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Posted in How-to, Moving Preparation on March 22, 2021
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

How to Plan a Move to Another City – a Checklist for Long Distance Moving

Many of us dread relocating because we know how draining and time-consuming the whole process can be. But, finding out how to plan a move to another city can take loads of hassle and stress off your back.

Relocating, especially when planning a move to a new city, is a massive change in one’s life. Those who have gone through it know this as a fact. No matter how much you believe you have everything under control, there are way too many things you need to pay attention to, and it’s easy to skip something important. How do I prepare to move to a different city then, you’re probably asking yourself. Remember, careful planning can get you a long way, and that’s why we’ve prepared a checklist to help you plan and organize everything like a pro.

What Is the First Thing to Do When Moving to a New City? Research Your Future Location

Whether your reasons to move are to advance your career or you are relocating for love, a good plan will get you a long way. The first step on your relocating to another state checklist is to find out as much as you can about your future home. You can take a look at the cost of living through Numbeo, and if you’ve already landed a job there, you can calculate to see how different it will be to live there compared to your current lifestyle.

Finding employment prior to your relocation is a difficult task, and if you didn’t manage to get it, remember to look at the job market in your future location. Check out the neighborhoods, schools, transportation, and all the amenities that you would like to have close by. This should be one of the first steps in moving to a new city.

Chicago buildings
Take a look at your future location online before you move

How Much Money Should You Save Before Moving to a New City?

Creating a budget is another important step in planning. How much money you need to move to another city is a question you have to think about thoroughly. Your budget also depends on the cost of long-distance moving services and do you have a job waiting for you. If not, set aside enough money to cover the expenses for the first few months, until you manage to find work.

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Consider Getting a Roommate

But, if you are on a low budget, you might ask yourself, “How can I plan a move to another city with little money?” The answer may be simple – find a roommate to split the costs. Still, though it will be financially beneficial, be prepared to live with someone else’s habits.

Also, be ready for the fact that it can be several months until you find someone suitable. Search for a roommate through specialized Facebook groups, but keep your eyes open for scammers.

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Budget planning is an essential part of a relocation checklist

Make a Plan Weeks Ahead and Decide What Not to Pack

One of those relocating hacks that everyone should be aware of when it comes to cross-country moving is to declutter before hiring cross-country movers. Getting rid of all the stuff that you don’t use or need is not only going to help you get a fresh start but also lower the cost of relocating. All of the items that fall under the category of not wanted can either be sold at a garage sale (you can add this money to your relocating budget) or donated.

After that thorough decluttering, you can start packaging currently unnecessary items, like seasonal clothing and shoes, and all the stuff you have in your garage and attic. Decorations and artwork are also among those things that you can pack up ahead, as they are not everyday necessities.

Box stuff for donation
Decide what you don’t need, and sell or give away the rest

Hiring Long Distance Movers Should Be a Priority

Are you considering investing in moving services, or would you rather have a DIY move? Although hiring a cross-country moving company will not be cheap, it’s the only way you can relax and provide yourself with enough free time to organize everything else. Search online for a reliable and reputable company, and look at user reviews.

Also, ask for referrals from friends, family members, and even colleagues. Get at least three quotes from different movers before you decide. If you are planning to invest in their packing services, add that cost to the budget also.

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Address, Utilities, Car Service – Take Care of These Before Move

Many people will put off the change of address with the post office until they realize their mail isn’t arriving at their new home. Do this before your relocation, and you will thank yourself later while unpacking and getting to know your surroundings.

Next, call utility companies to set a disconnection date for your current location and a connection date for the new one. Do the same with internet and cable providers, so you won’t wait to get everything set up.

Also, take your car for a check-up, especially if you tend to drive it to your new residence. The last thing you need is for it to break down in the middle of nowhere. If you’re planning to travel by plane or some other transportation method, you can send your car through an auto shipping service that your long-distance movers provide.

A truck carrying cars
Auto shipping services are a good option if you don’t want to drive to your destination

Everyone’s Least Favorite Step – Packing

If you decide to use packaging services from your long-distance moving company, we advise you to take moving insurance, too, to cover any damage to your belongings. But, if you’ve decided to save up and do the packaging on your own, you will need some good tips to help you do it swiftly. We admit that the packaging process is probably the most tiring step of the relocation, but if you start on time and do it with a plan in mind, believe us, it will be a piece of cake.

Find Packing Supplies

Before the packaging starts, you should arm yourself with various packaging supplies. These include boxes of all sizes, which you can buy at specialized stores. Or you can get some free boxes from a retail, a local liquor, or a bookstore, and even find them online on sites such as Craigslist.

Get lots of packaging tape, bubble wrap, plastic wrap, packaging paper, scissors, and a marker, and you’re all set. If you want to save up some more, an awesome hack is to use your soft household stuff to pack fragile items and cushion them for safe transport. You can also use socks to pack glasses if you’ve decided not to use bubble wrap.

The Best Method Is to Label Your Belongings

Go from one room to another, and don’t leave until you’re sure everything in it is packed. Packaging while having unpacking in mind means that you should label the boxes so you’ll be sure into which room they should go. One of the packaging tips you can use is to color code the boxes by room. That way, the hired professionals will know where to unload them, and it will also make unpacking smooth and easy.

First-Day Essentials Are a Must for Moving

Set aside a bag into which your first-day essentials will go. These essentials should include basic toiletries, kitchen utensils, a change of clothes, chargers, and documents. You should also put anything valuable that you have into this bag because it’s something that you’ll carry with you.

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The Last Step Is to Clean Everything Like a Pro

Do a move-out cleaning to get your security deposit back if you are a renter, or leave everything squeaky clean for the new owners. Pack some essential cleaning supplies because you’ll need to do some more cleaning once you enter your new house or apartment.

Don’t forget to dispose of all the hazardous and flammable items because professional movers can’t transport them. These include paints, deodorants, pesticides, and even nail polish.

Additional Tips for Packaging

While the previous steps have made it all easier, there are some more hacks to help you be even more efficient. Here are some packing tips for relocating your home:

  • Use your suitcases to pack your shoes. Or you can instead fit books into them because they tend to be heavy, and the wheels will help you transport them.
  • Leave everything in the drawers of your dressers. Just apply lots of plastic wrap to every drawer, and put them back inside. Then use some more wrap, and the dressers are ready for transport.
  • Leave the clothes on hangers, and grab some garbage bags to pack them in groups. This way, everything will be quickly packaged and safe from any dirt in the transport.
  • When you want to pack bathroom items, use the plastic wrap to seal all the bottles under their caps, so they don’t get spilled inside a truck. You can damage your other belongings if this happens.
  • Eat up all the groceries you have in your fridge and don’t buy any new ones. All the unopened cans and non-perishable food should be donated, and if something remains, throw it away.

With these simple tips, the packaging of your home should be done with ease. Watch the following video for some additional tips.

YouTube video

Get to Know Your New Neighborhood

After you’ve finally arrived at your destination, there’s a lot of unpacking to be done. But the best thing to do is give yourself a few days off, take everything in, and get to know your surroundings. This won’t be possible if you’ve moved for a job, and you have to start right away.

But, if you can manage to find some free time, check out the amenities near you, such as parks or pools. Get to know the public transportation and how long it will take you to get from one point to another.

Also, this is a no-brainer, meet new people and your neighbors. Of course, it’s best to start on friendly grounds, and they may even offer help to unload all of your belongings into your new place.

Join Various City Groups That Suit You

If you’ve moved to a place where you don’t know anyone but would like to find other people with similar interests, join some courses or sports fan groups, and connect with others. If you’ve started working, grab a cup of coffee with your colleagues. Having someone to talk to and be friends with will help you to settle in faster in unknown surroundings.

Girls reading
Make new friends and settle in better

How to Plan a Move to Another City With Ease? Look at Relocating as an Adventure

We know this is a lot to take in, but since you’ve probably already decided to move, following this checklist will take relocating stress off your back. You should enjoy the fresh chapter in your life and look at it as a beginning and an opportunity. Some unknown experiences and professional skills may await you, and if things don’t work out the way you planned, you can always relocate again and make a fresh start.

Embrace your new adventure with confidence by choosing Long Distance Movers. We’re here to ensure your journey is smooth and enjoyable. Our expert team handles all the complexities of moving, so you can focus on the exciting opportunities ahead. Ready to start this new chapter? Contact us today and let us turn your dreams into reality.

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