Moving for a Job? Tips for Moving Your Things

Packing and moving your personal belongings is fundamental to any new chapter in your life. If your new job requires you to live in a new place, that’s an invitation to reevaluate the stuff you own. Do you bring it all or leave some of it behind? And how do you get it all to the new destination? Here’s what you need to consider when preparing to move your things to a new apartment.

Get ready to declutter

Before you can even begin thinking about packing and moving your things, you need to decide what to take. Being armed with knowledge about your new apartment — especially its size and layout — can help you decide how much you can take to your new location.

Similarly, if you’re moving across the country, consider how the locale will affect what you need. If you’re moving from Colorado to Tampa, for example, you might not need to keep all your cold-weather clothing or ski gear.

Even your new job might play a role in what you keep versus give away. If the new job represents a major promotion, for example, your current professional wardrobe may no longer suit the new role.

And be on the lookout for duplicates. Do you have four sets of measuring cups or two bathroom scales? Reduce and eliminate.

Throw away, sell, or donate

Once you know what you plan to leave behind, determine the best way to part with it: selling, donating, or throwing away.

There are tax advantages to donating, so keep good records about what you give to charities to claim on your tax return. But not everything can be donated; most charities won’t want clothing in poor condition, old electronics, or certain kinds of furniture. Contact the charity you want to donate to and find out what their current rules are.

Be judicious. Just because something has sentimental value, that doesn’t mean you need to keep it.

Choose between DIY or professional movers

Next, you can decide if you’ll be moving yourself or hiring a professional moving company. Your employer might cover the move with a generous relocation package; if so, your company has made the move easy for you.

Otherwise, you’ll need to decide if you can pack everything into a rental truck (and unload it at the other end). Remember that any move is substantially harder than you think it’s going to be, and you’ll never regret hiring pros if you can afford it. If it’s not too late, see if your company is willing to help offset the cost of the move, even if they didn’t initially offer you a moving allowance.

Karen Condor doesn’t regret going with a moving company in her cross-country trek from Pennsylvania to Southern California, taking a job that offered a healthy promotion. “Luckily, the job promotion came with a relocation package, so we were able to hire a professional moving company,” says Karen. “We did research and networked with everyone we knew to find the most reputable and affordable company and the move of our one-bedroom apartment full of belongings and two cars went smoothly.”

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