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Moving Out of State Tips: It Doesn’t Have to Be a State of Chaos
I wanted to give y’all some moving out of state tips. When our family moved from Illinois to Texas, it was a comedy of errors. My oldest brother drove one car, my parents another, and the moving company drove the truck. It’s a miracle that we all ended up in the same place. My brother, with my other brother, only 11 at the time and acting as navigator, ended up driving several hours into Iowa before realizing he was going the wrong direction. My parents bickered the entire trip while I suffered in the backseat. And the moving truck broke down in Oklahoma.
There probably wasn’t much we could’ve done about the truck breaking down, but a little bit of planning ahead likely would’ve gone a long way. Here are some tips that may help your out-of-state move go more smoothly than ours did.
1. Don’t choose the first moving company you contact. Too many people think they are at the mercy of moving companies, but the fact of the matter is that they expect to compete for your business. Think about it: There are hundreds of moving companies just in the Houston area and thousands They have a lot of competition. So do your homework, read reviews and check the BBB, get several bids and don’t be afraid to negotiate. And maybe ask how often their trucks break down, just for good measure. Need help finding the right mover? Check out our preferred moving partners here.
2. Plan your route and every stop along it. If you’ll be driving to your new home, have the best route, as well as one or two alternate routes, planned out and entered into your GPS system. Also, research places you can stop along the way for meals and potty breaks. And if you’ll have to stay overnight anywhere, try to make your hotel reservation ahead of time. With online apps, you can even book a hotel room at a great last minute deal when you’re just a couple of hours from the hotel. Say you’re driving from West Texas to Florida. While driving through Dallas, you can reserve a room in Shreveport, Louisiana. This will prevent you having to drive around until you find a good room.
3. Make a list. Or two. Or three. Make a list before you move of everything that needs to get done on moving day, and make one of everything that needs to get done when you get to the new house. Include everything from utilities to school registration. Speaking of school registration and utilities, get those taken care of as far ahead of time as possible to make sure there are no surprises when you move in. Don’t forget to put things like “Change address on driver’s license” and “Send a change of address to all creditors” on your to do list.
4. Help the kids feel at home. Moving is hard enough for adults, but it can be nearly traumatizing for children. In many cases, they have to leave the only home they’ve known, their neighborhood, their school and their friends. And, chances are, they won’t understand why moving was necessary. If possible, bring them to visit the new state and city they’ll be moving to weeks or months before the big move. Show them the school they’ll be attending, the cool stuff they’ll get to do around town and, if you can, the house they’re going to live in. Then, after the move, let them have a part in planning their room, take them to the park to meet neighborhood kids and get them involved in community activities, especially if you move during the summer when they have a lot of time to settle in and meet new friends before school starts.
5. Stay calm. Moving is never easy and most people would rather get a root canal than pack up their whole house. But when you let the stress get to you, you’ll be more likely to let something fall between the cracks—like the key to your new home, for instance.
Like the old saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Moving to another state is a huge endeavor, but it’s nothing a little (or a lot) of thinking ahead can’t make easier.