Minimizing the Cost of Your Long-Distance Move

Minimizing the Cost of Your Long-Distance Move

Minimizing the Cost of Your Long-Distance Move

Minimizing the Cost of Your Long-Distance Move

Moving to a new home can be an expensive and stressful time for many homeowners today. In fact, according to HomeAdvisor.com, the current national average cost for a long-distance (cross-country or out-of-state) move is $3,476. While there are many factors that will influence the overall individual cost, these expenses can easily run upwards of $9,000 by the time you’re all settled in to your new home.

It goes without saying then, that most households could use a few tips on how to keep those costs to a minimum. Rest assured, there are a number of things you can do to help control the costs you incur along the way. From sales and donations to moving service consultations, here are the top 5 tips for minimizing the cost of your long-distance move:

1. Consult the Professionals for Advice

For starters, the best thing you can do is to sit down with moving professionals to discuss your particular needs. Generally, most professional moving companies are happy to meet with clients to discuss their needs and create a personalized plan and estimate free of charge. Since services can range from full-on moving management (where they handle all of the packing, hauling, driving, and unloading), to rental trucks and everything in between, it’s important to figure out the best option for you. Your moving company specialists should be able to help you choose the option that will meet your needs and your budget.

2. Make Lists, Checklists, and More Lists

The next step is to begin making lists of all things you want to keep, what needs done, and what you want to weed out. By doing this, you’ll help yourself stay prepared for what is to come and minimize unexpected costs (such as having to purchase boxes or packing materials you didn’t plan for). Staying organized will help you keep your focus (and your budget) in check. Here are some pointers for making the most of your checklists!

3. Plan Ahead for Your Long-Distance Move

After you’ve created your lists, begin your process of preparing for the move. Even if you have opted to have the full-service move, there are still things you can do to minimize your costs. You can begin saving boxes or checking area businesses for moving supplies as they go on sale. Research area resources in your new neighborhood to familiarize yourself with things in advance. Take photos of your belongings in each room to help movers know where to put items while unloading (this one saves a lot of time, and saved time is saved money). Anything you can do to plan ahead will help moving day go that much smoother.

4. Minimize Costs by Reducing Your Stock

It may seem like common sense, but the easiest way to minimize costs (and even make a few bucks in the process) before a move is to thin out what you’re planning to take with you. Go through your belongings and take stock of items you could stand to part with. The less you bring with you, the lower your moving costs will be. It also saves you time getting things settled once the move is complete, too! Easy ways to thin out your belongings include yard sales, online outlets like LetGo.com, or even donation centers such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or local homeless shelters or charities.

5. Research Tax Breaks

One of the perks for long-distance movers is that the federal government allows certain tax breaks (see here for IRS guidelines) for those who move out-of-state for work.

“If you’re moving because of a job change, you may be able to deduct certain moving expenses, such as transportation and storage costs for household goods, as well as travel and lodging expenses incurred while moving from your old home to your new home,” reports USNews.com.

Overall, there are a multitude of ways you can help cut costs during a long-distance move. The key is to be prepared and do your research ahead of time in order to make the best decisions for your individual situation.

5 Best Places to Find (Affordable) Quality Furniture in Florida

5 Best Places to Find (Affordable) Quality Furniture in Florida

5 Best Places to Find (Affordable) Quality Furniture in Florida

5 Best Places to Find (Affordable) Quality Furniture in Florida

By: Jamie Kreps

When it comes to moving, few things are dreaded more than getting those ultra-heavy pieces of furniture from your old place to the new. Maybe you have an arsenal of weight-lifting friends lining up to help you for the move (no? us either), or maybe you’ve opted to leave the big stuff to the professionals – we don’t blame you.

For some, however, the solution is simply to leave that dreaded heavy furniture behind and avoid moving it altogether. Besides being able to avoid the whole heavy-lifting thing, it can also save you money on moving costs to leave bulky items behind – money, that is, that can be used to purchase new items in your new location. While this might not be feasible for some (family heirlooms and all), for those finding themselves rather unattached to their hand-me-down sofa from college, parting with the big stuff might be a great option. If you find yourself in the latter category, here are our picks for the 5 best places to find (affordable) quality furniture in Florida:

1. Big Box Furniture Company – Miami

If your move lands you in the Miami area, Big Box Furniture Company is a great start to check for those items you opted to leave behind. They are an all-inclusive company that carries high quality items for every room, but at discounted prices. Why we love them: they offer a price match guarantee, so you know you’re getting a great price on whatever you choose. And bonus: they are even available 7 days a week if your new job has your working some crazy hours to get acclimated to the new duties.

2. IKEA – Tampa and Orlando

We’re pretty sure this place needs no introduction, but if you haven’t heard of IKEA, well, let’s just say it’s pretty much the place to go for affordable, trendy furniture. Plan to spend an entire day perusing the endless (and we mean endless) aisles of furniture and accessories while you find the perfect fit for your space. They carry items for every room and their locations include full-on room settings to showcase different styles and help you pick your own personal favorite. Before you leave, don’t forget to stop by their cafe and pick up some of their famous Swedish meatballs!

3. Nadeau Furniture – Tampa and Orlando

If you’re looking for those unique pieces that you won’t find in larger chain stores, check out a Nadeau furniture shop. They are known as the place to find “furniture with a soul” and touted for their highly southern appeal. They carry pretty much anything you’d need for furnishing your home, in an eclectic and unique style. Bonus – they’re also quite affordable for such an individualized boutique.

4. American Freight Furniture and Mattress – Jacksonville

Boasting a 4.7 out of 5-star rating by online users, American Freight Furniture and Mattress store in Jacksonville is truly the epitome of affordable furniture. All of their pieces come with a wholesale price tag, which is a huge bonus for the general public. They carry pieces in pretty much every color and fabric combo, so you’re sure to find something to match your new digs with a lighter impact on your wallet.

5. Furniture Outlet – Panama City

Located in the central portion of the Florida panhandle, Furniture Outlet in Panama City is the place to look for affordable quality in the northern parts of the state. They offer several financing options on-sight, allow for a la carte shopping, and also have a fantastic clearance section for those looking for some serious furniture bargains.

Of course, if you haven’t been able to find your ideal piece in stock anywhere locally, don’t forget there are also several online sites with amazing selections. Wayfair, Target, Joss and Main, and Overstock all have fantastic online selections and most offer discounted or even free shipping! Happy shopping!

Moving Out of State? 5 Steps to Streamline the Process

Moving Out of State? 5 Steps to Streamline the Process

Moving Out of State? 5 Steps to Streamline the Process

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!

 

The Interstate Move: What to Expect When Moving Out of State

The Interstate Move: What to Expect When Moving Out of State

The Interstate Move: What to Expect When Moving Out of State

The Interstate Move: What to Expect When Moving Out of State

By: Jamie Kreps

Moving, in itself, is a major life event for most, but add interstate logistics to it and things can get hectic. Planning a move out of state involves a laundry list of things to do, even if you’ve hired professional movers to handle the bulk of it. If you’re planning an interstate move, you’ll face some rather unique tasks that a move across town doesn’t necessarily incur.

Most interstate moves are initiated via career choices or other life changes like retirement or a desire to be closer to family. It’s often a very exciting time to embark on a completely new home journey, but sometimes that excitement can be overwrought with anxiety over the move itself.

The best way to overcome the anxiety? Research, plan, and prepare yourself for what to expect. Here is a look at some of the top items to consider when planning an interstate move:

Interstate Move Research

As mentioned above, there’s no better way to prepare yourself for a move out of state than to do some research on what to expect. If you’re reading this article, congrats, you’ve already begun this step!

Additional information to arm yourself with include searching for schools, hospitals, parks, and any other pertinent information in your new state. Knowing where you’ll go when you need to shop for groceries or mail a letter, will help ease the tension of a completely new area.

Change of Address

Since it will be increasingly difficult to track down lost mail during an out of state move, you’ll want to ensure you handle all changes of address well before the move. Be sure to contact all credit card companies, doctor offices (have them forward your records to your new area as well), and make sure to fill out a change of address form with your local post office.

Set Up New Services

While a typical move will have you calling utility companies to notify them of new service, an interstate move requires additional work. You’ll also need to research local utilities in your new area to determine which services are going to cover you and make sure you have them scheduled to begin by the time you arrive.

Additional services to set up include choosing a new physician, dentist, and even a local gym if you have a fitness membership. Any other groups or activities you’re involved in should be contacted as well – you’re changing more than just your home!

Update Personal Records

One of the more critical tasks include updating your driver’s license. You may have already known to do this, but changing your state will mean an entirely new license as well as voter registration updates.

Save Receipts

Out of state moves usually come with a slew of potential tax write-offs, depending upon the circumstances. It’s always a good idea to save all receipts associated with the move in order to save during tax time later on.

“It’s a good idea to save all of the receipts that you accumulate during a move. If you’re moving for a job, your moving expenses might also serve as a write-off on your taxes.” – USAToday.com.

Plan a Trip

If at all possible, plan a trip to your new area prior to moving day. The reason? Acclimating yourself to your new hometown and all it has to offer will help simplify the move and ease the transition to your new digs. Moving day brings with it a great deal of work and stress, so it will be helpful to be familiar with the area ahead of time to avoid any added stresses after the move.

Above all, the best thing you can do is to try to be patient with yourself and spend the time to get to know your new neighborhood. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll become!