There are few things more stressful in life than dealing with a cross-country move. Sure, you are probably excited to get to where you are going, but you may not even realize all the things that can go wrong between here and there. Not to mention, there are a ton of details that can, and likely will be overlooked, if you don’t have a plan. The steps you take leading up to your move will dictate whether you start the next chapter in your life calm but happy, or stressed and full of regret.
Create a Checklist
If you do not have a checklist, there will be things you forget to do. Plus, if you are moving with a spouse or boyfriend, you may both assume the other person is taking care of certain things on the list, but then they don’t get done.
When you have a list, you can check things off as they are completed, and if there are two of you, then you can designate specific tasks to one person. The checklist will include everything from changing your address at the post office to researching cheap local moving companies to getting a copy of school records for the kids.
This is a project you can do on a rainy afternoon! You need to create an inventory list of everything you will be moving, especially if you have valuables that you will be getting additional insurance for. You also need to make a note of any heavy or over-sized items to tell the moving company about when you request a quote. You should also determine if there are things that should go in your vehicle and if there are items that could be shipped. For example, you may want to ship a canvas by air while jewelry and heirlooms should go in your car or your suitcase on the plane. Be sure to take photos of valuables as well.
Book Your Movers
There should be a little thought going into this decision. While you want to save yourself some money, hiring the cheapest movers is not really worth the savings, if they have a lot of claims against them and a bad reputation.
Plan Your Journey
If you are flying, then you need to book your flight and perhaps a rental car for when you arrive at your destination. If you are driving, you will need to map out your route. It is best to plan where you are going to stay overnight and just book your hotel. If you simply drive until you are tired, then you have to spend even more time looking for a hotel, when you just want to get off the road. Are you moving with a dog? You may want to determine where there are rest areas along the way or parks where you can take them for a walk. Fido may love car rides, but being in one for 12 hours is a completely different story.
One of the most important tips you can remember during a cross-country move is to expect the unexpected. If you are a little flexible with your schedule, then a small delay won’t seem like such a big deal. Remember that both expensive and cheap moving companies can be late, so if you only allow a specific amount of time for them to load the van before you need to catch a flight, you might be in a little trouble. Bad weather, flat tires, and detours can all put a delay in your schedule; be flexible, so they don’t ruin your trip and your mood.