14.01.2024 12:00

5 Things to Consider As You Plan a Cross-Country Move

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When you adjust any one aspect of your plan, you often need to rearrange the rest of your itinerary. To help keep all your shifting plans in order, it’s important to prioritize some aspects of your move over others. Here are five things to consider when planning your cross-country move.

1. Budget

When planning any large undertaking like moving, you need to consider your budget. It might not be the most fun aspect to consider, but it’s one of the most important. If you don’t budget properly ahead of time, you may end up spending much more than you can actually afford. Initial budgeting may feel like a headache, but it can save you a migraine down the line.

When working on your budget, you’ll want to account for transportation, packing supplies, lodging, and gas. It’s also smart to consider “what if” situations and save a little extra cash to cover possible mishaps. Depending on how much you can afford to spend, you may opt for more or less convenience. The more conveniences you want, the more you’ll likely have to spend. For example, you could could do all the actual moving yourself or hire professional cross country moving services. Those decisions will likely be affected by what you can realistically afford and how much time you have.

2. Who is Moving

Moving by yourself is a very different experience than moving with others. Moving with others provides unique logistical challenges that you likely won’t experience on your own. This is especially the case if you need to move with kids, pets, or someone who’s elderly. You’ll need to accommodate each of them respectively.

Moving with someone who’s elderly often means giving them more time to pack, and you may end up taking more frequent travel breaks. When moving with kids, you’ll also probably need more breaks, and you’ll need to keep them entertained during the long drive or flight.

Pets, since they inherently don’t understand what moving is, may experience anxiety during the ordeal. You’ll have to take it slow and avoid altering their routine as much as possible. You could hire a professional pet transport service to ensure your furry, feathery, or scaly friend arrives safely. Put yourself in the shoes of the others moving with you and imagine what would help ease their transition.

3. Packing

What you need to pack and how you pack it changes how you move. The more stuff you have, the more packing material you’ll need. Additionally, the kind of packing materials you need will vary depending on what you need to transport. For example, if you have fragile valuables, it’s worth investing in supplies like bubble wrap. On the other hand, you may need bigger moving vehicles to transport large pieces of furniture.

Another way to approach your packing job is to declutter first. Rather than cram every torn shirt and high school yearbook you own into a box, consider it before you pack it. You can use the KonMari Method to see if something’s actually important enough to carry it with you through life. Things you don’t need can be donated, recycled, or sold at a yard sale. There’s a good chance you’ll feel more confident about your move knowing you’re only bringing what’s important along with you.

4. Routing

There are few countries as massive and interconnected by highway as the United States. It’s a country filled with various foods, sights, and people. So if you’ve got the time and budget, moving across the country can be the perfect opportunity for a full-blown road trip. Now, planning a great American road trip can add a lot of new logistics to your trip. But thankfully there are great tools you can use to make planning your route easier.

Generally, traveling across the U.S. is done along the upper, middle, or lower states. Each route has its own unique benefits and challenges, and which you pick will likely depend on your interests and final destination. You can use travel planners to help make navigation much easier and ensure you don’t miss a thing along the way.

5. Goodbyes

When planning your move, it can be easy to get caught up in logistics. This is natural — there’s so much to account for, and you don’t want to leave anything behind. But it’s important to remember that, in addition to a place, you’re also leaving behind a life. And that includes all of the people that populated your life, big and small.

Consider hosting a goodbye gathering for the special people in your life before you go. You can also take a moment and let people in your extended community know you’re going. Say goodbye to the barista who always remembered your order or connections you’ve made at your favorite bar. These parting moments may be bittersweet but can provide a sense of closure and catharsis that’s all too often neglected in life.


Moving can be a lot of work, especially when your destination is across the country. There are so many people, places, and things to account for that it can be draining. It’s important to make sure that you account for yourself. Give yourself plenty of time and rest throughout your move, and treat yourself now and then. Be generous and show yourself grace during this difficult time as you transition into the next phase of your life.

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