You just found out that you’re being relocated by your job, or maybe you were offered a job that was too good to be true in another state. Either way, you’ve got a big move ahead of you and there’s a lot to think about before you even start. Moving far away from home can ultimately be a hugely positive experience, even if it is a bit of a hectic process.
You can do this, though. Roll up your sleeves, grab a box and get to it.
Your big move is a big deal, don’t think it’s not. You’re going to need all the help you can get, so before you do anything else, contact a Realtor with a relocation specialty in the city where you’ll be landing. You’re going to need someone who knows the lay of the land and can help you find the kind of home you really need, as well as helping you arrange financing and ensuring that everything closes on schedule.
Of course, housing is only a small part of a bigger relocation picture. It’s a stressful time for man and beast alike, but these seven tips will help you survive the experience:
#1. Have plenty of money available. Of course, you know you’ll have to pay something for housing and put down a deposit to turn on the utilities at your new place, but there are often additional expenses that you might not be thinking about right now. For example, will you need help with childcare while you’re packing? Is it likely that you’ll need to stop on the trip to spend the night in a hotel?
Plan for your expenses, then add as much as you can to the pool. The more money you have to work with, the less you can stress if an emergency were to occur.
On this same note, be sure to ask your employer how any moving or signing bonuses will be handled. If you’re counting on that money to make the move possible, you could be in a sad state if your company waits until after you’ve started the job to pay this bonus out.
#2. Get everybody on the same page. Moving to a new place can give the average person plenty of room to let their imagination run wild. It’s important that you and your family get on the same page with respect to the details of your move and stay focused on it.
Have a family meeting, or a chat over dinner, and write down what everybody hopes to get out of the move. Then have a sober discussion about how many of those things are realistic.
Once all of that is knocked out, draw up a plan and give everyone a copy of it so there are no misunderstandings. This can be a time when emotions run high and exhaustion makes people do or say things they might not otherwise, having a neutral document to refer back to during arguments can help cooler heads prevail.
#3. Prepare kids for stressors. Even the most hardy of children is likely to have some kind of serious emotional reaction to moving from your current home. When they’re old enough to understand that you’re also moving far, far from their hometown it can get downright ugly.
Your child is going to understandably need to mourn the loss of their friends and nearby family members. But you can make moving easier for children of every age by trying to maintain some kind of routine during the run-up to moving day and maintain it as best you can until everyone is settled in.
#4. Give yourself twice as much time as you think it’ll take for pre-moving tasks. If you’re not planning on hiring a mover, or even if you’re doing your own packing to help the cost of the move, it’s important that you give yourself plenty of time. Decluttering, especially, can be difficult when you’re trying to figure out just what will fit on the moving truck. Depending on how quickly you have to get to your new job, you can get help from charities with thrift stores by asking them to pick up your used, but clean, furniture, excess dishes and pans and even fun bric-a-brac to save you trips back and forth. Plan your time and stick to the plan.
#5. Visit your family doctor one more time. Having a final visit with your doctor gives you an opportunity to discuss anything that has been problematic for you, as well as getting your medicine refilled so you’ll not run out before you find a new PCP. This is a great time to ask about getting copies of your records, too! Make sure to do the same for your children and pets.
#6. Stop by the shop. While you’re getting your own check up, don’t forget about the vehicle or vehicles that you’re taking with you. Drop in at your local mechanic, the one you use for everything and trust to do the job right, and have them inspect and repair anything that looks like it needs to be addressed. Ask if you need new tires, spark plugs or a tune-up. There’s nothing as stressful as getting into a car that’s fully packed and full of kids or pets only to discover that your car has a bunch of symbols on the dash lit up that were never lit up before.
#7. Keep your eye on the prize. Preparing for a move when you have to do it all in one go can be amazingly stressful on body and soul, which is why it’s ultra important that you remember the why of all of it. You’re moving for a better opportunity, good schools, a chance to use your degree for once — whatever your reason, it’s yours and it’ll help if you keep that front and center.
Just log in to the HomeKeepr community, where you’ll find all kinds of home pros, from movers to Realtors with relocation specialties. No more digging around the web for reviews on individual companies, HomeKeepr runs on recommendations — and if your future mover is highly recommended by your current Realtor, that’s one less thing to worry about.