How Do I Pack Up My Family To Move Cross Country?


Imagine you have a life on the east coast. Your family has all kinds of connections, your kids love their school and you love the weather where you live. Without much warning, you receive the job offer of a lifetime with a catch – it will require a cross-country move for your family. The dream job you decide to take has you uprooting your family and moving to California.

You won’t be alone in moving. Over 30 million people move in the U.S. each year. About 85 percent move in the same state while about 15 percent move out of state. The Census Bureau reported that the top ten states people were moving to in 2018 were (in order): Florida, Texas, California, North Carolina, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Washington, Virginia and Pennsylvania. 


Cross Country Packing Tips

Even if you have moved a few times in your life and feel like you have a good handle on packing, you may find that a cross-country move can be a challenge. Learning from families that have managed these moves can give you tips to downsize, help you save money, and make sure the move is efficient with all of your belongings making it safely to your new home. 

Use Downsizing As A Starting Point For The Move

You will find when moving cross country, the less you move the better. Taking the time to do a major downsizing will help you save money on the move and will make unpacking at your new home much easier. Purge clothing, books and kitchen appliances by getting rid of anything you haven’t used in the past year. Any items you don’t use regularly or if it doesn’t have important meaning, choose to donate, sell or give it away. 

Lease A Storage Unit To Help With Organization

A storage unit can be a life saver. You can use one near where you are currently living or you can lease one cross country where you are moving in case your new home or apartment is not ready yet. Using one nearby your house, allows you to go ahead and pack items. Moving them to storage provides better staging for the sale of your home. It also allows you to get very organized using colored labels and tape to mark each box’s items noting what room they belong in for you and for the movers. 

Make An Inventory List Before You Begin Packing

Moving long distance means the contents of your home will at some point be traveling across a number of states. Take inventory of everything you have, after downsizing, before packing begins. You can use an app, a notebook, or photos taken on your phone. When all is moved, you will be able to consult the inventory list to make sure all of your belongings made it safely and securely to your new home. 

Plan To Pack Items That Will Be Kept With You

With long distance moving, it is wise to pack a box of what you will need immediately at your new home like bedding, towels, some pots and pans and a few dishes. Pack a suitcase with much needed items like clothes, personal items and toiletries. Keep all of this with you when you fly or drive cross country. You will have peace of mind knowing you have what you need to make do until the moving truck arrives. 

Use Boxes That Will Make It Through The Long Distance Move

You won’t want to use old boxes gathered from a grocery store. Those can be wet and damaged. This is the time to buy new, very sturdy boxes. Extra care should be used with fragile items. They can be wrapped in bubble wrap, old t-shirts, towels or paper. Pack them together and mark the boxes so anyone moving them will know there are fragile, breakable items in the boxes. 

Label All Of The Boxes With Your Name

It might seem like too much work to label each of your boxes with your name and phone number, but due to long distance moving it is highly possible that your boxes will be packed on the truck with boxes from other families. This extra step of labeling every box will keep your boxes from being dropped off at the wrong place. If one does go missing, your name and number will be there so that you can be called and notified. 

Using these cross country packing tips will save money, keep you organized and will help the move go smoothly overall causing less stress. When you arrive at your destination, all of your boxes will be in the designated rooms ready to be unpacked in your new home.