How to prepare for a cross-country move?

Moving across the country is a great adventure and quite a big challenge at the same time. You need to move to a (very) different part of the country, meet new people, adopt a new way of life and before all of that you need to pack all your belongings, have them transported to your new home and then unpack all the boxes. All this can be pretty hectic and overwhelming, so here are some tips on how to prepare for a cross-country move. Here’s how to save money, save time and keep your smile!

Prepare for a cross-country move before you hit the road.
Prepare for a cross-country move before you hit the road.

Start with decluttering

This is not a fun thing to do. But it can save you quite some time and money and what’s more, it can help you to start living a new way.

Declutter to save money

When you need to take your stuff across the country, you’ll think twice before you pack your bags and boxes. Because it costs. A lot. So you probably won’t be like “oh, I’ll take this box full of gardening tools, I might need it one day.” You’d rather be like: “Do I need this or not? And do I need in the foreseeable future?” So if you’re moving to an apartment, you’re definitely not going to be taking your gardening tools across the country.

That box with gardening equipment makes so much difference when it comes to your budget. You could take it to your new home and pay to transport it across the country (and then just keep it useless in your new home). Or you could save by not taking it with you and earn by selling the items from it. How about that? Now think the same way about every single item you have. It can pretty much change perspectives, can’t it?

Declutter to save time

Get rid of anything you no longer use or need before you need to pack and unpack it. Yes, decluttering takes time, but once you’re done with it – you’re done with it. If you keep carrying useless stuff wherever you go, it’s a never-ending story. You need to pack that particular item, then unpack it, then keep it somewhere, then move it around the house, then pack and unpack again. Sounds tiring, doesn’t it? Prepare for a cross-country move by avoiding it all.

Declutter to start a new life

You’ve probably heard about traveling light? And even if you’re not doing it yourself (yet), you probably think it’s a very cool idea. Well, living light is an even better idea! Try it out and you’ll never get back to a cluttered home and a cluttered life.

New York
From East Coast to West Coast or the other way around?

How to get rid of the things you no longer need?

There are a few options to do this, so choose the one that is going to be the most convenient for you:

Sell your stuff

You sell some stuff and you use that money for your move. Isn’t that great? Seems like you can’t go wrong here… But you actually can. Don’t try to sell every single thing you no longer need. Some things will take forever to be sold and you don’t want to spend ages dealing with it. Besides, this is a great chance to share with family and friends and to also help those in need. So here’s what else to do…

Pass some things to your family and friends.

If someone you know could make a great use of some of your items, then go for it. The less time it takes, it will be easier for you to prepare for a cross-country move.

Donate some of your belongings

Put some things aside to help those who need it the most. But keep in mind that you should not donate anything and everything. If an item is damaged and could no longer be used properly, there’s only one way to deal with it. Please read on…

Toss some things away.

Simple as that.

Golden Gate Bridge
Let’s cross the bridge and move across the country!

Pack smart if you want to prepare for a cross-country move

The first thing you need to do about this one is to decide who’s doing it – yourself or professional packers? If you choose to do it yourself, you’ll immediately save some money as you won’t be paying professionals to do that for you. But will you be saving in the long run? How many boxes will you need? How much time will it take? Will you be able to handle everything properly, without risking any damage along the way? Do you think you’ll be able to pack your stuff like a pro? Probably not. This is why you should consider hiring professionals to take care of the job. Prepare for a cross-country move the best way possible.

If you decide to do it on your own, then here are a few things to keep in mind:

Start early.

It always looks like it will take less time than it actually will. You can wait until the end to find that out or you can start early. How early should you go for it? As early as possible.

Get some strong, sturdy packing materials.

You’re moving across the country and not just two blocks away.

Label all the boxes.

You’ll realize how important this is later on, when the unpacking time comes.

Hire a reliable company for a cross-country move

Hiring a trusted moving company is always important and it’s even more so when you need to prepare for a cross-country move. So here’s what to look for when searching for a suitable company.

Ask your friends. Then ask Google.

Your friends might not be able to give you recommendations. No worries, Google will deliver. Check the reviews even if your friends were able to help. Just in case.

Check relevant associations and organizations.

Do you know about the American Moving and Storage Association and state associations of movers? Have you heard about the Better Business Bureau? Did you know you could check the company’s history by calling the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s consumer complaints hotline (888-368-7238)? Now you know about it.

Pay attention to their service and their attitude.

If a company representative is rushing you and looks like they just want to get rid of you while you’re asking questions or when they’re about to give you their estimation, that’s a major red flag.

To sum it all up, declutter your stuff and decide what to bring to your new home and what to leave behind. Start early with packing on your own or choose to hire professional packers. Hire a reputable and trustworthy moving company, so that you don’t stress over that part of the move. That’s all you need to prepare for a cross-country move like a pro.

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