How to Pack for a Cross-Country Move

Moving across the country can be a big life step, but it can be a long and complicated process. Between finding a new apartment, packing, and making the drive to officially move in, there’s a lot involved in a cross-country move. Read on below for everything you need to know to pack effectively for your cross-country move.

Plan in advance

Packing can be a big task, and if you wait to get started until it’s almost time to move out, it can be easy to overlook something important. Make a packing checklist, ideally at least a month before your move, and include all of the major tasks you’ll need to handle before moving day.

A month before you move, begin boxing up any seasonal items or other things you can live without for a month. Over the next week, begin packing up all your small decorations that’ll go in boxes, as well as books and kitchenware you don’t use often. 

Two weeks before your move, pack up your dining room, extra bedrooms, and everything you can live without for the last little bit. Over the last week, finish packing up the rest of your items and start loading everything into a moving truck a day or two before you plan to head out.

Declutter first

For cross-country moves or even just a move across town, decluttering and getting rid of things you don’t need can make the whole process much easier. Not only will doing so make the moving process less work for you, but it can also help you save money on moving costs.

Decluttering can make it easier to fit your possessions into a smaller moving truck. It can even mean moving all your stuff in one trip instead of multiple if you have a large number of possessions.

Pack right to protect your things

A cross-country move can be a bumpy ride, so it’s important to make sure you protect your possessions in the moving truck. Place blankets or cushions in between large pieces of furniture, and make sure all smaller items are in boxes taped tightly shut.

Over the course of a long-distance move, it’s almost inevitable that some things will get broken, so make sure you pack your most important items as securely as possible. Use proper boxes for everything, especially specialized boxes for TVs and artwork.

Label things for an easy move-in day

Moving out is only half the process, so take steps to ensure that your move-in day goes smoothly as well. One helpful step is making sure you pack everything in boxes with other things that’ll go to the same room and label the boxes based on where they’ll go in the new apartment. If you’re hiring a moving crew or having friends help you bring your belongings into your new apartment, this step will save you from having to direct traffic the whole time.

It can also help to label boxes by how important the items in them are so you know what to unpack first in your new apartment. This way, once all your belongings are in your new apartment, you can immediately settle in and get comfy before unpacking all of your possessions.

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