Packing for a long-distance move is the perfect time to realize that you don’t have nearly as many clothes and shoes as you thought. You may be surprised at how much stuff you have until you start taking things out of boxes and putting clothes away. Don’t worry; several tricks and suggestions can make packing for a cross-country relocation easier. You shouldn’t dread your move but rather look forward to it.
When I relocated across the country to attend graduate school in New York City from the West Coast a few years ago, I learned firsthand that packing up what amounts to your entire existence is the worst punishment imaginable. The accumulation of such a large amount of possessions seems unlikely for someone who just graduated from college. However, you’d be sorely mistaken. What starts as “just a few boxes” quickly grows into a nightmare of mountainous stacks of clothing, boxes of shoes, and perhaps more boxes than you originally indicated to the moving company. Oopsies?
There is no possible world in which packing is enjoyable, but there are techniques to make it less unpleasant. Learned the hard way, here are five packing tips for a cross-country move.
If You Do Not Wear It, You Should Get Rid of It
Getting rid of old clothing and shoes can be quite challenging. I mean, what if that garment were to become popular once again? If you don’t already have anything planned for your future trip to the beach, what if you get the need to wear that neon yellow tube top that you only wore once? My guideline is that if you haven’t worn anything before, there’s a good chance you won’t wear it again. I know this is not easy to follow. In addition, if you didn’t even realize you owned it, you should put it in the pile of things to donate. Because you will incur additional expenses for each box you bring along, and these expenses can quickly add up, you should only bring the items you use and wear regularly.
Label & Box by Room Specifically
It’s easy to get careless when packing, but unpacking will go much smoother if you take your time and put things in their respective boxes. If you don’t pack by room and item type, you’ll panic when you reach your location and realize you need X item but have no idea where to get it.
Keep like goods together (clothing, shoes, etc.) and identify boxes not just with the room they belong in but also with the specific items you may need access to immediately (e.g., “exercise shoes”); however, you should avoid labeling important objects (computer, TV, etc.). To prevent theft from your box, you should create a code (such as “AC” for “apple computer”) to indicate the value of your valuables.
Wrap Your Glass Bottles
Makeup and other cosmetics in glass bottles should be securely wrapped in saran wrap and bubble wrap before being packed into a smaller box and a larger carton. Don’t just toss all of your cosmetics into your makeup bag and call it a day; I learned the hard way not to do that after a tiny bottle of tea tree oil broke and ruined everything. It’s also an odor that won’t go away easily.
Pack Your Suitcase Wisely
Cross-country moves take a few weeks, and delays are always possible, so you may be without your belongings for a time. Leave behind whatever you need to survive an emergency, and assume the worst. Bring everything you won’t be able to live without for a while. Remember to hold on to your priceless jewels, handbags, and other accessories (you never know what can happen). A decent rule of thumb is to load up the truck with things that would cause less emotional distress if lost and to store everything sentimental or financially significant in your carry-on.
Hiring Professional Movers
If you’ve never hired professional movers, you might be tempted to hire the first company you find online. But make sure to shop around and do your research before hiring anyone. There are a lot of things you should look for when hiring movers. Movers should be licensed and insured and have a proven track record of successful moves. They should also have a good reputation and reviews from other customers. Finally, they should be affordable. You’ll probably pay for quality if you hire an expensive company, but you don’t want to get ripped off. If you have friends or family members who have used movers in the past, ask them who they would recommend. Movers like SGT can do the job whether you need Florida car shipping services or nationwide shipping.
Moving cross country is a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you plan. Start packing as early as possible, use the tips outlined here, and you’ll be on your way to a smooth and successful move.