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Moving long distances can be long, complicated, and stressful. And when you’re finally finished, you’re likely to be tired, anxious, and mentally worn out.

We’ve shared plenty of moving tips on this blog, but for this entry, we’re going to do something a little different. After finishing countless cross-country moves with our clients, we’re going to share some of the lessons our clients have learned during the moving process.

Deciding Where And When To Move Is Difficult

Once you find employment in a particular place, you have a pretty good idea of where you’re going to live. But if you’ve decided to move first and find a job second, the decision can be pretty daunting. You have a lot of different variables to take into consideration.

But let’s say you already have a job lined up.  Deciding on the right neighborhood can make or break your entire experience in your new city. When looking at a new neighborhood, you need to consider housing costs, proximity to your workplace, and the general state of the rental/housing market.

Timing is also immensely important. You can save a lot of money if you move during a time of year or even a time of the month when moves are less common.

Moving will be less challenging if you avoid summer moves. That’s because summer is the busiest season for the best movers, including us. Not only is finding an apartment more expensive, finding a moving truck rental can also get a bit complicated. Moving between October and April generally means moving companies will charge a bit less, and housing will be easier to find.

Most People Have Way Too Much Stuff

If all you’re doing is a local move, it’s pretty easy to gloss over the fact that you own too many things. You transport a bunch of heavy items a few miles away, set them up, and forget about them.  It’s tiring, but it’s temporary.

But when you’re moving across the country, delicate items have to travel longer distances. And you have to spend a lot more money and stress on making sure they end up at your destination in one piece.

That’s why it’s important to look at everything you own as critically as possible, and really ask yourself if the things you own add value to your life. Once you get rid of everything you no longer need, you can pack relatively light when moving to your new destination, arriving with little more than the essentials.

You can also pay your moving company extra for the extra cargo, which may or may not be worth the hassle, depending on how attached you are to your possessions.  The best movers should be able to handle virtually any amount of cargo.

Here at Tristate, we’ve seen our clients take both approaches. We’ve had clients sell so many things, all they really needed help transporting was a handful of pieces of heavy furniture. We’ve also taken on large projects where we’ve transported entire mansions worth of electronics, books, furniture, cookware, etc.

Which approach works best for you will depend on your personality, life circumstances, and budget.  But most of our clients are more than happy to undertake a moderate degree of downsizing.

It’s Important To Conduct To Visit Your New Home Before Spending A Single Penny

Just last month, we had a client in Fairfax, VA who rented an apartment in Denver, CO without visiting first. She put down her deposit after researching a number of listings online.  When she arrived, she admitted that if she had visited in person first, she wouldn’t have placed her deposit. It’s not that the apartment was awful, but it wasn’t quite as luxurious in person as it seemed in the photographs.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong researching apartment or housing listings online. Apartment and real estate search tools can help you speed up the process of finding exactly what you’re looking for, and uncover listings you might not have found otherwise.  But before you make a final decision on a new place to live, it’s important to visit first.

Unfortunately, many landlords and real-estate agents are pushy and may use high pressure sales tactics to convince you to make a down payment or deposit. Simply put, it’s never a good idea to let yourself fall for those types of sales tactics.

Here’s the unfiltered truth: it’s impossible to know if you’re going to like a place without visiting first. Not to mention that most apartment listings don’t have detailed descriptions of the neighborhoods where they’re located. For all you know, you could accidentally end up renting a beautiful apartment right next to a garbage dump.

Instead of putting down a deposit after doing some internet research, schedule a visit to an apartment or house before paying a single penny.  The money you’ll spend on a hotel or an Airbnb will be more than worth the peace of mind of knowing you’ve chosen the right place.

Besides, the first year in a new city is always the most difficult, but having a home you love will take the edge off.

Are you ready to work with a reputable moving company with an outstanding track record of customer satisfaction? Get a free quote from Tristate Moving And Storage, the best movers in the DMV! Our Professional Trained Movers go through over 200 Hours of intense training, so you can rest assured that your precious cargo will only be handled by experts!

Researching the right moving company can seem like a daunting task.  But it’s more than worth the effort.

One of our clients, a public relations professional in Fairfax, VA, had to learn that lesson the hard way. A few years ago, before learning about Tristate Moving And Storage, she decided to move with the help of a moving company that left a flyer in front of her house.  It would be a major understatement to say she was dissatisfied with the service.

She paid her initial deposit online, plus an extra $300 in cash on moving day.  But it turned out the company was understaffed that day–she actually had to call her friends and family for help in order to complete the move on time!  She asked the moving company for a refund, but it took the threat of a lawsuit in order to get her money back.

Unfortunately, experiences like this are relatively common. Since moving companies don’t typically work with the same client more than once, many of them focus more on marketing and advertising than actually providing good, or even adequate service. Even worse, some companies are just scams…they might take a hefty deposit while failing to show up at all.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from having to deal with an unprofessional moving company…or being scammed.  Here are some tips for finding the right moving company.

Go With A Reputable LOCAL Moving Company.

The best way to avoid scams is to hire a local moving company, says Pejman Sayas, founder of Tristate Moving And Storage, one of the Washington, DC area’s premier moving companies.  Scam artists tend to operate on the internet, but having multiple physical locations, its own moving trucks, and a team of professional movers is a strong sign that a company is legitimate. Sayas suggests visiting a moving company’s physical location, or at least checking for verified locations on Google Maps, to ensure that a company is legitimate.

Compare Different Estimates

Scam artists will often lure people in with unusually low prices. Don’t get us wrong–there’s nothing wrong with looking for a reasonable price!  But if a price seems too good to be true, there are reasons to be suspicious. If a company’s quote is unusually low, it’s likely that the moving company prioritizes low cost over providing stellar service.  Worst case scenario: it’s a scam.

To know if an estimate is too good to be true, it’s a good idea to compare estimates from different companies.

Check Every Moving Company’s Credentials

The Department of Transportation issues a unique number to all companies that conduct interstate moves. This number essentially functions as a license, verifying that a moving company is a federally validated interstate moving company. If a mover is officially licensed, its DOT number will be listed on dot.gov.  A simple way to check for this number is to conduct a quick Google search for “[company name] department of transportation.”  There should usually be a dot.gov page on the first page of the search results.  

Read The Reviews

Check a company’s website to see if they put customer reviews on display.  (Here at Tristate, we display a full list of our Google reviews on every single page of our website.) Simply put, no moving company worth its salt will be afraid to show you its reviews.

Be Suspicious Of Unusually Expensive Deposits

This is one of those situations where you need to use your gut, says Sayas. A credible moving company won’t ask for an enormous deposit prior to a move.  And if they do, it’s likely because they expect you to be dissatisfied with their service. Sayas suggests paying all deposits and payments with a credit card, so you can dispute any charges in the event that you receive inadequate service.

Final Pointers

Any company that refuses to return your possessions until you pay is committing a crime.  In the event that this happens, calling the police is within your rights.

If you work with a moving company that is unprofessional or a scam, we encourage you to give them a negative online review.

In late 2016, a moving company in the DC Metro Area was accused of holding customers’ possessions hostage, essentially demanding “ransom” in exchange for the returned items.  This company was fined roughly $500,000. To put it another way, there is real justice in the world, and no moving company is entitled to treat its customers poorly.

Are you ready to work with a reputable moving company with an outstanding track record of customer satisfaction? Get a free quote from Tristate Moving And Storage, the DMV’s Premier Moving Company! Our Professional Trained Movers go through over 200 Hours of intense training, so you can rest assured that your precious cargo will only be handled by experts!

We have been in the moving business for a long time, and during that time, we’ve worked with countless families.  In fact, just a few weeks ago, we helped a large family with an infant, a toddler, and two teenagers move from Rockville, Maryland to Southern California.

As some of the most experienced local movers in the Tristate area, we feel that we’re well-suited to offer advice on moving with children, whether it’s a short or long distance move.  So without further ado, here are some of our top tips for moving with children.

Get A Head Start!

Packing at the last minute is never a good idea, but it’s especially difficult when you’re moving with children.  If you have teenagers, it wasn’t their idea to move, so they’re not going to feel very motivated to prepare ahead of time.  And if you have younger children, you’re likely going to be too distracted to prepare ahead of time.

We recommend scheduling a full-service move, which includes having movers arrive at your home weeks ahead of time with packing supplies.  We can handle all packing and unpacking for you, and we’re confident that will make your move a thousand times easier.

Label Boxes With Your Children’s Possessions

During our time in the industry, we’ve seen a few children get agitated because they weren’t sure exactly where their toys were packed.  We’d strongly suggest labeling each box that includes your children’s possessions. (Side note: Labeling all boxes is a great idea.  If you decided to have us help you pack, feel free to tell us how you would like each box to be labeled!)

Give Your Children A Chance To Say Goodbye To Their Old House

On moving day, after you’ve packed everything, we think it’s a good idea to give your children some closure before they move on to their new location.  From our experience, we’ve seen that it helps them get some closure and peace of mind, which helps them adjust a bit faster.

Find Ways For Your Children To Help Out

Even if you only have very young children, it’s important to make sure they feel involved in the moving process.

If you have a very young child, perhaps you can help them go through their things to decide where they want to pack each item. If you have older children or teenagers, try to find a way to involve them in the logistics of moving and packing. The local movers at Tristate are prepared to help your children feel included in the moving process.

Give Each Family Member A “Carry-On” Sized Suitcase For Moving Day

We’ve talked about small suitcases in previous blog posts, but we think this tip is especially important for families with children. Moving can be overwhelming, and when your children arrive, they’re going to be eager to unpack. Since unpacking usually takes a little while, have each of your children pack a small suitcase with their favorite clothes, toys, and other possessions to get them through the transitional phase of moving.

Help Your Children Get Rid Of Items They’ve Outgrown

Moving is a great opportunity to “Marie Kondo” your life.  In other words, it’s the right time to lighten your load by getting rid of things you no longer need.

Just as importantly, it’s a great time to teach your children to do the same thing.  You and your children and go through their possessions together, deciding which items to donate and which items to keep.

Let The Expert Local Movers At Tristate Help With Your Transition

Here at Tristate Moving And Storage, our expertly trained local movers have tons of experiencing helping families with children move to new locations.  When you’re ready to start planning your big move, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’ll be absolutely thrilled to help you move on to the next phase of your life.

Some people assert that moving is one of life’s most difficult events, similar to divorce and surgery.  We’re grateful that isn’t true, but we do understand that moving can cause quite a bit of stress.

The Internet is filled with tips on how to reduce stress while moving–it seems everyone and their dog has a “lifehack” that supposedly makes moving an absolute breeze–even without hiring movers!  We’re skeptical for obvious reasons.

But as the best movers in the Tristate Area, we contend that we are in a solid position to offer some suggestions on how to reduce stress on moving day.

Meal Prep Like A Fitness Nut!

Have you ever met a devoted fitness enthusiast who consumes carefully measured, home-cooked meals from plastic containers? Eating that way on a frequent basis seem extreme to most people, but on moving day, eating that way might be the wisest court of action.

When you’re grappling with the stress of moving, it’s ideal to eat healthy food that makes you feel energized, and that’s difficult when you’re on the go and don’t have access to a kitchen.  Instead, prepare home cooked meals in advance, and store them in disposable containers. You can eat them during the course of your move instead of binging on fast food.

Protect Your Floors And Walls

Few things add stress to a move like accidental dents in the walls and scratches on wooden floors.  The best movers will typically utilize padding to protect the walls of your home, in addition to floor runners to protect wooden surfaces.

Pack A “Carry-On” Bag

You’re not going to have time to unpack all of your things the instant you move.  For that reason, packing a carry-on sized bag is a great way to reduce stress during your move.  Simply pack your bag with all the essentials you would bring on a short vacation, and you can live out of that bag for a day or two as you unpack in your new home.

Picture the following:

You just moved from Washington, DC to Austin, TX, and you’re having a great time.  You’re elated by the mild winters, the delectable barbecue, and the incredible live music.  You’re meeting new people every week, and you love your new job. Until one day, the novelty of your new location wears off, and you’re not so happy anymore.

It hits you.  You’re homesick, just like the people at the moving company insisted you would be.  You wonder if it’s actually normal for a fully grown adult to feel this way.

As some of the most experienced movers in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, take it from us: It’s completely normal!  We’ve kept in touch with numerous long-distance moving clients over the years, and we’ve seen many of them go through the type of emotional rollercoaster we just described.

We’ve also picked up some pointers on how to deal with homesickness.  Here are some of them.

Limit Contact With People Back Home.  But Don’t Cut Them Out Of Your Life.

Striking the right balance between staying in constant touch with people back home and cutting off all communication can be a bit of a challenge.  Spend too much time talking and texting with people from your hometown, and you can end up glued to your phone, which will keep you from interacting with people in your new location.  But if you cut off all communication, you’ll lose valuable connections.

Here’s what we’ve found works best for our clients: Communicate with people back home as much as you want when you first arrive, but gradually scale things back as you make more friends.  (Yes, that even means reducing communication with those friendly local movers in Rockville, MD!)

Early on, you can lean on your friends and family back home when you’re feeling homesick.  But later on, see if going out with your new local friends can help alleviate your melancholy.  You may be surprised.

Avoid Romanticizing Your Previous Life

Nostalgia is something we all experience, but it’s important that you recognize it for what it is.

As one of our expert movers in Arlington, VA told a former client: “If you had everything you needed here, you wouldn’t have had to leave.”

In other words, while it’s great to hold on to fond memories of the past, it’s important to recognize our tendency to view the past through rose-colored glasses.  Don’t let an idealized perception of the past fool you into thinking your best years are behind you.

Pursue Some Social Hobbies

Traditionally, people try to make new friends by getting to know their coworkers.  And people in their 20s and 30s often spend time trying to socialize in the bar scene.  But environments involving work or nightlife can be very limiting.

Hobbies are not only great for your social life; they’ll also make you a happier person.  From a 2018 New York Times Op-Ed:

Last spring, I forgot the word for hobby. I was on a hike with friends, and I was explaining how much happier my spouse had become recently after starting a band with some friends.

“It’s just nice for them, I think, to have this creative outlet that’s not their job,” I told my friends. “It doesn’t have to be something that brings them money, just something that lets them unwind and have fun.”

You’re more likely to connect with people if you share mutual interests, and you can interact in an environment where you can enjoy those interests together.  There’s not much that alleviates homesickness better than connecting with other humans.

Do Some Volunteer Work

Volunteering isn’t only good for the world; it’s great for the health of the people who do it.  That’s not just our opinion, it’s science. From Harvard Medical School:

Studies have shown that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression. But I was surprised to learn that volunteering has positive implications that go beyond mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.

Let’s see…volunteering allows you to make the world a better place, improve your physical and mental health, and meet genuinely nice people.  Why wouldn’t someone want to spend more time volunteering?

We know from experience that volunteering is an excellent way to meet people.  One of our movers in Maryland met his spouse while volunteering at a local soup kitchen.

Remember How Common Your Experience Is

We’ve been in this business for a long time, so we can tell you with the utmost confidence that homesickness after long-distance moving is pretty much a universal experience.  So if you’re having a hard time, remember that what you’re going through is normal.

It’s not a sign that you made the wrong choice, or that you’ll never be as happy as you were in your hometown.  As our mover in Virginia already noted, people move because it’s what they need to do.

We know that when our clients do what they need to do, they adjust and build joyful, fulfilling lives in new cities.  If they can do it, so can you.

You’ve decided you’re ready to move somewhere new.  Maybe you want to be closer to a spouse, family members, or friends.  Or perhaps you’re just looking for a change of scenery.

Unless you’re retired, you’ll need to find employment in your new location.  Here are some ways you can do that.

1) Ask Your Company To Transfer You

If you work for a company that offers job opportunities in the location where you want to move, then this option is a no brainer.  If you’re a valued employee who makes strong contributions to your company, it’s very likely that your company will be willing to help you find a position in a different location.

2) Explore Remote Work Options

While remote work isn’t a possibility for all lines of work, people who do most of their work on a computer should explore this option.  If you’re a stellar employee, your boss may be flexible enough to allow you to work from a more distant location. See this article from CNBC for tips on how to negotiate a remote work agreement.

3) Consider Self-Employment

If you have a lot of work experience, self-employment could be the next logical step in your career.  For example, if you’re an experienced lawyer at a law firm, starting a solo legal practice may be a good option for you.  Not only will you have more flexibility in terms of your location; you’ll also be able to choose your own hours and take time off as you see fit.

4) Consult With Your Personal Network

The most reliable way to get a job is through personal connections.  You may not believe that you have the right personal connections to land a job, but if you do a bit of digging around, you might be pleasantly surprised.  All it takes is one person to get your foot in the door at a company. So reach out to distant family members, old friends from high school or college, your Facebook friends, etc, and see what they know about jobs in the city where you intend to move.

5) Send Out Your Resume

If you’ve exhausted all of the options above and still can’t find anything, then it’s likely you’ll have to find a job the old fashioned way: by sending out your resume to lots of different places.  There are countless resources that explain how to do this effectively.  One of my favorites is this video from Ramit Sethi.

Don’t Let the Logistics of Moving Distract You From Your Job Search!

If you’re looking for a new job in a new city, you want to stay focused on your job search.  You absolutely don’t want to get bogged down by countless hours of packing and lifting furniture.

That’s why TRISTATE MOVING AND STORAGE is here to help.  Our expert movers go through over 200 hours of training before working with a single client, which means you can trust them to handle all of the packing and heavy lifting that moving requires.

Let us handle the heavy load, so you can focus on other things!

Americans move a lot. That’s not just a casual observation; research shows that Americans are some of the most mobile people in the world.

So if you’re thinking of moving, you’re certainly not alone. Here are five signs that it might be time for you to move.

1) You dread coming home from vacation.

You’re miles away from home, and you’re having the time of your life. You’re enjoying the food you don’t normally eat, a foreign landscape that feels ripe for exploration, and adventures you’re going to remember for the rest of your life.

But then you’re reminded that you have to leave tomorrow. How do you feel?

 A)  Bittersweet.  It hurts to leave, but there’s a lot back home that’s important to you. You feel fortunate that you get to return to a place you like.

 B)  Dreadful.  You just had an amazing time, and now you have to go back to the same stupid job, with the same boring people, and the same boring weather…you just don’t want to go back to your boring life!

If you answered A, you might be okay where you are. If you answered B, then something needs to change, and it might be your location.

2) Your (real life) social network is shrinking.

No, we’re not talking about your number of Facebook friends!

Perhaps you used to have a large network of close friends and family in your hometown. But for a variety of reasons, people are starting to leave. Your friends are finding new jobs elsewhere, changing their relationship statuses, or simply looking for a change of scenery. Your family members might be leaving for similar reasons, or perhaps they’re getting older and looking for someplace more comfortable to retire.

If there’s someplace else you’ve always wanted to live, now is a great time to make that dream come true!  After all, you’re not going to be leaving too much behind, and a new location might be a nice way to get a fresh new start.

3) Better career opportunities exist elsewhere.

Let’s say you’re an entertainment lawyer. Think of the types of cities where jobs in that field are likely to be available: Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Chicago, etc. But if you live in a small rural town in Idaho, entertainment law probably isn’t the best field to specialize in!

Work is one of the most common reasons to move, and if jobs in your field aren’t available in your hometown, there’s no shame in looking elsewhere.

4) You would have an easier time fitting in somewhere else.

Everyone is different, and no place is for everyone.

Imagine you’re an outdoorsy person who loves hunting and fishing. There are lots of places in the country where you can enjoy those hobbies. New York City isn’t one of them!

It’s important that you feel you fit in where you live, or at least that you enjoy and appreciate the culture. If you feel too much like a square peg in a round hole, you might be a bit happier somewhere else.

5) Your living space is cramping your style.

Maybe you love your city, but your apartment is driving you nuts. Utilities are always breaking down, and the landlord never fixes them!  Or your kitchen isn’t big enough for an avid chef like you.

If that’s the case, moving to a new place is a no brainer! You don’t have to leave your city; all you have to do is move a mile or two away.

Let us make your move less stressful.

If you’ve decided it’s time to move, you might be feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed. This is normal—moving is stressful for most people.

Here at TRISTATE, we work tirelessly to make the moving process easier for you. Whether you’re relocating to a new city or just to a new apartment down the block, we’re here to make your move a stress free event!

Remember the first time you helped a friend move?  You knew someone who was moving to a new place, and instead of hiring movers, your friend asked for your help.  And you felt too guilty to say no.

You were hoping to spend your day off watching TV, hiking, reading, swimming, or whatever else it is you like to do for leisure.  But instead, you spent the whole day lugging around someone else’s furniture.

There are many reasons not to subject your friends and family to that experience.  Here are three of them.

1) It will mess with your relationships.

Your friends and family should be people who look forward to your phone calls.  But that’s not going to be the case if they expect you to ask them for large favors each time you get in touch.

I’m not going to mince words: being asked to move someone else’s furniture really sucks.  And if you like someone, ideally you’ll never have to ask them to do that for you.

Don’t get me wrong, moving furniture isn’t so bad if you’re a professionally trained mover who lugs heavy things around for a living.  But if you don’t have training, it’s a real drag.  And you might do it wrong.

Which leads to the next reason…

2) They’ll probably do it wrong.

Moving heavy items around without leaving scratches on the floors and dents in the walls is a lot more complicated than it might seem.  Here at TRISTATE, we put our movers through 200 hours of training to make sure they don’t make common mistakes.

If you’re moving into a rental property, careless mistakes on the part of your friends and family, which are likely to happen, can cost you a lot of money in the long run.  Better to save the money (and stress) and hire people who can save you cash in the long run.

3) It will take forever.

How popular are you, really?  Some of us have large groups of local friends and family members who will help us move at the drop of a hat, but most people won’t be able to get more than three or four people to commit to an entire day of moving.

The fewer people you have helping you, the longer your move will take.  But if you hire professional movers, you’ll have a large group of skilled people who can move your things quickly and efficiently.  That will significantly reduce your moving time.

Need help moving?  Don’t burden your friends and family.  Hire the experts at TRISTATE.

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