How to Pack and Prepare for a Cross-Country Move


Relocating from one side of the country to the other is a significant life event. It’s not just a question of tossing a few things into boxes; you’re essentially packing up one life to start another. Here’s how you can go about it the right way, ensuring your move is as smooth as possible.

The Planning Phase

Before you even think about packing, you need a game plan. Cross-country moves require a little more attention to detail compared to a local move. Create a moving checklist and a timeline. Consider how much time you have until the moving day and what needs to be done before then. This will serve as your roadmap.

Inventory and Decluttering

First things first—know what you have. Go room by room and list all the items you own. Now, declutter. It’s costly to move things you don’t need. Sell, donate, or trash items that are no longer useful or sentimental. For everything you decide to keep, consider the space they will take up in your new home.

Packing Supplies – What You’ll Need

When it comes to packing supplies, don’t skimp. You’ll need sturdy boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and markers for labeling. Specialty items like artwork or musical instruments may require custom crates.

You can’t make a custom crate by yourself – unless you have an original instrument box, which should suffice when transporting a fragile instrument. 

Fragile and Special Items

However, not all fragile items are instruments; some are precious heirlooms and priceless decor – these items must be packed and prepared adequately. You want to be especially careful with them. Electronics, antiques, and dishes must be packed in bubble wrap or specialized packing paper. 

Whether you’ve packed fragile stuff before or not, it’s best to consider hiring professionals trained in handling such items. They have the know-how and the adequate packing materials to ensure your precious belongings make it to your new home in one piece.

Custom Crating for Bulky Items

Some belongings are both bulky and fragile, like pianos or grandfather clocks. These are not items you can just throw into a box. They demand custom crating solutions for safe transport. If you own such items, it’s wise to rely on professionals with experience in custom crating for cross-country moves.

Packing Room by Room

The most efficient way to pack is to go room by room. Start with rooms and items you use less frequently. The attic, the garage, or the guest room are good places to start. Don’t forget to declutter while packing – killing two birds with one stone is a great way to prepare for moving.

Pack a ‘First Night Box’ with essential items you’ll need immediately after the move, like toiletries, clothes, and basic kitchen items.

Labeling – Your Best Friend

This might seem like a small step, but it can save you time and energy while unpacking. Label each box with its contents and designated room in the new home. Some people even use color-coded stickers for added organization and looks, but the best part is – you can do it however you like.

The most important part is that you do label your boxes. Besides helping you unpack at the new place, labels are significant for movers, too. They can pack the moving truck more easily that way, arranging the boxes so nothing breaks or shifts during transport.

Storage Solutions

Sometimes, you can’t move all your items directly to your new home right away. In such cases, storage services can be a lifesaver. Movers you hire should have storage options, which are often free for a month. Unforeseen circumstances are a given when something as big as moving happens, so having some form of security net is good.

Most movers will offer you storage facilities with climate-controlled environments and have robust security measures in place. This ensures all your items are safe until you’re ready to bring them to the new home.

The Subtle Art of Letting Go

Packing and moving cross-country is more than just a logistical exercise; it’s also an emotional journey. You’re saying goodbye to one chapter and starting a new one. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Just know that you don’t have to do it alone.

Professional cross-country moving services can ease this emotional and physical burden. From full packing services to custom crating, car shipping, and secure storage solutions, they can manage the whole process for you. With some help, your journey to your new home can be smoother and stress-free.

So, when you’re looking at that long checklist and wondering how you’ll get through it, remember you have options. Choose professionals who can guide you through every step, ensuring that all you have to focus on is starting your new chapter.