Any move – even from one place to another within the same city – can be an exhausting, stressful, and challenging affair. In fact, moving is rated as one of the most stressful experiences in life by analysts, falling behind only the most traumatic events such as the death of a loved one and divorce. Because of this, it is crucial to have a concrete plan in place when needing to move from one locale to another.

Even more challenging is finding yourself needing to move from one part of the country to another. A cross-country moving experience can be logistically challenging and expensive: from securing your new residence to getting your possessions safely transported, there’s a lot to consider.

Thankfully, many of the challenges associated with cross-country moving expeditions can be solved by addressing just a few core components. Let’s look at six of these concerns that should be addressed when moving across the country.

Setting Aside Upfront Costs

There are notable costs associated with any move – let alone one that involves cross-country travel. During the process of moving, setting aside funds that can cover temporary or one-time costs is crucial in ensuring nothing is lost and all parts of the moving process go smoothly.

Some of the most common cost considerations when moving include groceries, gas, utilities (both existing bills and fees for new service at your destination), rent and/or mortgage payments, and other moving-specific costs (such as hiring movers, moving trucks, etc.) 

The overall cost of living in your destination city may present some temporary challenges if your current earnings are substantially lower than that of your new job (or if the move is occurring without an immediate job guarantee in your new city). As such, setting aside a substantial nest-egg to cover these short-term and one-time expenses is crucial.

Securing Moving Trucks

The biggest challenge for many cross-country moves is the task of moving all possessions from one place to another. This can often require either multiple trips or incredibly expensive shipping options, so opting for the most cost-efficient and time-efficient solutions is key. For most, the use of moving trucks makes sense – but there are some considerations to evaluate.

First, moving trucks often have a limited number of miles for the agreed-upon rental price. Second, renting a moving truck means you’ll likely be doing all of the lifting and stacking yourself, which can be stressful both physically and mentally. By driving the moving truck, you’ll also be responsible for carrying insurance, fueling the vehicle and taking care of personal accommodations during the trip.

Transporting Your Vehicle

If you do opt to use a moving truck to safely transport your possessions across the country, then another big challenge is what to do with your vehicle(s). While not everybody is a driver, most have at least one automobile that they likely wish to keep post-move. How to get the vehicle from one place to another poses another logistical challenge. 

This is where the use of vehicle home delivery should be considered. A variety of vehicle home delivery services allow car owners to have their vehicles transported from one area to another through the use of qualified, professional drivers. As one example, Acertus provides cross-country vehicle home delivery for those needing to transport their personal vehicles hundreds or even thousands of miles. 

While this can be more costly than simply driving the vehicle yourself, it saves a lot of time – especially if you’re planning on driving a moving truck one or more times cross-country. 

Accommodating Pets and Children

Some of the most sensitive items when planning a big move aren’t items such as fine china, glassware, and other valuables, but the precious lives that reside under our own roofs. For both children and pets alike, a big move can be incredibly stressful and inconvenient. In turn, their experiences can impact yours: from accidents and messes to temper-tantrums and scoldings, the last thing you want is a miserable child, dog or cat when moving cross-country.

For children, it is all about minimizing stress and providing as much entertainment as possible during the move (click here for a guide on moving with children). For pets, you’ll often be responsible for their move, as most moving companies cannot legally transport them. A pre-move trip to the vet along with included creature comforts in the car or crate can maximize the chances of a successful move. 

Eliminating Unnecessary Items

Think about all of the items you’ll be transporting cross-country: furniture, clothing, electronics, mementos, and so much more. While nobody wants to let go of items that they may feel will be needed in the future, it is crucial to first consider how many items in the home are genuinely needed or desired. 

Ultimately, every home has a bit of clutter that can be consolidated, given away, sold, or otherwise disposed of prior to a move. In some cases, freeing yourself of these items can help bring in some needed cash that can offset those moving expenses. Yard sales, online listings or even just checking with friends and family may prove to be successful methods for reducing the amount of stuff you have to move once the day arrives.

Packing Inventory Properly

As messy and rushed as moving can feel, it is important to properly manage, label, and pack items so that the unboxing process post-move is as simple as possible. Remember that the process of moving doesn’t end as soon as you arrive at your new home with all possessions in tow: you also have to unbox, unwrap, and otherwise situate all of your possessions in the new home itself!

Whether through the use of a moving company or by preparing a proper moving checklist for personal use, start off by consolidating items in piles or corners based on your need or their function. This ultimately can help ensure that each box contains similar items based on their category or functionality; another popular method for organizing is to sort by room, ensuring that all bathroom items are boxed together, all kitchen items are consolidated, etc. 

Moving cross-country is stressful – but you can reduce that stress by being prepared. Take these six recommendations into consideration prior to your move and you’ll be better equipped to handle all of the challenges associated with a long-distance move!