There are a lot of reasons you might be moving cross-country. You might have a new job waiting, or perhaps it’s for personal reasons, like a relationship. Since more companies are letting employees work remotely indefinitely, you could be planning a move to a more affordable location.
Regardless of the whys behind your move, how do you prepare for such a big undertaking? You’ll have to sell your current home or deal with ending your lease, find a new place to live, and maybe sell your current car unless you’re going to drive it or have it shipped. These are just a few of the things you have to keep in mind.
The following are general things to remember as you prepare for a big move.
To avoid getting overwhelmed too close to your actual moving day and also to help make sure you’re covering all your bases, create a strategy well in advance. Your moving strategy should start with a checklist of everything you need to do, along with at least a general timeline of when you’ll have these things done.
Create a calendar that you can easily update and change, preferably in digital format. Then, you can break down the shorter-term tasks that have to be done in a particular window of time.
You should also prioritize your moving tasks as you’re strategizing.
The more time you give yourself to get ready, the better. Don’t underestimate how much time you’re going to need ultimately. It’s much better to overestimate.
Start planning at least eight weeks ahead of your actual move, if not more.
When you have adequate time, you’ll feel calmer, and you’ll be able to think things through more clearly if something doesn’t go according to plan.
If you’re going to be making a big move, it’s a good idea to visit your new home after securing it, at least once. This will be a time when you might get to know the neighborhood a bit. You can also start to think about how your belongings could fit there, or potentially not fit.
You’ll get a better idea of what you might need to get rid of before moving and what’s worth keeping.
If you have kids, maybe you’ll visit the school they’re going to, and you can scope out things like supermarkets and gas stations.
Movers for a cross-country relocation will be expensive, but a lot of people find the price to be well worth it. Long-distance moves are tough to try and do on your own, and there’s a high likelihood something can go wrong, or often many somethings. This will get expensive, so the movers might be the better financial decision in the long run.
When you’re hiring cross-country movers, remember:
We briefly mention moving containers above as a potential alternative to a full-service moving company.
A container company will bring the containers to your home. You load them, and then the company transports them. You also have to unload the container once it arrives, and when you’re finished, the company picks the container up again.
If you have a timing issue, many container companies will store it at a warehouse until you’re ready to unpack it.
While we’ve touched on some above, other things to make sure you include on your moving checklist are:
Finally, once you’re about two weeks out from your move, it’s time to really start focusing on downsizing and cleaning—the fewer things you take with you, the better. If you haven’t used something in around six months, consider getting rid of it. This will not only make the move itself but also cleaning and unpacking in your new home much more manageable.
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