As the cost of living in cities on both coasts continues to climb, more and more people are moving from coast to coast. This can be a difficult adjustment for anyone, but it is especially challenging for those with families or pets. Here are some tips that will help you make the transition as smooth as possible.
Prepare Yourself for the Distance
While you will not have to move as far with a coast-to-coast move, there are still significant physical distances between cities on opposite coasts. If possible, visit both areas before moving to get an idea of what you are getting into. Look at how long it takes to drive or fly between the two parts of the country and how you can save when moving to another state. Consider how far your new job is from your old home if that affects things. Figure out what will be important to you when you select a location to move to and choose an area accordingly.
Gather Your Family for a Meeting
Talk with everyone in your family about what they want out of this move. Discuss not only the good things about the move but also any concerns or fears you might have. Make sure everyone is on board with moving before making concrete plans. If there are young children in your family, this is especially important.
This is probably the most useful interstate moving tips. Moving coast to coast can be expensive, so it makes sense to pack light and avoid checking luggage for your flight if possible. Bring only what you really need and ship the rest of your belongings, either by ground transport or via air freight (if they will fit). Even if it’s just a few extra suitcases full of items you won’t use every day, it all adds up quickly when you’ll be traveling hundreds or thousands of miles with each trip.
Get Your Pets Ready
This can be a difficult adjustment for both you and your pet, but there are some things that you can do to make it easier for everyone. See if your animals will get along with one another before committing to leaving your current home. If they are good friends, consider bringing them both with you or finding new owners for just one of them so that they can already have a friend when the move happens. Consider what treats or toys your pets might need after the move, too, since shipping these across the country is usually not an option.
At some point, you will probably need to hire movers. Sure, many companies out there offer moving services, and most of them look like they do a fine job. But not all moving companies are created equal! Make sure that any mover you choose has proper licensing for interstate moves and isn’t going to stop by with a van and try to pack your entire house into it even if it won’t all fit. You may also want to ask about their packing methods and what kinds of materials they use so that you can protect sensitive items such as mattresses or laptops/desktops during the move process. Finally, consider asking friends and family members if they know anyone who has recently moved – they might be able to provide you with great insight into which moving companies they used and what their experiences were like.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
Making this big of a change in your life isn’t easy on anyone involved, including yourself! Moving coast to coast can be exciting, but it can also feel a little overwhelming. Make sure that you give yourself the time and space to deal with any feelings of sadness or uncertainty that might crop up. You may find it helpful to make a list of all the positives about your new home, including any friends or family members who live there already. If possible, try to get away for a few days after the move has happened so that you get some time away from busy schedules and new surroundings for catching your breath.
Get Your Finances in Order
New home = new bills! Don’t forget to change banks if necessary, update your mailing address with creditors, and more. Take some time to understand how each bill works so that you don’t accidentally miss a payment or get hit with late fees. Work on setting a budget for yourself, especially if you’re used to living in an area where your money will go a bit further than it does on the other coast.
Look into Local Resources
After you have moved to your new home, there are certain things that it might be difficult to get used to. Find out what local support services are available for people with children, elderly family members, pets, etc. Most cities will have a website with information on things like daycare or pet-friendly hotels. Libraries often offer free programs for kids and teens too. Consider getting involved in some volunteer work in your spare time, even if you’re already working full-time at a new job. Getting involved in the community can give you valuable insight into how different your new city is from where you came from. This includes learning about the different rules of the road! Are drivers mostly polite? How should you tip at restaurants? You might not pick up on these things if you don’t get out of the house much.
Be Ready for Cultural Shock
Remember that moving is a big adjustment! It can be exciting to move to a place with completely different weather, food choices, even laws. Still, it’s also very easy to feel overwhelmed by all the differences when they happen in rapid succession. Try to integrate into your new city at your own pace, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything that confuses you. If possible, try visiting during tourist season so that you can see some familiar things in your new location before you have to make a move.
Avoid Homesickness at All Costs!
If homesickness becomes a problem for you, try to remember that it’s very normal. Talk to your support system about how you’re feeling, and consider reaching out to local organizations run by people from your previous home. Try watching TV shows or listening to music from back home so that you can stay in touch with your roots even as you adjust to new surroundings. If homesickness is severe, you might want to consider talking with a mental health professional so that it doesn’t start impacting your social life or job performance.
Moving across the country can be a very exciting adventure, but it can also be very scary. Make sure that you’re doing everything possible to feel prepared for your move so that you don’t end up regretting it later on down the road!