Navy Federal Homecenter

Register Log In Site Feedback

Home Buying 101

Planning Your Move

How to Keep Your Sanity during the Big Move

Moving to a new home in a brand-new city can be an exciting adventure. The logistics and the expenses can be daunting, however. Fortunately, there are ways to get through a move—even a long-distance one—without losing your sanity.

Plan Ahead

“Planning ahead is key,” says Mary Scott Tuck, director of training and certification for the American Moving & Storage Association. “Spend as much time as you can in the new area before you move,” she says. “Bring a list of things you need to find, such as schools, elder care and grocery stores, to get a jump on the transition.”

Determine Closing Dates

Given the closing time requirements under federal law, you might want to consider giving yourself a minimum of five calendar days between closing and selling.

“Closing and moving are both stressful, so spread them out a bit,” Tuck says. “Plus, the last thing you want is a moving truck filled with all your stuff waiting to be unloaded in front of a house you haven’t closed on yet.”

Allow Time to Fix Up Your New House

If the house needs any sprucing up, plan to close even earlier. Arrange to have painting, carpeting and other work done before you move in, and make sure the utilities are working, suggests Jim Hamilton, a regional vice president with the National Association of REALTORS®.

Make a Budget

“The cost of moving cross-country isn’t going to be all that different from moving to the next county,” Tuck says. But there are other costs to consider when moving long-distance. Get estimates from several movers. Ask if a lower rate is charged for moving during the week, as opposed to weekends. Movers frequently offer discounts, so check online for coupons.

A full moving van will often take longer to get to your new home than you will, and your moving company will give you a window of delivery dates. Be ready for the movers on the first date they provide.

Be Prepared

You should also have a contingency plan in case the truck’s arrival is delayed. Bring enough clothes for a few days, and budget for additional meals away from home and for hotel rooms. Another option is to bring air mattresses so you can sleep in your new home until the furniture arrives.

A little extra time spent packing can save lots of time once you’re in the new home. If you label boxes clearly and with detail when you pack, it will be easier to know exactly what’s in each box when you arrive. Being able to find your bedding, clothes and kitchen supplies will help you get off to a more relaxed start in your new home.