Thinking about a cross-country move? Maybe you accepted a promotion that sends you to another state, or a special someone is waiting for you across the coast. It could be that you’re just tired of the weather or the scenery, and feel eager to plant yourself in new surroundings where you can achieve personal growth.
But regardless of why you’re moving across the country, one thing remains the same: it’s scary.
Motivation, excitement, and inspiration aside, there are probably some deep-rooted, underlying emotions that complicate how you feel as you approach this huge change in your life.
And that’s completely normal! You could have been elated, jumping over the moon, when you first made your decision, only to be met with cold feet and second-guessing shortly thereafter.
Don’t be so fast to pump the brakes and call it off, though. Change is uncomfortable and we tend to fear the unknown so intensely that we end up stuck in our cave, stumbling around in darkness and wondering “what if”.
Knowledge is power, so today’s post is meant to arm you with the critical information you need to feel confident about this upcoming transition. Even if you’re already gung-ho on the 3,500-mile relocation, these tips can prevent from overlooking important details in the midst of your excitement. Read up before Moving Day and get ready for a whole new way of life!
Utilities are not Automatic
There’s nothing worse than enduring a cross-country road trip only to make it to your final destination—your new home—and discover that nothing works. Unless you (or your landlord) contact the utility provider ahead of time and turn on the electricity, you won’t be able to hit the lights and scope the place out, let alone unpack boxes and get settled in.
Some apartments are turn-key ready for your arrival, but many are not. Be sure to clarify these details ahead of time so you’re not navigating your new space by candlelight. It’s wise to get all your service providers aligned before you arrive, that way you can seamlessly transition into your new space without fumbling for WiFi signals and working outlets.
The Post Office is not All-Knowing
Our postal system is pretty impressive in the states, but even so, they won’t know about your move until you tell them. The mailman will continue to deliver mail to your former address and, hopefully, the next tenant who fills your spot will hand it back with “Return to Sender” written on the envelope. However, unless you formally update your address in the system, they won’t know where to return it.
A USPS address update can be done easily online, but other institutions—such as your bank or car loan provider—will require a bit more work. Monthly billing statements might not make it your way, and as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. Without the physical statements reminding you of money owed, bills might slip your mind as you’re caught up in the chaos of the move.
Past due payments lead to interest and fees, and if they fall off your radar for too long, you could be sent to collections for a simple oversight. Square this away before you move so you know your finances are all set upon arrival.
You Will Not Miss that Sweater You Wore Once
By and far, packing is the biggest hassle you’ll face when moving. But instead of looking at it as a dreaded chore, learn how to purge your belongings and take it as an opportunity to declutter your space. Only your most-loved things should accompany you on your cross-country move, so stop making excuses by promising to eventually wear that long-neglected garment hanging in your closet.
You can take the Marie Kondo approach. Say goodbye to anything that doesn’t spark joy in your heart, or be more pragmatic by parsing objects down one-by-one. Either way, you’ll be grateful for downsizing when it comes time to unpack the boxes in your new home. The fewer, the better!
Your Space Will Become Your Sanctuary
Undoubtedly, there will be so much to do and see after moving to a new city—especially one that’s so far away. Sightseeing will occupy a large portion of your time, but you’ll ultimately retreat to home base at the end of a long day at work or on the town. Unless you’re moving in with a roommate or loved one, you run the risk of feeling lonely and homesick when there’s nothing or no one to distract you.
The key to stopping those emotions from creeping in is to amp up your home’s feng shui so that it feels like your own personal sanctuary—not a private prison. Add all your finishing touches so the space feels warm and welcoming versus cold and austere. Plants, candles, and couch pillows are sure-ticket items that are guaranteed to improve your home’s coziness factor.
You should look forward to your evening retreats! Moving across the country is incredibly brave, so kick back and indulge in some quality relaxation. Get to know the best restaurants in your neighborhood by ordering takeout and find a new Netflix show to binge watch, or learn a new skill and become the culinary expert you’ve always dreamt of.
However you choose to unwind, make sure to turn “you time” into a priority. Self-care should always be at the top of your list, but there’s no better time to invest in yourself than at the start of a new chapter in a new state.
Career changes, relationship growth, and personal improvement are common reasons behind long-distance moves. It may or may not have been easy to make the decision and pull the trigger, but saying goodbye to the place and people you love is always hard. Keep these key pieces of advice in mind as you pack for the most seamless transition possible. You’ll be much more confident as you prepare for the transition, and settling in will be so stress-free that you’ll hardly remember the anxiety leading up to this big accomplishment!
Kaelee Nelson received her Master degree with an emphasis in Digital Humanities and pursues her career as a writer in San Diego as a contributing editor for 365businesstips.com. She enjoys informing readers about topics spanning industries such as technology, business, finance, culture, wellness, hospitality, and tourism.