10 Tips For Moving Cross Country
Moving across the country is not an easy task. Finding new schools for the kids, making new friends and just getting used to a different neighborhood, can be very stressful. Here are a few tips that will make your cross country move a little less stressful.
- Check in with the local Chamber of Commerce. Most having greeting committees who are dedicated to help new homeowners get to know the “lay of the land”.
- Do a home inventory. There are several free apps that can assist with a “pre-move” inventory, complete with barcodes, if you want. This will help you sort things that should and shouldn’t go on the move. Also, it gives you a list of what the moving company picks up; a double assurance that what goes on the truck, should come off.
- Start packing early. Unlike local moving, cross country moving is not something where you can “cart loose items back and forth in the back of your car”. All breakables need to be properly packed in boxes suited for them. This will take considerable more time than when moving locally. Often the homeowner mis-calculates the needed time and rushes to get ready at the last minute, inevitably, things do not get packed well enough for the long move and damages occur.
- Plants can’t go. Many people don’t realize that it is against the law for cross country moving companies to transport live plants across state lines. You will need to give that 15 year old Jade tree to your cousin and ask your brother-in-law to take the 7 year old Christmas cactus.
- Research, research. If you are not “U-Hauling it” then you will need to find a competent cross country moving company. This is a lot harder than most people think. Having been in the business 30 years, I have seen it all and, cross country movers have, by far, the worse reputation. Missed pick-up dates, over charging at the destination (many will hold items ransom until a cash excess fee is paid) and, lost/damaged items, is more common than not. Check with realtors, friends and co-workers. Only use someone who is trusted and, fully vetted. Perhaps consider using our residential moving services. ;)
- Is it worth moving? We get this question many times. The place you are moving to likely will have a totally different décor than where you currently live. Is it worth shipping your 25 year old dark mahogany dining set from New Jersey to Miami? The answer is always, NO! Do not make the mistake of paying to ship an entire household to a place where the furnishings don’t fit in, only to give them away to charity 2years later and replace them with the appropriate furnishings.
- Car shipping. If at all possible, either drive your car(s) or pay a trusted friend or family member to drive them. The auto transport industry is the absolutely worst of all moving industries. Unless you are willing to pay top dollar for an enclosed carrier who transports high-end exotics, you will be almost guaranteed 100% disappointment. Deliveries are never what are promised, damages occur and you will be fighting for days to get your car back.
- Have a “family intervention day”. Since many cross country movers charge by weight (we do not, however) you want to minimize sending unnecessary heavy items, like books. Get family members together to go through old scrap books, high school yearbooks and old trophies. If the “children” do not want the stuff you’ve saved for 30 years, it probably is a good time to purge these items.
- Purge your liquids. You should never ship anything that could spill and ruin things in your shipment. This is one of the most common causes of major damage when cross country homeowners try to save that half empty bottle of Clorox and stuff it in a box, unmarked. There should be no liquids packed for your cross country move.
- If you have nice wine, do not ship with a cross country mover. More often than not, it will be several days or weeks before you get your wine delivered. Temperature changes can vary greatly in a moving truck, especially in the summer. Heat can ruin wine in a matter of hours. Drink it or, use a climate controlled specialist for shipping your good wine collection.
Posted by Jim Henderson