Six Tips for Cross Country Relocation on a Tight Budget

Ever wish you could just pick up and move across the country? There are so many obstacles standing in the way of that dream move. Take an inventory of your lifestyle and figure out what is keeping you where you are. If you don’t have kids or own your own home, then it is very possible to make that big move. All it takes is a huge leap of faith and an attitude for adventure. Here are six tips for cross country relocation on a tight budget.

You Don’t Need a Rental Truck or a Moving Service

Okay, you may be asking how your stuff is getting to another state without a rental truck or moving service. Take a look around your place. Is your furniture high quality or brand new? If not, you can replace it for less then moving it. When you move cross country on a tight budget, you basically are going to only bring items that are irreplaceable, hold huge sentimental value or absolutely needed.

By bringing only what you absolutely need, you can transport most of your stuff in your car and ship some items that are sturdy via UPS. The biggest cost of an out of state move is moving your stuff there. By not bringing all the household furniture, you save a bundle.

Plan Ahead

Since you will be showing up in a new state with near nothing, you need to plan ahead. If you can visit before hand, do it. Make sure you stop by apartment complexes and other housing options. Pick up applications and speak to the property managers. If you can not visit before hand, the internet is your best option. You can search for apartments online and get information about leases, rates and contact information. Some apartment complexes permit you to apply right on the web. If you are moving blindly, I suggest signing only a short term lease for three or six months. Plan your move to occur at the end of your current lease.

Many apartment complexes will permit you to apply and sign a lease before arriving when you tell them you are moving cross country. About two months before your move, call the complexes in the new area. Ask them if they will have anything available for the month you want to move. Find out if they will permit you do everything by mail or fax. Look at your options, choose one and send the information and deposit.

Two weeks before your expected move date, contact the utility providers and find out about deposits for power and water. Some power companies will permit you to send them a letter of credit from your current provider to wave the deposit. Call and set up a start date for these services and have them turned on a day before you plan to arrive.

Give Yourself Two Months to Sort and Pack

Cross country relocation on a tight budget requires you to weed out the clutter in your life. Since space is a premium, you need to make decisions on which stuff you can’t live with out verses the stuff that is easily replaced. I recommend doing a pre-sort and a post-sort before the final pack. You would be surprised how much stuff you initially thought you couldn’t live without ends up in the donate pile after the second sort.

Make four piles while sorting: A throw out pile; a keep pile; a donate pile and a sell pile. Items such as furniture and exercise equipment can be sold in the local classified ads. Clothes in good condition that no longer fit and household items such as bake ware and dishes can be donated to charities. Make sure you get a receipt for the value of the items you donate for tax purposes. When sorting, consider how often you use the items and how much it would cost to replace them. If something has gone unused or unworn for more then six months and it is not seasonal, you don’t really need or use it.

When you do your final pack for your cross country relocation, make sure you decided what is being brought in the car and what is being shipped. Bring all items that are not replaceable in your car with you. These items include: Pictures, legal documents, family air looms and breakables. Make sure all items shipped via UPS are sturdy and can handle the abuse of shipping. Out of season clothing, books, and DVD collections ship very well.

Apply for New Employment Online

About two weeks before your cross country move, go online and apply for employment at several locations. Use your new address and your cell phone number and list the available to work date a day or two after you expect to arrive in your new location. Also, do some online research about the companies in your new location. Make a list of places to apply for work in person once you arrive. This will make looking for work in a new place less stressful.

If you have relatives near by your new location, ask them about the companies that caught your eye. You would be surprised how often you will hear that they know someone that works there. The locals know which companies are great to work for and which companies are less then stellar. Use this knowledge to your advantage while looking for work.

Spend Some Time Looking at Maps

It sounds odd, but it will help you learn your way around a new city. I recommend using Yahoo Maps. There is a feature where you can display nearby businesses by categories on the maps. Take note on where grocery stores, gas stations, and other businesses are located compared to your new place. Familiarize yourself with the main streets and how to reach them from your new home.

While you are at Yahoo Maps, search the route for your cross country move as well. Depending on the length of the trip to get there, you may have to stop over night. If you need to stop over night, figure out where you will be stopping and look for hotels in the area. You can also project how much fuel will cost you for the trip and plan ahead for food and fuel stops.

Take a Deep Breath Before You Leave and Once You Arrive

Embarking on a cross country relocation on a tight budget is ruff and stressful. Remember to take a deep breath and accept the fact that there will be bumps along the way. View the move as an adventure. It is rather exciting to be able to wipe the slate clean and start all over once you get over the fear of leaving the familiar. Don’t worry about the not having furniture on your arrival. You can easily acquire inexpensive used furniture at thrift stores and free furniture if you are willing to dumpster dive. You can buy a new bed and leave the rest of the place empty for a few months until you can afford to furnish the rest of the place. People everywhere have lived happily with less.

Keep in mind that you will eventually have a sense of normalcy. Don’t expect the first month to go smoothly. Things will be challenging at first but after a few months it will pan out. With determination and will, you will thrive in your new location. Don’t expect everything to work as it did in the state that you left. Don’t dwell on the fact that they have a different procedure for getting a driver’s license or paying taxes. You will get use to the new ways of your new state.

Cross country relocations are always challenging even when you have a huge budget to work with, but it can be done on a tight budget as well. Think long and hard before you make your decision and make sure a cross country move on a tight budget is for you. It can be done, but it is not easy. These six tips are useful and will make it a little easier to make your cross country relocation on a tight budget.

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