Thanks to our growing mobility and the country’s expansive highway system, moving is a common part of life in the United States. However, moving can be one of the most stressful things you can experience. What can you do to eliminate the stress of relocating?
Moving in the U.S.
The average American will move 11.7 times in his or her lifetime.
- 12.5% of the U.S. population (or 39,656,992 people) relocated within the country.
- 1,040,000 people moved to the U.S. from abroad.
- 50% of movers lived in one- or two-bedroom homes.
- Two-thirds of all moves were to a different state. One-third were local.
- About 40% of moves occurred in the summer.
- 1.23% of all moves occurred August 1, making it the busiest moving day.
- June 1 was the second busiest moving day.
- July 1 was the third.
- Most popular city: New York City
- Most popular state: California
Most Common Reasons for Moving
According to the U.S. Census, the main reasons that people moved between 2012 and 2013:
- A new or better home/apartment – 14.8%
- Establishing household – 10.4%
- Job transfer/new job – 9.0%
- Cheaper housing – 8.3%
- Home ownership over renting – 5.8%
- Easier commute – 5.4%
- Change in marital status – 5.1%
- Better neighborhood – 3.2%
- Other job related reasons – 2.3%
- Lost job or looking for work – 2.1%
Hiring Movers vs. Renting a Truck: Comparing Costs
Moving companies operate in crews of 3 or 4, charging $25 to $35 per hour per crewmember.
- Studio or one-bedroom home - $200 to $300
- Two- to three-bedroom home - $300 to $400
- Four- to six-bedroom home - $400 to $600
Long Distance Moves (coast to coast)
- Studio or one-bedroom - $2,700 to $3,500
- Two- to three-bedroom home - $3,500 to $5,500
- Three- to four-bedroom home - $5,500 to $8,000
Renting your own truck can save up to half of the cost, but remember you would have to:
- Load and unload the truck yourself
- Potentially deal with heavy appliances
- Factor in gas costs
Pulling Off a No-Stress Move
Donate unwanted items to charity. Your donation is tax-deductible, and you’ll have less stuff to worry about moving—and less stress.
2. Use care when loading/unloading your truck.
If you go the DIY route:
- Enlist the help of family and friends to load and unload.
- Invest in moving equipment:
- a dolly
- a hand truck
- Keep a set of tools handy for breaking down and setting up large items.
Even if you avoid hiring movers, you can still pack your truck like a pro.
3. Gather your documents.
- Cover furniture with blankets.
- Move heavy appliances closer to the cab.
- Place longer items (such as mattresses and sofas) against the sides of the truck.
- Place items with drawers (such as desks and dressers) facing the walls or against mattresses to prevent them from opening.
- Keep heavy boxes in the center of the truck.
- Lastly, fill in empty spaces with small items.
Keep all your important documents in one place, including:
- Birth certificates
- Insurance papers
It’s also a good idea to create electronic copies of each document.
4. Pack a moving day survival kit.
Instead of digging through boxes, keep a small survival kit handy to get you and your family through the day. This kit could include:
- Water bottles
- Books, games, and other forms of entertainment
Make this kit easily accessible so you can head to bed after your long moving day.
5. Don’t neglect your own needs.
Don’t rush the process if it means skipping meals or avoiding a full night of sleep. Doing so will only tire you out quicker.
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