Save Your Sanity: Moving as a Single Mom Made Easy

Roughly 43 million Americans relocate every year, according to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). Anyone who has ever moved knows how stressful it can be, especially when moving as a single mom. Fortunately, a few tips and tricks help keep the process pleasant from start to finish. This handy guide for single parents helps save your sanity during a move.

Plan Ahead

Woman drinking from a mug and sitting at a table with her laptop

For any single mom looking to relocate, the key to success is planning ahead. Start by researching moving companies about three months out, and hire one that provides quality service and fits your budget. From gathering your children’s school records to shutting off utilities, there’s a long list of things to do before the big day. To ensure all your bases are covered, Ashley Oostindie from Two Men and a Truck, a moving company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, recommends using a printable moving checklist. This handy aid keeps you on track and organized throughout the moving process.

Go on a Scouting Mission

Children's travel chest with a stuffed animal toy peeking out

If possible, make a trip to your new locale prior to your move. Whether it’s a new neighborhood or a new city — a little reconnaissance allows you to get familiar with the area before you arrive for good. Make sure to check out schools, daycares, parks, restaurants, and shops in the area, and research the locations of the hospital and central business district. If possible, take the kids along. Seeing — and hopefully getting excited about — their new neighborhood can ease some of the anxiety that moving creates.

Sort, Sell, and Scrap

The easiest way to relocate to another state or city is to travel light. Less stuff means less hassle and lower cost, so make sure to sort through all your belongings. Keep the things you and your kids can’t live without, and plan a yard sale for the rest. Get the kids involved with sorting their own belongings, and give them a chance to earn some spending money with a lemonade stand or a coffee-and-cookies counter during the yard sale. Donate any remaining items to your local thrift store.

Save Where You Can

Travel food packed in plastic containers

Moving takes a big bite out of the family budget, but there are ways to save money. If you are moving for your job, then find out if there are any expenses your employer covers. If you’re a member of the military, some moving expenses may be tax deductible.

A number of agencies offer relocation assistance for single moms, including the Housing Industry Foundation and the Salvation Army. Grants offered by these agencies help cover moving costs, security deposits, and other related expenses. To benefit from these types of funds, make sure to do your research and apply early.

For more moving-related savings, follow these tips:

  • If you have a light load and lots of help, rent your own one-way moving truck.
  • Obtain sturdy boxes from grocery stores and liquor stores, rather than buying them new.
  • Use newspaper, plastic grocery bags, and towels in place of expensive bubble wrap and packing peanuts.
  • If possible, schedule your move in the autumn or winter (the off-season for moving companies).
  • Pack sandwiches, plenty of snacks, and bottled water for the road.

Ask for Help

In the process of moving as a single mom, remember you can’t do it all. It’s okay to ask for help. Call on friends, relatives, coworkers, and neighbors for assistance with packing, running errands, heavy lifting, childcare, or just a little moral support. You might be surprised at how willing people are to pitch in.

Are you ready to relocate? To make your move ultra-light and easy, sell your big furniture and turn to CORT Furniture Clearance Center for stylish, high-quality, gently used furniture to refresh your new space.