There’s no denying that relocating your family and all your belongings across the country is challenging. However, by thinking ahead, carefully planning and preparing, and knowing what common mistakes to avoid, you can get your household to your new city successfully. Here’s how.
Plan and Prepare
Making a list comes naturally in a situation like moving, and you’ll probably find yourself making more than one. Begin with a timeline and a to-do list for how you’ll get family members, pets, furniture, vehicles, and household items you’re going to keep (more about that later) from Point A to Point B.
Decide whether you’re going to rent a truck and drive yourself, hire a full-service moving company and fly out, ship your things, or a combination of these. There are even cross-country moving companies you can utilize. Time and budgeting will play a factor. Moving yourself is the cheapest way but this may not be feasible if you have a deadline to meet such as starting a job.
Don’t overlook arranging for food, clothing, and shelter while you’re in between homes. Continue staying organized with your to-do lists and keep them in one location along with receipts, calendars, and important paperwork. Some prefer to do this digitally, but it’s up to you.
If you move yourself, get a pet sitter for the day and a crate for the road trip. If you’re flying, check with the airline on its pet policy and make sure vaccinations are up to date.
No matter how you choose to move, every square inch of packing space counts. Now is the time to get rid of the stuff you don’t need. Seriously declutter every closet and draw. Decide discriminantly which furniture you could do without and then donate, donate, donate.
If you’re self-moving, get sturdy boxes and packing supplies. Label the box and make a list of what’s in it. Make another list of items you and your family members will need in transit including clothing, medication, toiletries, and important documents. If you have kids, let them select a couple of their favorite toys, and don’t forget pet necessities if applicable.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Experience is the best teacher, and if you avoid the mistakes others have made, you’re cross-country move will be much less stressful.
One of the most common mistakes people make when relocating a long distance is waiting until the last minute. Start calling and making arrangements as soon as you find out you’re moving. If you decide to hire movers, go with a well-established company to increase the chance you can book the dates you want.
A close-second mistake is underestimating packing time. Start packing as early as possible. Begin with items you don’t use daily. Disorganization is a mistake that will make your move stressful. Accomplish organization with lists and breaking down large tasks into smaller ones.
Lastly, another mistake is not packing enough essentials to see you through the move. Plan on living out of your suitcase a day or two longer than you think you’ll need to.