Four Things to Do for a Cross-Country Move
Moving to another state or across the country is one of those things that sounds exotic and thrilling. And it is. Don’t get us wrong. But the process can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time tackling such an endeavor. If you’re the planning sort who can’t wait to dig in to a complex task, then you might already have a game plan in mind. However, if you’re like everyone else and haven’t considered all the angles, we’ve got you covered.
First of all, you’re relocating because you were offered a job and you took it, right? If you answered yes, skip to the next section. If you said you’re winging it, we made a medal to commemorate your bravery. It’s in the mail. Look for it.
All kidding aside, winging it is totally cool. But check the job market and have a plan ready to execute once you arrive. Otherwise, read on and take notes for what works for you and discard what doesn’t.
Find a Place to Live
Having a soft place to land when you arrive in your new city will go a long way to making your venture feel successful. First, are you going to buy a house or rent? Either way, it’s a good idea to check out the locale before you commit. If you can do it, take a trip to your future city of residence and do some searching. Feel out the areas where you might like to live.
A real estate agent in the new city will have exclusive insight into the types of locations that interest you and could save you boatloads of legwork and more than a couple headaches by hearing what your needs are and providing you with a list of places that tick all the boxes.
Developing a relationship with a local agent can do more than just make the house-hunt easier. When you fly back home, they can be an important contact point if you ultimately decide to buy. If it’s possible to establish that relationship while you visit, we highly recommend it.
Sell Your House or Make Arrangements with Your Landlord
If this is your first job out of college or trade school and you’ve been renting, don’t forget that you have to fulfill your contract with your landlord where you’ve been living. That can be as easy as the contract running out before you move, or simply finding someone to fill your spot.
But if you’ve been living in a home you owned, you’ll either have to find renters or sell. Getting the ball rolling on that early is a smart idea we can’t stress enough. If you can’t sell it before you need to move, don’t fret. The headaches of renting a place can be mitigated by a property management company.
Hire a Moving Truck
That seems simple enough; you just call up Penske or U-Haul and get a truck.
But wait! You thought your options were limited to the kind of truck you drive yourself or a trailer you rent and pull behind your sedan. That sounds so 1990s.
Times have changed. Thanks to the gig economy and clever start-ups, there are more options than you can imagine. While it’s still perfectly feasible to tow your Volkswagen Golf behind a U-Haul and drive the truck all by yourself, there are companies that do it for you, such as UPack (https://www.upack.com/). You load the truck or the pod and they drive it for you. You can also pay them to load it up and unload if getting your hands dirty doing a bit of DIY isn’t your thing.
Other companies that do something similar are Pods (http://pods.com) and U-Box (https://www.uhaul.com/UBox/), whose prices vary depending on how much you need moved. These are options that work best if you have less stuff than a family of four might.
Another option is shipping all your belongings using UShip (https://www.uship.com). And if none of these sound attractive, you can also sell everything and start from scratch in your new city.
Have Some Contingency Plans
If you opt for having someone else tote your stuff across the country, be sure you have enough packed to last you a few days. Roads can be unpredictable and weather can turn. You never know how on time your driver will be.
If you’ve got a new place all lined up and you arrive, be prepared to not see your furniture for a few days. Are you OK with sleeping on the floor? If you said no, be sure to tote an air mattress along with you or plan to buy one in the city when you arrive. Or even get a room at a nearby hotel while you wait for your stuff to show up. We know that’s not the cheapest option, but that’s your call.
Once you’re in your new digs and life has resumed, chalk this one up to experience. You just survived a major move across the country! Not everyone gets to have that oh-so-fun experience, you know? The next time you have to move, cross-country or not, you’ll be a veteran of one of the more stressful experiences humans endure.