Regardless of how far you’re going, moving is a big life event.  It entails a lot of preparation and uses a lot of resources.  However, travelling across the country involves quite a bit more planning than simply moving across town.  The following will offer 8 tips for moving to a new home across the country.

1. Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

This may seem quite obvious, but it must be said- do not leave everything to the last minute.  Ideally, you should give yourself at least eight weeks to get all of your affairs in order before moving. 

 If you tend to need a bit more time to complete projects, perhaps give yourself a few extra weeks on top of that.  This way, if something unexpected should arise, you will have a bit of extra time to handle whatever needs to be handled. 

2. Schedule Moving and Transportation

As soon as you have an idea of when the official move-in date will be, make the necessary travel arrangements.  Book any possible travel tickets, arrange for transportation, create a moving plan and itinerary, etc.  

Professional Movers

For cross-country moves such as this, it is recommended to hire professional movers.  Yes, there are professional movers for long-distance moving too!  Rather than going back and forth, moving trucks can pack everything you need and get your items from Point A to Point B safely and efficiently in one trip. 

This is also a good time to ask friends and family members for help packing.  Of course, something may happen in their own lives that prevent them from helping the day of.  This is why it is a wise idea to request the aid of numerous people and to have a backup plan.  

 Speaking of Transportation…

To keep the family car or to not keep the car?  That is the question.  There are pros and cons to bringing your car(s) with you across the country.  If it is decided that a car will be accompanying you to your new abode, ensure to make the proper arrangements well in advance.  

For example, how will the car arrive at the new location?  One option is to drive the car to your new location yourself.  A second option is to use a car service.  That’s right, similar to movers for household items, there are movers for vehicles.  However, this option may be out of your moving budget.  

Do the required research and ask different companies for quotes.  Be sure to have all relevant car documentation and moving information ready; the car service will request to know specific dates and locations to ensure a smooth service transaction.

3. Notify Insurance Companies

While we are on the topic of automobiles, now would be a good opportunity to notify your insurance agent of your upcoming move.  This applies to all forms of insurance (life, home, car, etc).  

Be sure to finalize all of the necessary paperwork before the move takes place to ensure no delay in coverage. Discuss with them in detail what the best course of action is and ask as many questions as necessary.  

4. Update Address

Now that your insurance provider has been kept in the know, think of all the other services you use that will need their files updated as well.  This may include but is not limited to, your bank, telephone company, internet and cell phone providers, heating and electric, etc.  Many post offices offer a service to forward any mail to your new address until you’ve had the time to change the address on file.  Others can be changed easily online.

Some services may need to be cancelled completely due to the long distance between where the service was and will be provided.  In this case, you will need to arrange for a new service to be set up in your new home.  This article by The Zebra offers a great checklist of companies to notify along with free printables.

5. Use One Storage Bin for Important Documents

Throughout the moving process, it is normal to acquire a lot of paperwork.  From bills and receipts to other expenses, keep everything filed and organized.  Before you begin to pack items, collect all of your most important documents for safekeeping.  This includes birth certificates, banking information, passports, papers concerning medical history, vaccination booklets… any and all official documentation.  

The last thing you want is to misplace such important items as you proceed to pack up the rest of your life!  Once you know that they are in a safe place, you will be able to continue the packing process without worry.  However, don’t forget where you have placed these items!  

Sometimes, the act of becoming organized leads to a lot of disorganization in the beginning.  Each time you store an item, write down where you have placed it.  Whether you have a “Moving Journal” or you make a note on your phone, ensure that you have it noted somewhere for future reference.

6. Closets and Clothing

Transporting clothing can be quite cumbersome.  For this reason, it’s time to go through the closets and bureaus!  If you haven’t worn a piece in a while, place it in a donation bag.  If you have the same jacket in five different colors, keep only one or two and donate the others.  The same goes for the clothing you have been saving for that fancy occasion that never occurred and the clothes that no longer fit.  

If some items still have the price tag on them, or they have only been worn once or twice, you can try selling them online or in person at consignment stores.  For example, thredUP is a popular online store where you can sell your clothing secondhand.  While making some money from selling clothing is wonderful, don’t allow this to become the main focus.  Remember- the goal is to get rid of the clothing so you have fewer items to move with you.  

7.  Don’t Carry Extra Baggage

Before boxing up everything in your life, take another look at what you’re about to pack.  Do you truly need every single item?  Go through your closets, dressers, garage, kitchen, office, and attic- don’t stop until you have seen every nook and cranny.  

As you go through each room, ask yourself, “Which items can I not live without?”.  Keep these items to the side, or mark them with a colored dot sticker(Be sure to keep a legend for what each sticker represents nearby!).  This alone will help to create piles of donations, recycling, storage, and items that are moving with you.

For the items you are left with, take the time to sit with each piece.  Take into consideration the fact that each object will add to the weight and cost of the move.  It’s amazing how quickly and easily you are able to let go of items once they have a price tag attached.  

With this being said, it doesn’t mean that all of your prized possessions should be left behind!  Think of them as the investments that they are and bring with you whatever you are comfortable with.  If something needs to stay behind temporarily, ask a friend or family member to hold on to it until you can have it shipped.  Or, rent a storage space to keep it safe until you’re able to retrieve it.  This may be an expensive option so be mindful.

8.  It’s Time to Pack!

Now that you have taken care of classifying each item, pack everything that you can.  Remember, you are moving across the country, not across the city! This means being extra mindful of what you decide to bring with you. Since you have started this process early, remember that you will still need certain items to live comfortably until moving day.  Therefore, keep one portion of the room for the items you will need in the meantime.

Begin with non-essential items that are not frequently used (out-of-season clothing, sports gear, books, entertainment items, etc.)  Keep one bag to the side with a few outfits to wear throughout moving and a few pieces of outerwear handy for possible weather changes.

As always when moving, have a good supply of bubble wrap, tape, and boxes at the ready!  It’s better to have too many materials than not enough.  You can also use some pieces of clothing as protection for other items.  

For example, using a sweater to wrap delicate items, or using socks as padding in between objects.  Bedding and other blankets are also good options.  This way, other items are being packed and fragile items are getting extra protection during the move. It’s a two-in-one packing tip!  

Another suggestion is in order to maximize space and minimize wrinkles, always roll your clothing.  It is small, manageable tips like this that can have a big impact on the moving process.  Always write down where you have packed each item to facilitate your time unpacking.  The best thing to remember is to tackle one area of the home at a time and you will be done before you know it.  

Long-Distance Moving Services

Are you moving to a new home across the country?  Do you feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done?  Let M&M Moving and Storage help!  We offer a flat-rate pricing for your long-distance move and the moving supplies needed for furniture is included in this price!  We understand that moving comes with enough surprises, and the moving service you choose shouldn’t add even more.  

With over 10 years of experience, we can be trusted to provide the moving service you have been looking for.  If you’re located in Massachusetts, call us at 617-970-4627.  If you’re looking for help in the Florida area, call 305-609-5562.  Or, send us a message on our official website.  We look forward to hearing from you!