6 Steps to Moving Cross-Country Successfully
Nobody enjoys moving, especially when moving cross-country, thousands of miles away to a new home. The logistics of managing a move cause stress in even the most experienced relocators, like military families.
The key to a smooth cross-country move is preparation. You’ll need months to prepare, so don’t short-change yourself or your family by waiting until the last minute. The following 6 stages of moving cross-country will help to reduce the stress of relocation.
1. Consider Your Kids and Pets
If you have school-aged children, then part of the moving logistics will entail enrolling your offspring in their new schools. Most moving families prefer to arrange for relocation during the summer months between traditional academic years; however, if you’re not able to do that, then you’ll need to be informed as to your children’s academic progress when enrolling them in their new schools.
Children may be reluctant to leave the familiarity of their friends and neighborhood, and worried about whether they’ll make new friends or lose touch with old ones. Inappropriate behavior may ensue. Recognize that their resentment springs from fear and a lack of control over their own lives even as you enforce the rules for acceptable behavior.
Transportation of other pets, from dogs and cats to lizards, tropical fish, and even livestock, complicate moving logistics. Take extra time to consider their needs and plan accordingly. The move will be extra stressful on them because they won’t understand why their lives have been so rudely disrupted.
2. Transfer Your Information
From magazine subscriptions, utilities and debtors to friends, family and clients, practically everyone will need your new address. Make a list, check it twice, and carefully review it to ensure that no one has been omitted. Refer to it when sending out those “We’ve moved!” postcards. Follow up with telephone calls and email messages. And, of course, submit the proper change of address forms with the U.S. Postal Service to make sure your mail is forwarded.
Adam Dachis, writing for Life Hacker, notes that “If you change your address online, be sure you have a credit card that uses your current address as the billing address, since that’s how the postal service verifies the request.”
3. Change Your Utilities
If you’re moving from an urban or suburban location to a rural property, you may be surprised to find out that you don’t need to pay for water if the property has its own well. Or you may discover that digital cable service isn’t offered in your new neighborhood. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn which utilities are your responsibility and to arrange for service. Schedule activation of utilities in advance to ensure you or your authorized proxy is available to meet with the technician on-site to supervise installation. That way you’ll be all set up when you arrive at your new home. For help setting up and transferring all of your utilities in one place, check out Allconnect.
4. Begin Packing
The packing process begins with triage of your possessions: stuff to keep, stuff to sell or donate, and stuff to discard. The less you have to transport the better, especially if relocation involves downsizing to a smaller residence. Garage and yard sales take effort, but can yield good results. Alternatively, you can consider donating items in good condition to local charities, such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Discard anything that’s worn or broken and holds no real or sentimental value.
Once you’ve whittled down your household’s accumulation of stuff, it’s time to find packing materials. You can save on boxes by asking local retailers for the boxes they receive in shipments of merchandise: grocery stores, furniture stores, automobile repair facilities. Many of these establishments break down and discard those boxes, which can be perfectly adequate for holding your stuff when moving. Contact them at least a week prior to the start of actually packing items in boxes to ensure they have time to set aside some boxes for you.
Be sure to label each box with its contents and its destined location within the house, and a general weight designation of light, medium, or heavy. Don’t skimp on the packing tape either. Good quality tape must adhere firmly to ensure boxes stay closed and be strong enough to withstand the weight and pressure of whatever the boxes contain. You’ll also need packing material to cushion more delicate items, and a box cutter or pocket knife to open those boxes when you’re ready to unpack.
5. Rent a Truck or Trailer
Do-It-Yourself relocation requires a truck or trailer. When renting a truck or trailer, you must consider mileage in addition to the cost of the rental. Rental companies charge a per-mile fee on top of the rental fee. Purchase insurance and understand what it covers before you sign on the rental papers. You may not need to cover damage to or loss of the vehicle should an accident occur during the move. If you’re moving cross-country during peak months, reserve a truck or trailer in advance to be sure an appropriate vehicle is available.
Driving a truck differs from driving a car or minivan. Be aware of reduced visibility around the vehicle, its increased stopping time and distance, and lower fuel mileage. Know, too, that gusts of wind will catch the vehicle and try to push it out of the lane in which you’re traveling.
6. Try to Adjust Your Timing
Thorin Klosowski’s article “Seven Things I Learned After Moving Across the Country” offers sage advice: “For the most part, it’s best to move any time other than summer if you can. Everyone wants to move during the summer. That means apartments are harder to find, moving companies can charge more, and even moving truck rental companies can get more money out of you.”
The best time to move also coincides with the best property deals: October to May. If your employer requires that you move during the spring or summer months, see if you can secure their financial assistance to cover the additional cost.
Moving cross-country is never easy. In fact, it’s always stressful. But the burden can be eased through advance preparation and smart planning. If you’re planning on moving soon, get a jumpstart on your relocation and follow these 6 steps.
Guest Author Bio: Aderra Condominium’s sales is headed by Melanie Sanders of RE/MAX Platinum Living. Melanie comes with 25 years of experience as an Associate Broker/Team Leader, specializing in New Homes and Model Home Sales. Melanie was the former Vice President and Designated Broker of DR Horton and Ryland Homes, running sales and marketing. Melanie and her team have the knowledge, experience and friendly attitude required to manage all aspects of sales at Aderra.