Are you getting ready to move to DC? Where are you coming from?
If you’re coming in from out of town, it’s completely normal to feel stressed out about your long-distance move. Moving from one side of town is complicated enough. Moving across state lines is another story.
Not only are you moving to a new city that you’re unfamiliar with, but the moving process is much longer and more complicated. We want to help you prepare for success so you can get acclimated to Washington, DC faster.
Keep reading for a complete guide on how to plan for a long-distance move.
Lock Down a New Place to Live in Washington, DC
First, let’s talk about your new living arrangements. Do you have any yet? If not, you need to lock down a new home sooner rather than later.
While you can move to DC and stay in a hotel temporarily, this will complicate your long-distance move in several ways. Most obviously, your living situation won’t be permanent, which will make it difficult to settle in and develop any feeling of home.
Secondly, the hotel room you stay in won’t be big enough to house all of your possessions, which means renting a temporary storage unit, as well. Aside from these costs adding up, this also means having to move again once you find a new place.
Instead, we recommend looking for condos in DC. You can rent a condo or find a list of condos in DC that you can buy.
Finding the right condo is a fantastic way to start your new life in the capital city. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a home waiting for you when you arrive?
Declutter and Downsize
Before any move, it’s highly recommended that you start collecting boxes months in advance. This will give you plenty of time to pack, rather than leaving everything until the last minute, which can result in poor packing and damaged possessions.
However, there’s something else you can do with those boxes. Use them to help you declutter, downsize, and organize your belongings. The time before a long-distance move is a perfect opportunity to go through all of your possessions and purge the things that no longer serve a purpose in your life.
This will simplify the moving process and help you save money. Go through each room and organize your belongings into four categories:
- Throw away
Box up the things you plan to sell and donate. Selling your stuff online before moving is a great way to make some extra cash.
Donate the things you can’t sell but might be valuable to someone in need. Throw away the items that no longer have any value or function, and set aside the stuff you plan to keep.
Start Packing the Non-Essentials
While decluttering and organizing each room, set aside other boxes for the stuff you plan to keep but don’t need right now. These items can be packed early for your long-distance move. These boxes will typically include things like:
- Storage items
- Out-of-season clothing
- Spare bedroom and bathroom items
- Recreational equipment
By packing up these non-essentials now, you can get a leg up on your long-distance move to DC. This means less work in the days leading up to your actual move, which will equate to less stress.
Schedule Movers in Advance
Have you thought about how you’re going to relocate all of your stuff to Washington, DC? After all, you can’t live in DC comfortably without your personal belongings.
There are multiple options here. You can rent a moving van and haul your items on your own or hire movers who complete long-distance moves.
If you really want to save money, you can try to haul everything in your personal vehicle. However, this might not be practical depending on your vehicle and how much stuff you have. You might also be able to enlist the help of a friend who has a truck and is willing to help you move across the country.
And remember, some of the residential streets in DC are quite busy. It might be necessary to reserve parking for your moving truck for the day of your arrival.
Take Care of Your Utilities and Services
One of the most common mistakes people make when they move is forgetting to cancel their utilities. They forget to call the appropriate companies (water, power, gas, waste removal) to take those services out of their name. This also includes things like cable, internet, and phone.
Don’t forget to cancel these expenses and end up paying hundreds of dollars for services you’re not using. Just as importantly, remember to call ahead to the services you’ll need in Washington, DC.
You want to have them turned on by the time you arrive. Condos in DC aren’t very accommodating if they don’t have power, water, heat, or air conditioning.
Change Your Mailing Address
Before making your long-distance move to DC, it’s important to change your mailing address. You don’t want important bills, packages, and other documents going to your old home.
If you have a new address in Washington, DC, this will be simple enough. However, if you don’t have a new home yet, get a P.O. box in DC to which you can forward your mail. Then, you can make a permanent change of address once you find a home.
Finish Packing and Prepare an Overnight Bag for the Road
Finally, in the days leading up to your long-distance move to DC, you can finish packing up your home. At this point, the only thing that should be left is the bare essentials. This includes kitchen stuff, hygiene items, day-to-day apparel, etc.
Complete your packing but be sure to set aside an overnight bag for the road. This should contain a few extra pairs of clothes, your laptop, phone charger, hygiene items, and anything else you might need while traveling to your new home in DC.
Are You Preparing for a Long-Distance Move?
Moving across the country doesn’t have to be overly complicated or stressful. By preparing for your long-distance move and following the steps listed above, it should be relatively painless and hassle-free.
And if you’re looking for a new place to live, we can help. Contact us today if you want to explore your options for condos in DC. We would love to help you find the perfect home to welcome you to this great city.