A Step By Step Guide for a Seamless Long-Distance Move to Your New Home
You’ve made the jump and opted for a move to another state. Whether for work or simply for preference, a big move is a huge deal. It’s an exciting change. However, the process of getting everything moved a long distance can be daunting.
Planning your move carefully can make or break this momentous occasion. From how you prep for your move to who you hire to help, your move can either be stressful or a seamless success. Putting thought into the steps of your big move can pay off in a great transition. You may even find that your planning allows you to enjoy the process.
There are several things that you can do to make your cross country move go off without a hitch. Here are a few helpful hints, from start to finish, that can make your move easier.
Plan Ahead to Make Your Cross Country Move Easier
Ideally, you have a decent heads up before making your big move. However, even with short notice, planning ahead can help a ton. Make sure to get the ball rolling on your move planning as soon as possible.
Setting a Budget Will Make Your Move Across Country Less Stresful
Just as you did when searching for your new home, a budget is important. This allows you to have a solid framework when making the rest of your decisions regarding your move. It also gives you a clear picture of whether your priorities revolve around saving money or making things easier for you.
That size of your home and the number of belongings you own will largely dictate your moving costs. Do a little research to get a general idea of how much it may cost to move. Then, decide if you want to be on the lower or higher end of this range before you move forward.
It’s important to take all of the costs that might pop up into account. Are you going to need to order take out as you pack up your kitchen? Do you need to invest in packing materials or special containers? Sometimes these unforeseen expenses can blow your budget, so it’s best to plan for them from the start.
Maybe your company is supplementing your moving costs. This is a great help in offsetting expenses. Consider the amount that they are allowing and if you are willing to go above and beyond that for the premium services that you want.
There are some great ways to save some cash and valuable time on your move. Order some pizza and have a packing party where your friends can help you pack. Ask a neighbor to help you move that heavy piece of furniture. Your family will be happy to spend your last few days near them by helping you box your belongings.
Plan Convenient Meals When Moving Long Distances So You Can Focus On Getting To Your New Home
During your move, your kitchen will likely be temporary out of service. You also may find that your days get away from you and meal prep is impossible. Taking the time to plan some convenient meal options can take one task off your plate during the busiest parts of your move.
Grab a crockpot and meal kits for easy dinners. Microwavable meals are a great way to grab a quick bite in the middle of the day. Stock up on easy to prep foods like bread and lunchmeat, especially if you have kiddos around.
Start saving those coupons for take out, especially if you have others helping you pack. You also want to fill your fridge with drinks and easy snacks to keep your crew fueled. If hiring movers, it’s a nice gesture to have bottled water and healthy treats on hand during their time at your home.
Consider Child and Animal Care To Reduce Moving Stress
Packing and moving is a pretty complicated operation. There are fragile belongings and electronics being moved around your home. Heavy objects are being precariously handled. This, and kids and pets milling around, can be a recipe for disaster.
Having a plan in place for animal and child care is essential, especially if you have young kids. Not only will it make things go much more smoothly, but it will also make sure that your family and movers stay safe.
Consider scheduling movers when your children are already out of the home, like during the school day. Schedule a playdate or ask a babysitter to watch your little ones away from your home. The nominal cost of child care will be well worth the avoidance of stress and potential injury.
Not only can animals get in the way during a move, but their safety is also at risk. Your door will be likely wide open for hours, giving your furry friend the opportunity to escape. Considering crating your pet to keep it safe during moving hours. Doggie daycare or pet-sitting services are also great options to make sure your four-legged family member stays safe.
Do a Little Research So You Know The Cross Country Plan
Moving to a whole new area can be a scary thought. This is especially true if you are unfamiliar with the area. Not to mention that your family members might be stressed and worried by the thought of starting over. Make your move easier and more fun by learning about your new area.
Learn About Your New Area So You Can Navigate Easier When You Get There
Take some time to virtually check out your new home. Kids love checking out places on Google Street view. Sit down and play with the map, allowing them to familiarize themselves with their new neighborhood.
You don’t need to wait until you get to your destination to start making connections. Online platforms like Next Door and Facebook community pages can help you get to know your new neighbors. They are also a wealth of information like what’s going on in the area and the best schools, restaurants, and other places to check out.
Your realtor can also give you some good tips and info on your new stomping grounds. Remember, you are going to want to plan meals in advance. Get a list of great take out and pizza places ahead of time. Ask about the most convenient and well-stocked grocery stores near your new home.
Timing Your Move Right Can Make Your Cross Country Move Easier
Hopefully, you have the flexibility to choose your moving date. As you are getting to know your area, you’ll gather information to time your move right. This can help you choose the most ideal date or even season for your move.
If you are able to choose the time of year that you move, great! This allows you to avoid major holidays and inclement weather. Not only will this make moving much easier, but it can also save you in costs. Movers tend to charge a premium or are often unavailable during holidays and long weekends.
If you have children, the school schedule is a factor to consider. Try timing your move in advance of the first day of school. That way, they are getting a fresh start with their classmates. If this isn’t possible, look for times like spring or Thanksgiving break. This will allow them to get to know their new home for a few days before jumping back into the classroom.
Purge and Pack Wisely, And Eliminate Redundant Activities
The method you use to pack can both lower your costs and make unpacking much easier. Take the time to gather supplies, get organized, and be strategic. You’ll thank yourself as you’re unpacking in your new home.
Sell or Donate Unneeded Items So it is Easier To Move Your Things
It’s senseless to pay to move items that you don’t want or need. Taking the time to get rid of these things can save you cash. It also saves you the effort of trying to find a new place for them in your new home.
Take a hard look at items as you’re packing. Have you used that small kitchen appliance in the last year? When is the last time you wore that old coat? It may be worth it, and even therapeutic, to purge your home of this clutter.
Host a moving sale to offset some of your moving costs. You can also list items on sites like Craigslist or LetGo. What you no longer need, someone else may enjoy for years to come.
You can also donate unwanted items to lighten your load. Find a great charity or organization and drop off the items that are still useable. You’ll feel great helping others, and may even be eligible for a tax write-off.
Gather Packing Materials Early Can Help Eliminate Stress So You Can Moving Long Distance
Another great way to save money and make things easier on you is by gathering packing materials early. This will help you feel more organized throughout the packing process. By having all of your packing essentials in one place, you’ll feel much less flustered and overwhelmed.
Check around your office for old copy paper boxes. These file boxes have handles, making them super easy to move. They are also super sturdy and perfect for kitchen supplies and other heavy items.
Ask your grocer for old, clean produce boxes. These are also super sturdy and have convenient handles. The wine department can also provide an awesome option. Compartmentalized wine boxes are ideal for keeping fragile items safely separated.
Saving everything from plastic grocery bags to newspapers can give you plenty of packing material. When you order items online, save the boxes and bubble wrap.
If you have a decent amount of luggage, you can even use your suitcases for packing. Just remember to save enough to pack for your trip to your new home. Investing in plastic storage tubs is another great option. They are great for moving and will give you a permanent organization solution for other items in your next house.
Color Code Labels by Room So It is Super Easy to Unload Your Items
Make things easier for everyone by color coding labels by room. This will help either you or your movers get everything to the right place upon arrival. A quick glance is all that’s needed to place each box in the correct room.
Think about your new home, not your current one, while packing. With a different layout, you may need to reorganize your space and your belongings. Label each box clearly with the room that the items should go in within your new space.
Hire Great Movers That Make it Easier for You
The decision to hire movers can save you time, stress, and a ton of hard work. Your moving team is one of the most important decisions you will make for your move. Make sure you select your moving company carefully to protect yourself and your belongings.
What to Look For
If using a relocation service, your employer may already have a list of approved movers. These are usually reputable and well known. Ask around for co-workers that have relocated for their experiences.
Starting to find a mover from scratch can be tough. There are a lot of options out there. The services and what is covered can vary from company to company.
Look for a company that specializes in long-distance moves. After seeking referrals and recommendations, make a shortlist of possible choices. Have a few come to your home and provide you with a quote on your move.
The cheapest option is not always the best. Be leary of any quotes that are either shockingly low or abnormally high. Go with your gut and how the interaction with the mover went during your estimate.
The company that you choose should be licensed, bonded, and insured. They should also be registered with the United States Department of Transportation. This ensures they can safely move your belongings from state to state.
Sign a Contract With the Movers for Piece of Mind
Once you’ve landed on a company, it’s time to sign a moving contract. As with any legally binding document, you should review it carefully. Make sure all of the details are accurate before signing your name on the dotted line.
Look for additional charges within the contract. Are there extra fees for moving items like your grandfather clock? Does your new neighborhood have logistical challenges that could warrant extra costs? Make sure these are clear and agreed upon in your agreement.
Make sure the timeline for delivery is outlined. You also want to have a good understanding of how to handle lost or damaged items. Check that the total valuation for all of your belongings is accurate in your contract.
Communicate Clearly So That Things are Moved Right
From start to finish, communicating with your movers can go a long way. Make sure to be patient and work together. If a problem arises, open lines of communication will make it much easier to fix.
Work with your mover to do an inventory of your belongings. Discuss any special handling that you would like. Be clear about your preferences and special requests. When asked nicely, many movers will be happy to go above and beyond to meet your needs.
Your movers will be in your home, handling your precious belongings. Trust them to do their jobs at a professional level, and reward them appropriately. There’s no standard on the amount you should tip your movers. However, you should tip what you feel is best given the time spent on your move and the number of items.
Transport Your Vehicles So You Dont Have To Worry About Them
Depending on how far you are moving, you might be flying to your new home. Even if you’re driving, your family likely owns multiple vehicles. Transporting your car to its new home can make moving so much easier.
Finding an Auto Transport Company That Will Make Your Move Easier
Finding an auto transport company can be overwhelming, especially if you have never shipped a car. Take your time and do your research. Look for a great value and an even better reputation.
Ask your friends and neighbors if they have any recommendations. Online reviews are also super helpful in getting an idea of a company’s level of service. Your realtor or moving company may also have some great insight.
Once you narrow your search, it’s important to make sure any auto transport companies that you consider is licensed, bonded, and insured. Get a firm quote as well as details like the timeline of your car’s move in writing.
Choosing the Best Type of Transportation
Look for an auto transport company with options that fit your needs. You might need a special type of transport according to your situation. You can work with your transport company to find the best choice for you and your vehicle.
Most autos are transported by open-air transport. Your car is loaded on the traditional car carrier and shuttled to your new home. With the number of cars on the carrier, this keeps cost low, making it a cost-efficient option.
If you are transporting a high value, luxury, or classic vehicle, you may want to splurge for some additional protection. An enclosed carrier may cost a little more. However, it will protect your treasured car from the elements like the weather and debris from the highway.
Maybe you have an oversized vehicle that simply won’t fit on a multi-car transportation vehicle. No worries, it can still be conveniently transported. By using a flatbed carrier, your auto transporter can still get your large vehicle to your new destination.
The Auto Transport Process
No matter which you choose, you want to make sure to follow the process to a tee. Inspect your car with your transporter when it’s picked up from your home. Once it’s delivered, a final inspection with the driver will also need to be done. If you aren’t able to be present at either pickup or delivery, make sure you have a trusted person to be there in your place.
If there are any issues, don’t hesitate to let your carrier know. They are trained to deal with these situations and will be ready and willing to help. Since you have done your research, you will have chosen a carrier experienced in quickly remedying these issues.
Prepare for Hiccups So That You Can Get Through it Easier
As with any major process, there are bound to be hiccups along the way. From delayed movers to lost items, things simply happen. Being prepared for these issues can help you resolve them quickly.
Keep Good Records
Create a folder with all of the information pertinent to your move. That way, even if you are en route to your new home, you can swiftly resolve any issues. In this folder, you should include:
- Your mover’s contact information and contract
- Your auto transporters contact information and contract
- Your inventory sheets
- If possible, contact information for a trusted party at both your old home and your new one
- Any information you need to access your new property
- Your travel plans to your new location
Have a Backup Plan
Having a backup plan ensures you don’t panic when things don’t go perfectly. This will allow you to calmly encounter any issues and work through them.
Maybe your movers are delayed because of unforeseen circumstances. Make sure you pack enough basic needs to last for longer than expected. You might not have a washer or dryer to do laundry so extra clothes are a must. Upon arrival, stock your kitchen with easy meals and paper plates for mealtimes until your kitchen tools and dishes arrive.
You may find that your new home isn’t ready upon your arrival. It’s tough to prep a new house from a distance. Managing painters, cleaners, and repairmen is an arduous task, especially from afar. Some of the pre-move in steps may fall through the cracks.
Make sure you arrange an alternate place to stay in the area if this occurs. Look for a pet-friendly hotel if needed. With a set plan, your family will have a place to wait patiently for the final touches to be made on your new home.
Enjoy Your New Home After Moving Across Country
Once you arrive in your new space, all of your planning will be well worth it. Your belongings will be organized and ready to be easily unpacked. Your vehicle will arrive safely, ready to take its place in its new garage.
Moving across the country can be both exciting and terrifying. However, with the right planning, you can make it easier and less stressful. As you get settled in your new home, you will be grateful for the smooth sailing process of your big move.