How to Manage a Cross-Country Relocation

A cartoon family driving through the desert in a cartoon car carrying a load of tall stack of boxes and a chair that is strapped to the car.

In the past, we’ve focused on things you should consider when planning to move. However, when you’re considering a move across the country, there are several other things you have to think about in order to be fully prepared for the transition. Obviously, moving cross-country is a bigger change than moving to the next state over or merely a few towns away. There’s a lot of planning involved and more factors to take into account to make sure everything goes smoothly. Here are some tips to assist you if you’re planning a cross-country move.

At the start of the process, you should ask for help from a professional as early as possible because they will be able to tell you exactly what you need to know as you go forward with preparing for your move.

“A realtor is a great resource and can provide you with a wealth of information about the price of homes in your area of interest and so much more,” said Yvonne Regan, Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. “Our relocation department and agents at Rand Realty help our customers and clients find a qualified realtor anywhere in the country by utilizing our own broker network. Having a realtor in place before you visit an area is a key stress-reliever and timesaver. He or she can help you preview homes in your budget and put you in touch with other experts, such as mortgage lenders, home inspectors, school and city officials. They are the experts in their respective areas and can provide you with resources to help you in your home search.

“And, if you are planning to finance a purchase, I would also recommend you get pre-qualified by a mortgage lender,” said Regan. “This way, you know what your purchasing power is before you begin your home search. Knowing what you can afford will also help you narrow down your choices.”

When you’re planning a move, you have to figure out how you’re going to pack up all of your belongings. The level of difficulty for this task depends on how far away you plan to move. If you’re only moving a few miles away, or maybe even if you’re moving to the next state over, it will be rather easy to rent a moving truck and some movers, pack up your things, and be on your way. When you’re moving cross-country, however, it’s a little harder. The best thing to do is figure out the essentials you will be needing, but can still fit in the car; and then, you can sell everything else. This way, you don’t have to worry about renting a truck and moving crew to help you, which can cost quite a bit of money if you’re going cross-country. Then, when you arrive at your new home, you can purchase new furniture.

If you plan on bringing a lot more with you to your new home and end up renting a truck, you’ll be packing a lot of your belongings in boxes. Once you finally know what you’ll be bringing, begin taking inventory of your belongings. Given that there’s a lot going on during a preparation for a cross-country move, there’s a probability that some of your stuff may get misplaced. In order to prevent this, take stock in everything you have with you. That way, when it comes time to pack it all up, you know what you’re supposed to have. After you pack everything away, make sure to label your boxes. That way, when the boxes are taken into your new home, you will know in what rooms they should be placed, and you won’t have to waste time going through each box to know where the contents are supposed to go.

You may not have considered this when planning a move, but as you’re doing so, you can expect your calendar to fill up with appointments. Besides going for an appointment with your doctor and/or dentist, there’s the matter of catching up with your friends and family before moving. You don’t want to leave town without saying good-bye to them, so you’ll want to make sure you set aside some time on you calendar for them. I know it’s not like you won’t be seeing them again, but if you’re moving cross-country, you won’t be spending as much time with them, so you should spend time with your friends and family before you make the move.

Speaking of appointments, to-do lists are also important to have. There are so many things to keep track of when you’re planning a cross-country move, such as choosing what you’re going to take with you, hiring movers, forwarding mail, and updating business accounts (Updater, a web application Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty now offers, can assist you with the latter two tasks). I remember to-do lists were a huge help when juggling academics and extracurriculars in college, and one of the great pleasures in life is crossing off tasks you go from day to day. With something as significant as a cross-country move, making a to-do list (or several) is really going to help you in keeping track of what needs to be done. When you consider how much work goes into a move as big as this, it will make this undertaking simpler if you write down all of the tasks that require attention before you get ready to step out the front door and begin your journey to your new destination. You’ll have so much going on during this process, there’s a chance an objective or two may slip your mind, so having a to-do list will help preventing such a risk.

Seeing as there’s so much to plan when coordinating a cross-country move, there’s the matter of giving yourself enough time to get all of the preparations done. In order to do this, it’s recommended you provide yourself with at least two months to get everything in order. There’s nothing more anxiety-inducing than waiting until the last minute to begin work on a time-consuming task, which I’m sure many of us have done one time or another. Makes you nervous to think about, doesn’t it? As soon as you know you’ll be making a cross-country move, start your planning immediately. Don’t procrastinate like you probably did with a term paper or two in college. Get everything you need to get done as soon as you can, and then if you think of anything near the last minute that needs to be done, you’ll have many of the other tasks out of the way at that point.

Moving cross-country is different for families, as opposed to an individual mover. Because of this, it’s important everyone in your family knows what’s going on with the transition.

“Moving is stressful for everyone in the family, including children,” said Regan. “My advice is to talk with your children about the move as far in advance as possible, and also be supportive and patient, as they will need time to adjust. Arrange to take the children on a tour of the new home and neighborhood as soon as possible. Show them all the recreational areas and fun things that the new area has to offer. Setting up playdates for your children and signing them up for sports teams or other fun activities will keep them busy and help them adjust more quickly.”

In conclusion of this blogpost, I’ll leave you with the last important piece of advice: stay calm. Yes, there’s a lot you have to get done when prepping for a cross-country move, but losing your sanity isn’t one of them. As long as you give yourself enough time for the task and have a clear idea of what needs to get done before you’re ready to drive off, you’re sure to have a smooth transition as you make your travels to your new home.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.




Posted on March 4, 2016 at 10:11 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

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