How to Move Across the Country


With so much of the workforce becoming remote in recent years and priorities shifting, there has been a huge uptick in the number of people choosing to relocate. Whether you’ve decided to move to the outskirts of a city or to a completely rural area, the idea of picking up and moving to a whole new location can be daunting, and looking at homes for sale in Haines City is just the start of the process. We’ve compiled a complete guide to cross-country moves so that you can ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

Visit Your New Home

Before you determine the right place to move to, it’s important to visit the area and spend some time exploring. Not only can this help you confirm that you truly want to be in a city, but you can get a sense of things like the right neighborhood for you and the overall feel of the town. It can be helpful to meet with realtors and other professionals in person so that you have an established relationship before working together virtually or even visiting some open houses. The more you are able to talk with locals and experience day-to-day life, the better sense you will have of whether a move is right for you.

Budget Everything 

Buying any new home requires a hard look at your finances in order to ensure you are choosing the right price range for your mortgage. But it’s important to also keep in mind that moving can be expensive, especially when it’s a long distance. The cost will ultimately depend, but you should expect to spend a few thousand dollars easily by the time you consider storage space, moving, and transport. Some people will choose a moving service, while others may decide to drive their belongings in a rented truck. Cars can also be driven or shipped depending on your preference and timeline.

If you are moving for work, ask your company if they offer any relocation reimbursement. It may not cover all expenses, but it may make a dent and free up room for you to move in a more convenient way or save some money.

Find a Place and Set a Date 

Whether you buy a new home or decide to rent for a bit, you’ll need to know where you are moving. Once you have a set date, it can help you create a timeline for when exactly to move and get all the pieces in place. You’ll want to make sure you have enough time to secure movers, pack your things, and travel, but you don’t need to draw the move out for months either. Creating a realistic timeline upfront can help you have a sense of urgency without becoming overwhelmed.

Get Quotes from Movers 

get-quotes-from-moversThe best way to find movers is often to ask friends and family for recommendations of companies they trust, though you can also search online and read reviews. You’ll also want to decide if you need full-service movers who will pack, load, move, and unpack your items or if you just need a portion of these services. With that information, you can begin calling various companies to speak with them about your move and obtain quotes. Be sure to talk with multiple companies so you know you’re paying a fair price.

Be sure to keep all receipts and financial documentation throughout the process, and don’t be afraid to negotiate by comparing rates during these calls. The receipts may come in handy later as you can often deduct moving expenses from state taxes.

Create & Execute a Packing Plan 

Before you begin boxing up your belongings, take time to make a packing plan and determine what items you’ll be selling, donating, throwing out, and keeping. By narrowing it down this way, you’ll have a sense of what you may need in your new home and how much you need to pack.

When you begin packing, be sure to have packing tape, bubble wrap, boxes, and markers to label everything. It’s often easy to find spare boxes from friends and family or outside of restaurants that will let you keep them. One great packing tip: number your boxes as you pack them. The things you pack first will have lower numbers and be less necessary for everyday life. When you unpack, you can start with the highest numbers to get to the most important items.

Make Travel Arrangements 

If you’re planning to fly, once you have movers and shipping coordinated, you can buy your flight. It’s generally cheaper to book a flight well in advance. If you decide to make the drive, you’ll want to map out your route. Some people will need it to be fast with convenient stops, but you could also choose to make a fun road trip out of it and take a longer time. Just be sure you coordinate well with the movers, auto transport, and anyone else.

You should also keep in mind travel accommodations for any pets you are bringing along. You can work with the airline if needed, or if you drive, ensure you have a safe setup and know where you can stay that allows pets.

Forward Mail & Transfer Your Records

Once you have your new address, you can use the USPS website to have your mail forwarded so that you have all the important letters and packages in the right place. You should also request important records like your medical records from your local doctors so that you have them on hand. Keep in mind that some practices will require you to sign release forms, so you don’t want to do this last minute. This will be even more important if you have children who will need to be enrolled in a new school, as they will typically require medical and vaccination records.

Manage Subscriptions and Utilities 

If you move within one city, it’s often simple to transfer utilities as they will be with the same regional provider. For a cross-country move, you will need to cancel utilities and set them up in your new location. You should also cancel any subscriptions and memberships that are local, like a gym, so that you are not paying for something you can’t lose. Any subscriptions that are mailed to you will be forwarded when you set that up, but you should still change your address online when possible.

You also need to consider if your bank will move with you. Most major banks are national, but local banks and credit unions will need to be managed as well.

Pack a Travel Bag

Whether you fly or drive, you’ll need a small number of items on hand when you move. In addition to basic toiletries like a toothbrush and your phone chargers, be sure you have some valuable and important items on your person. Documents like birth certificates, passports, car titles, and social security cards should be with you at all times, never checked or sent with a mover. This way, if anything happens during moving, you have everything you need with you. Also, consider medications you may need and anything else that would be critical if you ended up delayed.

Schedule a Cleaner

Once your old home is cleared out, you won’t want to spend time scrubbing it and ensuring it’s in perfect condition for the new owners. Most local cleaning companies will offer a specific service for deep cleaning between residents, expecting the house to be mostly empty so they can get to every crevice. The next residents will thank you, and this takes cleaning the house off your plate.

Don’t Forget the Keys

This is a small step that often gets lost in the chaos of moving- handing over your old keys. You may need to turn them into a property manager or exchange them with the new owner, but you don’t want to be halfway across the country before you realize this never happened.

Communicate with the Movers 

It can be a little scary to hand someone all of your worldly possessions and trust them to meet you across the country. Whatever your method of travel is, be sure you exchange direct contact information with your movers so that you can keep in touch. Don’t be afraid to lay out how often you’d like to communicate or what they should do in case of a delay. Texting is also recommended as it gives you good documentation of all conversations and agreements.

Explore Your New Home 

Once you arrive at your new home, there will be plenty to do. You’ll need to unpack, find local doctors and other services, and take the time to settle in. But you should also enjoy- you’ll likely be eating out the first few days, so take the time to find local restaurants you like. Take the time to meet your neighbors. After all, you moved to this place for a reason, so it’s time to make the most of it!

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