- Moving can be stressful, but having a plan in place makes the process easier.
- Downsizing and preparing your belongings beforehand will make for a smoother moving day.
- Consider all aspects of your move, down to how you’ll transport your vehicle to your new home.
For many people, moving is just a part of life. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. While some of these moves may be just down the street, others are major cross-country relocations that require a great deal of planning and preparation.
Making a long-distance move can be exhausting and complicated – but it doesn’t have to be. Having a clear moving plan that includes everything from how to organize your belongings to whether to ship your vehicle can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with relocating.
Follow these steps to prepare for your move, and the extra preparation could prevent headaches and make the long-distance moving process significantly easier.
Make a Moving Budget
Moving can be an expensive process. From making significant financial decisions about your new home to booking a rental truck or moving company, the costs can add up quickly.
You’ll want to start your moving process by creating a budget. Setting a clear moving budget can help you know what to expect financially and prevent you from spending more than you can afford during the moving process.
Some common moving expenses you may want to plan for include:
- Moving services or rental truck
- Packing supplies
- Storage unit
- Personal travel costs
- Vehicle shipping
There are many more costs associated with moving and preparing your new home. Remember that it’s better to over-budget than to forget key items that add to your expenses.
Consider Flying Instead of Driving
Most people think they have to drive across the country when they move. However, flying to your new state could help shorten your moving time by several hours – or even days. Before you move, a car shipping company can pick up your vehicle, load it on a truck, and drive it to your desired destination. Your car arrives safely while you fly in comfort.
Not only is flying faster and less stressful, but it can also protect your vehicle from some of the risks associated with driving cross-country. Some benefits of flying rather than driving include:
- You won’t put thousands of miles on your car, which is important if you have an extended car warranty that will expire after a certain number of miles.
- You can avoid the risk of damage to your vehicle from wear and tear or getting into an accident while on the road.
- You can save money on lodging and food costs that you’d have to pay when making a long-distance drive.
Ship Priority Items Ahead of Time
Whether you plan to fly or drive to your next home, you may want to ship priority items ahead of you. This way you know important items are taken care of while you wrap up other moving chores.
To do this, you can work with courier companies that specialize in handling delicate items. You can also ship items to friends and relatives who live in the area you are moving to.
Some items have dedicated industries to make your move easier. For example, if you are shipping your car to your new home state, you can work with a cross-country car shipping company that has the infrastructure in place to handle your move.
Consider All Your Belongings
From large furniture to personal items and clothing, your belongings play a significant role in your moving plan. In addition to high-priority or precious items you might ship, you’ll want to have an idea of specific items you’d like to move, how much you’ll be moving, and any other items that may need storage or special attention.
Downsize Your Belongings
How much you pay in moving costs is in part dependent on the number of belongings you want to transport. More belongings will require a larger moving van and likely additional movers as well.
For long-distance moves of 100 miles or more, moving companies typically charge by the weight of your items and the trip distance. This means it’s financially wise to downsize before your move.
Before you start packing, consider what you can get rid of. The KonMari method can be a helpful way to downsize. Identify each item as something to keep, throw out, or donate to ensure you’re only taking what you need to your new home.
Make an Inventory List
An inventory list is particularly important for long-distance moving to give you an idea of how many bulky items you need to account for. Without one, you might remember your bed frame but forget that your wardrobe also needs to be packed and loaded.
An inventory list is also essential for insurance purposes. If your items are lost or damaged, you know what needs to be replaced and how much it costs. Finally, inventory lists can help you create an unpacking plan for when you arrive.
Make your inventory list as you’re downsizing – whenever you complete a room, make a note of the items in it. This can help you estimate the number of boxes you will need to pack each space as well.
Buy Moving Insurance
Moving insurance protects your belongings in the event that they’re damaged during the move. Your moving company may offer moving insurance so you don’t have to buy from a third party. However, you may want to shop around for a better deal.
Moving insurance costs are based on the estimated value of your items. The more you would need to spend to replace your belongings, the higher your insurance costs will likely be.
Look Into Long-Term Storage
If you’re trying to sell your current home before moving across the country, it may be worth considering movable storage options. Moving pods and containers are delivered to your home, allowing you to load the units on your own time. These pods are then placed in storage and will eventually be delivered to your new home.
Long-term storage allows you to spend more time in your new town or city before moving your belongings and settling into a new home. Plus, if you’re in a state of limbo, storage gives you time to find a neighborhood you love instead of settling.
Work With a Highly Rated Moving Company
When moving across the country, you have the choice of renting and loading a moving van yourself or hiring a professional company to move your items for you. Hiring a company is typically the easier and safer option, as professional movers and drivers will handle your belongings with care.
Carefully research your options before hiring a moving company. Ensure a provider is reputable by reading customer reviews, and that it’s a good value by comparing its prices against the services offered.
If you decide to hire a moving company, make sure you have moving insurance. Accidents happen, and you’ll want to be covered in case your items break or the truck gets into an accident.
Create a Plan for a Smoother Moving Process
While you can’t prepare for every scenario on moving day, having a plan in place can help set you up for the smoothest moving process possible. There’s a lot that goes into planning for a long-distance move, and feeling prepared can alleviate some of the stress you may feel when relocating.
Whether you choose to hire professionals or move your belongings yourself, following these steps can help ensure all of your belongings arrive on time and in one piece so you can enjoy your new home.