There are a number of reasons people move cross country. Some might be bored of their surroundings or found their dream job in a different city, while others might be moving to be closer (or further away) to family. Whatever the reason, the new adventure can be very exciting, but there’s a lot to organize beforehand.
If you’re about to move, follow these steps to make the process that little bit easier.
GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME
The first thing to do is to start planning far in advance. The more time you give yourself, the less stressful it’ll be. Prepping for a cross country move isn’t simple, and you’ll need plenty of time to prepare everything you want to take with you and get rid of anything you don’t.
To help, you should start researching removal companies and cross-country haul services to gather quotes and get all the information you might need. If you’re transporting a car, you might also want to look into different car shipping companies to make the process simpler.
Give yourself plenty of time to get everything prepared – even before you’ve started packing. That way, the process can be plain sailing from the get-go. We recommend starting at least two months before the move.
CREATE A TO-DO LIST
No job is too big or too small to add to the list. Having a fully detailed list of things that need to be done will help you stay focused on the task at hand. Everything from arranging documents, bills, packing, and gathering quotes should be added to the list, as well as any deadlines you need to meet.
You’ll likely remember things later down the line, so keep a to-do list to hand so you can write down anything else you think of.
Check things off the list before moving onto another task, or assign certain jobs to family members willing to help.
As with any move, decluttering is the perfect way to start afresh in your new home, potentially earn a little money, and reduce the amount you need to pack. Throughout the years, we all accumulate stuff we think we need that never end up getting used. Moving is the perfect time to get rid of all that clutter and focus on the essentials.
Before you start packing, segment rooms into different areas and tackle each area head-on. Make piles of things to keep, trash, sell and only pack what you’re keeping. Once you’ve got big enough piles, you can have a yard sale or sell items online before moving onto the next room.
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When you’re ready to start packing, it’s important to do it properly. Moving locally usually gives you the freedom to fling things in the car with no fuss. But as you’ll be moving further afield, you need to make sure everything is packed properly and securely so that nothing gets damaged in the move.
If you follow a simple to-do list, you should be able to stay calm and collected throughout the whole process. Then, when you get to your new home, you can sit back and enjoy yourself.
There are only so many boxes you can take on your journey across the country. Packing your clothes strategically is key. Your clothes can be the hardest items to pack—from winter jackets to shoes, sweaters, and pants—as many of these items are bulky and take up a lot of space.
Rather than haphazardly throwing a bunch of clothes into boxes, follow some of these expert packing tips from CD One Price Cleaners:
Rolling: Rolling clothes not only allows you to travel with clothes wrinkle free, but it’s a huge space saver. Simply roll your items and tuck them into boxes. You’ll be shocked how much more you can fit in each box.
Make Use Of The Gaps: There will be gaps between the rolled clothes—use these spaces to squeeze in small items like socks and other delicates that don’t need a lot of space.
GET YOUR FINANCES IN CHECK
When was the last time you took a serious look at your finances or even checked your credit score? The cost of living in your new home state is guaranteed to change. What you’re used to paying for groceries, rent, gas and healthcare will likely be drastically different.
For example, rent prices are 45 percent higher in San Diego than Burlington, Vermont, where I was coming from. You can find the same data by doing a comparison of Cost of Living with Numbeo’s Cost of Living calculator. This is something I was not fully prepared for and made the first few months challenging.
It’s important to consider your credit score at this point as well, which will also be considered when renting or buying in your new state. Check out MyFico’s guide for improving your credit score before making any major moving decisions.
You can make endless to-do lists and have 10 different backup plans, but something is almost always guaranteed to go wrong, big or small. Your movers might arrive three hours late or you could get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere.
During these times, it’s important to be flexible and remain calm. Moving cross-country is no easy feat—even for the most organized and prepared individual.
SAVE YOUR MOVING RECEIPTS
If you’re moving for work, the government might give you a break on your taxes. If you moved to a new location due to your job, you may qualify to claim the cost of your moving expenses as a deduction on your federal income tax return.
To ensure you have all your ducks in a row come tax season, collect all of your moving receipts—such as the cost of boxes, any shipping costs, and gas mileage—and keep them in a safe place. Learn more about this option at TurboTax.
TAP INTO YOUR NETWORK
Chances are you know a family member or friend of a friend who’s lived in your new home state. Leverage your network to help you get ahead before arriving. For example, ask a friend to drive through a neighborhood you’re interested in or to check out an apartment you’ve been eyeing. They can be your eyes and ears before you get there.
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