What to Know About Moving Long Distance

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Moving is one of life’s most exciting and stressful times. The thrill of moving to a new location with opportunities to explore and get to know a new community can be quickly chilled by the logistics of a long-distance move.

Whether your next move is across the country or across the globe, here’s what you need to consider during a long-distance move.

Planning for a long-distance move

Proper planning for a long-distance move is the difference between a relatively seamless transition and a total nightmare. It doesn’t matter if you are leaving a small rental property or a luxury home.

Here’s how to plan so your long-distance move goes smoothly. 

Manage your moving timeline

Begin at the end: When do you need to be settled in your new home? Pinpoint that date and then build out a calendar of the major tasks to complete before you can hit the road.

Start by creating a personalized move checklist that includes prioritized tasks (with a timeline for completion).

Long Distance Moving

If you’re a homeowner, make a plan for the home you’re leaving. You can sell it yourself or list it with a realtor. Finding a great realtor can take time,  so keep that in mind as you set up your move timeline. If you are moving out of state as part of a divorce and need to calculate a house buyout, a realtor can help with this, too.

Are you moving for a job? Your new company may be able to help with locating housing and managing the moving process. Check-in with them to see what assistance they offer.

Should you hire long-distance movers?

You’ll need to decide whether to hire a long-distance moving company or to move yourself. The main advantage in hiring a long-distance mover is their experience with complicated logistics. Regardless of the size of your house, a long-distance move is tricky. 

The easiest part is deciding which size van to rent. After that, consider:

  • What would you do if your moving van broke down?
  • How will you move your car?
  • How do you pack for long distances?
  • How many packing supplies do you need?
  • If a van seats two and you have a family of four, how will you move everyone?

And that’s just the beginning. Long-distance movers have the experience and equipment to safely, efficiently, and professionally pack and move your belongings. They also offer various service levels, from packing everything you own and moving it for you to simply loading boxes and furniture into their truck and delivering them to your new home.

Moving yourself can save you money, but in the end, you may find that hiring a long-distance moving company is worth it. Leave plenty of time to get quotes from at least three long-distance movers.

Inventory your stuff

You never know how much stuff you have until it’s time to make a long-distance move. Chances are good; you have way more than you think, so make a detailed assessment of what you’ll take, what you’ll donate or sell, and what needs to head to the trash. 

Now’s a good time to really pare down and decide what’s essential. Consider what you use, what’s sentimentally irreplaceable, and what “sparks joy.” Everything else should find a home elsewhere. 

If you are packing your own belongings:

  • Set up a schedule for packing
  • Gather packing supplies (bubble wrap, padding, moving boxes, etc.)
  • Follow your packing schedule
  • Label boxes clearly (i.e., “open first,” kitchen, kid’s bedroom, etc.)
  • Enlist help (friends and family)

Set aside a box of items you will need on the road. If you are driving over multiple days, make sure each family member has what they need to be comfortable. This includes any prescriptions or medical supplies they might need.

Take care of pets

Our pets are part of the family, and they need long-distance move prep, too. Please make sure all of their shots are up-to-date and have the proper gear they need for moving (e.g., crates, travel food and water bowls, etc.) well before you move.

Some animals require sedation to move — leave time to fill that prescription so your beloved pets can be comfortable.

Cats and dogs should also have a properly fitted collar with identification on it at all times. If you have not already, consider chipping your pets to be returned to you if they run away and lose that collar.

Make sure you plan for plenty of rest stops so that your animals can take breaks if they need them. 

Long-distance move paperwork

As with almost every major transition in life, a long-distance move comes with considerable paperwork. 

Before the move 

Before the move, you’ll handle the following paperwork:

  • Set up utility shut-off dates (and schedule essential utilities for your destination)
  • Cancel delivery services (food kits, newspapers, etc.)
  • Request school records
  • Request health records
  • Empty and cancel safe deposit boxes
  • Cancel local gym memberships and classes

Another major piece of paperwork involves documentation for taxes. Both selling and buying a home come with tax implications.

For example, if you sell a home in Texas and benefit from capital gains, immediately investing that growth in another house is known as a 1031 exchange. This type of transaction — reinvesting capital gains into a similar property instantly — can save you money at tax time, but only if you have proper documentation. 

Don’t forget to have your mail forwarded to your new address. Mail forwarding is a service provided by the USPS for one year. It can forward any critical mail that slips through the cracks as you move.

During the move

As you travel to your destination, keep the professional mover’s estimate, bill of lading, and inventory with you. 

You’ll also keep essential papers and documents with you on the move. These include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Death certificates or divorce papers (plus custody agreements where applicable)
  • Passport
  • Health insurance cards
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Mortgage documents 

Have a system for keeping track of all receipts during the move, as many of these expenses are tax-deductible.

After you arrive

No matter where you go, paperwork follows you. Once you arrive, set up utilities, and transfer your driver’s license, car registration, and insurance to your new home address. Most schools require evidence of residence to enroll students, so a driver’s license is critical.

With a new license and utility bill, you can also register to vote, get a library card, and join a local gym. You’ll also need to find doctors and set up new healthcare.  

Don’t forget to change addresses for: 

  • Credit cards
  • Life insurance
  • Investment accounts

Send copies of your moving receipts to your accountant, or create a file for tax purposes later.

Enjoying your long-distance move

When moving day arrives, proper planning means you should be able to wake the family up, have breakfast, and hit the road.

You’ve picked a tremendous long-distance moving company, and they’ve just hit the road. You’ve packed bags and supplies for everyone, and your route is planned and plugged into your navigation system.  

With all your hard work, it’s time to enjoy the trip to your new home.

What to Know About Cross Country Moving Including Tips

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Tips For Moving Across The Country

You’re moving cross country, and you’ve got to figure out how to successfully move your life from here to there.

You may have just completed the process of closing on a house and now you need to move to stage two of the relocation process.

Well, a lot of folks have done this, and you can use their knowledge to get this right. Here are some things you need to take care of for this move.

Follow this guidance and some other moving tips and you’ll be in good shape.

Tips For Moving Across The Country

Insurance Is Vital

One thing you must obtain before moving is insurance. It’s one of the most important long-distance moving tips to consider. The road is not predictable. If you’re going to hire movers, be sure to purchase enough insurance for your peace of mind.

If something happens to your things, you can at least replace them, thanks to the insurance coverage.

Pest Inspection

It’s important to do a good pest inspection of your belongings, especially outside furniture. Of course, one reason you should do this is to avoid taking pests with you. Another reason you’re doing this is that pests and insects shouldn’t leave the area.

Each state tries to ensure that pests from other regions don’t invade their territory. Look for government-provided pamphlets that discuss regulations regarding pests so that you know what to look for before you pack.

Purge Items

A great piece of moving advice is to get rid of items you no longer need or want. You should go through your belongings before you pack. Chances are there’s a lot in there you don’t need anymore, and that means you can leave those things behind. Make sure you’re honest during this process.

Don’t mistake things you need to keep versus things you’re just keeping because you spent money on them. The more you take with you, the more you’ll end up spending on moving. Donate or sell what you can and throw away what can’t be of use to anyone.

Make a List

Be sure to write down everything you’re packing. This is good for you, and it’s good for your insurance. Knowing what you’re taking should make it easier to ensure everything arrived at your new home.

It might even be a good idea to take a few pictures of your items, just to be sure nothing is damaged during the trip. This part is going to take some time, so start on the list as soon as you can.

Use Professionals

Professional packers are vital for a cross-country trip. These folks will help ensure that everything is packed safely. They’ll use proper packaging material and cushions to make sure that even the most fragile items you’re packing are secure.

Again, a long trip is unpredictable, so having cushions and fasteners, and other tools movers use to secure items is important.

It may feel like you’re doing too much, but you’ll be happy when you arrive at your new place and see all of your belongings in one piece.

Get Estimates

Don’t hire the first movers you find. It’s better to talk to a few people and get a few quotes to see who’s going to provide the best service.

Cheap isn’t always better, so make sure you pay attention to what benefits they will offer you.

It might be a good idea to check out the reviews of each company you’re considering to make sure you’re making the right decision. Be sure to check out 3rd-party reviews and not just the ones on their website.

One of the most significant mistakes when selling a home is not carefully planning out your move in advance.

Be Organized

If you hire professionals, they should organize your belongings for you, but if you don’t, you’ll have to do this yourself.

The easiest way to organize your packing is to separate everything by room. Label the boxes that go in one room so that by the time you get to your new place, you only have to place each box in the right room.

It’ll be easier for everyone to unpack if you take the time to organize your belongings. Again, it’s going to take some time, but it’ll be worth the effort.

Keep Essentials

Once you get going with your packing, it might be easy to get carried away a bit. This is something you don’t want to do because you might end up packing essential items that you’ll need to have handy.

You want to keep your social security card, birth certificate, driver’s license, and other important documents with you. These are things you might need as soon as you arrive at your new place.

You should probably pack some essential clothes, too, just in case your movers don’t get there on time.

Get Sitters

On the day you move into your new place, it would be a good idea to get some sitters. You’ll want sitters for your pets and kids.

A lot is going on during this time, and it’s best to keep young kids and pets out of the way. If your kids can help, then, of course, they should stay with you, but if you’re just going to worry about them the whole time, it’s better to have them stay with professional sitters. Things will go much smoother if you do this.

Clearing The Move-In

If you happen to be moving into an apartment or a complex, then you need to make sure you clear the move-in with the building manager. Yes, this is something you have to do beforehand to avoid any issues on the day you’re moving in.

Some building managers only allow folks to move on specific days and specific hours.

Sometimes, you have to reserve elevator use to move in. Talk to the building manager before you arrive so that everything goes smoothly.

The last thing you want is to have the movers waiting outside when they should be moving your stuff in. This will end up costing you more money. Having a successful move all boils down to being prepared in advance.

You’ve got plenty of tips to help you move cross country. It’s not going to be easy to do all of this, but if you start early enough, then you’ll be okay. Don’t delay and start your planning now. Your mind will be at peace if you do.

About the author: The above article on what to know about cross country moving was written by Nancy Zafrini. Nancy is the general manager of Oz Moving & Storage in NYC. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 25 years of experience in the moving industry. As a New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing.

The Countdown Is On: 5 Tips for Moving This Summer Post-COVID

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How to Move During The Summer Post Covid-19

Are you going to be moving this summer? Whether you are moving from a small apartment or a large home you will want to be well prepared.

Moving to a new place is stressful enough during the best of times, but here are some tips that’ll help make moving this summer post-COVID a little easier.

COVID-19 has thrown our lives in chaos, but the vaccine rollout gives people more confidence to go out there and live their lives. People are getting vaccinated and are going out to see friends and family.

Folks are making plans to go on a vacation. Life is slowly returning to normal, and we’re starting to look forward to the future and are making plans accordingly.

This includes packing up and moving to a new home, be it in the suburbs, a large city, small rural towns, or anywhere in between (although 62% of real estate agents who took part in HomeLight’s Q1 2021 survey say supercities in warmer climates are likely to see an increased number of buyers).

The trick about moving in a world post-COVID is knowing how to do so safely because only 31% of Americans are fully vaccinated (one-third of adults have at least received their first) so far.

Today, we want to share our top five tips on how to move this summer Post-COVID so you can do so safely and efficiently.

Tips For Moving During Covid-19

Tip #1: Plan ahead and make reservations early

When you need to sell your home quickly, you may not have the time to plan ahead. However, if you know you’re going to be moving in advance, it’s always a good idea to have a game plan.

Make reservations with the moving company (or UHaul if you’re renting a moving truck) as soon as you can.

If you’re moving far away, ask the real estate agent you’re working with when would be the best time to make arrangements.

Also, make sure you have enough money to cover moving costs. Summertime is the most popular time of year to move, and weekends and popular weeks go quickly and are more expensive.

We recommend setting aside enough money to cover the possibility of higher rental fees for vans and handcarts (they aren’t always included with the van rental).

You’ll also want to consider investing in moving insurance if you’re hiring a moving company. This insurance will give you compensation if the moving company loses or damages any of your belongings.

Tip #2: Pack electronics separately

This should go without saying, but always pack your electronics separately and protect them with bubble wrap. You don’t want that expensive flat-screen television to get damaged.

The same goes for computers, laptops, camera equipment, radios, and so forth. Oh, and don’t forget to collect all of your chargers, plugs, and whatnot! You can keep them organized by labeling each cord with some masking tape or something similar.

Tip #3: Mix light and heavy objects in the same box

You’d be surprised how many people will load heavy items all in one box. Things like books, records, movies, and even kitchen items can get pretty heavy when you pack them into the same box. Instead of doing this, spread the items out.

Put a few heavy items in the bottom of a box and then put lighter objects on top. It’ll distribute the weight, so you’re not lifting something that’s too heavy to handle comfortably.

Also, you might think that you can save money by using garbage bags for clothes, towels, and bedding, but you’d be surprised by how heavy these items can get!

When you use garbage bags, you run the risk of the bag breaking due to the weight, whereas you can reinforce a cardboard box with duct tape.

Bonus tip: You can go to any store and ask if they have any boxes with handles that you could have. You could also use the UHaul Exchange, which is a message board that lets people ask others if they have any boxes or moving supplies they could give.

UHaul also offers other programs such as the Armed Forces Connection and College Connection which customers can use to save money by sharing rides, storage units, or rental trucks. It’s a great program for those who are looking to move on a budget!

Tip #4: Declutter as you pack

When you’re selling your current home and moving to a new one, a good rule of thumb is to carefully go through all of your belongings and throw out (or donate) the items you don’t need. This is the chance to finally thin out your closet, get rid of toys the kids don’t play with, or those ugly knickknacks your in-laws keep giving you at Christmas!

If you have a lot of stuff, you may want to consider decluttering and packing things at the start of your house hunting adventure. Not only will you be able to take your time to go through things and sort what you do and don’t want, but you can also pack up items that you don’t need right away and put them in storage until you’re ready to move.

Yes, renting a storage unit is an added expense, but if you pack up long before you get to closing, you’ll find the whole moving process will be a lot smoother because you’ll have less to do!

Tip# 5: Keep essential items with you until the day of the move

Although you’ll want to pack your belongings in the weeks leading up to your big move, remember to keep your essential items unpacked. You don’t want to root around through all of your boxes to find your curling iron or the kid’s favorite toy!

It’s a good idea to keep a box or two empty, so when the day finally comes to move into your new home, you can toss them in the box and go about your merry way.

The last items you should pack up on moving day may include:

  • Two or three outfits
  • Pajamas and undergarments
  • Toiletries
  • Grooming tools
  • A couple of towels and washcloths
  • Chargers for your phone
  • First aid kit
  • Medications, glasses, contacts, and contact solution
  • Disposable plates and cutlery
  • Pet supplies
  • Bedding
  • Simple tools like hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, and scissors

Moving into a new house is exciting, to be sure, but it can be just as stressful when you throw in the social distancing guidelines. However, these tips should be able to make the move a little less stressful and more organized.

About the author: The above article on how to move during the summer post-Covid-19 was written by Maddi Arcurio. Maddi works for Homelight and enjoys writing on all things about real estate to help buyers and sellers make the wisest decisions possible.

9 Tips To Make The Move Into Your First Apartment Feel Like A Breeze

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How to Move Into An Apartment For The First Time

Moving into your first apartment comes with a bag of mixed feelings: You’re excited to get started on a new adventure, but it can also feel overwhelming, as it comes with a new set of challenges and responsibilities.

From finding the right apartment to rent to signing a lease and furnishing your new living space, there are a lot of things you will need to consider in order to make your move a success. It’s a big step into the unknown, but when you’re armed with the right information, you can make your move feel like a breeze.

Here are some tips to help turn your move into a breeze:

Tips For Moving Into Your First Apartment

1. Make savings

Moving always costs a lot more than you originally anticipated. Start your moving budget by finding out how much you actually can spend on rent. Make sure you have enough money to cover the first and the last month’s rent at least and renter’s insurance.

Other fees could crop up, such as an application fee and a pet deposit if you have a pet. Additionally, there could be other costs associated with your lease, such as parking or storage fees.

You will also need extra cash to cover the moving costs, utilities, and other living expenses. Finally, stay prepared for anything that could happen outside your control with an emergency fund. Always have that extra cash for a rainy day ready.

2. Find the right location

Before you decide on the ideal apartment, find the ideal location. You might want to consider proximity to your workplace and other spots you need to get to on a daily basis.

Also, think about your potential commute and whether you will use your car or public transportations — traffic patterns and availability of public transport should count heavily when you decide which area you will be living in.

Consider access to local businesses, grocery stores, and entertainment venues to ensure you get access to everything you need.

If you choose to live in a smaller apartment to save on rent, you might want to add self-storage to your budget. It’s a convenient way to keep bulky and seasonal items out of your space without cluttering your living space.

Most people rent a 10×10 unit, but if you’re just moving into your first apartment, you could probably fit your things into a 5×5 unit.

3. Tour several properties to find “the one”

Once you decided on a neighborhood, shop around for the ideal apartment in the area. When touring an apartment, look at the overall condition, making sure there are no signs of water damage or property damage such as leaking faucets, dirty carpeting, and others.

Security is equally important: does the building have a security system and fire alarms? If you decide to rent the apartment, keep records of the property’s pre-existing conditions — take pictures and make videos in case you need evidence of the initial state of the apartment when you try to claim the deposit back at the end of the lease.

4. Pay attention to the fine print of the lease

Now that you found the apartment of your dreams — or close to it, anyway — find out all the rules that come with signing a lease. Pay attention to the section discussing maintenance and rules regarding visitors.

Pet policies are also significant sections of your lease as you might want to bring your best furry friend with you to your new home.

Make sure you have a good open line of communication with the landlord once you get settled in. Having a great relationship with the landlord will make for a much more pleasant living arrangement.

5. Pick the right roommates

You may or may not have had roommates previously, but living with other people can come with various pros. You can split the rent and bills and enjoy each other’s company. It sounds like an ideal situation, so it’s important to discuss their job schedule, personal habits, and their situation before signing a lease.

Go through each detail of your apartment life, from creating a chore schedule to personal pet peeves. You could write up a roommate agreement — not a legally binding document — that you can think of as a set of rules helping you navigate the intricacies of sharing your new living space. This will help you avoid ending up in an unpleasant situation in the future.

6. Buy apartment essentials

You will need a bunch of things to get your new life started. But where to start? Begin with the basics. Make a list of what you think you’re going to need and the space your apartment comes with before you shop.

Before you think about decorations, you will most likely need a good place to sleep, so investing in a bed and nice bedding seems like a great place to start. You will also need furniture — think of smaller pieces if your apartment is already small.

A smaller couch, a nightstand, a table with chairs are just some of the apartment essentials you will need. Buy the basic kitchen tools that include pots and pans and strainers; leave fancy juicers for later.

You will most likely need to keep the space clean, so getting a good handle on cleaning supplies will help you enjoy your apartment so much more.

7. Change your address and set up utilities

Moving can be overwhelming, especially when you’re getting settled into your first apartment. Remember to change your address in order to have your mail delivered to your new address.

It’s a swift process and can be done online on USPS’s website. Don’t forget to notify your internet provider and your other utility companies (gas, water, electric) of your move to ensure service is set up by the time you move.

8. Be smart about packing

Start your move before you actually move. Get packing supplies and make lists with your belongings and even label boxes as you pack. This way, you can keep track of your belongings, and it will be easier to unpack once you’re at your new apartment.

Don’t pack towels separately — instead, use them to pad the packing boxes. It would be a good idea to have a few blankets for wrapping larger or sensitive items such as the TV. Wrap the blanket around the item and use tape to secure it.

If you need to disassemble any devices, take pictures beforehand to ease the assembly in the new place. Place small nails and pieces belonging to furniture in sandwich bags so you can easily find them when it’s time to reassemble them again.

9. Get ready to move in

Once your lease is signed, schedule your move-in day. You might think that you don’t have many things to move, but you’re better off prepared. Start by renting a moving truck and even ask friends to help you. Now you’re ready to move and start a new chapter of your life!

Final Thoughts

Moving into your first apartment is a big step in one’s life. Practice being patient so you end up making the right decision. Rushing is only going to increase the potential for mistakes.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed the tips for moving into your first apartment!