Making a move can be very stressful, mostly stemming from the fact that everything needs to be packaged a certain way, transported, then unpacked and setup the way you want it to be. Here are a few ways to help keep you from stressing out on any move, whether it is across town or across the country.
Establish your move-in and move-out dates as soon as you can. Usually, you will want at least a month’s notice so that you have enough time to setup the move. Some moving companies may offer you a small discount if you book several months in advance, but if you end up moving during their busy season, you will likely pay full price. The process of moving into a new home is a good opportunity to get rid of things that you do not really need. Holding a garage sale a few weeks before you move can help shed a few extra possessions and get you a few dollars in your pocket. After a garage sale and selling other unnecessary items, you may want to give away or donate anything else you do not really want to move. In the U.S., you can get up to a $500 tax deduction for donating items to a charitable organization. If you are going to be making a long move, you might find that making hotel reservations, or booking flights, 3-4 months in advance can net you a lower rate than you would pay as your moving date approaches.
Set Your Budget
It is important to understand that a one day, five mile move will cost significantly less than a three day 2,000 mile move. Set a realistic budget for the amount of time your move will take and how far you will be moving. If you plan on making a small move yourself, most of your expenses should be the gas and truck rental you may or may not have. Larger moves require bigger budgets since semi-trucks and mover teams might get involved. For smaller moves, you may be able to save some money by getting spare boxes from grocery stores or other businesses in your area. Even if you cannot find intact cardboard boxes, think about investing in large plastic totes, which will last for decades and help keep your new home organized. Padding your possessions can be done using old newspapers or old blankets/sheets. You will likely be moving these older items anyway, giving you an avenue to save a few dollars while not having to pack up your padding. Truck rentals will usually be one of the bigger expenses when it comes to moving everything from your old place to your new one. It helps to call around to get several quotes when you are looking to rent a box truck for a day, or if you need something much bigger for a long move. Generally, if you pay with a major credit card, you can sometimes forego the rental insurance the truck provider will offer you since your credit card will take care of any charges that arise from an accident.
Tackle Long Moves Strategically
While any move can be stressful, long moves are generally much more complicated, leading to other issues that might arise during the moving process. The easiest way to deal with a long move is to hire a moving company to pack up everything and unpack it, the way you want it, into your new place. The drawback to this is that it is usually very expensive to move this way, costing well over $1,000 for moves over 100 miles. If you decide to move everything yourself over a considerable distance, you should make sure a capable driver is behind the wheel of the truck. Discussing where you want to meetup along the road can give everyone driving a chance to catch up and stay close for most of the day. Try not to spend more than about 10 hours on the road driving per day, especially if you are going to be traveling through a number of major cities during daylight hours. A large moving truck with a tired or distracted driver can be an extremely dangerous combination. When you do stay at a hotel, try parking the truck in a well-lit area and let the front desk know that the moving truck belongs to you and to call your room if they see something suspicious.