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Moving with Kids | Advice for Families Making an Interstate Relocation

Are you and your family embarking on a cross-country moving adventure? It can be overwhelming with so many belongings and people in tow, but we have some tips to help you navigate your interstate move.

Tip #1: Create a Detailed To-Do List

Personalize your moving to-do list to cover your major concerns. A well-planned move goes more smoothly.

Write down tasks like gathering packing supplies, letting schools know about the move, and acquiring moving quotes. Consider transportation, accommodations during travel, and your new housing arrangements.

Once you have your list, don’t get overwhelmed. Divvy up the tasks between yourself, your family members, and your movers. You can even write down assignments on the list to keep everybody accountable. Distribute copies to the involved parties. You can write due dates next to the assignments and head up your list with the final moving date.

Tip #2: Compile your Moving Budget

Now that you have all your tasks written out, you might want to give each of the tasks a number value. Consider ways you can lower your costs and decide which aspects of the move you can hire movers to handle. Don’t forget to put a dollar value on your comfort, time, and emotional wellness.

You can reduce moving costs by choosing to move in the off-season. From around Memorial Day to Labor Day, movers are in busy season. Since demand is high during this time, they charge more for interstate moving services. Consider moving your relocation up to April or later to October to save money.

Tip #3: Collect your Estimates

Once you have decided which moving services you need, start calling around to the best movers in your area. Your professionals will make the move immensely easier on the whole family. They eliminate stress and help you avoid injury.

Ask friends and family for recommendations and do your online research. Get a list of insured and licensed moving companies and secure free ballpark estimates through Ian’s Interstate Movers. Prepare your home for an in-home estimate and get at least three moving quotes for the specific services you have selected. You can then compare the estimates and reserve your movers for your desired moving date.

Tip #4: Minimize your Possessions

The fewer things you move, the easier and cheaper the process will be. We recommend being liberal about what you sell and donate. Ask yourself questions like:

  • If it is broken, is it worth fixing, and will I really take the time to fix it?
  • Have I used this item in the past month or two?
  • Do I have similar belongings that I use for the same purpose?
  • Do I feel obligated to keep this, or do I genuinely love it?
  • Where exactly will I put this in my new home, and what is my plan for using it?

Be strict with the sentimental items you choose to keep. It is reasonable to hold onto a box of things you love, but don’t keep excessive memorabilia.

If you are moving yourself, having fewer belongings is better because:

1. You can rent a smaller truck

2. The faster and less stressful the move will be.

If you are hiring a moving company, having fewer belongings is best because moving companies charge customers by the weight of your belongings. Remember, you might even make some money selling off your stuff!

Tip #5: Pack Properly

If you do not plan to hire packing experts, be sure to pack your belongings the right way. It is important to keep them safe during transportation, so you don’t have unexpected costs to replace or fix things. Packing the right way can also save you from buying too many packing supplies or the wrong packing supplies.

Your moving company can provide your moving supplies to you. Alternatively, contact friends or neighbors who have recently moved and see if they have any boxes laying around. Call local stores to find out if you can gather some free moving supplies before you begin.

Stay organized during packing. We recommend the following:

  • Label your boxes by items and room
  • Organize your possessions according to where the items will go in the new home
  • Begin packing early, giving yourself plenty of time
  • Apply packing tape to the bottoms and sides of boxes to prevent moisture problems and breakage
  • Label fragile belongings appropriately
  • Be generous with bubble wrap or packing paper between fragile items
  • Fill each box completely, so possessions do not slide around
  • Heavier objects should go on the bottom of the box, and lighter objects on top
  • Surround furniture with plenty of padding

Tip #6: Plan Out the Road Trip

First, decide whether you’ll be flying or driving. Maybe the party will be mixed, with some flying and others driving. Determine who will drive each vehicle or consider the benefits of shipping one or more cars.

A road trip with children or babies can be difficult, so it’s important to be well-prepared. Keep extra clothes, toys, snacks, and entertainment on hand. Get some special items to distract young passengers. Don’t forget their most beloved possessions like blankets, stuffed animals, and pacifiers.

Don’t forget to estimate all your costs, including fuel and food. Plan accommodations for multi-day road trips.

Tip #7: Keep Essentials with You

We recommend keeping your essentials with you throughout the road trip, so you’re not searching frantically for them in your new home. This may include medications, hygiene items, tools for furniture assembly, and a first-aid kit. For your new home, you may want to make sure you know where the following items are:

  • Towels
  • Toiletries
  • Shower curtains
  • Bedding
  • A few outfits
  • Snacks
  • Dishware

Tip #8: Consider the Finish Line

It’s best to get to know your new home before moving there. Get a real estate agent or a family member in the area you trust to be your go-between as you figure out the details of your new home. Don’t forget to:

  • Enroll your kids in school
  • Locate important places like grocery stores and doctor offices that accept your insurance
  • Finalize real estate needs or make accommodations for temporary living
  • Confirm your move-in date and access to your new place
  • Secure a place for the moving truck and your other vehicles around your new place
  • Confirm that the power, water, WIFI, and other needed services will be on

We hope this advice makes the process easier for you and your family. We wish you well on your cross-country journey!

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