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Relocation 101: T-O-P Tips For Your First BIG Move

Moving is a BIG task, no matter how near or far. But the difference in the distance of your move also defines the strategy around it.


Let’s start by defining ‘relocation’. In the moving industry, any move under 50 miles is considered a local move. Any move over 50 miles is a long-distance move, and may be intrastate or interstate. Also known as a relocation, there are two main reasons why people  find themselves in this position. You are probably familiar with the most common reason for relocation, which is for a work. Did you also know there is something called ‘relocation therapy’? This is when people move to improve the circumstances of their life. They may have recently divorced, endured a tragic life event, or simply feel a need to ‘start over’. Distance has a natural way of creating new beginnings – because suddenly nothing is familiar, including your home, your support system and your day-to-day lifestyle.




Now let’s launch into our edition of ‘Relocation 101’ with some T-O-P tips for a smoother transition.


1. Assess your resources. If you are undergoing a corporate move, chances are your company has offered you a relocation package. Common features include: transfer of vehicles, full pack AND un-pack services, childcare assistance, temporary housing, lease break coverage and at least one reimbursed ‘home finding trip’. (Relocation packages ARE often negotiable: click HERE for some tips..  If your relocation is not job-related, make your own relocation package! Create a list of your needs, and start building your own resource list based on the items listed above.


2. Consider cost-cutting. Warning: long-distance moves are costly. Local moves are simple to calculate – they are based on the size of your home and crew needed. Long-distance move costs are calculated by the amount of goods being moved, the weight of the items, the distance the items are traveling, and the cost of labor in both the sending and receiving locations. The easiest way to cut costs is to clean out and lighten up. Sell or donate as many bulky items as you can (especially furniture!), clean out those closets, garages and storage sheds, and simplify by at least 25% if you can.


3. Account for the essentials. No matter how well organized you are, or how much you plan, not everything will get done in one day. Some boxes will sit, some address change items will wait, and something (gasp!) might get misplaced. Account for your essentials first. Start with your well-being, and make sure you refill any needed prescriptions one last time before you move, and identify your new primary care physician before you arrive. With regards to home essentials, one great tip we discovered was to use red-colored tape on boxes with the items you need immediately, such as your bathroom essentials, immediate kitchen needs plus the clothes you will need for the first few days. Amidst a sea of boxes, that red tape will help you know where to start, and help you find your socks and toothbrush!


4. Keep it legal. We will spare you the details, but moving interstate has some very specific protections. Make sure the interstate mover you select has been assigned a USDOT number (learn more here: http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx), and is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and has the proper level of insurance. (You can determine if a mover is registered with FMCSA by visiting:  www.protectyourmove.gov or calling FMCSA at (202) 366-9805 for licensing and (202) 385-2423 for insurance.)


5. Seek out surprises. This might seem obvious, but it’s safe to say that sometimes the big picture items can get missed in the logistics of the move itself. Play devil’s advocate and take 15 minutes to picture your life in your new destination. Have I accounted for the cost of living differences in my housing, grocery, gas and medical expenses? Do I know the ranking and strengths of my local schools? Have I driven through my new neighborhood day, night and on weekends? How far is the nearest hospital?


Remember…we have been through many relocations both personally and professionally and we are here to help. Let us know if you have any questions, or know someone who does!


All the best.


Helen & Julie



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Helen Ingwersen