Planning a cross-country move can be stressful, but if it’s done right, there’s nothing to fear. Here’s how to get your cross-country move done right.
Scout on the Ground
Whenever possible, try to make a trip to your new home just for the purpose of finding a place to live. There are many things about a apartments that you can only tell by visiting them. Call ahead and line up as many apartment tours as you can manage, and only tour properties that you know are available and can be reserved that day if you make a decision.
It’s not always possible to get out, however, and in that case you should try your best to get as much information as possible. Often an employee at a property management company can tell you about vacancies online and you can view apartments and maybe even get a virtual walk-through. The key is to get as much information as possible about where you’re going to be living before you commit.
Take the Neighborhood into Account
You won’t just be living in an apartment, you’ll be living in a neighborhood. Make sure that the place you’re living will have reasonable access to everything you’ll need. This is easier if you plan to have a car, but if you’re moving into a dense urban area where it’s less desirable to have or drive a car, make sure you know where public transportation is and that most everything you need—including recreation—is within walking distance.
And if you already know where you’re working, take your daily commute into account. A fifteen minute difference in travel time adds up to half an hour a day, 130 hours a year. Make sure you’re prepared to make that commitment.
Make Banking and Insurance Arrangements
You’re going to need access to your money before you move in. If your current bank has branches in the area, contact them about your move so they will know to expect withdrawals and other transactions in the area and won’t flag it as fraud. If you need to find a new bank, open up an account a month or so before moving. Try to clear all checks and other payments from your old account before you move so you can close out that account and transfer your funds to the new account about the time of the move.
Set up renter’s or homeowner’s insurance effective the day of your move in. It’s never too early to start protecting yourself and your property from mishaps. If your health insurance has connections in your new home, try to set up as much as possible before your move so you know where to go to see a doctor if something happens before you’re fully settled in and oriented. An out-of-network visit can lead to significant and unnecessary expenses.
Lose It If You Don’t Want to Move It
You probably don’t realize just how much stuff you have until you consider moving it. Your home is full of all kinds of things you don’t really want to bother hauling cross-country with you. Be draconian in your cull of belongings. Have a garage sale (or two) before you move, and give away everything you can’t sell. This will not only help you get rid of stuff, but can give you some extra scratch for unexpected expenses along the way.
Liquids can cause all kinds of trouble in a move. Throw a drink the liquor cabinet party to get rid of all your open containers before moving. Try to use up all household cleaners and dispose of the remainders. Limit the number of condiments and other liquid foods you are taking with you.
If You’re Not Hiring a Mover . . .
Make sure you’re prepared to drive the moving truck. Get a good idea about how big a truck you’ll need, and if you can, try to test drive it to make sure you’re comfortable with it. Be aware of the street conditions at your destination and make sure they won’t be a problem.
It probably won’t be a problem finding enough friends to help you load up, but are you sure you’ll be able to get your belongings unloaded without professional help?
If You’re Hiring a Mover . . .
Make sure you’re hiring one that’s licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and has all the proper insurance. There are many good resources out there for helping you assess the quality of a mover, but here are a few red flags to look out for:
- Mover is eager to give online or verbal quote, but hesitant to give a written one
- Wants a big deposit or payment up front
- Doesn’t have specific name when they answer the phone or on the truck
- Won’t give you a contract or asks you to sign one you don’t understand
- Won’t sign a bill of lading or the contract themselves
If you run into any of these conditions, move on to a different mover.
At Planned Property Management, we can help you manage your move to Chicago with ease. For more information, contact us online today or call 773-435-9177.