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I Moved 500+ Miles in 3 Weeks

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We’re here! We made it. The moving truck has been returned, most of the boxes are unpacked, and we are settling in to our new life in the mountains. It’s wonderful, but strange. Instead of opening my front door to the sounds of traffic and the city skyline, I’m opening my door to the sound of crickets and a mountain view. It’s a good change but it’s a big adjustment. I still can’t believe we did it.

It went from being a fleeting idea to an executable plan in 3 weeks. It’s kind of crazy when I think about it. I’m a planner and the idea of a 500+ mile move in 3 weeks gives me anxiety. Even now, sitting here, thinking about what we just did induces small amounts of stress.  Overall, our move went great! There are a few things I would do differently if I had it to do again but hindsight is 20-20 and it all worked out in the end.

On three weeks notice, I packed up my entire life and moved almost 600 miles away. It was a crazy whirlwind of a time but we are here and we did it mostly stress-free! Here are the top things we did to make our move as painless as possible.

Right now, I’m not focusing on the mistakes or the things I would have done differently. I’m focusing on the gorgeous sunrise we saw driving in, the amazing view we have from our new home, and our upcoming weekend trip to Columbus, OH. 

Everything I did to move 500+ miles in 3 weeks.

A few things we did right…

  • Read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (as recommended by a reader when I asked y’all for help) and purged so much stuff before packing. I highly, highly recommend this book. 
  • Started packing immediately and labeled boxes with the box number, room, and general contents. Example: 1 / 54 + Kitchen + Bakeware. This made unpacking so much simpler!
  • Reserved our moving truck early and negotiated pricing with Penske. I used their website for a price quote then used their online chat feature to negotiate. They reduced the price by over $200 to price match with another company quote I’d received! It always pays to at least ask about pricing. 
  • Scheduled our utility connections the day we received our new address. They sometimes require a few days notice and the last thing we wanted was to arrive to no electricity! Our utility reps all showed up on time (one was early!) and installed the services with no problems.  
  • Hired movers to load and unload the moving truck so we wouldn’t be exhausted during the drive. We went through Hire a Helper which was both fantastic and terrible. The service was great but the movers we hired were not so great. That whole story is for another post on another day.
  • Signed our lease electronically and had the key set up in a lockbox on our front door. That allowed us to arrive on our schedule and not worry about coordinating with the leasing office. 
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A few things I’d do differently…

  • Contact my bank and let them know we were moving across state lines. I received three phone calls from our bank regarding potential fraud transactions on our account. They were triggered from so many transactions in various states and large out-of-state payments. I appreciated them protecting our account but it was frustrating to field so many phone calls while driving.
  • Pack a box of basic toiletries for our first morning. I did have a “first morning” box based on recommendations from blog readers (fabulous idea!) but I wish I would have included a couple of extra things. I mean, I didn’t have any shampoo for our first morning! I was hot and sweaty from the move but I didn’t have any way to wash my hair. Dry shampoo saved the day and I made emergency runs to the store for a few things I needed.

Now, here we are. We live on the top of a mountain and it’s beautiful! On our first evening we saw a couple young deer and rabbits in our backyard. It’s definitely a new experience for us but it’s been wonderful so far!

Moving is stressful enough without having to worry about moving over 500 miles on 3 weeks notice! Basically, my husband and I are crazy for even attempting it but we're here (finally) and looking forward to our new journey. If you find yourself planning a move on short notice, you can probably learn a thing or two from our do's and don't for moving. Then, all I can do is wish you luck! Moving is miserable.

Comments

  1. I remember moving from VA to CA a few years ago and I am thankful we didn’t run into too many issues. We moved ourselves (U-Haul) and my FIL came out to help us with the drive and unloading of our things into our new place. I’m so glad you guys made it safely!

    So smart having your lease being signed electronically and even thinking to set up your utilities before you arrive! I know wi-fi is the first thing I want working 😉

    Where in WV are you and what brought you guys out there? I’m sure it’s such a difference from Atlanta!

  2. Couldn’t imagine making a move that big so quick! I think you did a fabulous job planning and making it work!

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