Cross-Country Moving? Use This 18 point Checklist

February 13, 2023
Ella Martin
Ella Martin

You're traveling across the nation to begin the next chapter of your life. You're undoubtedly anxious about the relocation, which is natural. However, there are several methods to take charge and complete the move your way. Use this thorough checklist to feel successful and to help you relax.

Eight weeks prior to moving out

In any other situation, two months might seem like a long time, but relocating changes that. Make progress every day, even if it's just a small bit. However, if you follow these stress-free moving advice, you won't have to worry about anything and will arrive at your new house with the energy to start unpacking.

1. Produce Files

You will need a location to keep digital data, like Google Drive, as much of your moving preparations will be done online. Put all of your documents—photos, invoices, and quotes—in a single folder for quick access. You'll be shocked at how frequently you refer back.

You'll probably accumulate some paper files, such as receipts. Particularly if you want to deduct moving expenditures on your tax return, keep things organized and in a file you can quickly pack in a bag and refer to later.

2. Examine relocating businesses

You are most likely employing a local moving firm for a cross-country move, or your employer is handling the relocation package. Verify what is covered by the relocation policy and what obligations you have if your employer facilitates the transfer.

Read internet reviews before choosing a moving company, and ask your friends, neighbors, and family for any company recommendations.

It's time to make plans for the safe shipment of any speciality or large goods you may have, such as a piano or priceless artwork. Specialty movers can aid if your moving company is unable to transport the items.

3. Select Whether You'll Fly or Drive

There isn't a single correct response because everyone's circumstances are unique. You'll need to consider the real driving time, the cost of the flight, the demands of your family and pets, and if you wish to send a car.

Give yourself plenty of time to choose the finest supplier because shipping an automobile is a unique procedure that requires extensive study before picking one. Remember that shipping a car might run you thousands of dollars.

Don't forget to maintain your vehicle if you want to drive so it will be prepared to go a distance when the time comes to leave. Car difficulty is the number one cause of cross-country relocation delays.

4. Budget for moving costs

Nobody ever claimed that relocation was inexpensive. You'll have to pay for moving vans, packing materials, petrol, lodging, meals, and perhaps even automobile freight.

Even if the relocation package offered by your employer includes the move, you'll still incur unforeseen costs along the route. For instance, their insurance plans could not cover fine art, thus the packing and shipping would be your responsibility. You could spend money on:

Remember to take extra precautions to prevent theft from your moving truck while carrying your goods.

5. Sort your belongings and start the purging procedure.

A relocation is a fantastic time to organize your entire home. You pay to have each thing moved, so you don't want to move any more than is necessary. Sometimes you may save a lot of money by getting rid of your beloved but sinking sectional sofa and purchasing a new one later.

Select the goods you want to give, sell (you may make some money to help with your relocation budget), or discard. And if necessary, think about short- or long-term storage at both ends of the journey. Finally, keep an eye out for packing supplies like blankets, towels, used shirts, socks, and tablecloths in case you need them.

Six weeks prior to the departure date

It's time to get started and make some more progress now that you've made the plan and timeline.

6. Examine Your Renters and Homeowners Insurance Policies

Make sure your insurance plans cover the relocation process and transfer your fire, theft, and other personal property insurance. Additionally, your insurance company can provide various coverage options for your new state of residence. It's a good idea to check your insurance coverage in general after the purging process and after viewing things with new eyes.

7. Take photos and videos of your belongings' inventory.

You should have narrowed down your belongings by now. The next step is to inventory your possessions. It's common for renters or homeowners to do this when purchasing insurance policies, so you may just need to update, but it's crucial to record the state of your household products in case of damage or loss.

Here's a pro tip: Take photographs of the wiring and setup of your electronics so you can recreate it later.

8. Start looking for boxes and packing supplies

You probably just need a few boxes to load in the car if a moving company is taking care of everything. However, if you want to relocate alone, you'll need a strategy for how to get free moving boxes.

You can always purchase moving boxes from hardware stores or movers, but if you want to save some money, see if any local businesses are willing to give you any extras. Speak with management at supermarkets, liquor stores, big-box retailers, and office supply stores. As you locate boxes, begin to pack little by little. Books and memorabilia are simple to pack early because you don't use them every day.

9. Measure the Rooms in Your New Home

It might be challenging to purchase a home with only one visit or "sight unseen," as many cross-country purchasers sometimes do. To make sure your belongings fit through doors and up stairs, it's crucial to measure vital interior measurements. Ask your real estate agent to help and speak with the seller if the statistics aren't immediately available. What to Measure Is:

On the receiving end, alert your movers to any difficulties with the room arrangement or the size of the item.

Four weeks before the departure date

The days will fly by as you approach your thrilling out-of-state vacation with only a month left.

10. Modify Your Address

Start online with the USPS to change your address and alert senders of the change (USPS). The majority of mail is forwarded for 18 months via their comprehensive address change option, which includes many senders, while subscriptions, such as magazines, are only forwarded for 60 days. Please take note that the USPS does not update state, DMV, voter registration, or Social Security information.

You might also wish to use these services to alter your address:

11. Get ready for the move with your pets.

If your pet has never been in a car before, you might want to attempt several practice runs that go progressively longer to observe how they handle it. You might need to spend money on a box, seatbelt, and some food and water travel necessities. If you are concerned about nervousness or motion sickness, speak to your veterinarian.

Call early to get out the full specifics, including fees; these might add several hundred dollars. Airlines have rather stringent regulations regarding what kinds of animals they'll fly and when, so call early to find out all the facts.

12. Employ Cleaning Experts

In order to ensure you get your deposit back when you move out of a rental house, professional cleaning is frequently necessary. If you've sold your house and are wondering what to clean before you go, read on. Unless specifically mentioned in your contract, a local, reputable cleaning service is not necessary.

Consider whether you'd want a reputable cleaning agency to work on your new house before the movers come for your comfort and peace of mind.

13. Compile Your Documents (Personal, Medical, and Prescriptions)

Personal documents like birth certificates should be carried by hand since they are hard to replace. assemble all of your legal documentation, including passports, school records, veterinarian records for your pets, and medical and dental records. Don't forget to fill the medicines you need for yourself, your loved ones, and your pets. If you run out of your vital medications, the last thing you want to do is go for a 24-hour pharmacy.

Three weeks before the departure date

Avoid becoming paralyzed; the end is approaching. By crossing off each thing as you go, you can feel better.

14. Service Start and Discontinuation Dates on the Calendar

Stop using the utilities and services at your existing house and make plans to begin using them at your new one. Check for any refunds or deposits that are owed to you.

15. Make a plan for plant and family care

On the day of the move, who will care the kids while you're at work? Do you require child care for one or two days while you load the truck? Consider where your dogs can remain so they won't get in the way during the relocation or run away. Playdates or doggie daycare are also wonderful choices.

Many of us have familial attachments to plants. Make plans to move or give your houseplants as gifts. Most movers do not move houseplants, particularly on long-distance or out-of-state relocation, unless you've specifically asked them to.

One week before the departure date

You are counting down the days till you can go since survival mode has set in.

16. Verify Information With the Movers

Call the moving company you hired to set up a time and clarify the specifics. Additionally, be clear about how you'll pay for the transfer so that you'll have money available if necessary.

17. Gather the necessities for moving in.

When you go to your new house, there are a few items you need to have on hand. To help you quickly locate what you need amid the commotion of unpacking, mark these boxes as LOAD LAST. Having these available could make you feel a little more at ease when you get there.

Two days before the departure date

The challenging portion is over. You've prepared; the only thing left is to wait for the movers to show up.

18. Attend to any last-minute details.

Dry and defrost freezers and refrigerators

Donate packaged and canned goods.

Ahead of your arrival, update your address with Amazon and supermarket delivery providers and place any orders you'd like.

Until you drive or fly away, gather your valuables and store them in a secure location.

To tip your service providers, such as the movers, pet and child caregivers, and doormen, always have cash on hand.

Moving Day

It's at last here! Be prepared for a busy day filled with various emotions. Check each room, closet, cellar, and attic for any objects that could have been left behind before the movers go. Lock doors, close windows, and switch off lights before you go.