Moving Out of State? 5 Steps to Streamline the Process
By: Jamie Kreps
If you’re planning a major move, you’re likely stressing over how to get everything done in time. Moving itself can be extremely taxing, but when you’re moving out of state, it can be increasingly difficult to make sure everything is handled in a very tight window of moving opportunity.
“Moving is about the destination, not the journey. It can be stressful enough to move across town, but packing up your home and moving across the country requires careful planning.” – Better Homes and Gardens.
Planning is the key to keeping the stress of moving at bay and helping the process move along swimmingly. What’s the easiest way to plan? You guessed it – checklists! Here is a handy little 5 step checklist to make your long-distance move go as smooth as possible:
1 – Create a General Schedule
The first thing you need to tackle if you’re preparing for a long-distance move, is to create a timeline for the process. What does this mean? Sit down and map out dates for the move, meetings scheduled, and deadlines for services or registrations. This could include when to schedule the movers, when to begin packing, and when to contact new utilities or schools in your new neighborhood. The timeline will help you make sure you know when each step needs to be completed in order to keep the moving process on track. In general, we recommend allowing at least a 6-week timeframe for this, if possible.
2 – Take Stock of Your Belongings for the Move
The next step is to take stock of all your possessions. Before you just dive in and start tossing items into boxes, begin by taking note of what you have. You’ll want to keep a running list of what items you want to keep and what items you could donate or sell (or even pitch) before you begin packing. This is a critical step because it will help you to stay organized and can also save you some money on the move by paying to move items you no longer need.
3 – Clean and Purge
After you’ve determined what items you absolutely want to bring with you, it’s time to buckle down and do some major cleaning and purging. Organize your belongings (such as clothes, furniture, dishes, etc.) into purge piles for selling or donating (or just plain trash if need be) and keep items you’re bringing with you in a cleaned area. This will ensure that what is packed is neat and orderly, and it also saves cleaning time later by doing some deep cleaning as you go. Don’t forget to check dimensions of spaces in your new home to know specifically what you’ll have room to bring with you (and what you won’t). This is also a great time to pack up any valuables that you’d like to keep separate from everything else.
4 – Take Care of Purchasing Supplies
Once everything is sorted and cleaned, make a list of any packing supplies or moving items you may need before the big day. If you’ve hired a professional mover to handle all of your packing, brilliant – but if not, now is the time to make sure you have everything you need.
5 – Final Details
The final step is to cover the fine details of the move that you may have overlooked earlier. Since moving is so much more than simply transferring belongings from one place to another, now is when the details come in:
- Make sure local utilities are called (both old and new).
- Update any personal records (medical, mail, schools, pets, subscriptions, banking information, etc.) and contact the recipients in your new town to make sure they received the information.
- Provide the movers with photos of where to place items in your new home if you aren’t able to be there at the time of the move.
- Pack a suitcase of necessities to keep with you for the move.
- If you’re driving your vehicle, have it checked out by a mechanic to ensure it’s tuned up and ready for the trip.
While a long-distance move has a lot of components and can be a daunting task, keeping organized with checklists and timelines will help you stay on task!