You don’t need to be told that the more things you take with you, the more work you’ll have to do and the more expensive it will be. Therefore, the first tip to make your cross-country move less stressful is to reduce and declutter!
Downsize to De-stress
Attack one room at a time and use a sticky note to label items you use every day, those you use less frequently, and those you hardly ever use.
For those items you seldom or never use (or wear), make three piles: Items to sell; items to give away; and items to discard.
Check the condition of everything. If you are thinking of moving a five-year-old couch that has seen better days, you might consider donating it to a charitable organization and purchasing a new one once you are settled.
Consider having a yard sale or listing your items on your local Facebook Marketplace, or freecycle, OfferUp, Letgo, or Ebay. For those items that are to be discarded, think about renting a dumpster through a company like BinThereDumpThat. They will deliver a household-sized dumpster to your driveway and pick it up when you have finished your cleanout.
Organize to a Fault
Use a moving checklist which gives you a detailed description and timeline for what you need to do to prepare for your move and tips for during and after your move.
Make an inventory of everything you are shipping to your new home, room by room. Your mover will also make an inventory, but it is prudent to have your own to compare.
Use technology to assist in making your inventory list easier. Check out the app from MoveAdvisor-Home Inventory, which gives you a detailed digital map of your home into which you can place all the furnishings you are planning to move. Sortly allows you to create a virtual inventory of all your items.
Timing is Everything
Speak with your moving company about the best time to undertake a cross-country move with regards to peak and off-peak seasons. Mid-month, mid-week, and off season moves will mean better scheduling to meet your needs and lower costs.
Be sure to consult the weather predictions a few days before your move is to begin. If bad weather is in store, you and your mover can prepare a back-up plan.
Begin Planning Early
Once you’ve decided to move, begin to interview prospective movers who are experienced in long-distance moving. You want to be sure to ask for a free, no-obligation quote that includes an in-home visit (adhering to current Covid-19 precautions) or a detailed telephone quote. You will need to be prepared at that point to know precisely what you are moving and communicate that to your prospective mover. Remember to discuss the different options regarding insurance and ask about the travel arrangements. Will there be an overnight stop along the way? What if there are delays?
Packing – Who and with What?
You have options regarding the packing procedure for your move. You can do it all. You can have your mover do all the packing … or you can split the process by doing the clothing and household items and have your mover pack electronics, art, and items that need special care.
Your mover has many types and sizes of moving boxes available and may even have used ones to sell at a discounted rate. There are some items that can be shipped in grocery or department store boxes but be wary of using boxes that are inappropriate in size or weight that will not protect your items adequately. There are specialty boxes for lamps, dinnerware, electronics, wall art, and TVs as well as wardrobe boxes in which you can hang clothing.
You can also purchase unprinted newsprint paper from your mover or stationery store … paper that won’t soil your items like used newspaper will. You can also use towels and linens to wrap fragile items.
Label each box with the room and a summary of what is in the box. Make a copy to put IN the box as well as one to tape onto the box.
For a detailed guide to packing that you can download, visit our website.
Coordinate Your Travel
You will need to plan your travel arrangements to mesh with your mover so that you, your family, and your household arrive at your destination together. Consider where you will stay until your mover arrives. What will be the ETA of the truck and how long will it take to unload? If you are traveling with pets, children, or seniors, what special considerations are necessary? A pet-friendly hotel? A sitter to keep the children occupied while the movers are loading and/or unloading? A caretaker and comfortable waiting space with food and water?
An experienced long-distance mover will have the answers to your questions. Don’t be afraid to depend on their expertise if you have concerns. The best way to alleviate stress is to have confidence in your mover who is your partner in this very important and exciting venture.