Cross Country Moving Checklist

Essentials when moving to a small house

Moving is never a fun activity for those who have to do it. Moving cross-country adds another layer of stress and anxiety. There are steps to take that can make it an efficient process. The first thing to do is create a checklist that tackles various must-do tasks such as finding a professional moving company. If your employer is relocating you, this translates to them picking up the tab for packing, loading, and unloading.

Making reservations for the appropriate truck will be at the top of the list. An adventure mindset will also go a long way to side step the hum drum aspects of discarding unwanted belongings before the movers arrive. Isolate the items you want them to pack and load by placing masking tape on it. Once you get to the destination, this strategy will serve as a built-in organizing tool as boxes are unpacked.

These are just some of the examples of what to expect as the move unfolds. Here is a blueprint for a checklist that covers things to complete at the old location and new one.

The perfect cross-country moving checklist

To avoid being overwhelmed, this in-depth checklist ensures no essential transactions are missed. It has taken every contingency in to account so you can focus on the important things such as family and your new home. Feel free to pencil in personalized notes that are not addressed here.

Things-to-do before the move

This section will cover the tasks to complete for the old address as well as the new address. Some items are specially noted in consideration of a timeline so steps are orderly.

1. Contact the utility companies

Reach out to current utility companies 60 days before moving with the disconnect date. This includes the lights, water, telephone, gas, landscaping, and security providers. Find out how deposits will be returned and get a letter of service for new providers. This may impact deposit requirements and application process for new service. Next, contact the new providers with the connection date. Find out if a letter of service from your current service providers will waiver deposits.

2. Secure the moving company

This task should also be completed 60 days before the move date. For moves that are your financial responsibility, get several quotes from reputable companies. Make sure the quote includes all supplies, packing, unpacking as well as loading and unloading at both locations. Ask friends and family members for referrals of organizations they have used in the past. Employers will generally have a packet of information with details including moving company name and phone numbers. Schedule an appointment with them as soon as you are allowed to.

3. Check-in with insurance providers

Car and health insurance providers are next on the list. This can be done 45 to 60 days before relocating to the new area. Find out if rates will be changing, how much they will be, and if payment dates will be affected. Homeowners should contact their providers as well with details about the new home if this was not been done at the closing.

4. Make hotel reservations

Secure hotel accommodations at specific stops along the way to your new home. This should be down at least 60 days in advance to get the best rate. If you have memberships with free stays accumulated, this is an ideal time to use them. It will also make it easier to find locations on the route of your choice. Families will want to get adjoining rooms if they are available.

5. Start discarding unwanted belongings

This is an ideal time to discard items by recycling or donating them. Begin this process 45 days from the moving date with rooms that have limited traffic such as basements and family rooms. Outdoor spaces will also be one of the first areas to complete. Closets are next starting in the garage and utility rooms followed by hallways and bedrooms.

Pay special attention to kitchens by placing items that will be needed from day one in a separate area. Once this is completed, start staging items with masking tape or labels so the moving company knows what to pack together.

6. Make calls to schools

This task is for parents to complete so children transition to their new schools seamlessly. The timeline will vary based on the school year calendar, but should be completed as soon as possible. Speak to current school administrators and teachers to let them know about the move. Gather the required records for the new school system.

7. Talk to DMV

About 30 days prior to the move call the Department of Motor Vehicle to see what the requirements are for transferring tags and driver’s licenses. Get details about fees, timelines, and locations so the initial visit will not be a lengthy one.

8. Call banks and credit card providers

Let banks and credit card providers know the new address 30 days before moving so the next statement will arrive timely. Consider updating this information on-line, although a call is still a good idea.

You do not want to be traveling and the cards are frozen due to suspicious activity. In addition, a statement lost in the forwarding address maze may cause late or overdraft fees. This is also an excellent time to try online and paperless options.

9. Google the new neighborhood amenities

Thirty days before leaving check-out grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and drug stores in the area. Make a list of these as well as major malls, roadways, and nearby public libraries and parks. While this is in the number nine slot, a review of this information can be done sooner.

10. Moving day is finally here

Schedule the professional movers in the early morning hours so you can take advantage of as much sunlight as possible. Load the car with luggage and food stuff. Make sure you have plenty of cash or travelers checks.

Bring chargers for cell phones and plenty of music, reading materials, and games. Turn off all light switches and water faucets even though service will be disconnected. Plug in GPS information, and hit the road.

Things-to-do once you get there

Short and sweet is the theme once you reach the final destination. Stick to the checklist and stress levels will be non-existent. There are only five tasks to check off upon arrival.

1. Settle in at the new digs

Start by opening doors and windows to let fresh air in and stale air out. Check to ensure all utilities are on, if not call the appropriate provider for a status update. Put luggage in their individual rooms for easy access.

The moving company should have been scheduled for the day after your arrival. Sleeping on the floor for the first night or at a hotel is part of the adventure mindset discussed earlier. The objective is to get a good night’s sleep and start fresh in the morning.

2. Make a run to the grocery store

Pick up items that meet immediate needs for a few days and save the big shopping trip for later. Have breakfast at a nearby restaurant and start the welcome to the neighborhood process.

3. Do a quick clean-up

This is not a deep clean as the space should be move-in ready. However, running the vacuum, sweeping and wet mopping bare floors, and cleaning out sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and showers is always a good idea.

4. Unload the truck

The night of arrival is an opportune time to decide where to place the big items such as sofas and beds. This will facilitate the movers unloading the truck quickly. Using the information on the boxes, have the team place them in the correct rooms.

5. Unpacking the boxes

After the items have been unloaded from the truck, continue the process of showing the moving team where you want specific items to go. This may take some time due to changes to the initial plans once you are actually in the space.