Ultimate Packing Tips for a Smooth Cross Country Move
Whether you’re making a cross country move to or from Connecticut, you’re not alone. Thanks to shifting economies and the rise of remote work, more and more people are relocating to places that are affordable and offer more space. If you’re also planning a cross country move, you probably want to make sure all your belongings get to your new home in one piece.
Packing for long distance moves isn’t as easy as tossing your things into a box haphazardly. What you might have been able to get away with for local moves won’t cut if for longer distances. So before you start packing, read the tips below to make your next move across the country a little less painful.
Moving is the perfect opportunity to get rid of stuff you no longer use or need. In order to declutter successfully, you should set aside a good chunk of time to go through everything you own. And we mean everything. Depending on the size of your home and how much you own, this step could take you a few days or even a week! The biggest mistake you can make is trying to rush this step. Take it slow and be deliberate when choosing what items you take with you. Some of the more obvious items to get rid of are things that are broken or tattered clothes. As well, try to use up as many consumable items as possible. That includes:
- Cleaning supplies
- Newspapers and magazines
- Bath and beauty supplies
But that’s not all you should get rid of. While going through everything you own, consider the last time you’ve used an object. If you haven’t used it in the past 6 months or so, you probably don’t need to take it with you. For more seasonal items, you should think back to the last year. Separate everything into piles: keep, donate/sell, trash. You’ll need to be ruthless during this process, but it will be worth it. Sell items that are in good conditions at a garage sale to boost your moving budget. If you have expensive things like camera or sound gear, sell these on eBay to get the best deal. Chances are you won’t be able to sell everything, so whatever is left over donate to your local goodwill store.
When done well, decluttering can save time and money. After all, you’ll have less stuff to pack which also means less moving supplies you’ll need. It might seem like a lot of work upfront, but you’ll be happy to have decluttered. After all, you’ll have to pack and unpack less stuff!
Plan Your Packing Process
Most people don’t really like packing. So unless you’re one of the few people who enjoy it, chances are you’d prefer leaving this part of the moving process to the last minute. However, that’s the worst thing you can do! Even if you live in a studio apartment, you want to set aside at least a few days dedicated to packing. When you don’t feel rushed, you’ll have more time to actually pack everything properly. This, in turn, means your belongings will have more protection for the long road ahead.
The very first thing you should do when planning is to choose color labels for your rooms and/or items. For example, you can assign orange to the living room, blue to the bedroom, and pink for the kitchen. Once you’ve come up with a labeling scheme, stick with it. You can always add extra colors to denote different things. For example, you can use red to also mark fragile items or maybe purple for things like seasonal items. The clearer you are with labeling, the easier unpacking will be.
For long distance moves, you don’t want to cheap out on things like packing materials and boxes. After all, your stuff will be in a moving vehicle for miles on end, which means constant vibrations and the occasional pot holes. With that said, if you have a tight budget, only buy the premium supplies for your expensive and/or fragile items. For non-breakable items try to reuse any old boxes you might have on hand or ask your friends, neighbors, family members, etc. if they have any they no longer need. While you’re at it, see if they have any packing tape. You don’t want to use duct tape or masking tape as both won’t properly stick onto cardboard boxes.
If you want something sturdier than boxes, consider getting heavy-duty plastic bins. Not only can they handle more stress, they are also easy to stack and you can see the contents inside if you use clear bins. Plus, you don’t need to mess around with tape. They’re also reusable and you can use them as storage containers around your new house. If you don’t want to buy plastic bins, many CT moving companies offer plastic bin rentals.
Keep a Detailed Inventory
When you’re moving long distance, there’s a greater chance of your items getting damaged or even lost in transit. While you can reduce the chances of your belongings being delivered to the wrong place by springing for the exclusive express long distance service, this option tends to cost a lot of money. That’s why many people go with the cheaper option - consolidated shipping - where multiple people share a single truck. While proper labeling can prevent potential mix-ups, there’s still a possibility it can happen.
A good inventory provides a comprehensive breakdown of everything in your home, what room they come from, their value, and even their condition. You can even add a column for the box number and color label you’re using when packing. That way, you can quickly see if a box is missing when the movers deliver your belongings.
It might seem tedious, but make sure to keep track of every single item and take pictures from every angle. You want to have a record of what everything looked like before the move. If anything gets damaged, you have visual proof that it was damaged in the move. Speaking of pictures, take some of your home entertainment system and home office setup before you start dismantling it. It can take up to 10 days for your belongings to arrive at your new home. By then, you might have forgotten what wires go where so you’ll be grateful that you had the foresight to take a picture.
Avoid Unnecessary Packing
Not everything needs to go in a box. Depending on what other storage items you own and how much stuff you have, you might be able to get away with fewer boxes than you think. For example, if you already have a lot of clothes in a dresser, don’t pack them into a separate box. Instead, shrink wrap the dresser tightly so the drawers don’t open during transport. For hanging clothes, keep the clothes on the hanger! Many moving companies provide 2-3 wardrobe boxes for free so take advantage of them.
If you have suitcases and backpacks, use them for essentials that you’ll need on day one such as change of clothes, toiletries, bedding and pillows, pet supplies (if you have any), kitchen supplies, and so on. The last thing you want to do after a big move is to rummage through a bunch of boxes to find what you need.
Most importantly, try to keep related items together. For example, keep all power cables, chargers, and peripherals together with the correct electronic device. That might mean putting all of the charging components in a bag and taping it to the device. If you disassemble your furniture, keep all the nuts, bolts, screws, etc. in a plastic bag and tape it securely to the largest piece. You’ll also want to tape the legs together and attach it to the piece of furniture. The same goes for anything else that requires reassembly at your home. Avoid packing related items separately as you don’t want to sift through all the boxes to find the right screws.
Hire Professional Packers
Not everyone has the time or ability to pack. If you have the money, many professional movers also offer packing services. You can work directly with the moving company to figure out your needs and choose the option that’s right for you. For example, if you have already started packing, but need extra help, you can choose the partial packing service and specify which rooms you need help with. Or you can go for the full-service option. It’s up to you!
There are several benefits of hiring professionals to pack for you:
- They use quality moving supplies so you know your belongings will be safe during transport
- They have years of experience and can pack quickly and efficiently
- They know all the secrets to packing fragile items so they don’t get damaged during a move
Plus, if something that the packing crew packed gets damaged during the move, the insurance claim process will be that much faster. Of course, not everyone can afford this service, but if you can it can be a huge stress reliever. You can also hire the crew to unpack your belongings as well so you can get settled into your new home.
Get Ready for Your Cross Country Move
Making a cross country move can be anxiety-inducing, but it also can open you up to new experiences and adventure. If you’re ready to make the move, you’ll want to have a trusted moving company by your side. That’s where we come in! We are the movers CT residents trust and recommend as evidenced by our almost 5-star reviews on Yelp and Google. So give us a call or email us and we’ll walk you through the entire process.
What happens if I’m missing a box after delivery?
Call the moving company immediately and let them know. They might be able to locate your missing box and deliver it to you.
Are my belongings covered by any kind of insurance?
Reputable moving companies all provide free released valuation protection. This only protects your items for $0.60 per pound, per item. For long distance moves, movers can also offer you the option of full valuation protection, but you will need to pay extra for it. How much depends on the company so ask ahead of time.
Do I need to provide any moving supplies if I hire professional packers?
Nope! They will bring everything they need. All you need to do is provide them with your inventory list and be present while they are packing.