man and woman packing boxes

5 Tips for a Less Stressful Long Haul Move

Maybe you’ve recently taken a job in a new state or perhaps you’ve grown tired of the cold northern winters and are looking to make a change to warmer weather. Perhaps you’re thinking of moving back to your hometown or to a place you’ve never been. In any event, moving your home base can be difficult when you’re just transferring a couple miles, but what about when it’s hundreds or even thousands of miles? How can you prepare to make your move a success?

Figure out what to do with your stuff
Essentially there are three ways to handle a move when it comes to personal belongings. You can either plan to have a moving sale wherein you sell as much of your personal property as possible, you can plan to move everything (in which case you’ll inevitably have more than you know what to do with), or you can do a hybrid of both.

A moving sale is a great option if you’re looking to have money on hand in your new location, if you don’t have a lot of sentimental connection to your possessions, or if you have a lot of location-specific items ie snowblowers or surfboards. If you can’t bear the idea of giving up the place settings you got for your wedding or the sofa you’ve had since college, this is probably not the route for you and it may be a good idea to look into professional moving options, especially if you have a lot of stuff. If you choose to do a little bit of both, that keeps some items while parting with others, you may be able to orchestrate a successful self-move.
semi moving down the highway
From A to B
Once you determine exactly what, or perhaps how much, you’re wanting to take with you, you can develop a plan of action. Are you planning to pack up your car? Rent a moving vehicle? Enlist the help of a professional moving company with a semi-trailer? Your budget will certainly play a role here and enlisting the help of friends and family can help you make the call if you’re on the fence, but make sure to stay realistic with time, space, and budget restraints. After all, no matter how great your support system is, it’s just not feasible to pack an Italian leather sectional into a Prius.

Home is Where the Heart Is
If you have the opportunity to visit your future city before you move, take it. While moving sight-unseen is not unheard of (and increasingly more common is this tight housing market!), it will put your mind at ease to have an understanding of where you’ll be calling home. Depending on whether you’re planning to buy or rent and where you’re moving there’s a variety of challenges that can be more easily faced with boot on the ground.
If visiting isn’t possible, you’ll have to make a plan of how handle your new living situation. Contacting a local real estate agent can be one of the best ways to find your future home whether you’re interested in buying or renting, although there are many areas of the US, especially in the rural areas and the Midwest where agents may not have the scoop on the local rental options. In these cases the internet will be your best tool to look for a new place to call home.
man and woman packing boxes
Pack It Up
There is no such thing as being too organized for a long-haul move. After a long day of traveling, the last thing you’re going to want to do is try to find where your important, everyday items have disappeared to. Whether you’re planning to spend a travel day in a hotel or a few days/weeks in a extended stay inn, the last thing you’ll want to do is unpack everything just to find a toothbrush. Packing items by how often they’re used, as well as by what room they came from, will help keep you sane.

Just Keep Swimming

Moving is stressful. There will be times when you wonder why you chose to do this to yourself or your family. You’ll wonder if you made a mistake or if it’s too late to take it back. This is completely normal. Take a step back, think about why you chose to move, how excited you are for the new opportunities in your new home, and how this will benefit you in the long run. Your transition will be much smoother with an open mind and positive attitude. Have fun learning about your new home, embrace the experience, and think of all the great memories you’ll create in this new space!
little boy walking towards a home

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