The Long Haul: Tips for Moving Cross-Country

Moving can be stressful. From car maintenance to timing and packing, there may be a host of preparation checklist items on your mind. Here are some tips to stay on track during your big move.

1. Be Selective

Selective packing is particularly important when moving cross-country. The less you have to move, the better — so sort through your belongings and decide what goes and what gets sold or donated. Does your coffee table have scuffs or stains from candles, wine, or the occasional potluck? If so, get rid of it and plan to invest wisely in a new one once you’re moved and settled.

It might be difficult to get rid of some of your things, but weigh the pros and cons of trekking each and every item across the country. The more you get rid of, the less hassle packing and unpacking will be later. Craigslist and eBay are both great ways to sell your unwanted items. If you live in a larger city, Craigslist might be the easiest way to go, while those living in smaller areas may benefit from eBay’s wider audience.

2. Packing

Packing can be a pain. If you’re using a moving truck, it’s crucial to have your items well organized, and well insulated. Invest in bubble wrap and paper to carefully secure breakables. Consider recycling materials such as newspapers and plastic bags for this purpose, and use your towels and linens for extra padding between picture frames and other fragile items.

The more things you take with you on this move, the more likely it is that something will get lost. If you number and label your boxes, however, you can guard against loss. Make sure everything gets from point A to point B by keeping an inventory list. This might seem like a hassle, but having documentation of all your possessions will be worth it when you get to your new city.

3. Timing

Timing your move can make it easier, but you can also save a lot of money if you don’t move during the peak season. Most people prefer to move during the summer, on weekends, and at the end of the month. But if you can lock down a time of year that falls outside of these peak moving conditions, you’ll have better luck negotiating the rates with moving companies. If moving during an off-peak time can be arranged, it’s a good way to save some money.

To assist with your timeline, U-Pack offers a free printable moving checklist to make sure you don’t miss a step along the way.

4. Car Maintenance

If you’ll be driving your own vehicle cross-country to your new city of residence, it’s important that your vehicle is in tip-top shape for the journey. An oil change, new spark plugs, and windshield wipers will provide peace of mind that you’re prepared for your trip. It’s also important to make sure your tires are up to the job. Check your tires for signs of wear and balding, and replace your tires before the trip if needed. You can find general tire information online. Make sure to also check your tire pressure before hitting the road.

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