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Readers weigh in: What I wish I’d known before I moved

Moving is stressful, expensive and just downright hard! No one enjoys the process of moving. To help make it easier, we gathered some tips from those who have done it quite a few times.

Couple moving house

About 40 million Americans move each year, and with it being the third most stressful event in life (only coming in behind death and divorce), it’s not to be taken lightly. Whether you’re moving across the street or across the country, it requires weeks of packing, incredible organization skills, money and time.

If you have kids and/or work full time, the stress is only increased. We asked those who have recently moved what they wish they would have known beforehand.

If you’re using a moving company, find a trusted one. All of our belongings are still currently “in limbo” and it’s been two months! I’d like to have my things back safe and sound, and am not confident the moving company even knows where they are. — Christina

Move and unpack the kitchen before worrying about the rest of the house. Being able to make coffee and meals will make the household feel like it’s running smoothly, even with boxes everywhere. — Natalie

I wish I would have looked more into the cost of living in my new city. It’s significantly higher and it’s hard to keep our heads above water. — Chad

Put two ID tags on your pet — one with the old address and one with the new one — in case your pet is lost in transition during the move. — Harrison

Don’t introduce your new home to your pet until all your furniture and pet’s items have been set up. The familiarity of the items lets them know that it’s their new home (and hopefully prevents them from peeing!). — Harrison

When moving to a new city, I wish I would have researched the lay of the land better. I chose an apartment in Austin, Texas, that I assumed was central; turns out it’s a very long drive to where all the action of the city is. — Jennifer

If you’re renting, do an extremely detailed walk-through with the property manager right after you move in. If you don’t, you may get stuck paying thousands of dollars for someone else’s damages! — Carleigh

I’m currently on my 29th move! My tips: It is always more expensive than you think, have an emergency fund and remember to really pack your dishes. — Jennifer

Create a “first night box” that has everything to make your bed, your toiletries, pajamas, pillows and clothes for the next day all in one place. — Natalie

If you have kids, check the quality of schools in the neighborhood you wish to live in. We didn’t do this and are now stuck paying for private school. — Aaron

Purge! Take this as an opportunity to get rid of stuff. If you haven’t used or worn it in the past year, donate it or toss it. — Gina

Let your children unpack their rooms. Yes, you’ll probably have to go back and reorganize, but it keeps them busy for a while so you can focus on your own task. — Leslie

I wish I knew how much I was going to miss my family. If you’re moving away from family, really think twice about it! — Michelle

Rent plastic bins or use recycled boxes instead of buying new cardboard boxes. It’s an unnecessary expense. — Mary

I wish I had known more about the home-owner’s association. They have made my life way more stressful than it used to be. — Crystal

I’ve moved a ton in life, and one thing that helps is to not pile up your place with junk over the years. Trust me, it’s much easier to pack a place that’s kept tidy and organized. My rule of thumb is when one thing comes in, another must go out! — Flo

And our favorite tip…

Have everything set aside so you can have a margarita (or three!) at the end of the day! — Natalie

More on moving

Top 7 tips for moving abroad
House hunting 101
The hidden costs of home buying

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