Making a cross-country move means excitement, possibilities, and, likely, stress. Moving by yourself is hard enough but when it comes to moving a family, it’s important to keep everything in order, scheduled and on time, and calm to keep kids, pets, and you happy. From the moment you decide to move until you’re walking through your new entryway, an anxiety-free, happy move is possible if you plan ahead and stay on top of things!
1. Make an emergency number list
Before making the big move, write important numbers for your new home or city down in a planner, agenda, or even in your checkbook. Keep the numbers of your landlord, realtor, new employer, and even your sister’s roommate’s cousin who lives an hour away from your new home’s number. If an emergency were to happen, you will have a physical copy of important, nearby contacts.
Call the realtor or landlord and be sure everything is ready for you to come. Be sure that there is going to be someone there to let you in or somewhere to get your keys because no one wants to you to arrive at midnight and not have a way into your new place.
3. Researching shipping is not a one-and-done process
Moving can get quite expensive, like thousands of dollars kind of expensive. When it comes to packing your stuff, and getting it from the old place to the new place, you can either do it yourself or hire people to do it for you. If you feel comfortable driving a big truck and hauling it all yourself, go for it! But for the majority, it’s probably best to get estimates for three or more in-home movers a month or two before the big move and get your move in their schedule.
4. Label, label, LABEL!
Inventory lists are key to making sure everything you own is accounted for and safe. Take the time to be sure you have properly labeled all boxes. A good rule of thumb is to pack by room and to put a quick bulleted list of big items in each box. Inside each box near the opening, write a detailed list of all items in that box so that you can keep track of it all. Try not to label expensive items so as not to draw attention to their boxes.
5. Pack a first night bag
The last thing you’re going to want to do after a day of goodbyes, travel, and excitement is sift through dozens of boxes to find your kid’s favorite stuffed animal and the toiletries to get ready for bed. Pack a backpack or tote bag for each member of your family with all the necessities for the first night (and the trek to your new home!) and save yourself a headache. Think things like:
stuffed animals and blankets
• glasses, contact lens, & cases
• laptops & tablets
Pack first morning essentials for the whole family in one or two boxes that travels with the group to fight the first morning blues and tantrums. Little comforts of home can be all you need to wake up the next morning feeling comfortable and less stressed.
Keurig and K-cups (fight the caffeine grumps!)
• Breakfast snacks
• Soap (your family’s favorite scent)
• Candle or plug-in warmer
6. Keep pets comfortable
Pets are confused during the moving process and are often scared when they reach the new house. Make sure they are up to date on shots and have all of their paperwork with you. When traveling, keep clothes or blankets that smell like you, your family, and the old house in their carriers with them to ease them. Dogs, especially, feed off the anxieties of their owners, so remember to be calm, cool, and collected so Fido will be, too. Upon arriving, take time to walk your dog (and even your cat!) around the new house and yard so they can familiarize themselves with new smells and sights.
7. Get the kids acquainted via Pinterest or Google Maps
Your kids are probably either really excited about the move, or really distraught about the move. Either way, it’s never a bad idea to sit everyone down and use the Internet to show the kids their new city. Find “Things to do for the whole family” lists, where their favorite restaurants are located, or if they have a movie theatre or amusement parks. Keeping the kids informed will help them stay calmer and more confident during the move.
8. Keep important documents with you through the move
Be sure to bring along I.D., credit cards, checkbooks, social security cards, birth certificates, and any other important documents that need to stay safe with you. It’s best to not leave these things packed up with the rest of your belongings in the moving truck, just in case. That includes those pet documents and records, as well!
When it comes to your move, plan ahead and be prepared. Put in the extra time and care to be sure all of your things are lined up, safe, and settled to ensure you are as relaxed as you can be during your move. And don’t forget to be excited! Happy opportunities and endless possibilities are ahead for you and your family!