13 Steps To Make Your Cross-Country Relocation Seamless
Moving isn’t an exciting prospect, even if it is to another house just a few blocks away. So, what if you have to move to another country?
The U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that in 2016-2017, 11 percent of the US population moved, of which 15 percent moved to another state.
It could be necessary for many reasons — to be closer to your office or to your family, for better weather or even for a better home. Yet, it is not an easy feat.
While a cross-country move can be stressful, it can be made easy. Follow these steps, and you might be able to enjoy the process.
These tips will ensure that moving across countries doesn’t turn out to be a nerve-wracking ordeal:
1. Plan your move two months in advance:
If the move was to a nearby location, you can always come back as and when it is needed. It is not easy when the move is 2,000 or so miles away. It is best to be prepared so that nothing is left out. Give yourself two months. What you can do in these two months?
First, decide how you are going to go about it. Will you be hiring a moving company to take care of everything? Do you think a self-pack company would be enough? For the adventurous, renting a moving truck and driving all the way to another country also seems doable.
Whatever it is you decide, the important thing to note is your budget. You can choose the price point that you are comfortable with. It could be going for the most expensive moving or settling on at a reasonable cost. When you have enough time to think, you will not take a hasty decision. Everything will fall into place.
2. Find the right moving company:
The moving company plays the most important role in your moving process. Once you get the right company, the job is half done. How do you find the right moving company? The important thing here is research.
- Find details about cross-country moving companies and get their reviews.
- Try to get feedback from real customers.
- The other important factor to note is the license because for moving across countries, the company needs to have an interstate license issued by FMCSA or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can check out its website to verify.
3. Begin your packing process a month in advance:
You have settled on a moving date. Now calculate a month from that date and that’s when you need to start your packing. You will need the time for a panic-free packing process.
A simple tip regarding packing can help you save time and stress now and later. Classify your things into two — urgent and non-urgent. The former are the ones that you will need as soon as you reach your new place. The latter are the ones that you can do without for a few days, for example, home decorations, portraits, paintings, books, etc.
You will be paying for every packet and box. That is why it is best to leave things you don’t need.
4. Box it right:
The next important step after ‘what to pack’ is ‘how to pack’. You surely do not want to find broken pieces of your expensive cutlery when you unpack, do you? Pack every item with the right materials and padding so that they remain secure in the long journey.
This is one step that you need to plan and keep ready at least three months ahead of your moving. You will need boxes of different sizes, cardboard, bubble wraps, tapes, and also trash bags. Keep some of your old newspapers as well as they can be used to pack different items. If you are going to pack all the things by yourself, you will need to buy them. If your company is packing for you, then you may not need these items.
Take extra care of fragile items and electronic goods.
5. Discard or donate:
The moving process often leaves behind a huge amount of trash which isn’t good for the environment. Why add to the landfill when you can use them for better purposes? The clothes and bags that you haven’t used for a while and which you don’t intend you use it in future as well can be donated.
Food and pantry items too will be there in plenty. You can contact food banks and request them to collect the food from you. Your moving company will also have ideas on how you can donate your things.
6. Get insured:
Despite taking all preventive measures, there is no guarantee that all your belongings will arrive safely. The risk is still there. Here is where insurance can be of help. Your moving company may provide it but better to check it with them.
In the case of your moving company, they may cover for you in case of damages but only if they have done the packing. They will not be responsible for things you have packed.
There could be two options you could go for — hand over the packing to the company or just hand over the delicate and valuable items to them.
No matter what you opt for, get full insurance coverage without fail. You can also look for third-party insurance companies. Having insurance is one of the most important things to make cross-country move stress-free.
7. Pay attention to minute details:
When it comes to moving, haste is definitely a waste. Instead of waiting for the last minute, try to finish tasks ahead of its time.
For example, if you have to drop off your boxes at the loading site, then do so at least a week in advance, so that you have enough time to ensure that nothing is left out. If you are having people to load up the container, then call them a day before they need to start.
You also need to note that in the case of a moving truck, there will be other people’s belongings as well. It means your truck will have to stop at multiple places on the way.
8. Balance the weight:
A tip to follow while loading up your boxes into the truck is to use every space and corner inside, the vertical as well as horizontal spaces.
While you are moving your boxes, ensure that you load up the heavy boxes first, and distribute them all over the floor. The upper space can be occupied with light boxes. Let all the boxes sit in there tight so that they don’t fall off with vehicle bounces.
9. Label the boxes:
It is always better to label the boxes so that you know which boxes you will need first. When you reach your new home, the things you will need first are clothes, utensils, your toothbrush and soaps. You can number them boxes, like 1 or 2, or label the boxes in a way to know they contain the things you will need right away.
Even when you are packing the boxes in the truck, make it a point to keep these boxes at the top. It means you will need to load these boxes last.
10. Notify about the change in address:
You will have to notify your bank, your utility offices, office and even friends and family about the new address. It can be done after you settle in but one thing you need to do as a priority is to update your address with Postal Service. You can either go to your local post office for the same or just change it online.
You can also request the post office to hold your mails in case you require some days into settling at your new home.
11. Installation of utilities:
You may not want to be stuck in your new house without lights and water with huge boxes all around you. Ensure that you get the utilities on at least couple of days before you reach. It is not a good idea to get the installation of electric bulbs or cable the day you are moving in.
12. Reach with your luggage:
Make sure that you are either present at your new home to receive the moving truck or you reach there on time. If you are busy or unable to be present, you can ask a friend or a family member to receive the parcels.
Note that the person should have the authority to sign on your behalf because the moving company will need your signature on the receipt indicating that the shipment has been delivered.
13. Book a permit to park your moving truck:
This is one thing that usually no one will bother about, yet, it is too important to ignore. You will not want to reach your new place and then find that there is no parking space for your truck.
In most cases, the moving companies take care of the permit on their own but it is always better to check with them first. If they don’t’ then, you can approach transportation departments to provide you a ‘no parking’ sign on your street where you can park your truck.
Cross-country relocation to be undertaken with care and planning. Having a checklist will help you navigate the process effortlessly. Check-off the above steps, while planning a move!