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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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