Moving can already be a very stressful season of life, but moving a long distance has even more implications on your life. Often, it can mean a new job, school, and moving away from your family or community. The hassle of getting your actual belongings to your new destination does not have to be as overwhelming as it might seem, if you follow a few tips to ease the process.
Hire a Reputable Moving Company
If possible, you will want to start the process of hiring a company 2-3 months in advance, especially if you are planning to move in the summertime when most companies quickly get booked solid. Unfortunately, many people have been scammed by fake moving companies, so you will want to do a little research to avoid having your money and belongings stolen. You can start doing this by verifying a physical location of your moving company and by viewing reviews of the company online. Avoid communicating with a move broker, and try to contact a moving company directly. This way, you are in control of who is actually hired to come into your home and handle your belongings. Most moving companies will be available to do an in home moving estimate, and you will want to take advantage of this as it allows you to get a specific estimate of your moving cost, but it also allows you to personally interact with the company and decide if you are comfortable with the people that will be handling all of your valuables.
Know Who is Liable for Your Belongings
While movers are required to be financially responsible for any damaged or lost items, the extent of their financial responsibility is often limited and varies from company to company. Most moving companies are only required to offer compensation based on the weight of the damaged item, and it is rarely %100. Ask your perspective moving company about their Valuation Policy and how much of a fee getting full valuation protection would be. This would fully cover any items damaged in the moving process.
Purge. Purge as Much as You Can
Take a lesson from Marie Kondo and assess the belongings that you truly love and the ones that don’t “bring you joy.” Okay, as hippie-ish as M.K’s methods might sound, a long distance move is a good time to downsize as much as you can. You never really know just how much stuff you have until you have to pack and move it all, and you need to be sure what you have will actually fit the way you would want it to in your new space. If you are like most Americans, you might have piles and boxes of things tucked away that you have not thought about or needed in years. If it is worth the effort of reorganizing, packing, moving, unpacking, and finding a place in your new location, great! Do that. If not, it might be a good time to utilize the many resources and apps available to sell or donate items you no longer need.
Organize Your Packing Process
Before you get rid of that label maker that did not bring you joy, you might want to consider using it for your packing process. The more you label your belongings and the boxes that they go in, the easier it is for your movers to strategically load them and unload them and the easier it is for you in your unpacking process. In addition to clearly labeling what room the box is intended for, you will also want to label a general list of what is in the box. When you do this, you can organize the boxes in their designated room before actually opening to check what is inside each box. This will save you a lot of time, energy, and frustration.
Take Advantage of Tax Deductions
Keep track of all of your moving expenses including the company fees, insurance, boxes, etc. These receipts can come in handy come tax season!
Get Plugged Into Your New Area
Beyond the stress of moving your belongings, it can be hard to relocate due to your new community or loss of your old social group. It is so important to find people in your area that you can connect with so that your new house can start to feel like a home. There are endless resources and websites that can help connect you with people like yourself. The importance of human connection is so great, that even dating apps now have options to help you find platonic friendships. Attend any community events, block parties, interest clubs, sports teams, or churches that might interest you in order to find like minded people you can connect with.