Nothing gives you a fresh start like moving to a new home. Whether you’re moving to get settled in a new neighborhood, put down roots in an excellent school district, or be closer to work, relocating helps you appreciate a little more of what the world around you has to offer. Remember, though, that moving is a challenging and time-consuming task, even if you’re only moving locally. With the right preparation and tools at your disposal, you can make your move as quick and simple as possible.
If this is your first local move, you might not be sure what tasks you should prioritize in the months and weeks leading up to the move. Before you go, we recommend checking off the items on this list.
- Get to know the neighborhood. By the time you start calling this place home, you want to know a little bit about who else lives in the area, when the roads are busy, and what activities are nearby. For example, if you have kids, you should find out if there are other kids of the same age nearby. Do the roads clog at school pick up and drop off? Are the roads generally clear or is street parking hard to find?
- Check out local resources and services. Parents, we’re looking at you. Schools are a top priority for many moving families, so before you choose a new home, make sure you are familiar with the local school district. Additionally, look into the local parks, recreation department, and other local resources that make daily life easier and more fun.
- Craft a budget and don’t be too optimistic. Even in a local move, you might experience a change in your cost of living. If you are upgrading to a much larger home, get a realistic estimate for your utility costs. If it changes your commute, determine how much your fuel costs could increase. If your kids are changing school districts, find out how much the school fees are. You want to be completely prepared for any changes in your budget.
- Get more information on transferring utilities. One of the benefits of a local move is keeping the same utility companies. While some cities do have multiple electric or water companies, you might simply be able to transfer your current service to your new home. Either way, you want to get this set up well in advance of the actual move.
- Clear out the clutter. Go through everything you have at home and be honest with yourself. If you don’t use it, either toss it or donate it. The less you have to move, the more you can save on moving costs and the less you will have to pack.
- Find a moving company and possibly a storage unit. In a local move, you have lots of options for moving companies. We’ll cover that below. You may also need a storage unit if you won’t have access to your new home right away.
- Forward your mail. Set up mail forwarding online. Since you can set it up in advance, you can choose which day you want forwarding to begin.
Cost of Moving Locally
While moving locally is far less expensive than an interstate or international move, you still need to prepare for it in your budget. The average local move costs $1,250. This cost factors in moving belongings from an apartment or small home with two or three bedrooms.
Other costs could add to your expenses during this time. If you have children, budget for childcare during the move so you don’t have little ones running around while everyone is hauling heavy boxes. You might need to take time off of work for a smooth and stress-free move. Depending on how long it takes you to get your kitchen unpacked and set up, you might also need to budget for takeout for a few days.
Local Moving Companies
One of the most important decisions you will make is which moving company to select. Too many people wait too long and then simply go with the first company with a low quote and availability. Start your search early to avoid scam companies and disreputable movers. Some of our top moving tips include:
- Get local recommendations. Hop on to social media groups in both your current community and your new community. Ask for recommendations for movers from those who have done a local move in recent years. This may help you find reputable companies that serve your area.
- Watch out for red flags. There are a lot of moving companies out there, but they’re not all going to treat your items with the same care. Certain red flags should warrant an immediate “no” from you. If a company does not have a phone number or set address, it may be a fly-by-night company that hops from place to place, changing numbers and names to avoid being called out for theft. If the moving quote you get is far lower than what you get from other companies, that’s another red flag that should make you proceed with caution.
- Get in-home quotes. In-home quotes are more reputable than phone quotes since the moving professionals can actually look at what you have to move. People tend to underestimate how much they have. When you’re moving locally, there’s no reason that a moving company should refuse a thorough in-home estimate to avoid surprises down the road.
- Check ratings. Check ratings via multiple sources. Google reviews are helpful, as are reports made to the Better Business Bureau. You can also check with the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) to find out if a mover is reputable. Sort reviews so that you see the most recent ones first for the most up-to-date information. For example, with COVID-19, you want to ensure that the movers you hire follow proper precautions.
While a big move might be a lot to handle, it is also the start of a new adventure. Plan early and review your plans often for the smoothest move possible. Don’t forget to devote some time to choosing a good moving company and finding a place to house your belongings if your new home isn’t ready right away. CubeSmart can help with storing your items, and we offer flexible month-to-month leases so you can move into your home as soon as it’s all set. Find out more about our special offers and discounts.