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What to Expect When Moving Across Country

Updated on October 27, 2013

Moving across the country is a big decision. Some people travel because of work, others travel for new experiences, and some simply want a fresh start on life. Whatever your reasoning, here a few important things to consider before leaving for your new life.

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How to Save Money for a Big Move

Saving money can become trickier depending on the time frame you have before you need to move. If it's something that is sudden and there isn't a lot of time to prepare, you'll probably be using your credit card for most of the move and then working to pay them down later.

However, if this is something that is in the future, it's easy to set aside a certain amount of money each month, into a savings account and then have the funds there when you need them. Even saving $50 a month adds up over time.

How much money is enough? Well that depends on if you already have what you need, like furniture, kitchen appliances and how much space you have in your car or moving truck. Be careful to weigh whether it's easier to just buy new stuff when you arrive or whether it'd be better to take your furniture and buy other needed items. As a rough, low estimate $5,000 is a good amount of money to buy a couch, table, bed and your essential kitchen item, but you can always go cheaper and find stuff from Craigslist, Goodwill or Thrift stores.

Ask for help. If this is your first move, or your family is supportive, you may also be able to get a couple hundred dollars from your parents or family.

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Decide How Your Stuff is Going to Move

Depending on how much money you have saved and if you're going to be living with someone who is already established in their home, you may or may not have a lot of your own stuff to bring with you. Be decisive about what you use and what you can easily buy again.

Using your car to move. Depending on how much stuff you have, you may be able to stick all your items in your car, or you can ask and see if anyone would drive another car with you. Again, this depends on what you have to move, but don't rule out people who you know that have trucks.

Renting a moving truck. If you have large items like furniture that you need to take with you or other stuff that doesn't all fit in your car, you can look into towing your car along with the truck and also research various different services that move your stuff for you. It depends on what and how much stuff you have to move.

Shipping your stuff/flying your stuff there. If you don't have a vehicle to take along with you, you might actually find it's cheaper to use an airline to take your stuff with you. Check with different airlines and compare the prices between renting a truck and paying the extra fees for additional baggage on the plane.

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How to Organize Your Stuff before Moving

Okay, this one is a huge pain, but if you do it the right way you'll save yourself a lot time and headache later on. I have to admit that I got kind of fed up with this when I was moving, so pack the most important stuff first, but pack it last in your moving truck.

Try to cut down on the sentimental items that you're taking along. There's nothing worse than getting to your destination after all the lifting and trouble you put into bringing it along and finding out that you don't want it anymore. People with more experience moving will probably be better at this. Just try and keep in mind how much you need/use whatever it is you're bringing and if you would miss it down the road.

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Maintain Contact with Friends and Family

If you're moving to a new place all by yourself, it may feel very lonely at first. Other than getting a pet, calling and keeping in touch with people back home can help ease the homesick feeling. It's perfectly alright to not feel very social or feel up to meeting new people, but try and be as open as possible to your new area.

How to Meet New People

Book stores, coffee shops and even grocery stores can be great ways to get a feel for the people in your area. If you have a hard time making friends, or don't have a job lined up, searching for local clubs or gatherings is also a great way to meet people who are into the same things as you.

At first the area will feel weird, but I've found that once you get familiar with the area it's not as scary or hard to interact with people. Just give it time and don't feel bad for any of the feelings you may be having.

How did your first move across country go?

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Important Factors to Consider

Moving across country for the first time can be overwhelming because there is so much to be done within the first few weeks of arriving. You need a place to sleep, food to eat, a way to make money and pay rent as well as other things like registering your car and changing your driver's license.

Your Vehicle or Public Transportation

If you have your own vehicle, you'll need to register your car and get a license in your new state. Certain states have different time frames. If you don't have one, be sure to check out the bus lines and public transportation prior to picking a place to live.

Finding an Apartment

Before moving to a new state, think about where you're going to live? Do you need to find an apartment ASAP or can you stay with a friend or family member until you do find a place of your own. Depending on your time schedule, you may end up having to take a trip out before your move to scope out good apartments. Be sure to check the surrounding areas. Try and have some level of convenience with your new place, like having a grocery or department store closeby.

Familiarize Yourself with the Area

The first time you drive into town, keep a close eye on what stores are where. I found that it's helpful to just drive around until you gain a familiarity with the area. Use landmarks along with street signs to help orient yourself with your new home.

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Moving - It's an Experience

More than anything your first big move is going to be an experience. Some may get lucky and end up having everything go smoothly, but I'm a strong believer in just doing it. It's scary and a little uncomfortable, but really the only way to learn anything is to just go a head and do it.

It's a decision and experience that's going to be all your own. You might end up making a few mistakes a long the way. That's okay and should be expected. There's going to be problems with your apartment, you're going to get lost once or twice, but enjoy the moment! Moving is a way to start fresh and experience new things.

Granted, it's still a huge pain in the butt. ;)

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