Ten Ways to Prepare for Your Cross-Country Move

If you have ever moved before, you know that there is a lot of preparation involved. This can be overwhelming to some, but it does not have to be. Knowing what to expect during the moving process can help. Here are ten ways to show you how to prepare for your cross-country move and keep your wits about you during the moving process.  

How to Prepare for Your Cross-Country Move

Get Organized

Do your research and figure out what items need to go on your to-do list. Be as detailed as possible. Then, divide the items up on your calendar, so you know what you need to accomplish each week. This will keep you on track as moving day draws nearer and help keep your emotions in check.

Hire a Moving Company

You may think you’ll be saving money by doing everything yourself, but remember that not all costs are financial. Save yourself time, energy, and potential injury, by hiring movers. Do your research and find a national moving company that is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, insured, and rated well by the Better Business Bureau. In addition, find movers that offer the services you need at a price you can afford. You may end up saving money and a whole lot more!

Get Your Entire Family Invested

Find a good time to sit down with the kids and tell them about the move. They’re bound to have questions, so make them feel comfortable enough to ask. Then, give everyone a job related to the move…whether it’s packing up their own rooms, helping to find a new home online, or whatever else you can think of to keep them motivated and out of trouble!

Hold a Moving Sale

A lot of people forego this step, but it’s an important part of moving. The reason? You really don’t want to move everything you have to your new home! Take advantage of the situation and do a little “spring cleaning”, even if it is not spring. As you pack, divide your belongings into things you want to keep, toss, sell or store. By holding the sale, you’ll make a little money, and avoid the cost of moving items you no longer need. If you have items that have been boxed up for quite awhile, these may be good candidates to let go, as they have not been displayed or most likely missed.


Probably the most dreaded task involved with moving, but certainly an important one as you don’t want to unpack dirty and dusty items in your new home. Take advantage of this time to clean your appliances (i.e. refrigerator, oven, freezer, wine fridge, microwave, etc.) before you move them. Scrub the mud off bikes and outdoor toys, lawn mowers, shovels and other gardening tools. Dust off ceiling fans, bookcases and bed frames. Before you pack anything in a box, make sure it’s cleaned off and in its best condition.

Transfer Your Bills and Your Files Moving Cross-Country

Everything from your mail to your cable, water, trash, electric and more will need to be transferred to your new home, or possibly with new providers. Make a list of everything you have, and any new services you may want, then contact them a few weeks prior to your move for a smooth set-up and transition.

Additionally, don’t forget to have medical, dental and vision files, school records and any other important data transferred to your new providers. Other notifications include bank, credit unions and credit card companies, all forms of insurance, medical, dental, vision, car, house, etc., subscriptions and publications. Be sure to cancel any memberships that are not transferable, ie. daycare, gym, local book club, etc. Finally, be sure to check with your new state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for the time-frame allowed to update your license and vehicle registration.

Prep Your Pets

Packing and moving can be overwhelming to pets with all the boxes and packing materials. Be sure to let your pets explore these items so they become familiar with them. Because you’re making a long distance move, set out your pet carriers so they can get used them. Better yet, take them on small trips to the park, a pet-friendly restaurant, on a day-trip, etc. so they get used to riding in their carrier in the car. Do the best you can to keep their routine, such as meals, exercise, playtime, etc., as normal as possible.

Layout Your New Home

If possible, obtain or draw with measurements, the layout of your new home so can arrange your existing furniture in each room to make sure it fits and determine the best layout. Planning the layout in advance will not only let you know if your current furniture will fit, but will let you know if you need to sell it and get new items. This will also help when unloading so furniture can be placed in the correct rooms and general area they will end up making it easier and faster to get your home unpacked.

Research Your New City

All the details of moving can be such a drag that you forget about the adventure involved! Take time before you move to find out more about your new neighborhood, and state. Get pumped by planning a weekend trip to the area if possible. Otherwise, a great deal of information can be found online. Look to trip planning sites, local tourism offices, etc. to find restaurants, schools, gyms, parks, playgroups, museums, etc. Looking forward to exploring new things will surely make moving more exciting.

Have a Going Away Party

Although not necessary, it’s certainly fun and a great way for your kids (and you) to say good-bye to friends, family and neighbors. Whether you hold it at your packed-up home or your favorite local eatery, be sure to keep it simple. This is also a great time to provide loved ones with your new address. Simply order (or make your own) address change cards with your new contact information and have them available to distribute at the party.

David Shapiro, a marketing specialist for moving companies like North American Van Lines, says “Learning how to prepare for your cross-country move does not have to be stressful or anxiety-inducing. Get organized and stick to your plan and your move just may be one of the best experiences of your life!“. With a little planning this is much easier than you think. Take the time to prepare and your cross-country move will be a memorable experience for the entire family. What better way to start life in your new locale than with a positive experience during the move across the country!

If you found this information on how to prepare for your cross-country move helpful, please consider sharing the information so more people preparing for a cross-county move can find the information.

Tips to Prepare for Your Cross-Country Move

About Anita Clark Realtor

Anita Clark has written 617 posts on this blog.

Anita is a residential Real Estate Agent in Warner Robins Georgia, with Coldwell Banker Access Realty (478) 953-8595, aiding buyers and sellers with all their real estate questions on her Warner Robins blog.