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Streamlining Your Long-Distance Move

Tracy Curtis / June 21st, 2019

Have you gotten an exciting new job in a different state? Once you’ve found a new residence, you’ll need to plan your interstate move. Here are a few tips to make the process as easy as possible.

Make a physical file for everything related to the move. Several months in advance, collect any medical, dental, and academic records that aren’t available electronically. Place important documents in the file so that they remain with you. Get estimates from at least three reputable moving companies willing to give you a free, in-home assessment. Remember to highlight objects that need careful handling, such as a piano or artwork. You may have to hire specialty movers for some items. When you’ve chosen a company, make a reservation.

Check with your home or renter’s insurance company to see if they offer relocation insurance. If not, buy full coverage insurance directly from the moving company. By law, they must have it available for sale, but you must purchase it separately. Without it, most moving companies offer a basic insurance that pays only 60¢ per pound no matter the item. Full value protection assures you can replace damaged possessions.

Get rid of anything you won’t need at your new address. If you’re moving to Florida, sell your snow blower. Donate toys your kids have outgrown. Once those things are out of the way, you can begin packing. Make sure you give yourself adequate time to take detailed inventory as you go.   

If you plan to drive to your new place, get your car serviced the month before you move. If your car is being shipped, remove everything you usually store it in (like an emergency kit, items in the glove box) and pack those items to go into the moving truck. Refill prescriptions. Schedule your utility shut-off in your old place and set an activation date for your new place. Inform your insurance companies, creditors, and financial institutions that you are moving. Have your mail forwarded. If you belong to a local gym or other organizations, cancel those memberships.

To make the first day in a new location easier, pack a box labeled “first.” Put towels, sheets, paper products, soap, a few changes of clothes, light bulbs, trash bags, basic tools, toiletries, coffee or tea, and maybe a shower curtain aside so that no matter how tired you are when you arrive, you can rest and refresh yourself.

With enough planning, you’ll even have time for fun. See whether there are attractions you want to visit during the trip to your new home. Check local publications for festivals or other events to help you get to know your new city. Join Facebook groups or consult for activities you might enjoy. With the right strategy, the trip can go from a chore to an adventure.

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