Tips to Prepare for a Cross-Country Move

Moving is stressful, whichever way you think about it. It’s exciting, too, of course, but often that’s not what we focus on. There are just so many details to remember that they all become a mess and cloud the thrill of a brand new start in a new place. This is true whether you’re moving down the block or to another city or town. It’s especially true if you’re moving across the country.

If you’ve lived in North Carolina all your life and are buying a home in California, or are a die-hard Texan who just got a job in Florida or Maine, there’s a lot to consider as you pick up your life to relocate. Culture shock is a big one, for sure. The United States is a diverse country, culturally speaking, and there are even different American English dialects and language peculiarities you might have to get used to when you move. That’s on top of just buying a house, hiring movers, getting a storage unit, finding schools for your kids, and figuring out why you should move to Florida or Tennessee, as if that wasn’t enough.

It’s a shame not to enjoy the excitement of a relocation, which is why it’s a good idea to have a handy checklist if you’re moving across the country. Read on for some of the things to bear in mind as you compile that checklist for a smooth relocation.

Get advice on buying and selling homes.

Dealing with the ins and outs of the real estate market can be overwhelming. Whether you’re selling or buying, it’s so much work just understanding what to look for, how to be sure you’re making the right choices, and what can be described as the right amount of money to pay or accept during a transaction. If you’re moving far away, you might also be managing either the sale or the purchase of a home from long distance, which is even more complex.

If you’re already trying to manage the myriad details that go along with moving across the country, don’t try to handle the real estate part alone. For example, if you’re moving from Los Angeles to Boston, do an online search like “we buy houses in California” to find folks who will take your property off your hands quickly. Knowing that your LA home is off the market means one less thing to deal with when you’re getting used to the cold New England winters and trying to figure out how to insulate your windows and build a fire.

Find a local storage unit with easy access.

While you may be able to move your family, along with the pets, by driving for a week or so, it may take a bit longer to get your belongings to the other side of the United States. Packing up your whole life is a major undertaking, and you should make it as easy on yourself as you can. It’s a good idea to find yourself a self-storage unit nearby, with easy access and climate control for valuables, that you can use to move your belongings out gradually. If you’re in Nevada and heading over to Connecticut, look for cheap storage units in Las Vegas to put to good use. If you’re selling a home, you can also use your storage unit to hide some of your mess in order to impress potential property buyers.

Dress comfortably on move day.

Okay, yes, moving is exciting. But it’s not an occasion for getting decked out in your best clothes and feeling fancy. Definitely not. You should anticipate that you’ll be carrying heavy items, doing last minute cleaning, and maybe even getting down on your hands and knees to check that you didn’t forget anything under the kitchen counters.

Especially if you’re in Nevada or California, plan to sweat. If you’re in stilettos, you’ll be incredibly uncomfortable trying to load boxes into a moving van, not to mention driving a U-Haul or even just your car for hours to your new home. Opt for a breathable tee, some girlfriend jeans, and sneakers. You’ll be grateful that you picked up a pair of comfy jeans and sneakers to wear on moving day when you arrive at your destination with no back pain.

Plan ahead for renovations.

When buying a new home sight unseen, you should assume that there may be some surprises when you get there. That shade of green in the dining room that you thought was lovely? Not so great in person. Those banisters that looked old-timey and quaint? They have rot. The bay window that you thought you’d spend hours at, sipping tea? It’s not insulated properly.

Whatever the surprises are, plan ahead and budget for them so that you don’t find yourself scrambling to find sufficient funds at the last minute. Also, consider that taking on some of the most popular home renovation projects can be a nice way to put your mark on a new home. After all, you want to feel like it’s your space, somewhere that you and your family can grow into. Plan for these, and you’ll be prepared for any eventuality.

Consider a road trip.

Depending on how quickly you have to get to the other side of the country and how much of a sense of adventure you have, it’s worth considering a drive on the interstate highways. Grab a map, and mark some exciting places on the way. World’s largest ball of twine? The museum of PEZ dispensers? There are all kinds of weird and eclectic things to see as you drive across the United States. You can also decide to hike in as many National Parks as you can on your way. The United States has such a wide array of gorgeous landscapes to see, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

There’s plenty to be stressed about as you plan for a cross-country move, from real estate concerns and renovations to storage and finding the right movers. It’s fine to worry, but don’t let it get in the way of the fun. Remember, this is an opportunity to learn new things about yourself and have some fun along the way!