Ultimate cross-country moving checklist | Premium Q Moving and Storage Boston

Ultimate cross-country moving checklist

Posted on : August 5, 2019

Moving requires a lot of thought and planning. There are so many things that you need to take into account. The first thing you need to know, of course, is where you will be moving. This will dictate the majority of decisions that you will be making. For example, if you are moving to Hawaii, then you don’t need to pack your winter clothes – and that’s how the location affects the packing. If you are moving to Boston, then you need to find interstate moving companies Boston. The list just goes on! So, what can help you with making these decisions? Is there a way that you can be sure you are making all the right steps, and that your move is progressing as it should? The best way to track your progress is by creating a cross-country moving checklist. Find out how to do it in this article.

Good organization is the key to a successful move!

Moving a house across the country is not an easy endeavor. There are just way too many things that you need to think about and worry! However, as we already established, you need a good cross-country moving checklist to make this job easy. But why is it so?

A planner on a table.
Good organization is important for any task – no matter how complicated it is!

Well, as you probably already know, good organization is the key to every successful job. Without it, you are basically just going into what you need to do blind. You have no foresight and you cannot plan anything ahead. This is why you also cannot really do anything ahead of time. Instead, you will be doing things as you remember them. So, imagine trying to pack up your home while also chasing the paperwork, trying to find good schools for your children and researching your neighborhood. This is already a handful, and there are even more things that you will need to do!

Also, if you’d like to learn how to avoid the other 10 biggest moving mistakes, we suggest you get our book.

The perks of a good cross-country moving checklist

Trying to avoid the mess described is the main reason why having a cross-country moving checklist is a good idea. With it, you will know exactly what you are dealing with. In it, you can set out the time for finding long distance movers Massachusetts, deciding what you will pack and when you will go apartment hunting. Having a checklist will also allow you to balance between doing what you need to do and planning ahead. While you are shopping for some useful packing materials, for example, you can also go and pick up some forms you need to fill.

On the other hand, it is with a checklist that you can also see just how much time you have (or do not have) for every task. It is thanks to it that you can decide, for example, to ask your movers about their packing services because you know you will not pack up in time.

a person checking things off their cross-country moving checklist
Crossing things off your checklist will help fight against the stress, which you will need to do when moving long distance.

Finally, crossing things off your cross-country moving checklist will make you happy and content. When you are racing with the clock, as you often have to when moving a house, your stress will build up. Looking at a list with things crossed off is a great incentive to keep going because you know that you are already doing a great job. What’s more, as you cross more and more things off the list, so will your stress disappear. You will have a visual guide of just how little you have left to do – and how close you are to being done.

A danger with a cross-country moving checklist

However, keep in mind that this can have a counter-effect, too. Looking at a list with nothing yet checked off can be scary. Even more, sometimes you might feel like you are moving nowhere, and having so many things to do can demotivate you. Luckily, you can fight this just by being optimistic and by staying on the track.

How to make a cross-country moving checklist?

So what should a cross-country moving checklist contain? Well, the best way to organize it would be to do it by the timeframe of your move. Usually, Premium Moving and Storage Boston recommend that you take at least 2 months (or 8 weeks) to prepare for the move. This will give you ample time to plan everything ahead, examine just where you are moving, but also deal with the paperwork and similar tasks. Let’s take a look at what you need to do during each week of your move.

Two months before the move

The first two weeks of your preparation are spent on exactly that – preparing. You will not have to be too active here. The majority of your time will be spent online, exploring your new home, or setting up meetings for the things you will need to do.

Explore your new home

Depending on why you are moving, you might want to skip or give extra attention to this step. It consists of going online and hitting some books to learn as much as you can about the place you are moving to. Of course, if you are moving from Boston to San Francisco because you like the city, then you probably don’t need to read about the basics of San Francisco. However, we still recommend that you search for the little things people might recommend or warn you about it.

If you are moving for work and you know nothing about the city, then it’s time for some thorough research. After all, you want to know exactly where you are moving to, right? Luckily, the Internet offers a variety of websites that you can visit, and that can give you plenty of information on any location. One great example is Street Advisor, where you can read thousands of reviews about a city, a neighborhood and even some streets in a city!

Add exploring different states to your cross-country moving checklist

Of course, it is also a good idea to explore what the popular states of the moving industry are – and which of them aren’t. This will give you a clear idea of desirable locations for life. If you are moving to one of the most popular ones, then you might get a great sense of relief. First, you are not alone – the majority of people are going through what you are going, too! This means that you will already have a community of people you can talk to or ask for advice – just like they will be doing! And what are these states?

Well, according to the American Moving & Storage Association, the most popular states amongst movers are:

  1. Idaho – 65%
  2. Nevada – 60%
  3. Arizona – 59%
  4. Oregon – 59%
  5. Montana – 58%
  6. South Dakota – 57%
  7. North Carolina – 57%
  8. Vermont – 57%
  9. Florida – 57%
  10. Colorado – 57%
The list of the most popular states to move to.
If you are moving to one of these states, then you are in luck!

On the other hand, it is also worth exploring the states people are not prone to move to. Knowing this is important for multiple reasons. First, you will want to ask about why people dislike moving there. There might be a trend of unfavorable behavior towards the newcomers, whether political or just cultural. Maybe the state is just too expensive to move to, so people are choosing different ones. Still, if you don’t have a choice, and you are moving to one of these states, then you should explore what makes it appear on the American Moving & Storage Association’s list of the states people are leaving:

  1. Illinois – 66%
  2. Alaska – 65%
  3. New Jersey – 63%
  4. North York – 62%
  5. West Virginia – 60%
  6. North Dakota – 60%
  7. Connecticut – 58%
  8. Kansas – 57%
  9. Pennsylvania – 57%
  10. Maryland – 55%
The list of less popular states
Are you moving from one of these states as well?

Choose how you will be moving

At the start of the preparation phase, it is also a good idea to figure out whether you will be using professional moving services or if you will be doing it alone. Both of these decisions offer their perks and their risks, and it is important to consider them both before making your decision.

Making this decision early is pretty important. It will give you enough time do contact the moving companies and get their estimates. If you do it this early, you will have the luxury to carefully compare them and make an informed decision. What’s more, by contacting your movers early in the moving process, you might be able to negotiate with them about the moving date. The companies will be more flexible the earlier you contact them in the process – because you will be the first person asking for a given date.

a wallet - it will be safe with a good cross-country moving checklist
Planning the budget early will allow you to relieve some pressure on your wallet when it comes to moving.

On the other hand, if you decide to go for a DIY move, then you will need to start planning how you are going to move your things. Depending on the distance of your move, you might opt to rent a moving truck or put them on a boat or plane, and just wait for them to arrive. Of course, these will cost differently, so making this decision early will be of great help for planning your moving budget, too.

Set up the necessary appointments

Finally, as you are nearing the sixth week of your planning phase, you will want to make all the necessary appointments. First, plan to take some time off work for the move. This is an important thing to do because you will need all the time you can get as the moving day draws near.

Then, you should also look over your lease. There might be a clause there that makes you announce leaving your home some time before you actually do it. You will want to give your landlord enough time to prepare for our move, too! Finally, you should also make sure you visit your doctor and dentist. Include a vet in this stage when moving with your pet. You will want to research these doctors in your new area, too, as well as how to transfer your medical records to the new place.

Six weeks before the move

At the six weeks mark, you are starting to take an active role in the moving process. Now, you should add gathering resources and packing supplies to your cross-country moving checklist, as well as a couple of other things.

Get some good moving boxes

The first thing you will want to secure are some moving boxes. There are multiple ways you can do this. The easiest one is to order boxes and supplies from your moving company. We have a variety of boxes you can pick from, and we can even help you figure out just how many (and which sizes) you need for your move!

a man and his child with moving boxes
You will need all sorts of moving boxes to fully pack up your home.

The second way to get your boxes is to try and hunt used ones yourself. You can do this by visiting various stores and shops in your town. Groceries, pharmacies and food and drink stores are usually the best for this. You can also try visiting various websites that often offer box exchanges and similar deals. Finally, you can simply ask around. Maybe your friends or your neighbors have moved recently and saved some boxes that you can use.

Think about what you will pack and what stays behind

During this time, you should also start thinking about what you will take with you to your new home. You should go through each room of your house and think carefully about everything. Remember, the fewer items you take with you – the more money you will save on the move! Make sure you take photos of each of the valuable items you are taking with you. They will be the guarantee if something happens to these items during the move, and you need to use your insurance.

Of course, it goes without saying that you should put these items in your cross-country moving checklist. This way, when the time to actually pack everything up comes, you will know you are not forgetting anything just by simply crossing things off the list. Another thing you need to consider when deciding whether to take something with you or not is how cheap it would be to replace. The couch you sit on daily might be a nice item, but it can also be pretty heavy. Sometimes, it will cost more to move is across the country than to simply buy a new, comfier one after you move.

Things to consider about packing

When thinking about what to bring with you on the move, think about downsizing your house. Minimalism is growing more and more popular these days. People simply choose to leave everything behind and turn a completely blank new leaf. This way, they save a lot of money – and move only a few items. This can be quite obvious when you look at the recent moving trends – with the most popular move being only for a one-bedroom home.

the size of the houses people move
The most popular move is a simple home with only one bedroom.

Another great rule you can follow is the six-month rule. When you really need to decide on an item, think about how often you use it. If you have not used it in the last six months, then it is probably the time to leave it behind. What are the odds that you will use it in the next six months?

While deciding what you will pack, you might also consider actually starting to pack some things up. You will want to pack the things you don’t really use too often. The odds are that you will not need to use them in the month before the movie anyway. Then, as you progress through the month, you will pack the items you are using more and more often. It is also at this time that you should start checking up with the utility services, and telling them that you are moving in a month.

One month before the move

When you enter that home stretch of only four weeks until the moving days, things might start to get hectic. You are taking a more proactive role now, while still trying to balance a lot of responsibilities. First, you will want to pay all the fines that you might have and cancel (or transfer) all your memberships. These include gym, library and similar services that you use. It’s a smart idea to write these in the cross-country moving checklist as they pop into your mind so you don’t forget them.

USA map - a necessity in your cross-country moving checklist
Plan your route carefully!

Then, it’s time to get legal. You will want to change your address for the move, so you should start this process. If you are transporting your car, then you will need new license plates and registration. If you will drive to your new home, then make sure to plan the route at this time. A month before the move is the perfect time to reserve accommodations if you will need any. You should also update your voter registration form, as well as look into the polling place close to your new home. Then, organize all your personal documents like birth certificates, passports, etc. into a folder that you will have with you while on the move. It’s a smart idea to also make copies of these.

Time to start cleaning up your home

A month before the move is also the perfect time to start cleaning up – and this should also go into your cross-country moving checklist! Maintaining your home clean during the move can be tough, so starting early is the key. First, you will want to clean up your fridge. As you probably already know, the movers often refuse to move perishables. So it is up to you to use them before the moving day arrives.

You should also think about allocating a specific time slot in your cross-country moving checklist for cleaning up your home. It will be easier to move around and pack up a cleaner home, and you might also have a cleaning specification in your lease if you were renting the place.

14 days before the move

The last couple of weeks should be spent doing final preparations for the move. Check up on your updated address, and update your bank and cell-phone provider about it as well. Then, notify IRS and similar government offices too. You also need to look into real estate insurances that you might have – and transfer that information too. This is also the time to set up some of the services in your new home – and cancel the ones in the old one. You will not need recycling and trash services, or cable and magazine subscriptions in these two weeks.

a recycling bin will probably not be on your cross-country moving checklist
Recycling will not be in the top of your priorities closer to the moving day.

Then, call your moving company again and make sure that the moving date is set. Getting the confirmation is important so nothing bad happens when the moving day actually arrives. You should also think about keeping a list of deductible expenses for the tax breaks. These include the paperwork you get from the moving company, but also renting a truck and similar items.

A week before the move

Now you are in the final days of the move, and things will get hectic. Luckily, you have already prepared your cross-country moving checklist, so you will just go through it and check things off now. And this is what you will have to do for the final week:

  • pack up a box of essentials for the move;
  • recheck with the utilities if you are canceling the old ones, and have the new ones already running – you don’t want to get into a house without heating or water;
  • defrost your freezer, clean out the fridge, and do similar item preparations (like cleaning);
  • get your prescriptions transferred to a new pharmacy;
  • get some cash to tip your moves;
  • recheck your cross-country moving checklist for anything you might have missed.

The moving day

Finally, the moving day has arrived! Thanks to your cross-country moving checklist, you were prepared and you are ready to face the move with no stress! Now all you need to do is to clean up the route to your home and get the furniture ready for the move. Protect your floors and wall, and do a final sweep of the house to make sure you left nothing behind. After that, all that’s left to do is wait for the movers and savor the final moments in your old home!

By the way, if you’d like to hear more moving tips, please subscribe to our moving day podcast and enjoy.

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