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4 ways to prepare for a long move

Moving far away can be a hassle, but there are a few ways to make the process easier.

Whether it's across the state or across the country, a long move can be stressful. Properly preparing, packing and unpacking can make the process a lot smoother and simpler. Here are some moving tips to make things less complicated.

Label boxes well

One of the most taxing parts of a move is unpacking. You can make this easier on yourself with a little foresight before moving. Label boxes thoroughly, including not only what's in them but where they go in your new home.

It may seem tedious at the time to write out "silverware, flatware, and cups: to go in kitchen cabinets" instead of just "kitchen," but in a long-haul move you're less likely to remember exactly what items are in the boxes when it comes time to unpack. Taking a few extra seconds to label each box will go a long way in setting up your new home. 

Decide what to do with your car

There are a few different things to consider when you're moving a car a long distance. When you're planning to move, take note of your car's current condition. Has it had a lot of problems recently? Is it older? If your car has any check lights on, it's time to get those fixed. Even a car that seems to be in good shape should be brought in for a tune-up before driving it a long distance.

If you're on the fence about whether to drive your car, it might be time to do some math. It's worth calculating how much it would cost to get the car repaired enough to drive to your new home. You should also consider calculating how much fuel will cost for the trip. A car with very low mileage may not be worth driving. In these cases, if the cost of driving the car itself is too high, you may consider shipping it to your new destination or even selling it and taking the opportunity to get something with better mileage.

Shipping a car comes with its own considerations. There are companies that you can hire to drive your car or ship it on a trailer to your destination. Depending on the car, you may want to prevent racking up miles. Open-air trailers are cheaper but offer less protection. It all depends on what's right for you and your car.

Pack a clear box

This is another way to save yourself some hassle while unpacking. Pack one clear box full of essentials, so you're not digging through boxes when you get to your new home.

This box should include everything you'll need for the day after arrival. A change of clothes is a good option, as well as scissors, snacks, and maybe even one set of non-breakable dishes. This helps cut down on hassle by making everything you'll need right away easy to find - the clear box will let you know what's inside and stand out from the other boxes.

Get your paperwork done

One of the most important things you can do before a long move is to get all of your paperwork in order. This includes switching your license to a new state, getting a change of address form and getting new professional licenses for the place you're moving to.

Filling out paperwork for things like an address change can seem intimidating, but it's important to get it done, and the sooner the better. You should also get a DMV registration renewal to register your car in your new location. It's much more of a hassle to deal with the consequences of not doing all the paperwork than to sit down and take care of it before you move.

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