This Moving Checklist Is the Only One You will Need

Preparing for Your Cross-Country Move is Easy with These Moving Tips

Arranging a long-distance move requires a little extra planning and forethought than just moving a couple of blocks away. Here are a few tricks learned from seasoned veterans of cross-country moves that will save you time, energy, and stress.

Secret: These tips work well for any move, even short ones!


Preparing to Move Checklist

Get Organized and Create a Moving Budget

Start planning your move as many months in advance as possible. Ideally, you will start preparing your home 6 months in advance of a long-distance move.

We recommend you start a running checklist of everything that must be accomplished by your Moving Day. Don’t feel overwhelmed. This checklist should be detailed (and therefore, long) but the purpose is to keep you on track, moving forward, and not forgetting important tasks. It will prevent you from exhaustion as moving day approaches because you are accomplishing everything in bite-sized chunks.

Create a Moving Budget. Moving can be expensive, especially if you are moving cross country. You will be paying a moving company, possibly paying deposits to utility companies, getting your driver’s license transferred to a new state, the cost of new items for your new home, and the cost of traveling to your new home.

A budget can be a huge wakeup call. You can see if you need to be creative in your moving budget, or if you are right on track. If you need to create additional income, you have time to plan a way to do it. A yard sale is a great way to get rid of items you don’t want to move and also creates more funds for the move.


Research and Select Your Movers

Spend adequate time to decide whether you are going to try to do the move yourself or have the help of a moving company. Professionals can help ensure your belongings arrive at your new home with minimal effort on your part.

Research various moving companies’ reviews and ask coworkers, friends, and family members for recommendations. Check the Network Moving website for moving companies in your area and estimates.

Read your moving contract carefully and don’t sign it until all your questions have been satisfied. Make sure you carry your Bill of Lading with you during your travel.


Plan Your Travel Itinerary

If possible, plan your travel and relocation for an off-peak time. If you’re driving, make sure you know what you’ll need for an up-to-date driver’s license and automobile registration and insurance. 

If you’re flying, tickets are generally less expensive when purchased in advance, but only if you’re sure of your travel dates. Are you traveling with pets? 

Planning your travel itinerary is important for logistical reasons, but also for your moving budget. Take time now to research the best route to get from your current home to your new one.


Declutter and Downsize

This is unpleasant for most people. It helps to start 6 months in advance. Systematically go through your house, room by room, sorting through your belongings and furniture. Consider how much you use each item and if it adds to your home and your life.

Have three areas, one for items to be discarded, one for items to donate, and one for a yard sale or garage sale items. Set aside anything that you no longer need or use.

Do this gradually and keep in mind: You rarely miss something once you get rid of it. Once you have completed every room, wait a couple of weeks, and then look through everything again. There might be a few more items to add to your yard sale or to donate.

The more you get rid of, the less you have to pay for when you move. What you don’t want is to move things that no longer serve a purpose or are broken to your new home.


Have a Yard or Garage Sale

As mentioned earlier, having a yard sale serves two great purposes. As you declutter, set aside items you no longer use or need. The more you are willing to part with, the less you need to transport to your new home. It takes a little planning to organize a successful yard sale, so do this plenty of time in advance of your moving out date.

A yard sale can generate extra funds. Chances are you will sell a lot of your items. Yard sales are very popular. You might be surprised at how much cash your extra furniture and no longer used items add up to. This extra money can be used for your moving budget, your travel, or anything you wish. Creating more space and earning a little extra for your effort! Any items that don’t sell can be taken to a site that accepts donations.


Pack, Label, Inventory

Begin packing as soon as you know you will be relocating. Even if you are not officially moving for another 4 to 6 months, you can still begin decluttering and packing seasonal items and rarely used belongings. 

Start with the least used areas and work your way to the items you use on a daily basis. Keep an inventory of everything. If you are packing yourself, use sturdy boxes and strong tape. Label each box well and record the box and contents on your inventory sheet.

Take time to organize your belongings well. It is so much easier to unpack if your boxes are in order.


Prepare Your New Home

If you have access to your new home, it helps to prepare it in advance of moving all your belongings. (This might not be feasible if you are moving long-distance.)

Do you want a new coat of paint or new colors on the walls? Now is the time to do it. Are there any modifications to your home that must be done? Appliances to install? Consider getting the work done before you arrive.


Create Your Arrival Box

Moving Day is the big event you’ve been preparing for. Since you will be traveling, moving, and settling into a new home all at the same time, you need to have an arrival box or suitcase (or suitcases) with essential items for the first couple of days. 

Make sure to pack with the climate of your new home in mind. Otherwise, you may discover you don’t have the right clothes for a temperature change. Detailed suggestions are in this Moving Day article. 

If you are flying to your new home, you may have to modify the items you bring to comply with airline regulations. It is important to keep all of your documents, contracts, and receipts with you as you relocate.

Pack with the climate of your new home in mind.


Clean Up Loose Ends

Return library books and any outstanding items. Cancel subscriptions and deliveries. Change addresses. Make sure utilities have been managed at both addresses.


Arrangements for Kids and Pets

If you have either children, or pets, or both, for your peace of mind, make advance arrangements for their care while you are packing and preparing for your move. Even having a couple of extra hours per week can be very helpful.

Also plan for the move itself. Will you need a pet service or special carriers to transport your pets? Is it easier to travel by car or fly with your children? If you are traveling by car, check out the route to have pitstops planned so your kids can eat, relax and stretch their legs. Plan some fun car games and music to prevent boredom.


Final Clean-up and Get Ready for Moving Day!

It helps to keep in mind there are always last-minute things to do, regardless of how early you began preparing for the move. Go through your home again and clean up any final spots. Read through your to-do list and make sure you’ve remembered everything.

Finally, be well-rested. Everything will be fine. Enjoy this adventure and look forward to settling into your new home.


Moving Is Not So Bad If You Have A Plan

When you have a moving checklist, a cross-country move can be enjoyable. Starting in advance and working systematically helps you avoid moving burnout.  Contact Network Moving for free estimates from professional movers and other moving helps.

Get a FREE moving quote


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