Cross-country traveling is hectic enough – can you imagine what it’s like to actually pick up and move your stuff in like manner? Fact is, it takes quite a bit of planning to make sure the move goes off without a hitch (or with a minimum of hitches, rather), which is why we’ve compiled this checklist to facilitate the process. Our moving experts have been through it, and hope to help you make that cross-country trek with your possessions in tow.
1) Does Your New Location Match Career Prospects?
This can be easy to overlook amid all the hustle-and-bustle. Before you start planning your move across the country in earnest, make sure that the new location is actually supportive of your career. Almost every state has an online and physical report on the “most promising industries” or the “projected businesses downtown” or something similar. Take the extra step and call or email industry-specific recruiters in that state or city, too. You may even be able to set up flexible interview dates before your journey.
2) Leverage Family, Friends or Even Acquaintances
So often we hear people say “Don’t be a stranger” upon meeting them for a positive, lengthy discourse. If you’re moving to their side of the country and they are very close by, don’t hesitate to leverage this portion of your network. This is obviously easier to do with family and close friends – but quite a few acquaintances have amicably elevated to friendships in this way. People, perhaps surprisingly, are ready to lend a hand if you give them plenty of notice.
3) Perform a Financial Audit (Personal Finances)
This is especially important before you move, especially given the differences in the price of everyday things such as groceries, utilities, fuel and rent. For example, you can expect to pay a lot more for electricity and water in a state such as California than in a state like Kansas. Rent in San Francisco can easily be triple what rent is in Pittsburgh – and for a space of similar size. Search online for Cost of Living By State websites and use the calculator to figure things out. Additionally, you should order your credit report and peruse it before you make the cross-country move.
4) Decide What To Do With Your Car
You have several options here: you can either sell your vehicle before you make the trip, calculate the shipping cost and have your car sent to your destination, or simply drive it there yourself. One determining factor as to what you should do depends on the cost of shipping it, so get some estimates – it averages over $900 on average in the US. Driving it yourself will of course put many more miles on the vehicle; however, you can also sell it once you arrive and start your new life afresh.
5) The Packing Phase: How To Do It
We’ll focus on clothing in this short subsection. When you pack them, try to roll as many as you can so that the development of wrinkles is minimized. This will save you loads of time later, and you can squeeze more rolled clothing into a box.
6) Spring Cleaning In Any Season
Basically, this means throw stuff out that you don’t need. For all of the stress and planning involved with moving, it also affords you the opportunity to get rid of unused or rarely-used items so that you can truly begin anew. Use eBay, OfferUp or a garage sale if unused items still have some value – you’ll need the extra cash.
7) Flexibility Is a Virtue
It can also dramatically reduce worry. Keep in mind that there’s no need to stress your checklist; after all, you made it and can pivot if a better idea or element of your plan comes along. Be sure to plan for things such as movers arriving late, or a loose end to tie up. Keep calm – even the professionals run into unintended occurrences.
8) Possible Tax Breaks – Save Your Expenses Receipts
Make sure to itemize everything involved in your cross-country move – from boxes you buy, to mileage and associated shipping costs. If your journey has to do with a new career or job, then there’s a great chance the government will reimburse you for this at the conclusion of tax season. You might want to upload them to a secure online location as well as keep the originals in a lockbox.
9) Dot Your i’s and Cross Your t’s
You don’t want to be paying for local gym subscriptions months after you’ve moved out of your old city. Make sure to cancel utilities, forward mail and grab your personal records before you leave. These deserve a checklist all to themselves.
10) You’ve Made It!
Everything doesn’t have to be unpacked at once – but the essentials and the things you’ll need for work will have to be taken care of. It shouldn’t take you more than a week to unpack the final box; in the meantime, once the basics are done, you can go forth and check out your new city.