9.5 (Yes, Half) Tips for Moving Cross Country and What I Have Learned

Moving to a new location is an exciting experience but going all the way and moving cross country can become an epic family adventure if properly executed. It is a completely unique experience from any other move you could possibly make, however the amount of prep work to be done is correspondingly intense. Of course, that does not mean it is impossible, nor does it become a challenge you should shy away from. As a veteran of long-distance moves, here are a few things I have learned along the way.

Consider Shipping Your Car.

Most folks will drive their vehicle to a new location, but given the distance involved, and the fact that some families have more cars than drivers to drive them, it often becomes more efficient to ship your car and simply fly to your new home. Sometimes vehicles are leased and driving cross country would easily put you over budget on your allotted mileage. Other times, folks are concerned with putting excess wear and tear on their vehicles, particularly if those vehicles are expensive, or classic. The average cost to ship a vehicle is just under a thousand dollars, so determine if this is an expense you want to incur, or if you would like to spend a few days behind the wheel and seeing the country.

Have A Career Plan.

It is inadvisable to move to a new locale without having some means of support, although there are those who have done it. Do your homework and make every effort to secure employment before your move, that way you can jump in with both feet and start living and enjoying your new space to the fullest upon arrival.

Get Your Finances Arranged.

Carefully examine your financial situation, checking account, savings, stocks, bonds, retirement, even credit score. There is a myriad of expenses that accompany any sort of move, and you want to make sure you are able to budget for every contingency. You may find that the basics such as rent, gas, healthcare and food are markedly different from your previous location. Even basic rent can change as much as 45% from one coast to another, and depending on the community you are in.

Downsize. A lot.

A move is when you actually start seeing just how much stuff you actually have, and you would be surprised at how little you actually use anymore. Use the packing process to ask yourself some hard questions along the lines of “Does this still serve me in any capacity whatsoever?” If the answer is no, then get rid of it. You can donate used clothing, toys, electronics, even furniture, or you can just have a good old fashioned yard sale and make a few bucks in the process.

Pack Clothing Items Accordingly.

Clothes can often be the hardest items to pack up, so you will need to pack strategically. Opt for rolling your items as this keeps them largely wrinkle free and allows you to fit more into a given box. Any gaps between these rolls can be used for smaller items such as socks and delicates. Try to go for using smaller boxes instead of larger ones, as larger boxes will be much heavier and more cumbersome.

Make Use of Your Sphere.

Chances are, someone you know either lives or has lived in the area where you are going to be moving. Take advantage of that. Find out where the good neighborhoods or apartment complexes are, what industries are hiring, where the hotspots are for dining or nightlife. Your circle of friends will not steer you wrong.

Save All of Your Moving Related Receipts.

If your move is due to a relocation for work, you might be eligible for tax deductions or breaks as a result. Leave no stone unturned, right down to gas receipts and hotel bills and mileage and keep them in a safe place to provide to your tax preparer when tax season comes around again.

Details, Details, Details.

It is extremely easy to get so caught up in the excitement of preparing for a long-distance move that we forget and overlook the little things that need to be done.

  • Schedule the transfer of your utilities
  • Have all of your mail forwarded
  • Cancel or transfer any local memberships such as gyms, etc.
  • Arrange for keys to be dropped off or transferred to the new occupants
  • Collect and store all personal records and important documents in a safe, secure place.

Be Flexible with Expectations.

It does not matter how well planned your move is, or how perfect things may be going. There is always going to be the occasional glitch, hiccup, stumble, whatever you want to call it. Your help might be late arriving, or you could have a mechanical breakdown en route. And in the era of Covid 19, it is safe to say pretty much anything and most often does happen. It becomes important to remain calm and be willing to bend to accommodate the unforeseen.

Oh, and that “half tip” mentioned?

Take the time to explore your new surroundings once you get there. Unload, unpack, but do not miss out on any opportunity to learn more about your new location. You will be amazed at the new local spots, restaurants, entertainment venues, and cultural opportunities available to you. Oh, and you might make some new lifelong friends in the process.

A cross country move does not have to be a chore. Done right, with proper planning and execution, this can easily become one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that you and your family can ever have. For additional assistance with all your moving needs, contact the professionals at California/New York Express Movers. We have decades of experience doing exactly what you need done, and we are ready to make your cross country move a reality. Call today for a free, no obligation estimate and let us get you on the road to your new life!

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