7 Tips for Staying Organized During a Cross-Country Move

Moving to a new state can be an exciting experience; however, at the same time, it can be stressful if you're not organized. Since packing up your belongings and moving across the country is a lot different from moving across town, here are some tips you can use to stay organized on your upcoming long-distance move:

#1 Planning Ahead of Time

The minute you know you're going to move, it's important to start planning immediately. The more time you have to plan, the more prepared you're going to be come moving day. There's nothing worse than finding a moving truck or storage unit at the last minute. About.com has an in-depth checklist that you can use when you're ready to start moving.

#2 Moving Method

Moving across the country will mean that you can choose from a variety of moving methods. These methods include: renting a moving truck, hiring a company or even using moving containers like these. If you're thinking about hiring an outside service, make sure you get as many quotes as possible to find the best company for your move. On the other hand, if you plan on moving on your own, it's best to make sure that you have enough help to pack up the truck on the moving day.

#3 Find Boxes

The boxes are going to be the heart of your move. If your boxes are flimsy or break during transit, you could see hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of damage when you arrive at your new home. The minute you know you're going to move, search for durable boxes to adequately pack your home. These boxes can often be found at grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, offices, schools or Craigslist. HowStuffWorks.com shows you 11 ways to find boxes in your neighborhood.

If you have a lot of breakables, don't forget about bubble wrap and newspaper to prevent the items from bouncing around in the box.

#4 Start Selling

When you move across the country, you're going to limited on the space in your moving truck. Since there's a good chance that there will be a lot of things lying around that you haven't used in years, it may be ideal to start getting rid of these items. You can get rid of these items by holding a garage sale, selling the items online or even donating to a local shelter.

#5 Take Inventory

If you're going to hire movers, make sure that you label and take pictures of each box before they head to a truck or container. You're going to want to have as much evidence as possible in case the items get damaged during the trip; it also doesn't hurt to keep an inventory sheet on all the boxes you load on the truck. That way, when you arrive at your new home, you can make sure every box made it safely.

#6 Label It

When packing your home, start with one room and pack it. You're going to want to stay in that room until it's empty and nothing is left. Since there's a good chance these items will be put in the same kind of room in your new home, you won't want random items inside the box because this will just lead to confusion. When packing your boxes, you're going to want to make sure that you label each box because that way, when the box arrives off the truck, you will be able to take it directly to the room it belongs in.

#7 Stay Focused

It's best to have a schedule ahead of time so you have an easier time keeping track of your progress. For example, if you had to move in eight weeks, you could write down on your schedule that you want to have the guest bedroom packed in three weeks. By creating a schedule, it will create a lot less stress and keep you on track to have the house packed when the moving day comes.

As long as you're prepared, moving across the country should be relatively stress-free. Start early, use the tips above and hopefully, all your boxes and belongings arrive in one piece.


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