Your boss has just told you the company wants you to relocate to Phoenix to supervise a new project. The news would not be unsettling if you lived in Los Angeles, but you live in Boston. How is your family going to cope with a cross-country move and more importantly, how will you deal with moving to a city where you do not know anyone?

Making a cross country move represents one of life’s most stressful events. It is hard enough to uproot your family and move across town. Throw in thousands of American real estate miles, and you have a long laundry list of things that can go wrong. Whether you and your family are moving from Miami to Minneapolis or from Denver to Philadelphia, we present several tips to make your cross-country move easier to take.

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How to Make Moving Across Country as Painless as Possible

Upward mobility for your career is not the only reason why you might need to move cross-country. You might want to spend your retirement years at a dream home located in a city 2,000 miles away or move cross country to be near parents that require more hands-on care. Whatever the reason for a move, you can make it move as painless as possible.

Create a Checklist

If you thought planning a move across town required thorough planning, wait until you have to pack up and move cross country. For a cross-country move, you must create a to-do list. Start by writing down every task, from collecting packing supplies to informing neighbors of your move. Then, rearrange what you wrote down into a prioritized list. For example, you want to visit your new city before making school and housing arrangements. We also recommend assigning cross country moving tasks to other members of your family to reduce the stress put on you.

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First on the Checklist: Research Cross Country Movers

Moving your family thousands of miles requires the services of an experienced cross country mover. Write down every company that performs cross-country moves and then extensively research each  moving company on your list. Read customer reviews, with particular attention paid to services and logistics. You should consider the best rated cross country movers that have the logistical infrastructure to handle cross-country moves, such as deploying the most advanced GPS system to track your possessions. Friendly customer service includes efficiently handling the loss of merchandise with transparency.

Ask for In-Home Moving Estimates

The Internet has helped reduce the stress of performing a cross country move. You can even receive a moving price quote by completing an online form. However, online moving price quotes do not accurately reflect what the final price estimate will be for a move. We suggest requesting any cross country mover under consideration to conduct an in-home price estimate. By coming to your home, a cross country mover can see what you plan to move and attach weight estimates for every box and crate that you plan to store in a moving truck. Moreover, make sure to request a non-binding to exceed the estimate, which locks a cross country moving company into the price quoted for an in-home estimate.

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How to Save Money on Your Move

One of the most challenging things to accomplish during a cross-country move is staying within budget. Unexpected fuel price spikes and severe weather that delays a move by a day or two can quickly bust your moving budget. You can take measures before your cross country relocation to negate unexpected costs or even beat your moving cost projection. First, move in the offseason. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, movers have the luxury of demand outpacing supply. We do not suggest moving in the dead of winter, but you can save money and remain comfortable during a move by hiring a cross country mover for an April or October relocation. Second, search for a mover that offers discounted packages, such as including packing supplies at the cost of a move.

Finally, perform the packing of your possessions. You not only save money, but you also ensure everything you own arrives in one piece.

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You Do Not Have to Move Everything

Moving companies charge customers by the total weight of everything store inside a van and/or truck. For a cross country relocation, you can save hundreds of dollar by lightening the load. You can donate clothing and furniture to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity. Have a garage sale to get rid of possessions that you no longer need and use the money generated from a garage sale to defray some of the costs of making a relocation. Moving thousands of miles away from your current home represents a fresh start. Make it fresher by purchasing new kitchenware and furniture for the new house.

Pack the Right Way

Another way to save money for a cross-country relocation involves knowing how to pack the right way. You should start preparing to pack the day you receive confirmation from a cross country moving company. Organize your possessions by which room the possessions will go, Set boxes and packing materials in each room and make sure to have a marker handy to identify what you put in each box and crate.

Here are some other packing tips for a cross country relocation:

  1. Apply duct tape to the bottom and side of each cardboard box to prevent moisture from breaking open a box during transport.
  2. For delicate goods, write a warning such as “Fragile” or “Handle with Care” in big letters to prevent the mishandling of your valuables.
  3. Create thick layers of bubble wrap and soft packing paper between fragile objects.
  4. Make sure every space within a box is filled with soft packing paper to prevent your personal belongs from shifting in the back of a moving van and/or truck.
  5. Store heavier objects at the bottom of boxes and crates.
  6. Collect free boxes that are packing ready.
  7. Use padding to protect furniture from scratches during transport.
  8. Organize boxes by packing the same type of belongings.

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Get to Know Your New Home Town

A growing number of real estate agents and companies offer virtual home tours to get clients to sign on the dotted line. Although a virtual home tour can save you time and money for a cross country move, you need to visit your new hometown at least one time before relocation. Several reasons justify a trip across the country.

First, you need to enroll your kids in a school before you pack up your things and move cross country. Second, you should check out the neighborhood where you plan to live and meet a few of your neighbors. Breaking the ice makes it much easier to adjust to your new surroundings. Third, getting to know your new hometown involves discovering where the points of interest are located, from the municipal library to a federally operated museum. Read customer reviews left on sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor to create a list of possible grocery stores and restaurants to visit. If you receive a job offer from a different employer in a city located across the country, you can take care of the investigative work while you are in the town for an interview.

Confirm the Moving Date and Services

About two weeks before relocating cross country, contact the moving company to confirm the time and date of the move. Verify all the services you have agreed to use, including whether you want the cross country movers to unpack your stuff after arriving at your new home. Make sure all the prices mentioned by the mover remain the same; some movers like to sneak in fees at the last minute. Take care of any last minute insurance changes and making a storage unit reservation.

Know Your Consumer Rights

You might know this, but the United States government gives consumers several rights when it comes relocating across the country. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for developing and enforcing every regulation that concerns long distance moves. We encourage you to take the time required to learn about the rights bestowed upon you by accessing the Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. Under federal law, you are entitled to receive full compensation for any of your possessions that a long distance moving company breaks or loses. Do not forget to sign up for full valuation insurance coverage to ensure you receive just compensation for mover negligence.

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Conclusion
Moving can turn into a logistical nightmare unless you meticulously plan every step. You can expect to feel stress and anxiety, but you minimize feeling uncomfortable by planning your move well in advance of the moving date. Patience is a virtue is never more appropriate for families that have to move thousands of miles away. Moving is one of life’s dreaded tasks, and you might have the urge to cut corners or skip moving steps. Above all, prepare your family for the inevitable sinking feeling that comes with leaving a familiar place to start another chapter of your life in a new city.