5 Tips For A Cross-Country Move

Moving is never easy, but it can be particularly daunting if you’re relocating across the country. In fact, the only moves that are more challenging than those that traverse the country tend to involve a passport and a different language.

Don’t let a move of this scope turn your life upside down! Follow these tips to make your moving process smoother.


Early planning is key for an easier cross-country move.
(Image courtesy: Earls37a via Flickr)

1. Plan Early

Cross-country moves generally aren’t the result of spur of the moment decisions. Regardless of the purpose of the move, there’s a good chance that you had an idea it might be coming for weeks beforehand. Use that time to iron out the logistics of your move.

As soon as you realize that a cross-country relocation might even possibly be in your future, start looking up housing and moving options. At the very least, this will help you understand the housing market in your potential destination, and how you can get your possessions from Point A to Point B. This will also keep you from being overloaded with last-minute research once your cross-country move is a certainty.


Cross-country moving can be expensive. Budget accordingly.
(Image courtesy: 401(K) via Flickr)

2. Budget High

There’s no getting around this: cross-country moving is expensive. Two factors that tend to drive up moving prices are time and distance; cross-country relocations have both of these in abundance.

Even if you find an affordable way to get your possessions across the country, it will cost a pretty penny to get yourself and your loved ones from one home to another. Whether you fly, ride a train or drive, you’ll have to spend plenty of money on either tickets or gas. You’ll also likely need to pay for food and lodging while you’re in limbo, so make sure you put enough money aside to cover all these expenses.  For some additional considerations, check out this article on “The Debt Free Move” from The Simple Dollar.

Moving Truck

To move your possessions cross-country, either rent a moving truck or hire movers.

3. Choose Your Chariot

If you’re planning on moving large furniture from your current home to your new one on the other side of the country, you have two feasible options: you can rent a moving van and haul everything yourself, or you can hire movers to do the trick.

Both options have advantages and drawbacks. Renting your own moving truck is more affordable than hiring movers, and your items remain in your possession during the moving process. However, it can be exhausting to load a moving truck and then drive cross-country; it can also be expensive to gas up the truck several times en route.

Hiring movers can remove the burden of loading up and fueling a moving truck, but you’ll pay more for the convenience. When you hire movers, you also trust your valued possessions to a group of hired workers throughout the relocation process. So be sure and choose trustworthy movers.

Stacked Moving Boxes

It’s important to pack efficiently when moving cross-country.
(Image courtesy: Carla Arena via Flickr)

4. Pack Smart

When it comes to packing for a cross-country move, two principles reign supreme: Less is more and stronger is better.

A cross-country move is a logistical challenge at any level. But if you’re a hoarder or chronic overpacker, it can truly become a nightmare for everyone involved. Only pack the items you need and use; give away, donate or sell all the excess stuff you’ve got stashed in your home. You can always buy replacement items once you’re settled in your new home.

Be sure and use sturdy and well-built boxes for the items that you do pack, and be sure to secure them tightly. Long distance moving provides plenty of opportunities for your possessions to sustain damage, so effective packing methods are a necessity.

Finally, be sure to label your boxes clearly. This will help you keep track of all of your stuff when you get to your new home. It will also make the unpacking process less painful.

No Stress

Finding your moment of zen during your cross-country move can make a huge difference.
(Image courtesy: Livin Spoonful via Flickr)

5. Take It Easy

Moving cross-country can be a very stressful experience, and the pressure can intensify tenfold as you embark on your journey. The mounting pressure, stress and exhaustion can cause even the most even keeled of us to erupt like a volcano without warning once we reach our breaking point.

Eastern Colorado is no place for a meltdown when you’re in the process of uprooting your life from New York to San Francisco, or Seattle to Dallas. So make sure the emotional weight of such a monumental change in your life doesn’t drag you down to this point.

Be sure to pamper yourself with activities that can get your mind off the task at hand from time to time. Go to a spa, catch a ballgame, take it a little slower while you’re on the road. Do what you can to help take some of the pressure off. It will make a big difference.

What tips do you have for cross-country moving? Let us know in the comments below.

Cover image courtesy: Zntrip via Wikimedia Commons

About Us

Considering moving in the weeks or months to come, or know someone who might be? Let Garrett’s Moving and Storage handle the stress for you! We have more than two decades of experience moving people across the Dallas-Fort Metroplex and the country. Get a FREE moving quote today.

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