I never moved as a child. I lived in the house my mom grew up in and lived in her entire life, still to this day, and I didn’t want that. I first moved out when I was 17 and although I moved back home a couple of times after that, I was determined not to stay still anywhere for too long & that has kind of been my life. I have lived in a different place every year of my life since I was 17. Whether it was moving across the country, in which I’ve done it 3 times now, and 3 years in a row, or to somewhere else in the same town. It’s safe to say that I’ve learned a few things now that I have done it enough and wanted to share these tips with you!
1. CREATE A MOVING CHECKLIST.
There are so many components to moving and just SO much to do, that it will become incredibly overwhelming. This is why the master moving checklist is so vital. I like to separate my list into different categories, i.e. before, during, after and prioritize them (Where my type A’s at?).
2. TO SHIP OR NOT TO SHIP.
The first time I moved across the country, we used a company to ship my stuff. The company was garbage and I didn’t get any of my stuff for an entire month after moving, even though we requested a specific date. It was not a fun time. The second time I moved across country, we rented a U-Haul and dragged it behind my jeep. So I have tried both ways and although renting a U-Haul and towing it is much more cost effective for your wallet, it is a huge pain. You have to get insurance and a lock for it, and live with the constant worry that someone might break in and steal your stuff. It also takes longer, because obviously you are towing, and it limits your capability to explore some places you’ve never been while on your road trip. If you have the money, I highly suggest shipping, but really do your research and compare companies and costs.
3. BUDGET YOUR BUDGET.
Moving is so expensive. You have to think of the costs for everything (this is where your checklist comes in handy) and I really do mean EVERYTHING. It costs money to get a place, and then to get your new ID & tags, the moving companies, tape & boxes, gas if your driving, airfare if flying, food, lodging, getting a tune-up if you are driving & having some saved away in case of emergencies on the road, vaccination costs for your pet if you are traveling into Canada, and so on and so forth. It can be easy to forget the small things, or even the big things, so really be as detailed as possible and always allow for some wiggle room when it comes to your budget.
4. THE PURGE OF A LIFETIME.
It’s crazy for me to think how much stuff I owned before I made my first big move compared to how much I own now. You really need to be picky about the things you are going to keep when you move across the country, unless you are made of money, moving large amounts of stuff will eat at your wallet really quick. The only way to bring costs down is to really purge your belongings. I am sentimental and truly find it painful to toss things that mean something to me or I say the classic line “but I might use it one day…”, but seriously…the less the better, and more affordable.
5. THE MORE IN THE BOX THE BETTER.
You get charged for the amount of boxes/belongings, not weight. If you ship in a truck, you get a small space for a lot of money, or a small pod for a lot of money. I have found it to be more affordable to hire an independent local mover to come move my insanely heavy stuff into the truck/pod than it is to pay for extra space. When we moved from Chicago, we found this small company that sent us over 2 strong-willed men that carried these heavy boxes on their backs. They weren’t the most caring when it came to our ‘fragile’ belongings, but I will give them credit in getting all of our stuff moved into the truck within the time frame we paid for (you don’t want to have movers that take their time, so you have to pay for another hour). It really is a gamble when it comes with these smaller companies, but if you need to save money….