Every move is unique. Each one comes with different requirements and challenges. While you might have moved multiple times in the past, you’d encounter something new with each move.
Perhaps cross-country moves are the most challenging. The logistical details that go along with it can be overwhelming. Even if you have previously moved across the country, you might still feel inadequate with certain tasks. It’s alright to feel concerned but you can make the move less stressful with proper preparations.
Here are some tips to ensure a worry-free cross-country moving experience.
1. Start planning months before the move
Preparation is the key to a stress-free relocation across the country. Start planning at least three months before your scheduled move. This will enable you to sort out all your concerns before the big day. This is particularly true during COVID-19 where companies carry out more stringent precautions to ensure sanitation. As a general rule: the farther the move, the earlier you start.
2. Book travel plans in advance
Canceled or unavailable flights can be a huge hassle – and expensive too. As such, you have to make travel arrangements a month (or even more) in advance. This will give you time to research and schedule all travel arrangements, including hotel reservations, airplane tickets, etc.
3. Start packing early
As soon as you decide to relocate across the country, you should start the packing process. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you’ll need to pack your stuff. Based on the volume of your belongings, prepare a realistic timeline with a few extra hours. You want to avoid cramming the night before your move.
4. Create a packing list
To help prioritize and organize your packing, you need to make a list of things you want to bring. Categorize the items in terms of their importance. Make a list of must-bring items; another list for items that you’ll bring only if they fit, and another list for things that you can leave or discard. Start with the priority list.
5. Purge your list
When moving across the country, you want to trim down the number of stuff to bring. Get rid of unnecessary items such as by selling, donating, or throwing them. Some charities will gladly accept worn-out household items. The more items you throw out, the better.
6. Hire a cross country moving company
There are many types of long-distance moving companies that operate across the country. These professional movers offer a wide range of services from full moving service to truck rentals. Most likely, you’ll need their help especially with transporting large items. While you can attempt to DIY move, the distance of moving to a different part is just exhausting. Many problems can happen along the way – something that you surely want to avoid. Self-moving is only ideal for local moves and never for cross-country relocations.
7. Put the agreement on paper
Once you’ve hired movers, make sure everything that you discussed and agreed is documented and signed. Be sure to have a clear and well-defined contract of service. It should stipulate the coverage of the project, the cost, the services, and other details of the move. You don’t want to be arguing with the movers on a moving day. But most importantly, you don’t want to pay extra fees. Some of the documents you need to check are the estimate for the entire service, a bill of lading, and inventory.
8. Choose a licensed and insured moving company
Working with unscrupulous movers can give you a lot of headaches. Avoid dealing with moving scams and rogue movers by choosing only a licensed moving company. You can look them up through the FMCSA’s database to see if they are a legitimate company. Check their credentials and read testimonials from previous clients. You also want to make sure that they are insured and bonded. Ask the moving company to provide you with their latest documents. Not only will this protect your properties from potential damage, but it also ensures your protection from potential liabilities.
Take note, however, that the company’s insurance only provides basic protection to cover the bare minimum. So, in case some valuables get damaged, you won’t necessarily get their full value. You can consider purchasing moving insurance from a third-party insurance company for more comprehensive protection for your belongings. With this, you are assured that your belongings are safe throughout the relocation.
Moving across the country can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow these tips and enjoy your new milestone.
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Infographic provided by Master Movers, a Venice, FL moving company