5 Ways to Make Your Cross-Country Move a More Enjoyable Experience

So you’re moving across the country. Perhaps you’re taking on a new job, moving in with someone, or are just ready to make a big change. No matter what your reason, uprooting your entire life can be a logistical nightmare. But there are ways to make it easier on yourself, from specialized services to shifts in mindset. Here are five ways to simplify your cross-country move.

1. Create and Follow a Packing Schedule

Packing up your entire life is one of the biggest obstacles when moving. Just knowing where to begin in the first place can be a challenge in its own right. To combat this, try breaking your packing list up by focusing on items that are more or less important to daily life. Things like food, most clothes, and work items are daily necessities, so you don’t want to pack them right away. However, the photos on the walls are not, so you can get started on them sooner.

Four to six weeks in advance, start packing up items in rooms you don’t use. Think about places like the basement, attic, and other unused areas. Two and three weeks out, pack items of medium importance like decor, extra bedrooms, and furniture. In the final week pack up clothes along with kitchen and bathroom supplies. Keep in mind this is a general guideline. The larger or smaller your home, the more or less time it may take to pack.

2. Use Specialty Services

As you continue to pack, you’ll find that some items are trickier or more concerning to ship than others. Things like antiques, china, paintings, odd-shaped furniture, or instruments like pianos have a real chance of breaking in transit. You might also be running into logistical issues if you have pets to move. If you’re facing issues figuring out how to transport such items, consider hiring specialty services.

There are many different moving services available nowadays. From piano movers to pet transport services, each kind of specialty service has its own unique benefit. The best part is that you’ll be dealing with professionals of each respective kind. These professionals will know how to keep your precious things safe regardless of the distance, location, or climate you’re changing to. These services will help ease your mind and simplify your move.

3. Pack for the Road

When you’re packing, it can be easy to forget about preparing for the trip itself. Some versions of a cross-country move are simpler than others. Flying, for example, is usually much less intensive than driving. You won’t need to pack nearly as many clothes or other necessities. Driving, however, is a totally different story.

It depends on your plan, but driving cross-country can take anywhere from a few days to upward of a couple of weeks. It really depends on your tolerance for long hours on the road. So it’s important to make sure you pack a travel bag to accommodate your journey.

Also, try to pack your moving van so you can easily reach important items on the road. Put heavy furniture and other useless travel items in your moving truck first. That way you can easily access food, toiletries, and clothing bags from the back of the truck at a moment’s notice. It will increase the speed and ease of your trip dramatically.

4. Make the Most of It

If you’ve got the time and resources, why not turn your move into a full-blown adventure? A bucket-list item for many, you can make memories to last a lifetime on a road trip across the United States. Each state has its own unique and interesting attractions, from cities to natural wildlife and vistas.

Driving through New York? Head north first and witness the roaring splendor of Niagara Falls. If you’re going past Illinois, swing up to Chicago for a night of soulful Blues. The American West is jam-packed full of some of the most spectacular National Parks in the entire world. Transforming your move into a fun adventure can alleviate some of the edge you might be feeling.

5. Take Care of Yourself

Moving asks a lot of you physically, mentally, and emotionally. From planning to packing to execution, your moving trip can be draining. Even turning your road trip into a fun adventure has its own tradeoffs.

If you’re traveling with others, you also have to account for their well-being, which is taxing in its own way. So it’s important to make sure you’re taking time to take care of yourself before, during, and after your time on the road.

Self-care looks different for everyone, but it generally revolves around physical, mental, and emotional health. Upkeeping physical health means making sure you’re eating enough good food and drinking enough water on your trip. While it might be more expensive, allow yourself to have dinner at a nice restaurant every once in a while. Tending to mental and emotional health means not rushing your experience and taking time to relax. The hours on the road can add up and drain you, so pace yourself and enjoy the experience.

Plan, Pack, and Go

Moving can be demanding during all stages of the experience. But it doesn’t have to be as all-consuming as it might feel. Plan the stages of your move and give yourself ample time to experience it all. Taking things one step at a time will simplify the demands of the move. And who knows? It might even end up being the experience of a lifetime.

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