14 Free Resources to Help Simplify Your Move

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Moving sucks.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve only had to move a handful of times, but those moves have made one thing clear to me: moving truly sucks.

The real question, though, is this: can it suck less?

I say yes, and to prove it, we here at the onlineselfstoragedirectory have put together this handy-dandy list to help your move suck a little less. We can’t guarantee ice cream and puppies, but at least we can help make a stressful day a bit easier.

And if not, we like mint chocolate chip and poodles.

Neighborhood Scout

This is the starting point. You can zoom in to the state and city you’re looking at and compare local schools, crime rates, home price, cost of living and more. The site also has a pretty cool tool for finding the right neighborhood (click on search). Even if you’re not moving, it’s pretty interesting. If you are moving, it’s irreplaceable. (For the record, I punched in what I look for in a neighborhood, and it recommended my current neighborhood. Not bad!)

Zillow

So, you have found your neighborhood. Now, find your house or block. Zillow gives you the tools to see the history of homes and apartments, and to see the trends in a ZIP code or city. They also have lots of handy widgets and articles with tips and tricks. Not that you should leave our site for that, of course.

Realtor.com

Looking to buy a house or condo? Realtor has you covered. It doesn’t replace hiring an actual real estate agent, of course, but it sure helps. It can save you from cold calling agents and asking if there are any houses for sale in, say, Los Angeles. A little information can make a big difference.

www.forrent.com

Basically, this is Realtor for apartments. Enter a ZIP code or a city, adjust a few settings, and out pop apartments in the area that meet your criteria. Much easier than driving aimlessly looking for the clubhouse/laundry room/game room/mail room/pool that doubles as the office.

CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator

Before you make the move, it probably wouldn’t hurt to know how it will affect you financially, right? If you’re getting a $10,000 raise and you’re moving from Manhattan, Kansas to Manhattan, New York, will that cover it? Not so much. What about moving the other direction? Definitely, though it will be tough to get to Mets games.

OnlineSelfStorageDirectory

Yep. It’s us. Shocked? Didn’t think so. But we’re on here for good reason. People tend to leave this decision until the end of the process, when it should be considered much sooner. There are a number of situations where you may need self storage. Maybe you’re downsizing, or you have to move in stages. It’s always good to plan ahead, and we can help.

Change your address

Again, you can never start too soon. The Post Office, amazingly, has made this pretty simple. You can change your address and have your mail forwarded, and they can help you change your address with certain companies that you do business with. The cost? $1. That’s one dollar. If you print the form and take it to the Post Office, it’s free. Zero. Zip. Nada. Doesn’t get better than that.

Get boxes

No link. Why? Because they’re boxes. There are a variety of ways to go about getting the boxes you need. Grocery stores are often happy to give away boxes, and so are some printing companies. When the time gets closer, you can always hit the big box stores (pun intended), or simply talk to your storage company, truck rental company, or moving company. Many of them will sell you boxes in a variety of sizes at a good price. And don’t skimp on these… You always need more than you expect. Zillow’s box estimator can help.

Moving.com

This is one stop shopping for a truck rental or movers. Whether you’re moving cross country, cross town, or putting your stuff in storage, you have to get it there somehow, and I think that this might be more useful than your sporty hatchback. Less fun when the road gets twisty, but better suited for carrying that antique sofa you got from Great-Great Aunt Mable. By the way, that couch goes in storage, not the living room.

Find a new school for the kids

Let’s be honest. You probably would like it if your kids had a place to go during the day, perhaps a school of some sort. I’m betting that your new home has places just like that. You can find them here. Perhaps not shockingly, the National Center for Education Statistics can help you find the school in your area.

Check your cell reception

This is probably the last thing on your mind. But how often do you use your cell phone? Does “constantly” come to mind? Don’t get stuck in a house or condo without reception. It’s one of the little things that makes a big difference. This is also something to double check when you’re looking for a place.

Move your cable/internet service

Most of the national carriers, such as U-Verse, Dish Network, and DirectTV, offer simple moving procedures. In some cases, you simply bring the box with you and they’ll send someone out to hook everything up. I moved a year ago, and I didn’t bring anything. They hooked everything up, and as soon as we linked my account, all of my recordings and settings there. It was like nothing had changed. You know, except the house, couch, address, etc. But the TV was the same, and that was really nice. By the way, they almost always give you a deal for sticking with them. If they don’t offer one, ask about it. They can usually give you something.

Google Maps

Print directions. I know that it’s old fashioned and GPS is great, but if you accidentally pack your phone charger, your nav system may not be of much use. Print directions to and from your new home, work, storage unit, the location where you will return your truck, and a local grocery store. If you’re going to be using public transportation after the move, Google Maps can help you there, too.

Carry cash on the day of the move

I know that this isn’t a resource, but if you want to grab lunch or tip the movers, cash comes in pretty handy. Plus, until you get into your new routines, who knows when you’ll get to the ATM next? In case you’re wondering, though, here’s a VISA ATM locator. See? I snuck in a resource, anyway.

The Wrap

Moving sucks. Always has, probably always will. But these fourteen resources should help you make the day just a little better.

And if all else fails, I strongly recommend ice cream.

What resources did I miss? Add your own in the comments below!

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Ken

Ken is the Director of Content and Promotions for the Online Self Storage Directory blog. He loves the St. Louis Cardinals, obscure historical trivia, and the incredible beards on Civil War generals.