Moving across the country is an exciting time, with a lot to look forward to. A new place, new surroundings, and maybe even a new climate await. All that stands between you and your exciting new home is the move itself. For many, that can feel like a big hurdle to cross.

The journey to a new place is also thrilling, with so many new things on the horizon. As you begin to plan, you may start to lose sight of that as you get wrapped up in all of the details. We have a few key things to tackle to make your move more organized. Cross these things off your list so you can get back to daydreaming about your first weekend in your new home.

1. Consider the Cost of Shipping Your Vehicle

When you begin planning, it’s good to decide what you will do with your vehicle. You could ship it with your mover and fly, of course, which will save you a lot of time. There are costs involved in shipping your car so it’s important to factor those in.

%name Tips for Moving Across the Country

For many, when you begin to do the math on the cost of shipping your car and the time you spend without it, driving yourself is an attractive option. Driving can add to the thrill of the move, giving you a chance to see new parts of the country you may otherwise never pass through. 

Driving your car yourself also has its own costs, of course, and you’ll have to consider things like food, hotels, and gas. There are some clear advantages, though, including saving some cash, packing some essentials along with you, and getting some fun time on the wide-open road.

2. Get a Good Overview of Your Finances

Are you meticulous with your finances? Do you budget regularly and keep track of all of your income and expenses? The answer for most of us is: I could do better.

Moving anywhere leads to a change in expenses and there are more variables when you move out of state. You’ll have to readjust to new costs for utilities, taxes, and even food, gas, and healthcare. You’ll find these exact figures once you arrive and get settled, of course, but it’s good to know what you’re arriving with.

Consider your credit score as it will have an impact on your ability to rent or buy a new place. If you haven’t checked your credit score recently, it’s easy to apply online and receive a report quickly. It’s a great idea to check your credit report before you start making any major decisions.

3. Ditch the Stuff You Don’t Need

Somehow in our lives, we just accumulate so much stuff without even knowing it’s happening. Closets fill up, cupboards end up stuffed with random things, and the garage ends up packed until it’s crowding your car. It all happens so gradually we don’t really notice… until it’s time to move.

When moving day is approaching, you may start to look around and just realize how much you have. More than that, you’ll likely find you have a lot that you forgot you have, or you don’t even use. Now is a great time for downsizing.

Long-distance moving companies charge based on the size of the truck and the amount of fuel they’ll use. The larger and heavier the truck, the higher your cost for gas. Is that a motivation to get rid of some of your things?

Here’s another motivation: don’t pack (or unpack) more than what you want, need, or use. Now is a great time to drop the extra weight and start fresh in your new home. Take some time to sort your belongings and decide what to donate, gift, sell, and trash. If you plan to sell some of your items, allow ample time for listing, finding buyers, and completing the full transaction.

4. Save Receipts

If you’re moving for work there’s a chance you’ll get a break on your taxes. If your company has relocated you for business purposes, there’s a chance you’ll qualify to claim the cost of your move as an income tax deduction.

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Keep good track of your expenses including moving supplies, shipping costs, and gas mileage. Keep all of your receipts and records in a safe place so you have them handy when tax season rolls around.

5. Involve Your Mover Early

If there’s one thing you can’t save for the last minute, it’s hiring a moving company to help you with your move. With so much involved in moving across the country, it’s best to start speaking with professionals early. They can answer any questions and offer great support to help make your relocation smooth.

Hiring a mover also helps you with your planning and time management. Booking a date means you can work backward with your to-do list and timelines. You’ll also be able to factor in your budget and understand what costs are involved in getting to your new home.

Long-distance moves often take multiple days so it’s best to schedule early on so you can have a better chance of being able to choose your dates.

6. Don’t Forget the Little Things

This tip may sound obvious but trust us, these things often get missed in the busyness of arranging your move. Make a list of the small things you’ll need to tackle and make sure you don’t forget, including:

  • Scheduling, transferring, or canceling your utilities
  • Transferring or canceling your gym membership
  • Forwarding your mail
  • Delivering, dropping off, or receiving keys
  • Collecting personal records including school, vet, and medical history