Everyone gets overwhelmed at the thought of moving whether across the street, across town, or across the country. The best way to get a handle on all the things leading to this rise in anxiety is to research, organize and then make it happen. Staying focused is the key to staying calm and actually enjoying upcoming change in your life.

Do Your Research

No matter where you’re moving, researching your new neighborhood and region is important. With the seemingly limitless range of websites available at the click of a button, it’s now easier than ever to travel across the state or the country without leaving your recliner.

We hope you find useful information and insight into the area in our magazine. Another great place to start is with a site like City-Data.com that lists thousands of cities and towns from across the U.S. with stats on crime, education, income-earnings, housing prices and seasonal temperatures. It even has a ‘Top 100 Cities’ listing. Another website, 50States.com, outlines facts and trivia that will prove helpful if you’re looking for overall information. With links to the official state pages, city guides and with links to practical information such as each state’s DMV website, 50 States may be a site you’ll want to hang on to even after your move is complete.

Visit In Person

If at all possible, no kind of research compares to an in-person visit. Reading about a place will provide you with an overview but there is nothing like actually walking down its streets and getting a sense of living and working there. By allowing yourself a few days or a few weeks, you can discover the true essence of a city, and you’ll feel better knowing that the decision you’re making feels right. If you’re moving with a spouse and children; take the entire family. Try to live as close as you can to a “local’s” life, rather than visit as a tourist. Find the grocery stores, check out the schools, visit the library, the local diner and talk to people. See what it’s really like to live there. Before arriving make sure to purchase local travel guides, maps, community newspapers and magazines, all of which will add to your research.

Is A Trial Move In Your Budget?

Not everyone can afford it but another option is to do a temporary or trial move. Before you uproot your family (and if you can manage to maintain two households), try living in the potential city for a three to six month period. This trial period will also allow family members to visit and have more opportunity to see if it is a good fit. In addition, it provides a great transition period, especially for children who may need some time to feel comfortable with the idea of moving away from what’s familiar.

How To Move

Deciding how to move may sound simple, but a lot depends on your budget and time. Should you hire a moving company? Deciding whether or not to hire a moving company, like most decisions, can have a hundred different answers depending on factors such as time and money as well as difficulty and complexity of the move. If you’re moving across town, a self-move may make more sense. Moving across the country, may require more expertise and assistance. Still, to ensure you’re making the best decision, it’s a good idea to weigh all options. Decide first what your priority is — money or time or a bit of both. Knowing which is the most important will help lead you to a more satisfying answer.

Have A Lot Of Stuff?

How much stuff do you have? For a general idea of what it will cost to move your household, you can use the guide most truck rental agencies use, and count the number of bedrooms. A 26’ truck will move 4+ bedrooms; a 24’ truck will move 3-4 bedrooms; 17’ truck 2-3 bedrooms;14’ truck will move 1-2 bedrooms; and a 10’ truck will move an apartment.  So be sure to do a good purge before you order a truck.  No need to pay to haul your junk to your new place only to find out while you are unpacking that you did not need it.

Mileage Matters

How far are you moving? Truck rental companies can provide you with rates on the cost to rent a truck to move from Point A to Point B and factor in the type of move (one-way or return). That covers the fee to rent a truck, but what about gas costs and mileage? You’ll have to count both when determining the total cost of renting a truck vs hiring a moving company. Distance calculators can provide estimates on how far you’ll be traveling and fuel calculators will give you an idea of how much you’ll be paying to fill up the gas tank. Both costs need to be added to the truck rental fee if mileage is not already included.      Once you’ve answered these two questions, it’s time to start calling some moving companies and ask for a sample quote over the phone. Many will want to come out to your home for an estimate, which may or may not be something you want to do. You can also look for online quotes from companies such as Moving.com.

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