When a character in a movie makes a major life decision, it looks so simple. Very often, the protagonist’s old and new lives are only separated by one scene. Take moving houses or cities, for example. Movies rarely show the tedious hours of researching and paperwork that this process entails. Moving is often represented by something as simple as tucking books and trinkets into the last few boxes. If only that’s how life really worked.
What are the complicated aspects of moving that films tend to skip? Let’s see, there’s the logistical component, like months of house hunting and finally closing on a property. Closer to moving day, there’s usually some degree of frantic packing and cursing how much stuff you’ve accumulated over the years.
There’s no picture-perfect way to snap your fingers and magically appear in your new house with all your knickknacks on the shelves, clothes in the closet, and paperwork squared away, but preparing ahead of time can help you facilitate a smooth move. Keep reading to learn more about steps you can take to prepare for an upcoming move, and then get started as early as you can.
Find the Right New Place for Your Wants and Needs
This step is going to include a lot of being honest—with yourself and with the teams assisting you throughout the process. House hunting is not the time to compromise on your needs. As HGTV writes, it’s beneficial for everyone involved if you’re direct and honest about your thoughts. You and your family are the ones who will end up living in one of the houses you tour, and holding back for the sake of agreeability doesn’t help anyone. These frank conversations will help you narrow down what you do and don’t like, so you can choose a home with the right amenities, layout, and price point for your lifestyle.
You’ll also want to consider factors like the surrounding neighborhood, commute time, what financing will look like for your budget, and any renovations you’d need to undertake on your new home. Write down thoughts and logistics along the way as a means of holding yourself accountable. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to something as important as finding a house.
Figure Out a Moving Strategy
If you’re heading across state lines, or even across town, you’re probably in the market for a reputable moving company to do the heavy lifting. Doing your research months ahead of time, including scouting out consumer reviews, calling around to get quotes, and talking to friends and family, will pay off in spades down the line. Moving is a time-sensitive proposition, but that doesn’t mean you should hurry to book the first company that comes up when you do a quick internet search. Stay vigilant against moving scams and boost your confidence by choosing a company you trust with your cherished belongings.
Establish Insurance from the Get-Go
If you’re moving outside of your usual comfort zone, have you considered every little thing that could arise, ranging from tornados in the Midwest to potential flooding near the coast? It’s tough to predict the challenges a new landscape could bring, not to mention any odd damages or accidents occur over the course of owning something as complex as a house.
In an illuminating example, Investopedia cites survey results from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners: “One third of homeowners believe flood damage will be covered by their standard policy. Over half think their policy covers them in the event of a water line break. Thirty-five percent say they will be compensated for an earthquake, and a slightly lesser proportion thinks mold is covered.” Many of these situations would actually require an insurance policy with additional coverage, which homeowners can find out by comparing homeowners insurance quotes well ahead of time to find a policy that checks all the boxes and lends peace of mind.
Set Up Utilities Ahead of Time
It’s possible that the house or apartment you’re headed to has been vacant for some time. Trust me, you’re not going to be grinning about the spacious layout if your water, heat, electricity, or Internet services are nonexistent for the first few days or weeks. You don’t want to feel like you’re squatting in your own home while you live out of boxes and wait for the lights to come on. As Good Housekeeping points out, it’s often as easy as a few phone calls or clicks of a mouse if you take care of switching your utilities ahead of time, but unfortunate if you don’t.
If you pour time and energy into each of these activities, you’re one step closer to transitioning smoothly to your new residence. Now take a deep breath, envision how great it’s going to be when you’re all set up in your new home, and pick up the phone or open up a new tab to start organizing.