What to Know Before You Move Across the Country

While a big move can be a bit nerve-wracking, there are ways to make your moving process less stressful.


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The thought of an upcoming move can cause most of us to panic. This is especially true if the move is a cross-country trip. While this type of endeavor can be a bit nerve-wracking, there are ways to make your moving process less stressful. Consider the following tips:

Pack Intentionally

Every cross country move should always begin with paring down. While the majority of your furniture, clothes, and other items may be making the trip with you, everything doesn't need to go. Now is your opportunity to start cleaning up and clearing out all items you no longer need.

Lightening the load before a big move isn’t always easy. Start by sorting your belongings into piles of things you want to donate, sell, give away, or throw away. This way, you’ll be able to quickly see what’s making the trip with you and what isn’t.

Ask For Help

While moving is something very personal, you don't need to do it alone. This is especially true if you have multiple people living in your household. To make the most of all the cleaning, packing, and lifting you’ll need to do, it’s time to enlist an extra set of hands.

Start spreading the word to family and friends that you're looking for help with moving. Whether you offer to cover dinner or give them an “IOU”, asking others to help you with your move is an efficient way to prepare for your cross-country relocation.

Book Arrangements Ahead of Time

Never wait until the last minute to make your moving-related arrangements. Everything from selecting hotel rooms and buying flights to booking a moving truck should all be done months in advance. This is especially true if you’re moving at a particularly busy time of the year.

Peak moving season typically starts in April and ends around September. Avoid the rush by booking as early as possible. After booking, remember to follow up with each service. This way, you’ll make sure nothing falls through the cracks in the weeks and days leading up to the big move.

Vet Moving Companies Properly

If you’re gearing up for a big move, it’s important that you thoroughly vet your moving company ahead of time. Too often, unscrupulous movers take advantage of their clients. Remember, no mover should ask for a deposit before completing their work. Additionally, all movers that you work with should be insured and licensed

While some moving scams are easier to spot, others aren’t. Make sure to keep an eye out for impossibly low moving estimates. If the deals seem too good to be true, they usually are.

Make Sure Your Budget is Solid

There's no way around it; the moving process can be quite expensive. From hiring movers to taking care of your arrangements in your new home, relocation can cost a fortune. This is why putting together a solid budget is so important.

Moving to a new city or state can be quite costly. When drafting your budget, consider the cost of renting a truck, buying moving materials, hiking movers, and other expenses involved with relocating. One of the more pertinent expenses to consider is your mortgage. For example, if you’re a veteran that's planning a move from an apartment to a house, you’ll need to factor paying your mortgage into your budget. Be sure to research VA loan limits in San Diego to have a better idea of what to expect for your mortgage payments.

Have an Essentials Bag

Once all the other details are taken care of, you’ll be ready to move. However, it’s important to set aside items you'll need on the day of the move during your planning process. Too often, families find that they’ve packed essentials like soap, medication, documents, and other necessities along with their boxes. Instead of struggling to remember what you've packed in which box on moving day, make a point to pack a bag of essentials beforehand.

Your essentials should include all your toiletries you'll need for moving day as well as one-three days afterward. Make sure you have enough pet food, money, bottled water, and similar items to keep you and your family healthy and happy during your travels.

Don’t let your move overwhelm you. Make sure you’re ready to move across the country by using this guide to properly prepare.


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