To keep or not to keep, that is the MOST important question

Before you move long distances, the most important thing to do is go through all of your belongings and decide what you should keep, what should be donated and what items should just be tossed. The last thing you want to do is pack up all of your junk drawers and take up valuable space in your vehicle or a moving van.   Trust me when I say that moving long distances is not for the faint of heart. You give yourself the best chance of success if you do so in a smart way. Got a skirt that you’ve been hanging on to hoping to fit in again someday?  Well, I am sorry to say, but it is time to donate it. You will also want to be realistic about the items that you are donating as nobody wants old items that have stains or holes in them. The same goes for old items such as chipped mugs, plates, rusted cookware, etc. 

It may be worth renting a large garbage container so that you can quickly toss away anything that is no longer in good condition. You may also want to rent a pod so that you can begin packing things up, starting with the rooms and items that you use the least and you can safely store them in the pod until you are ready to ship them to your new home. While you are packing, you will also want to make a list of items that you are packing as well as labeling your moving boxes in a way that will be helpful when you arrive such as kitchen, master bedroom, bathroom, living room and so on. You may also consider creating a secondary label on your box that indicates the importance of items in them such as boxes that can wait to be open versus boxes that should be opened first.


Get your vehicle tuned up

If you plan on driving across the country you will want to make sure to take your vehicle in for an inspection so that you don’t end up broken down on the side of the road with a blown out tire, a fan belt that couldn’t handle the trip, or an alternator that decided at the worst time to go out.  You will also want to make sure that you are prepared for any weather that you could encounter on your trip to your new home. If you will be driving through weather that you have never experienced before, you should take time to get educated on what the proper protocol will be.   For example, in Tucson, Arizona, it is often very hot for most of the year, so you will want to make sure that your tires are in good condition and you have plenty of coolant. The important information you should know about Tucson, Arizona, is that we do have a monsoon season which can cause flash flooding and sandstorms. Locals are well-versed in what to do if you run into any of these weather patterns, so you will need to educate yourself on how to safely proceed on your trip, when to pull over and have an alternate route just in case. 


Arrange for power and water to be turned on prior to your arrival

Just to use another example in Tucson Arizona, we have spoken about the warm weather we experienced here, that being said, if it’s possible, you will want to contact the power and water companies that provide service to your new home and ask them to turn on services prior to your arrival. The last thing you will want to do when you get to your new home and you’re trying to direct movers, is call the city and try to get utilities turned on. That first shower is something that most people look forward to, so don’t wait on it and make sure you have a plan so that you aren’t going days without service.


Educate yourself on your new community

Moving to a new city or state is a huge change for anyone.. It is a good idea to educate yourself on your new town and all that it has to offer. Are you an avid hiker or perhaps you belonged to a social club back home, or maybe you like golf? Joining some clubs or signing up for memberships are things that you do not have to wait to do until you have moved to your new home.  You can get educated prior to your arrival and start setting up a network of friends. It’s also worth finding out what the hotspots are in town such as restaurants and fun activities. 


Technology can and will fail you, so be sure to have a backup plan!

So, your vehicle is all packed, the moving truck is already on its way, you looked up exciting restaurants and activities in your new hometown, and you made sure your utilities will be turned on prior to your arrival.  What could go wrong? Well, we hate to say it, but oftentimes we rely so heavily on our GPS and computers to get us where we’re going that if we end up driving through an area where our phone does not have a good signal, we can be in a bad position. While it is great to have GPS on your phone it is also smart to have a paper map and use a highlighter to mark your route from your current home to your new home so that no matter what, you know where you’re going and you can see the area around you. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have a back-up plan and case technology fails.

Keep your essentials with you

As most of your life will be packed up in a moving van or pod, it is important that you keep any essential items with you. Things such as a few versatile outfits that will help you through any inclement weather, comfortable shoes, medications, make up, money and credit cards, as well as phone chargers. While moving companies are typically very good at estimating when they may arrive, you must always plan for the worst. If you are going to arrive at your new home a few days ahead of your belongings, you will want to have some clothes with you as well, and a blow-up mattress would be a good item with a couple of blankets so that you aren’t stuck sleeping on the floor.

Hire a moving company

When people are looking to move long distances they think about hiring a moving company but feel that it may be too expensive, and try to organize everything and arrange for transport of their items themselves. Most people think that hiring a moving company is going to be expensive but in reality, time is money and if you have to spend hours upon hours packing and coordinating and getting friends and family to help, it is much easier to just hire a moving company. As we talked about before, downsizing prior to a long distance move,  will give you the most bang for your buck. Professional movers can come in with proper safety equipment, packing materials, and expedite getting them to your new home. They can also help with unpacking and hanging pictures televisions and they provide other services that many people just never really consider. Typically, a moving company will have one point of contact person that you will be able to communicate with prior to the move,  during transportation as well as when you arrive.  Remember, moving companies hire professionals that literally do this job every single day and their expertise is invaluable. Trust the experts!