If moving within a city is stressful, cross country moving is a whole new dimension. Aside from the time and effort, the whole process requires, cross country moving also demands excellent organizational skills. There are three things that make every relocation easier. In the end, it all comes down to a positive attitude, good strategy, and the right help. If you haven’t moved before, relocation will be a challenge, no doubt. Your moving anxiety will be calmed significantly if you avoid tight schedules and know what’s ahead of you. Out of a number of guides, you should focus on those that tell you not only what you have to do, but when to do it, too. Thanks to all those who have moved cross country and shared their opinions, you’re not alone in this endeavor.
Phase 1: Planning. 14 weeks Before Moving.
Set a budget. The first step would be to decide on how your possessions will be moved; will you rent a truck or hire professional movers? Estimate the moving costs and include everything you can think of, even refreshment for the movers. Good budgeting strategy comprises researching and collection of a number of estimates. To get ready for your international relocation financially, you would want to know how much on average it will cost you. If you can choose, move off-season i.e. from October to March, in the middle of the week, in the middle of the month.
Arrange appointments. This is the right time because it’ll take you a while to find a good doctor for your family once you move. You wouldn’t want to do that in a rush. Also, if you plan to put your current home on the market, contact a local real estate agent.
Phase 2: Decisions. 12 weeks BM.
The mode of traveling. If you’re handing over your belongings to a moving company you should start looking for the most economical and effortless option to relocate your family. Depending on the distance, you may choose to travel by your own car, by bus, train or fly to the destination. If you don’t plan to drive, but own a car or any other vehicle, you need to arrange for their shipping, too.
Pick your movers and insurance. Hopefully, you have selected a reputable company by now and it’s the time to seal the deal. Double check with your agent what your insurance covers; if your possessions are not covered during the move, insure them with the moving company.
Prepare your kids for the imminent change. If you’re moving with kids, you’d want to find the right school for them, make necessary arrangements for the enrolment, and also prepare them for the move. Knowing in advance will allow them to get accustomed to the idea, pack their belongings, and say a proper good-bye to their friends. Make sure you get their medical and school records.
Phase 3: Preparation for packing. 10 weeks BM.
Downsizing. With a new house/apartment plan you will get a better insight into what you can actually bring with you. Things that cannot fit you should either donate, sell or you may want to rent a storage facility close to your new home.
Make an inventory. Now that you know which things you’ll move, make a list of those that will go with the movers and those you’ll bring with yourself. Keep it in a folder.
Put aside things you will need right after the move. At this point, it is vital to list items you will need during the first few weeks in your new home. You will arrive before the movers; consider where you’ll sleep. You will need clothing, toiletries, kitchen utensils and pots, towels, and bedding. Your valuables, computer backups, important documents, and medications must be with you.
Get adequate packaging. With inventory made, find enough good quality boxes of the right size. Buy enough tape, bubble wrap, and other packing supplies. Your belongings will most likely travel a long way and you need to wrap them safely.
Phase 4: Packing. 6 weeks BM.
Pack everything you don’t instantly need. Items you won’t need right away you should pack first. They include out-of-season clothing, Christmas decorations, and books. Pack your belongings by room and label each box in detail. Write your name on every box and consider writing your phone number, just in case.
Take care of your plants. Considering that cross country moving takes time, moving plants is not an option. They won’t survive a few-days trip in a truck without daylight. If you can’t move them yourself, give them to your friends.
Phase 5: Accounts and appliances. 3 weeks BM.
Cancel local subscriptions. If you have library cards, gym memberships or any other local subscriptions, check if you can transfer them. If not, don’t forget to cancel them. Also, inform the post office and your bank about your move and address change. If you have any safe deposit boxes don’t forget to empty them. You should also schedule with your cable, internet and the utility company the dates to turn their services off and on, at your current and new home, respectively.
Prepare your appliances for the move. If you have any outdoor equipment drain them of water and oil. If you’re driving your car to your new home, take it in for a general check-up. Disassemble your furniture, label the parts so you know how to assemble them later, and then swath the parts in bubble wrap. Put the screws in a labeled Ziploc bag and tape it tightly to the biggest piece.
Phase 6: Photo-finish. 1 week BM.
Double check everything. Have you filled up your car with gas? To assure your possessions are safe, pack up your car in a garage a few days before the move. Make sure you have enough emergency cash. You’d want to tip the movers, too. Remember those things you put aside? The same stuff you will need after your move is the one you will need right before you leave.
Charge your power banks and phones the night before…
The day of the move has come! Everything is ready, don’t worry. Your boxes are labeled with numbers and also listed in your folder. You got your phones, external batteries, and cables. You’re enjoying your take-out and waiting for the movers to come and start loading the truck. Have a safe trip!