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Essential Tips for Moving Alone to Another State

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Stacie L has been an educator for many years and likes to share her experiences and advice.

Do it yourself: Moving Away From Home

Do it yourself: Moving Away From Home

Independent Moves

Moving alone to a new town is tough, but a long-distance relocation to a new state is possible.

People in America may live in new towns and states in their lifetime due to job demands, better living environments or health reasons. Although summer is the most popular time of year to accomplish this, any season is good as long as the weather is agreeable. Here are some of my practical tips for travel with your belongings, out of state.

I have lived in 4 other states in the past twenty-six years, recently more than one thousand miles. It can be done alone, but careful planning is essential.

Pricing Professional Movers

Yes, this does seem rather obvious, but there are people who have been overcharged by unscrupulous companies so you need to do your homework on this one. A common tactic is to hold your possessions in storage and demand more money, citing unforeseen expenses. Sometimes there is outright theft.

I'm not negating the honest companies, but they were never an option for me and those on a limited budget.

Ask friends, neighbors, or go on message boards to glean some valuable information. Today the Internet can help find out so much in a matter of minutes. Strangers can give you so much helpful advice and information about anything. Writing sites, and message boards have been immensely popular because of this concept I would only consider hiring professionals if I had so much that I had to take with me and couldn't get any help.

Organization Is Essential

To successfully relocate far from your present home, you obviously need to be organized and get things in order.

Here is a brief list:

  1. price professional haulers
  2. price do-it-yourself moving trucks and equipment
  3. discard or sell unnecessary items to move
  4. inform utilities in your present location and possibly in your new location if known
  5. prepare any pets by getting carrying cases or cages
  6. prepare children if any by discussing it before hand

I will go into more detail about each point.

A shipping container is a great way to carry household contents.

A shipping container is a great way to carry household contents.

Price Do-it-Yourself Equipment

For years people had the standbys, such as U-Haul, Ryder trucks, Budget trucks, where you could rent anything from a small tow behind trailer to a diesel-fueled cargo truck. They also rent carts, blankets, sell boxes, bubble wrap, etc.

Now in the last few years, a new concept in self-move had come to be. Outfits like POD and SAM, will bring the container to your home and leave it there so you can take your time packing your possessions into it. I recently checked out a newer self-move pod company by the name of U-Pack. It also uses a container-type large box that is dropped off and allows you to pack and then store it until you are ready to move.

The price is similar to POD but it doesn't have as many locations yet. You may check the price quote with just your email address to see if it's a better deal. As with any company, be sure to check reviews and the BBB in for any problems.

They are smaller than a standard moving company truck, but you could rent two if needed. You still have to pay for storage, distance charges, and make scheduling arrangements. They too, sell boxes, packing materials, and rent blankets and dollies. This was the way I went the last time I moved.

Also, remember that your storage unit is going to be riding on bumpy roads so wrap your furniture and fragile items carefully. I had many scratches and a few smaller items that didn't make the move.

Discard What you Don't Need

I have had the same boxes for the past three moves and never opened then until recently. I think I'm some kind of pack-rat. I now try to sell or discard any items not used in over year. I don't know if I'm a hoarder, but having an attachment to items I didn't need did cost more in the long run.

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Anyway, you may need help with this one. Just remember, everything you take with you costs money and everything you can get rid of doesn't.

Of course, having a garage sale is always good for this purpose. Make some money and lighten the load. You may need friends and family to help pry some things out of your hands or perhaps sell your possessions for you, if you can't part with any. Go somewhere while they hold the sale so it'll be less painful!

Inform Utilities

Once you know your last day, you can set up, your shut-off date. The utility companies such as the phones, electric, gas, water, cable, satellite, and even the cell phone company will settle your final bill and possibly owe you money after you leave in most cases. You must give a forwarding address to receive your deposit money or pay any remaining balance. Your cell phone may not work in your new location, so check that out ahead of time.

Prepare Pets and Kids

I had a geriatric cat, which made this drive just as stressful as having a kitten. She had to be treated carefully and had to take more breaks while driving with her. Even though she was an experienced traveler, had her own carrier, but preferred to sit on my lap. Anyone with a cat knows they are very unpredictable and claw you at a moment's notice. Put them in a carrier, and have a litter box ready!

Some dogs can sit in the back seat depending on their temperament. Always put a leash on them. The smaller toy breeds can go into a carrier. Other small pets such as hamsters, mice, snakes, reptiles, should be in a container of some type. You don't want your pet snake getting out and around your feet while driving!

Prepare Any Children

If you are traveling with young children and don't have any help, this could be quite stressful for all concerned. They need to be mentally and physically prepared ahead of time, by discussing it and trying to make it seem like a fun trip. Children will need a lot of breaks and get bored quickly. Bring coloring books, electronic games, portable DVD players, or movies. It is a lot nicer to travel today with cars that have television and movie players installed.

In Conclusion

I hope I answered the questions about self moves. You can do it alone, but it takes some planning to be successful and less stressful.

I will definitely not take all my possessions and furniture to my next location. The expense and aggravation are just not worth it so take it from one who has moved many times. You don't need to move with a friend but it would be easier. Happy moving!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2008 Stacie L


David Johnson from Denver, CO on April 25, 2018:

Great hub Stacie! Organization is absolutely a MUST when it comes to moving. If you aren't organized, then you are just asking for stress and anxiety to weigh down on you.

Tip: If you don't have enough stuff to sell for a garage sale, apps like OfferUP or LetItGo work great for selling individual items quickly. They use your phone camera to take a pic of whatever items you want to sell, and can create a listing in under a minute. Facebook buy/sell groups and craigslist also work great.

Thanks for sharing your awesome moving tips!

Stacie L (author) on March 31, 2016:

Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub about moving alone to another state.

raquelle148 on March 30, 2016:

Your moving tips are complete and all possible questions that movers usually asks are answered in this hub.

Stacie L (author) on December 03, 2011:

TransferAmerica; thanks for reading and commenting on my moving out a state alone hub!

Moving alone takes a lot of organization and will power. It's not as hard as you think!

TransferAmerica from Torrance, CA on December 02, 2011:

Great hub! I don't know if i could ever move out by myself but its great to learn about it just in case!

anika5361 on November 14, 2011:

Stacie, health is only part of the reason I'm choosing TN. I have fallen in love with several parts of the state from the excitement of the bustle of Nashville and it's diverse music to the beauty of the Smokies. I'll try to plan a trip this winter. Being on disability, the basic thing I need to look into before I can move anyway is low income housing and there's usually a long list for that. I appreciate your advice. Thanks.

Stacie L (author) on November 14, 2011:

@anika5361:Thank you for reading my tips on moving alone. If you are moving because of arthritis you may be in for a disappointment.

I don't want to disappoint you, but TN is cold and damp also. make a few trips in the winter and see how it goes.

anika5361 on November 14, 2011:

I am also one of those people who have lived my entire life (50 yrs!) in one place. I want so badly to move from Northern IL to Tennessee but I have no family or friends there. I just know that in the many trips I've made to TN for vacations and at different times of the year, my arthritis has never acted up like it does in the north and I love the area. I'm scared to death to move to a place with no family or friends but I'm hoping to try it this spring. Thanks for the tips. I can spend the winter getting ready for a big early to mid spring garage sale.

Stacie L (author) on August 25, 2011:

@Wesman Todd Shaw: Thanks you for your kind comments about my moving out of state alone hub.

I be you have a great stories,maybe write about it..LOL

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on August 25, 2011:

I can see why this hub is rated or scored at 99 out of 100 today!

OMG - I used to be in relocation and storage. Not a fun industry to be in - unless you are in an office doing sales - and I've worked that end of it too.

I could tell you some stories from the driver and loader end too WHEW! Not a job that I'd want again.

Stacie L (author) on May 05, 2011:

ArtzGirl: thanks for reading and commenting on my hub!

Camaron Elliott from San Diego on May 05, 2011:

Thanks for posting this and doing this research for us! Great hub! I will refer to it when I move again!

Stacie L (author) on January 27, 2011:

thank you for reading and your comments kmcmichael!

good luck!

kmcmichael from Athens, Georgia on January 26, 2011:

I might have to move to Texas for grad school. Nice tips! Thanks!

Stacie L (author) on September 06, 2010:

@ Truth from Truth;thnaks

@Freda Raffeal;moving reviews are always good;check all around

@melanie:I moved without a know whether moving with a friend is a good idea or not

Melanie on September 05, 2010:

DID not even go into whether moving with a friend is good option. I'm so worried about it! The friends I think it would be good to move with don't want to move and the friend who do want to move I could not live with for two days. What do I do?

Freda Raffeal from New York on December 05, 2009:

these days moving companies as per the movers review are bringing new services to assist people planning to move. That is something that can make the stressful moving an easy one..What do u think Stacie?

Truth From Truth from Michigan on November 18, 2009:

great tips thanks

Stacie L (author) on May 09, 2009:

thanks Eaglekiwi; I try to write for everyone to understand .;)

It' snot difficult to move alone if you do your planning.

Eaglekiwi from New Zealand on May 08, 2009:

I really enjoyed your simple and easy to follow hub .Thumbs up im feeling inspired ( kinda lol) well least I don't have any pets to worry about.

Stacie L (author) on October 23, 2008:

Yeah I hear you.

The older I get thwe more I dread a move.It's better to sell off everything than move it!;=)

whastzis on October 22, 2008:

The thought of moving somewhere else after 38 years in 1 house scares me into NOT thinking about it!! You are brave!! I also see a proliferation of PODS lately.

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