Moving is difficult. But moving cross-country is even more so. Aside from mentally preparing yourself for life in a whole new area, you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to get all of your precious belongings from point A to point B. You might even have to get the move done within a short window of time.
You’ll be able to make your cross-country pilgrimage way easier so long as you meticulously prepare ahead of time. Here are 10 ways in which you can reduce your stress and make sure your move is a big success.
Come Up with a Schedule
The most important thing for you to do is to come up with a schedule. First, begin with the two endpoints that are furthest away from each other: 1) the earliest you can move out of your current home and 2) the latest you can move into your new home.
In the following steps, your moving window might get a bit narrower. But you should begin scheduling based on those two preliminary points.
If you plan on moving to a different country or even out of state, it’s highly recommended that you look for a company that specializes in long distance travel, because travel can make your move very complicated over a large distance.
Lock-in to Your Lease
Before you move out of your home, it’s important that you’re 100% ready to move into your new home. If you’ve just purchased a new home, be sure that escrow will have closed by your move-in date. Most likely, though, you’ll be renting when you first move to the new location. Be sure to get your paperwork signed and security deposit delivered, and do all this well in advance because your landlord will probably take some extra time to do a tenant background check on you.
Hire a Moving Company
If you’re going to be moving lots of furniture and boxes, it might be difficult to move all those things in the back of your car or in a U-Haul. Consider hiring a moving company to deliver your larger pieces of furniture. It might cost you some money, but it’ll save you a ton of time and stress in the long-run and permit you to focus on other aspects of your move.
Plan Around Your Delivery Window
If you’ve hired a moving company, ask them for an expected delivery date for your furniture. Then, plan your move around that delivery date. At the very latest, you need to arrive at the same time that the delivery crew does. But you should try and get there one day before your furniture arrives, just in case something delays or prolongs your travels. But don’t get there too early, because it might be uncomfortable to be living in a new home without all your furniture and belongings.
Avoid Moving During Heavy Traffic
Avoid moving during heavy traffic hours, like in the morning or evening, because traffic is always a pain. Additionally, avoid moving at busy travel times.
Purchase Moving Insurance
Purchase moving insurance before you make your cross-country move. While it might seem like another tedious payment to add to the checklist, remember that there’s a whole lot of mileage during your trip for your furniture and belongings to get damaged (especially if you’re shipping them through air or in the back of a moving van). Moving insurance could save you a ton of money in the long-run.
Make an Inventory List
Make a list of all the items you’re going to be moving from one home to the next. This list isn’t necessarily to avoid forgetting anything at your old residence—it’s so you know that everything arrived at your new residence. Accounting for all your stuff is tedious, but it’ll give you more peace of mind when you reach your destination.
Moving is always a great time to toss out things that you don’t need anymore. From old furniture, to knickknacks that you’ll never use again, throw out, give away, or sell your old items so it won’t add more weight to your load. Decluttering is an essential part of any move, don’t cling to what you don’t need!
Prepare for the Weather
This is a pretty easy thing to forget: if you’re going to a location that has a drastically different climate, prepare yourself and your packages for the new environment. If you’re travelling to a warmer destination, make sure you have proper attire for when you get there. If you’re travelling to a snowy destination, be sure your moving boxes are waterproof.
Prep Your Vehicle
If you’re going to be driving cross-country to reach your new home, be sure to get your vehicle prepared for the drive. A lot of people forget to do this because they’re so worried about making sure all their belongings get safely moved. But it’s important you put air in your tires (or get brand new tires if you have a low tread), refill all your fluids, and make sure the climate control is functional before you hit the road (and be sure to read our tips for an epic road trip).
There’s no doubt about it: moving cross-country might be the most complicated and stressful thing you do this year. But if you follow these 10 easy rules, you’ll make your move so much easier and faster, not to mention less costly. Have a safe flight, safe train ride, or safe road trip!