Moving cross country is a totally different experience than moving within the same city, or even the same state. Not only is it more expensive, there are also potentially greater consequences if you leave something behind at your old address – which can ultimately make the move that much more stressful. This is why it is important to approach a cross-country move differently than you would a move in-state.
Have a plan.
Planning is a crucial part of any move, but even more so when you are relocating across country. You should begin planning your move at least eight weeks before your move date. Start collecting the boxes and packing materials that you will need, and reserve your moving truck and moving service. Eight weeks might seem like a lot of time, but it can fly by really fast.
Also, by reserving your truck or moving company that far in advance, you can be certain they will be available on the day of your move – especially if you are moving during peak times, like over a weekend or at the end of the month. You can learn more about reserving a moving truck and moving services from companies like United Van Lines or U-Haul.
Streamline your belongings.
It is crucial that you go through your belongings and get rid of things. This doesn’t mean that you should let go of stuff that you need, but that you should reevaluate which things you really need and which things you can live without. You might be surprised to find that there are a lot of things that you can get rid of, and doing so will make both packing and your move go a lot more smoothly. It’s also a good idea to purge first and then pack what is left, rather than try to purge as you pack. That way you can initiate the cleaning process by moving those items out of your house.
Once you have streamlined your belongings, take an inventory of what you are taking with you, and organize them in their respective rooms. Set aside the things that you will need to use up until the last minute, and pack up the rest. Make sure that you have packed up one room before moving on to the next. Label each box with the name of each room and, if possible, the contents.
Keep the important things separate.
You should inventory your important papers and medications the same way you inventory your objects. You should also consider packing and moving those separate from the rest of your belongings. For example, if you are driving to your destination, keep your papers and medications with you in your car, rather than packing them to go on the moving truck.
Keep your pets safe.
Many moving companies recommend that you try to keep your pets sequestered in a room, away from all of the action. Make sure they have food, water, and a place to relieve themselves while you are loading up the truck. Another option is to have a neighbor take and watch your pets while the movers are packing up your house.
You should also make a trip to the vet before you leave, to make sure that your pets are healthy, that their shots are up to date, and to refill any medications they might have. If you are concerned about the moving causing stress, your vet can also prescribe medication to keep them calm during the move.