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How to Relocate Across the United States (without having to ship a ton of stuff with you)


Relocating over a long distance is a process that’s fraught with all sorts of dilemmas, not least of which is having to face the struggle of slogging across the country with all your possessions in tow.

To avoid this becoming an unmanageable burden, here are some tips to streamline your relocation as much as possible.


The Art of Downsizing and Unburdening

Relocating across the United States offers an inspiring opportunity for a fresh start. That means it’s also an ideal moment to part ways with unnecessary possessions by downsizing ahead of your move.

To do this:

  • Start by categorizing your belongings into items you need, things you love immensely or have sentimental value, and items you can’t remember ever buying or using.
  • Sell, donate to a good cause or trash anything that doesn’t fit into the first two categories.
  • Be practical about furniture. It’s expensive to transport bulky items over long distances.

Shedding excess objects creates room for exciting new opportunities in your new home. You’ll also be lumbered with less physical clutter and feel more emotional liberation.


Finding Temporary or Furnished Housing First

Securing temporary housing or furnished accommodation in your new location removes the immediate need to transport heavy items, and offers peace of mind. Here are some steps to make this process swift:

  • Reach out to real estate agents ahead of time and explain your situation.
  • Use online platforms that list short-term rental options.
  • Opt for hotels with extended stay rates if you’re moving within a relatively short time frame.

Meanwhile, consider renting out your existing home fully furnished. This not only generates extra income but also saves you from having to rid yourself of possessions. Just be sure to create an inventory list so that everything is accounted for, and to hire good movers for any items you do decide to bring with you.


Buy a Used Car When You’re Settled in Your New City, e.g. Houston

Transporting your car to your new location can rack up quite the bill. So consider purchasing a second-hand vehicle after settling in to keep costs down.

Local dealerships and online marketplaces offer deals, even on upscale models! For instance, if you’ve relocated to Texas, explore options for second-hand cars in North Houston. It’s an area known for its range of fairly priced vehicles.

Buying local comes with benefits such as reliable service departments and warranties. This tip can make car-buying an exciting chapter of your move.


Making Purchases Only After Arriving at Your New Home

One golden rule of economical moving is to bring only what’s needed. A large chunk of your shopping should commence once you arrive in the new city. Here are some benefits that come along with this plan:

  • You save on shipping costs for items easily replaceable.
  • Exploring local shops is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings.
  • It becomes easier to buy furniture and household goods that fit perfectly into your new home space.

Consider creating an ‘essentials list’. Start off by buying immediate necessities like toiletries, basic kitchenware, and bedding promptly after arrival. Gradually fill in the rest according to your needs, rather than rushing this process.


Avoid Packing Piles of Paperwork

Paper documents can quickly add up in weight and volume, not to mention the risk of damage or loss during a big move. Instead, moving could be your best chance to digitize all your important papers. Here’s how:

  • Scan key documents like birth certificates, passports, and warranties to convert them into digital files.
  • Use cloud storage services for easy retrieval of precious documents, no matter where you are.

Before shredding physical copies (especially those related to taxes), double-check laws concerning electronic documents on the IRS website, as well as any local regulators in your region.

While some paperwork may need to stay physical due to legal reasons, downsizing your paper clutter is worth it, if only for an easier relocation experience.



While you’ll certainly have to make some tough decisions ahead of a major move like this, it’s also a process that will leave you feeling better in the long run, so aim to embrace the opportunities of a relocation rather than getting hung up on the drawbacks.

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