The best way to relocate safely and without panic is, firstly, to take a deep breath. After you convince yourself you got this, the second thing to do is follow moving tips that are sure to help you prepare for and maybe even enjoy the process of cross-country moving.
During last year, 26% of Americans considered relocating, and their reason to move was the ongoing pandemic. While many had to reschedule or delay relocation during the coronavirus, they didn’t change their minds in the meantime; they listed lower costs of living and the desire to be in a less populated area as reasons. Whether you feel the same or something completely different motivates you to move, the advice for relocating safely applies in any situation.
The number one solution for making the relocation process easier is not to do it alone. If you’re relocating with pets, it would be great to have someone to pet-sit when you start taking boxes out of the house. If you can’t get friends and family on board, try hiring cross-country moving services since they know how to pack and move efficiently.
The other thing that can make relocating much easier is determining a relocation budget and sticking with it. It may be tempting to book a bigger truck or buy loads more packaging supplies just in case, but it’s better not to waste money. Additionally, buying more than you need is in direct contradiction to the major rule of decluttering before packaging, and stuff could get damaged in a bigger truck because they’re free to roam around the trailer during transport.
Moving cross-country isn’t just packaging and getting supplies; there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes a long time before the move. You can read long-distance moving advice that tells you how to pack shoes and recognize potential relocation scams, but we bet you don’t hear about utilities and inventory lists that often. Before anything happens on relocation day, you have to think about the technicalities – canceling the existing utility bills and setting up new ones in your other place.
Transferring utilities to another address or person is a task on a scale of difficult to impossible. It’s better to simply cancel and then set up and register your other address just before you move in. You can cancel about a month before leaving the old place, so the utilities last for the next four weeks. In the same way, you can set them up in advance and have everything ready when you arrive.
If you’re not sure what falls under utilities, it’s things such as:
Creating a household inventory list gives you insight into the amount, the type, and the size of the stuff you have at home. This information will come in handy when you start gathering supplies to package the stuff and when you start decluttering. Let’s be realistic – there’s no chance you can (or should) bring everything that exists in your house. This presents the opportunity to figure out what should you move first when moving.
Another reason why inventory lists are helpful is the cross-country relocation crew you hire will determine the prices of their packing services according to the list of items you provide. Because of this, they know how much packaging is required, and you’ll know how much money to set aside for the costs of movers.
Hiring long-distance movers to help you out may seem contradictory to saving money, but it’s worth every penny. It’ll mean less stress both on relocation day and the entire period before it. You would have to pack some stuff on your own and declutter so that you wouldn’t be completely idle, but they’d do most of the hard work when packaging and loading the relocation truck.
If you don’t feel like decluttering or aren’t ready for it just yet, there’s another benefit to hiring a relocation company that you may not have by yourself – storage services. One of the main parts of relocation costs is accommodating your things in storage units (which you can use for free for a month,) and it’s a great option to have. Pair that with relocation insurance, and you’ll have the total package.
As difficult as it may be, the best way to organize your move is to get rid of stuff you don’t need. Dedicate a section to how you can get rid of them in your relocation binder so you don’t forget this crucial step over time. Our advice is to donate or sell any unwanted items in good condition; don’t leave them in storage since you probably won’t use them again.
Items that aren’t in great shape can be recycled in a nearby disposal center or simply given to waste disposal companies to deal with them. You can always find ways to responsibly get rid of the stuff you’ve decluttered and feel better about deciding to throw everything away.
You probably wonder, “when should I start packing to move” and the short answer is – as soon as you get all the relocation essentials. Gathering packaging supplies isn’t tricky, but for the move to go as cheaply as possible, you’ll have to dig around and use relocation hacks to get everything required for packaging. If you don’t want or don’t have time to put into scavenging for cheaper supplies, that’s okay. Purchasing them isn’t that expensive.
When you’re stuck with figuring out how to pack glasses, or better yet, how to pack pots and pans, a lot can go through your mind – from worrying about breaking the glasses to frustration on how exactly to package a pan into a box. The secret lies in picking the right-sized box for each type of cargo.
If you use a box that’s too big, the items inside will have too much space between them, and they’ll bump into each other, which is not the ideal scenario when you have fragile stuff such as glasses. However, the possibility of breakage is just the same in a box that’s too small. If you cram too many things into a smaller container, it won’t hold that well. You can try fitting the cargo into the boxes as a test before officially wrapping and packaging it.
When packaging fragile items, you have to figure out how to protect them from breaking during transport. Each item needs to be tightly wrapped into protective material, such as packing paper or bubble wrap. These are commonly used materials by professionals from relocation companies, so why not give them a try?
When you wrap glasses, put some of the wrapping material into them to protect the glass inside and out. In wrapping pots and pans, just be sure to cover the insides, especially if they’re from non-stick materials. You don’t want them to get scratched in a box, of all places, not after protecting them for so long. Additionally, utilize the extra wrapping materials for padding since filling the gaps between cargo and cushioning them in the containers can be a life-saver.
Rolls of duct tape aren’t the only necessity for relocation day; markers, pens, or stickers to help you label everything are, too. You just learned how to package dishes without breaking them, but they need to be put in the right room when you move in; you don’t want them to end up in the bedroom and leave you hauling boxes across the house.
Additionally, when you package dishes and other easily breakable stuff, there should be a warning that they’re fragile. If you write ‘fragile’ next to ‘plates,’ you, your friends, and the movers will know how to handle the containers. Labels are also cool because you can customize them and determine how you categorize everything by creating your system. The containers can be labeled with color-coding and numbers and by room or type of cargo. This part is primarily up to you.
What is the most efficient way to move when you’re relocating to another state alone? The answer to this is – hacks. There are numerous ways to package stuff around your home, so if you’re working with a tight budget, you can find some pretty awesome DIY relocation hacks that’ll make you wonder – “why didn’t I think of this?”
We mentioned packaging paper and bubble wrap as options for securing cargo in containers, but those are usually bought new and unused. You can trust us when we say that wrapping materials don’t have to be brand-new to be usable (apart from trash bags. We don’t want to, but we’ll say it anyway – do not utilize used trash bags for packaging anything.)
The potential wrapping materials for your stuff can be:
You can get a free box anywhere in town, from the local restaurants and wine shops to supermarkets and home supply stores. They typically have many containers waiting to be thrown out, which are usually in top shape. Instead of letting them get rid of everything, ask them if they’ll do you a favor and give the containers to you. The video below explains in detail how and where you can grab free boxes and save a lot of money on relocating.
The move-out cleaning process falls under the mandatory category of what to do before leaving the old place. It’s not just about emptying it and saying goodbye; it’s also about leaving it spotless. Essentially, the difference between deep cleaning and cleaning after you move out is small and insignificant. If you’re relocating from an apartment, it’s necessary to leave it in the same shape as it was when you walked in. Your landlord won’t cover mold removing, repairs, or repainting expenses (not all landlords are the same, but they typically don’t take responsibility for cosmetic changes,) so you’re left on your own.
There’s also a list of things to do after relocating, and just before you start unpacking, the new place will need a deep clean, too. Why? Just to be cautious, you should believe that those who were there before you didn’t take move-out cleaning seriously. Besides that, if you bought a home no one lived in before, there’ll still be accumulated dust and dander everywhere. Cleaning may be a burden (it’s pretty hard for many of us, we know,) but it brings many benefits to our lifestyles and health.
Moving across the country requires a lot of planning and patience, but it’s always worth taking that leap of faith and changing your environment. People very rarely regret relocating and often consider it a trigger for positive change. Relocation day is nearing, and you may feel like there’s not enough time to gather supplies and cancel utilities, but as we said in the beginning – take a deep breath and trust that the process will go better than you imagine. Now, go and start gathering supplies for the greatest adventure ever.