Most folk aren’t overly keen on moving at the best of times, and the thought of moving across country can be a terrifying prospect. With increased distance, there’s a greater chance things can go wrong along the way, turning a move to your dream home into a nightmare. There are many moving mistakes that can ruin your day, but with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can keep stress at bay during your cross-country move, ensuring a smooth transition no matter what happens.
Whether you found your dream job and you decided to sell your home and leave, or you just needed a change, moving across country is a life-defining decision. And the key to any successful long-distance move is thinking ahead and considering every possibility. This will require no small amount of planning and research in order for things to run as smoothly as possible. The idea is to inform yourself of everything that might come up, preventing nasty surprises from catching you out when the time to move comes.
Thoroughly research your transportation options; consider whether you’ll hire a moving company, take your stuff yourself or simply sell everything in advance. If using a moving company, check several companies for recent reviews of moves of a similar distance.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to make a note of everything you need to take care of before moving day. This can include appointments with doctors or phone providers in order to switch your contract or cancel utilities. A to-do list will work well, combined with a calendar.
Work Out Your Budget
In planning ahead, you’ll be far more able to create a solid budget. This is essential for keeping stress at bay, as unplanned costs will soon mount up. Take everything into consideration. For example, if you plan to drive yourself, make a thorough plan of the road trip, making note of how long it will take, how much fuel you’ll need, plus food and accommodation costs for each day.
Don’t forget about things like transportation company fees, insurance costs and any fees you might be required to pay for canceling contracts with utility providers. Bear in mind the additional fees you’ll need to consider if you’re traveling with pets. Draw up a full list of your expected costs and add on at least 15% to cover any unprecedented costs, providing a budget buffer zone.
Declutter in Advance
Packing your entire life into boxes is never a great prospect, but now is the time to declutter. Do away with anything you don’t really need, especially heavier items if you’re using a moving company, as they will generally charge based on weight. Ideally, you want to be packing as light as possible. In this way, if there is a problem en-route, you won’t be missing much.
A garage sale is a great way to declutter and make a little cash on the side and you could also sell your goods online, though this will take longer to arrange. You might well consider selling or donating everything you own, leaving you free to travel light and not have to worry about the condition of your possessions as they trundle across country. In this way you could just hop on a plane and not worry about anything until you arrive, when you’ll need to buy new furniture and possibly appliances.
Don’t Move Over Summer or Winter
During the summer months, roads are typically busier, as are moving companies. This can lead to higher costs and long delays. The ideal times to move would be autumn or spring, as roads are generally clearer and moving companies are not so busy. Flights are normally cheaper too.
Be wary of moving over winter in some regions, as road closures and perilous driving conditions can lead to huge delays. Research the route thoroughly and speak to people who have made a similar move in the past. In some cases, it can be safer to drive through the US than some of Canada’s mountain passes during winter months.
Plan for Delays and Be Flexible
To keep stress at bay, you have got to be flexible. When you’re on a tight schedule, even the smallest delay can bring things grinding to an unwelcome halt. Plan ahead and, if possible, try to arrive before you’re scheduled to move in, staying in a hotel, or with friends or family for a couple of days or more. This allows you to acclimatize and enables you to ease into your new home.
If you’re starting a new job in your city, it’s worth keeping the first week in your new place free, starting your job only after you’re settled in. In this way, if there are any delays, you will still be free over the next few days, without having to leave a bad first impression in your new job. Of course, if all goes well, you’ll have time to relax and explore your new surroundings before your really get to meet your neighbours and discover the community!
This logistical challenge is rarely easy, but it doesn’t have to be an awful experience. After all, thousands of people take the plunge and, for the most part, it all turns out well.