Moving Made Simple: How to Minimize Relocation Stress During a Pandemic



Moving to a new home is a giant cause of stress in the lives of most adults. And relocating during a global pandemic can make matters even more difficult. We’ve curated a list of expert tips for you to take the stress out of moving while staying safe.


1. Get pre-approved for a new place to live

  1. Ideally, you’d like to find a new place to live before you move. Unless you know the area well already, we recommend renting for the first six months while you get a feel for the area. To find a safe, budget-friendly place to live, hire a reputable realtor to show you homes in your choice neighborhoods. Hiring the right realtor is extremely important when moving to another state. A knowledgeable real estate agent should be able to guide you throughout your house hunting process. They should also know the market inside and out and be able to help you with all legalities and paperwork.

2. Get organized

  1. Create a moving binder that includes:

  2. A customized moving checklist

  3. Copies of medical and school records

  4. A moving budget with estimated and actual expenses

3. Budget accordingly:

  1. Moving always costs more than you think, so be sure you’ve set aside plenty of money dedicated to the expense.

  2. Determine what your employer will cover

  3. Include one time expenses as well as ongoing ones. The more you can add to the list up front, the less unexpected costs you’ll face, which is vital when money is tight. Also, once you’ve solidified a realistic budget, you can look for ways to cut current and future expenses.

  4. Here are a few moving expenses you may not have thought about:

  5. Gas/diesel expenses of up to $8.00 per gallon can be charged by your moving truck rental company if you don’t return the truck with a full tank

  6. Mileage overage surcharges

  7. Packing supplies like boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, etc., can add up quickly, especially if you aren’t finding used or free boxes

  8. Cross-country shipping for your car if necessary

  9. Hotel rooms and meals out during your out-of-state move

  10. Utility deposits and connection fees

  11. First and last month’s rent on a new apartment or house

  12. Products to set up your new home like shower curtains, rods, bath mats, hand towels, cleaning supplies, and groceries

Moving out of state won’t be cheap. The average cost of hiring professional movers for an out of state move is $4,890. Keep in mind that even if you’re planning a DIY move, you’ll have to pay for a truck rental or container, moving supplies and various other expenses. To figure out your budget, start with how much you are willing and able to spend on the move. Then list out all necessary moving expenses. Remember to put a bit of extra money aside for unexpected expenses. Also, if moving for a job, be sure to check whether or not your employer plans to cover part or all of your moving expenses.


4. Schools, churches or other important places

  1. Have school-age children? Make researching schools in your new city or state a high priority on your moving out of state checklist. If you plan to send your child to public school, determine which neighborhoods are associated with your schools of interest.

5. Choose whether to hire or DIY

  1. Moving out of state won’t be cheap. The average cost of hiring professional movers for an out of state move is $4,890

  2. If you choose to forego movers and do it yourself, you’ll still have to pay for a truck rental or container, moving supplies, and various other expenses.

  3. To figure out your budget, start with how much you are willing and able to spend on the move. Then list out all necessary moving expenses. Remember to put a bit of extra money aside for unexpected expenses

  4. If moving for a job, be sure to check whether or not your employer plans to cover part or all of your moving expenses


6. Have a strategic packing plan

  1. Depending on how much you own, you may want to start packing a month or so in advance

  2. Develop a packing plan that makes sense for you, your family, and your belongings

  3. Most people leave their essential items, like dinnerware, out until a couple days before the move so they can access them without having to unpack anything

  4. Packing the least necessary items first ensures you won’t end up unpacking any boxes

7. Gather all documentation school records medical records

  1. Creating a folder with important documents should be at the top of your moving checklist

  2. Most schools will require previous records and documentation in order to determine where to place your children

  3. Keep all documents in a dry, secure location to preserve them throughout the move

8. Odds and Ends

  1. It’s common for people to feel they’re in good shape to move until moving day, when they remember lots of little last minute things. Here are some reminders:

  2. Empty storage unit

  3. Transfer utilities

  4. Forward mail

  5. Hire move out cleaners


9. Turn in keys to current home


Clever ways to save money before moving:

  1. Cancel recurring expenses like the cable bill or Netflix subscription in the months prior to the move. Transfer that saved money into a separate moving fund so you’re not tempted to spend it elsewhere.

  2. Brainstorm ways to minimize your material footprint and sell any unused belongings.

  3. Rent an existing room using a service like Airbnb. However, check with your landlord and local laws first to be sure this is a legal possibility.



And there you have it! Hopefully this inclusive list will make your move a breeze. If you’re moving out of state during a pandemic, you will want to call ahead to any places you visit to learn if they are open, have different hours, or require any kind of face covering.


Remember that a little stress is to be expected during any kind of move. Try to be flexible and proactive in getting organized to keep you from being more stressed than necessary. Approach the process with a mindset of excitement about the new place and the opportunities that await.


For more information on finding a home and a mortgage that works for you, visit Panorama Mortgage Advisors


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