32 Tips for a Smooth Cross Country Move

With a million different things to take care of, successfully moving across the country can feel impossible. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with a little preparation, moving cross-country can be an exciting new adventure you can enjoy. 

At Eden’s Moving Services, we’ve been helping families relocate for many years. To help you get the most out of your move and to eliminate as many headaches as possible, we’ve put together a list of some of the best cross-country move tips we’ve learned.

The Cross-Country Move Tips #1:

Take what you need, and not too much else

When it comes to moving cross-country, the combined weight of everything you’re taking called the total shipment weight has an enormous impact on how much you’ll have to pay. The higher the cumulative weight of your belongings, the more money you’ll end up paying.

By taking some time to sort through your belongings, eliminating items you no longer use, you’ll end up with fewer boxes (and reduced weight). You’ll also have less clutter when you unpack in your new home. 

Cross-Country Move Tips #2:

Get everyone involved

Don’t overlook the benefit of a few extra helping hands. Getting the whole family involved in the packing and labeling process can help you save time and have a little fun in the process.

Cross-Country Move Tips #3:

Pre-Book Travel Arrangements

Always book your travel arrangements early. Getting one of the most challenging aspects of a move settled initially makes for an easier cross-country move.

Cross-Country Move Tips #4:

Take photos of your belonging BEFORE you move

A quick photo or short video of your belongings before you move can come in handy if you have to file an insurance or compensation claim. 

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Cross-Country Move Tips #5:

Moving insurance

If your cross-country move includes large or expensive items, like musical instruments, art, or furniture, purchasing moving insurance can give you peace of mind knowing they’re protected.

Cross-Country Move Tips #6:

Get the contact information for your driver

Getting the mobile number or email address for your driver can come in handy, especially if you’re running late, experiencing traveling delays, or want to check in and check on how things are going.

Cross-Country Move Tips #7:

Don’t pack important paperwork or valuables–take them with you

Having your valuables or important documents with you ensures their safety and gives you easy access to them during the move.

Cross-Country Move Tips #8:

Pack a “To Go” bag

Pack a specific bag for each family member (pets included) with snacks, clothes, any medications, documents. For pets and children, don’t forget toys or other forms of travel entertainment. 

Cross-Country Move Tips #9:

Check your belongings upon arrival

Compare photos or videos of your belongings taken before the move, when they arrive. You’ll be able to identify any damage or missing pieces quickly.

Cross-Country Move Tips #10:

Update your address 

Before you move, change your address on all accounts, and put a forwarding notice in with the post office.

Cross-Country Move Tips #11:

Consider the cost of replacing your car vs. the cost of shipping your car

Unless you have a classic or antique car, shipping your car can often cost more than the price to replace it. 

Cross-Country Move Tips #12:


Avoid moving clutter. Consider the items in your junk drawer or that hall closet. Do you really need to pay to move them?

Cross-Country Move Tips #13:

Choose your clothes with intent

Select clothing to pack with intent, taking only items you’ll really need. For example, if you are heading to a warmer climate, packing snow gear and skis could be more effort than value. 

Cross-Country Move Tips #14:

Keep any moving receipts

You might be able to claim a portion of your travel expenses on your taxes, especially if you moved for school or work.

Cross-Country Move Tips #15:

Don’t focus so much on the big things that you overlook the little things

Take some time to carefully consider both big and small items when planning and packing. Favorite shoes, books, or trinkets can get overlooked by hurried hands.

Cross-Country Move Tips #16:

Label your boxes

Mark, each box with a label or colored marker, noting the contents and which room in which it belongs.

Cross-Country Move Tips #17:

Label and take a photo of your household electronics

Take a quick photo of various electronics and label all companion cords, chargers, and attachments. You’ll have less difficulty reassembling upon arrival.

Cross-Country Move Tips #18:

Take extra care with special or fragile pieces

If you have unique or extremely fragile pieces, take extra care when packing. Consider packing separately and taking them with you or taking advantage of your moving company’s white-glove moving service.

Cross-Country Move Tips #19:

Select a move-in date that works for you

Picking a move-in date that makes your life easier is one of the best cross-country moving tips you need. Whether it’s mid-week, mid-month, or on a Sunday, pick a day that works best for your schedule.  

Cross-Country Move Tips #20:

Empty your fridge, freezer, and any chest freezers you own

Before you unplug your fridge and freezers, double-check that they’re empty of food and ice, you’ll avoid messy leaks or unwanted odors.

Cross-Country Move Tips #21:

Notify utilities that you’re moving

Let the utility companies at both locations know you’re moving and what your move dates are. Aim to shut down utilities at your old location when you leave and have them turned on at your new place upon arrival.

Cross-Country Move Tips #22:

If you’re flying to your new location, book early 

If you plan to travel to your new home by air, but ship your belongings, book your airline tickets a minimum of two months early. You’ll not only get a great choice of flight times and seats, but you can help eliminate stress while taking advantage of lower ticket prices.

Cross-Country Move Tips #23:

Pack in order

Start your packing process by tossing out any old, unused, or broken items. Then begin packing items you don’t use daily – things like wall art, books, certain appliances/ off-season clothing, etc.

Cross-Country Move Tips #24:

Register to vote

Update voter registration for all eligible voters in your family and look for your new address’s polling place, especially if there are elections soon.

Cross-Country Move Tips #25:

Update car insurance

Contact your car insurance provider and update your address. You only have 30 days to get new registration and transfer your plates if you’re moving across state lines.

Cross-Country Move Tips #26:

Organize any documents

Gather all the documents you plan on taking with you and the group according to topic or person. 

Cross-Country Move Tips #27:

Prep your fur-kids

Get up-to-date veterinary health records for all pets, along with an additional month’s supply of any medications they’re taking. Consider getting a temporary ID tag with a second contact number on it for the move, in addition to their regular ID tags.

Cross-Country Move Tips #28:

Update your homeowner or renter’s insurance

Transfer or cancel any renter’s or homeowner’s insurance as needed.

Cross-Country Move Tips #29:

Contact municipal services for schedules

Reach out to the municipal offices in your new hometown and get signed up for trash and recycling services, including any special rules surrounding organics or composting. 

Cross-Country Move Tips #30:

Update medical prescriptions

Transfer any medical prescriptions for any family members, including pets, to a pharmacy close to your new home, especially if someone has an ongoing health condition.

Cross-Country Move Tips #31:

Check outdoor equipment for oil and gas

Be sure to drain any oil and gas from any outdoor equipment you plan on shipping cross-country to prevent messy spills or damages.

Cross-Country Move Tips #32: 

Pack a ‘First-Night’ box

Pack a specific box with all the items you’ll need for your first night and first morning at your new home. Think of things like toothbrushes, shampoo, pet food, coffee and coffee maker, cereal, etc. And don’t forget to include cutlery (because everyone forgets the cutlery).

At Eden’s Moving Services, we understand what moving cross-country means to you and your family. We’re here to help. Reach out to our cross-country moving specialists for a no-cost moving estimate. 

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Joe V
Joe V

Joe has been working as a mover since 1997. He is a moving expert that loves to advise and share his knowledge with others. Contact Eden's Moving and ask Joe any moving-related questions you have.

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