Whether you’re moving for work, school, or a change of scenery, a cross-country move can take some planning. Here are some ways to prepare for your cross-country move:
1. Finalize your location
If you haven’t decided exactly where to move, start by considering factors like job opportunities, cost of living, climate, proximity to loved ones, amenities, culture, and lifestyle.
Take advantage of online resources and tools that provide information on different cities and towns. Visit websites that offer data on things like cost of living, crime rates, and education. If you’re looking to go deeper, reach out to locals or engage with online communities to gather firsthand knowledge.
2. Research your new location
Before moving, get to know your new destination—understanding your new home in advance can help you adjust more quickly. Familiarize yourself with the local climate, transportation options, healthcare facilities, and important amenities.
Think about how you’ll spend your free time. Look up places like museums, beaches, and parks. Learn about any unique laws or rules in the new city or state to avoid surprises—there might be differences in recycling, driving, or even how to pay for public transportation.
3. Create a detailed moving plan
Once you’ve found a house or apartment, it’s time to plan the move. Start by creating a comprehensive moving checklist. Include all the tasks you need to complete, from packing and logistics to paperwork and utility transfers.
Estimate any relevant costs, including packing supplies, renting a truck or car, and shipping. If you’re thinking of getting a moving container service or hiring movers, research companies and get price estimates.
4. Get rid of unnecessary items
Moving items across the country can be expensive. Getting rid of anything you don’t need can save money. Start by sorting through all your items—figure out what you’re keeping and what can be donated or discarded.
5. Start packing
Once you’ve finished decluttering, it’s time to start packing. Group objects by room and clearly label each box, indicating its contents and the room it belongs in. This will simplify the unpacking process and save you time later.
6. Contact storage facilities, if needed
If you can’t fit everything into your new home, contact local storage facilities and find out their rates and availability. This can give you the flexibility to store any items that won’t fit in your new place until you have the space or decide what to do with them.
7. Arrange for utilities and services
Before you move, make sure to contact utility companies at your current and future locations to arrange for the disconnection and connection of services. This can include electricity, gas, water, and internet. Notify providers in advance to ensure a smooth transition.
8. Make travel plans
If you’re driving across the country, plan your route ahead of time. Consider factors such as the weather, traffic, and rest stops along the way. If you’re flying, book your flights and figure out transportation to and from the airport.
9. Update your contact information
Update your address and contact information with the postal service, family, friends, employers, banks, credit card companies, doctors’ offices, and any other important places. Don’t forget to update addresses with insurers, such as the life insurance company that handles your whole life insurance and your health insurance company. This will ensure that your mail and important documents go to your new address.