There are a lot of things to think about when you’re moving across the country. But with the right game plan, it can be a lot easier than you think. Here are a few tips to help make your cross-country move smoother.
Four Ways to Move Across Country
Before contacting potential movers and car shipping companies, it’s a good idea to weigh your needs and your budget so you can choose the best options for your situation. For instance, are you bringing pets and cars along with you? Are you selling your furniture or taking them with you?
When it comes to moving across the country, there are four different ways you can go about it.
1. Hire Full-Service Moving Company
One option to consider is the done-for-you approach hiring a full-service moving company provides. The idea is that the moving company packs up everything at your old house and then unpacks everything at your new house. This can be a great option if you don’t have a lot of time and you want everything handled for you.
While full-service moving companies are more expensive, there are many benefits, including the assurance that everything will be handled with care.
2. Opt For A Moving Container
Next, there are moving containers. The idea is that you load your belongings into a large shipping container, which is then loaded onto a truck along with other containers. The containers are then delivered to your new home, where you unload them.
This option is less expensive than a full-service move, but it does require a lot more work on your end. It’s also a good solution if you have a lot of large items, such as furniture or vehicles.
3. Use A Freight Moving Company
A common option for people moving cross-country is to use a freight shipping company. Freight trailers are 28-foot trailers that can hold the contents of an entire house and then some. You can think of freight shipping as a shared move. To lower costs, allow customers to share the same truck. There are typically partitions separating one customer’s belongings from another’s.
This option is ideal if you have a lot of belongings, but smaller moving trucks are too expensive.
Because the shipment is shared, it can take longer to get your belongings to your new home. However, the cost savings can be significant.
4. Do-It-Yourself Truck Rental
Finally, when you use a do-it-yourself truck rental, you drive the vehicle and move your belongings. This is a good option if you don’t have a car or prefer not to wait for your belongings to be delivered. It’s also a good option if you have a large driveway or plenty of friends and family who can help you unload.
Nine Ways To Make A Cross-Country Move Easier
Now that you know the four ways to move cross-country, here are nine tips to make your move easier:
1. Purge Before You Pack
One of the best ways to make a cross-country move easier is to purge as much as possible. This means getting rid of anything that’s not a necessity. While purging, separate things into four categories:
- Donate: If you haven’t used something in more than a year, consider donating it to charity or giving it to a friend.
- Sell: Moving can be expensive and selling some of your belongings can help cover moving costs.
- Recycle: A lot of household items can be recycled, so make sure to keep an eye out for local recycling centers that accept glass, electronics, paper, plastic, or wood.
- Throw away: If an item is broken, doesn’t fit in your new house, or you don’t want to move it, consider throwing it away.
Having less to pack will make the move easier, both physically, financially, and emotionally.
2. Stay Organized With A Checklist
One of the best ways to stay organized during a cross-country move is to use a checklist. This will ensure that you don’t forget anything.
A good checklist should include tasks such as:
- Shutting off utilities: Make sure to contact the post office to stop deliveries and call other utility providers to have services such as gas and electricity shut off.
- Taking inventory: While packing, create an inventory list so you can quickly check to see if anything is missing when you get to your new home.
- Labeling boxes: Mark boxes clearly with a permanent marker so you know where everything should go in your new home.
- Plan your route: Before your move, map out the route you need to take if you’re driving. Calculate the distance and look for potential overnight stops.
- Make hotel reservations: If you’re staying on the road overnight, make sure to book accommodation ahead of time.
- Pack a suitcase: Packing a suitcase with essentials will make it easier for you when you first arrive at your new home.
The checklist should also include room-by-room lists to make the process is as easy as possible.
3. Use Sturdy Boxes, Packing Materials, and Markers
The best boxes to use are ones that are sturdy and have a solid bottom. These will prevent items from getting damaged and are easier to stack so you use less space in the moving truck. Packing materials like bubble wrap and packing peanuts help protect the items in boxes and keep them from moving around.
Finally, use a permanent marker or label maker to label boxes with the contents and which room they should go to in your new home. You can even color-code boxes with stickers or colorful tape to make them easier to identify at a glance. For instance, you can use red tape for kitchen items and blue for clothes. This will make unpacking a breeze.
4. Have A Plan For Pets
If you’re moving with pets, you’ll need to have a plan for them on the moving day as well as a plan for where they’ll stay in your new home. On moving day, keep pets confined in a secure room in the house or take them to a pet sitter for a few hours.
When you get to your new home, make sure to help them acclimate to the new space by gradually introducing them to each room. As for where they’ll sleep, have a designated spot in your new home for their bed or crate.
5. Know Your “Must-haves” For The Trip
There are a few items you’ll need to have with you during your cross-country move. These include:
- Documents, such as your driver’s license, passport, and insurance papers
- Phone charger
- Snacks and water
- A first-aid kit, including medicine
- A change of clothes
- Tools, such as a wrench
- An emergency car kit, including jumper cables and flares
Don’t forget to pack a toiletries bag and make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date.
6. Make Sure The Moving Company Is Insured And Licensed
Before hiring a moving company, make sure to ask for proof of insurance and licensing. This will help protect your belongings in case something goes wrong during the move. It’s also a good idea to get estimates from at least three companies and read online reviews to make sure you’re hiring a reputable company.
7. Ask the Driver For A Contact Number
When you’re scheduling the move, ask the moving company to give you their contact number. This way, if there are any issues on the move day, you can easily get in touch with them. Some companies offer trackers, so you can keep tabs on the moving truck as well.
8. Pack An “Open First” Box
When you’re packing your boxes, make sure to pack an “open first” box. It should include essentials like a change of clothes, toiletries, a phone charger, paper plates and cups, and cleaning supplies. This box will come in handy when you first arrive at your new home and need to get settled in.
9. Examine Items For Damage After The Move
Once everything is unloaded from the truck, take some time to go through your belongings and inspect them for damage. If you notice any damage, make a note of it and contact the moving company right away. Don’t forget to keep all your packing materials and boxes in case you need to file a claim.
Takeaway: Save Money On Your Next Cross-Country Move
If you’re planning a cross-country move, there are many ways to save money. First, work with a reputable company that offers competitive rates for cross-country moves. For the best deals, compare quotes from several companies.
You can also save money by renting a moving truck instead of hiring movers. This can be a great option if you have friends or family who can help you with the move. Finally, ask for discounts on services like hotels and rental cars.
Moving can be a hassle but following these tips will help make the process easier. Use this guide as a starting point and customize it to fit your specific needs. With a little preparation, you can have a smooth and stress-free move across the country.