relocating is the perfect opportunity to put these objects to good use. Contact your local charity, like Goodwill or Salvation Army, and ask them what kind of donations they accept. You’ll simultaneously declutter and help someone else with your donation.

You Can Also Sell Some of Your Things

If you’ve set aside another pile of what not to pack, and it’s not for charity, nor for the garbage bag (stuff like designer shoes and bags), you can always throw a garage sale and sell these things. If you’ve never organized a yard sale before, keep in mind that it’s best to do it on weekends and start early in the morning. Also, be sure you advertise it in your neighborhood if you want it to be successful. If you want to hear some awesome tips for a yard sale, watch the following video.

You Can’t Prepare for Cross Country Moving Without the Proper Packing Supplies

The easiest way to pack for a move is to stock up on different packing materials and supplies. Here’s a list of packing basics:

  • High-quality boxes are a must for every relocation, and you’ll mostly need medium-sized ones. Get a few of the smaller ones for heavy items, and a couple of large ones, too.
  • Sturdy packing tape is required to keep the lids of your boxes in place, no matter how heavy the items you have placed into them.
  • Cushioning materials will make sure nothing shifts inside the boxes and thus gets damaged. You should obtain bubble wrap (the best solution for anything fragile), foam peanuts, packing paper, and some pool noodles for frames.
  • Proper tools will make the whole process more efficient, so ensure you grab a heavy-duty tape dispenser, scissors, and a marker, which you’ll use to label each box as you pack it.

Additionally, get some plastic wrap and furniture blankets to cover your furniture pieces and protect them from scratching. However, if you want to be sure that everything is packed properly, let the cross-country movers handle it with their packing service.

If You Need to Handle Packing on a Budget, Look For Cheap or Free Supplies

If you want to move out of state on a budget, don’t worry, you can always use the household stuff to get packed. Old towels and t-shirts can serve as cushioning materials, while suitcases, laundry bins, and crates can be used instead of boxes. Although, to be honest, this is an okay solution for those who are moving nearby, but not for those looking for the cheapest way to move out of state. If you place fragile objects into unsecured crates without proper packaging, you could end up with a lot of your possessions damaged or completely destroyed. That’s why it’s best to let the professionals do it, just like you’re letting them ship your vehicle through auto transport service.

Here’s the Last Tip on How to Get Ready to Move – Don’t Leave Without Bare Necessities

There’s one more thing essential to every move, no matter how far you’re relocating, and it’s the first-day survival kit. Before you leave your current home, you should take a bag or a box and fill it with necessities, because your goal is to be devoid of stress when you enter your future abode. Put some basic toiletries inside, along with a few kitchen utensils. Don’t skip your chargers, some snacks, and a change of clothes for each family member. This bag will be your lifesaver when you arrive, and until you manage to learn to get around your new home and figure out where the stores are.

A set of bathroom toiletries
Don't forget to bring the basic toiletries, and boxes with other necessities to your new home

How Do You Prepare for a Move-in Day?

Here are some moving day tips to make the big day run as smoothly as possible. Before your moving and car shipping company arrives, find a sitter for your kids and pets so you can have enough free time to organize everything. Prepare some snacks and refreshments and a bathroom with running water for the relocation team. Ensure the hallway is clear of any clutter so they can freely move around and carry your stuff into the truck. Also, it’s best to stay out of the way, but also to stay somewhere near in case they need you.

A woman speaking to children
Find a sitter for your kids so that you can focus on the move

New Home, New You, and Let the Long-Distance Moving Company Do the Rest

In the end, how do you emotionally prepare for a move? No change in life comes easy or without stress, but you should always look at moving to a city alone or with your family as an opportunity to take a leap forward. A home in a different place means fresh horizons opening in front of you, and however it is hard to say bye to friends, you can stay in touch while you focus on grasping unknown surroundings and blending in. And the right decision is to let the professionals handle your move, while you relax and enjoy the change.

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