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Tips for Pulling Off a Cross-Country Move

So you’re moving. By nature, that’s a stressful, disruptive, complicated event. Now let’s add in that you’re moving cross-country, which is an enormous undertaking. Just packing up your household and moving to a new home across town has challenges. Imagine what it would be like to do that over a distance of up to 3,000 miles! But just like any major project, good planning, research and tips from the pros will help you pull off a cross-country move.

After you’ve secured housing in your new area, you’ll want to get down to the mechanics of moving—hiring movers (or choosing the DIY option, in which case you’d want to read about moving truck rentals), scheduling your move, packing and then hitting the road. The following information will help you tackle this adventure.

Find a Mover or Truck Rental
You’ll want to start with deciding if you’ll move yourself or hire professional movers. There are pros and cons to each and it’s a very individual choice. But whatever you choose, know what questions to ask before you hire a mover or a truck rental.

  • Give the company all your information. A mover can’t give you an accurate quote or timeline unless you provide all the necessary information, including an approximate move date.
  • Get an accurate quote. Use Unpakt to compare many reputable moving companies, or get at least three quotes from three different moving companies. With Unpakt, all fees are included in one exact price. However, be sure to ask what is included and if there are additional fees for services you do not book through Unpakt.
  • Ask about their value protection. Be sure you understand the parameters of their coverage options in case your goods are damaged.

Shipping Your Vehicle
Unless you plan on driving to your destination, you’ll need to line up a shipping or transport company to move your car(s). Just like moving your household belongings, get quotes on shipping your car. Insurance is critical while your vehicle is in transit, so make sure you’ll have sufficient coverage for damage or theft.

Ready, Set, Pack
Packing a household can feel insurmountable. Break it down and focus on parts. Begin by taking a home inventory. This is especially important when moving cross-country since you can’t just pop back to your old home to see if you missed something. Also keep in mind that you’re paying by weight to move. That should give you incentive to toss or donate the things you don’t absolutely need to take with you. To ensure you pack items to arrive safely, ask your movers what packing supplies they recommend. Dishes and other breakables need a special packing strategy.

Plan Your Route
You have a clear objective in your cross-country move—arrive safely and intact. But there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the ride. Plan some fun stops along the way. As you map your route, book hotel rooms near areas you’ve always wanted to visit. What a wonderful break in the trip if you stop to see the Grand Canyon!