Coast-to-coast relocation checklist

When you take all the things that constitute an average coast-to-coast relocation, you will quickly realize that this is not an easy ordeal. Except when moving overseas, changing your residence from the East Coast to the West Coast and vice versa is the toughest residential relocation type you can encounter. And unlike all the other moving types, where you can feel brave enough to attempt a DIY move, moving to a different coast demands that you have the best cross country moving companies working in your corner. Luckily, you have us – your loyal helpers in the moving process. We have composed a detailed coast-to-coast relocation checklist in which we cover all the main things you should do before the big day arrives. Feel free to print out a copy of this article and start ticking off entries one by one.

Map of USA
Tired of Seattle’s cold days and in need of some Florida sun? Take our coast-to-coast relocation checklist, and start getting ready.

Your first task should be to think about your situation one more time

We know you have already made the decision to move, and you most likely feel really confident about it. You feel like the new and exciting life awaits in a state on the opposite coast, and that could very well be the truth. But, before you decide to immerse even further into the process, you need to be sure you are doing the right thing. It’s not like you are just moving next door. You will be leaving more than your current home, as you will have to change a job, your kid’s school, your family physicians, and many other things. There will be no turning back should you decide that it’s too hard to get used to a completely different life.

The Most Common Reasons People Decide to Move

So, make sure you have made the right decision and that you are 100% sure that you have a good reason to relocate. Judging by statistical data, the following are the most common reasons people decide to take a leap of faith and move:

  • 11.3% – for family reasons
  • 9.9% – due to a new job or a transfer of the current one
  • 8.3% – because of a life that will be more affordable
  • 5.1% – after a change in the marital status
  • 3.0% – when leaving or going off to college

Start your coast-to-coast relocation checklist by taking care of your housing situation

When moving locally, it’s elementary to find a new home. You will be close to all the homes in the area, and you can visit open houses whenever you have the chance. But when moving to another coast, which is hours upon hours away, you can only rely on the Internet. Maybe if you are lucky enough you will be able to get a few days off of work and visit a house you really love. But that’s only something you can do right before closing the deal. And when you have picked one favorite among many.

Before you even get to hiring interstate movers Florida to relocate you to the West Coast, you need to have a house as a final destination. So months (and we do mean months, without exaggeration) before the designated date of your move, you should start looking into houses. Mind you that you are looking for more than just a charming home with the right square footage! There are many factors you should look into, and they all bear equal importance.

  • Look at the crime rates of a neighborhood.
  • Pay attention to how many houses are for sale in the vicinity.
  • Housing costs in the area are of the utmost importance.
  • Look into the unemployment rate in the area.

Secure a job before moving to another coast

It really matters not whether you are moving from New York to some rural town on the West Coast or vice versa – you will have to have a job in place. Not only will you have to pay for cross country movers New York and their services, but you will also have to pay a deposit for your new residence, take care of any small or big repairs and so on. Not to mention that you will need to start having a secure source of income right away, as that will ensure your family has something to eat during those first months.

Computer, phone, notebook and a cup of coffee to make a coast-to-coast relocation checklist.
You won’t have to leave your home while looking for a job on the opposite coast.

Somewhere on the very top of your coast-to-coast moving checklist should be this item. We all know that the job market can fluctuate, which could leave you without work for a while. To find a new one takes time, which is why this is a task you shouldn’t put off. Get ready for numerous Skype interviews, create a killer CV, and get started on the path towards a better-paying job. Although, you might have to make compromises at first and agree to jobs that are not something you dream about. Just remember that it’s just the beginning, and a bright future awaits!

Start looking for reputable cross country movers right away

The third most crucial entry is this one. Like previously mentioned, making such a long journey is impossible without the professional help of experienced movers. Whether you are moving your residence only or you plan on relocating your offices doesn’t really make much difference. Both you and your items can only benefit from making such a wise decision.

Now, saying that you should look for the best interstate moving companies California, New York, or Idaho is easy. But actually finding a suitable match is something else entirely. It’s not like you are shopping for shoes where even if you do make a mistake, you won’t have to face too many consequences. Here, one small mistake could cost you an entire fortune as there are plenty of things that can go wrong or be damaged in the process. When making a coast-to-coast relocation checklist, and you start writing this entry, make sure you also write a few sub-notes as a reminder. We wouldn’t be the Best Cross Country Movers if we didn’t help you learn what to look for, now would we?

Look for the right set of moving services

When making such a long journey, you won’t have the luxury of making a few trips. That means that all of your items will have to be relocated in one trip. If you happen to have any special items, such as a piano or a hot tub, you might not know it, but you’ll have to look for movers with special moving services. Even if it might take you some more time to find them, you should never disregard the importance of this entry. Some of the services your movers can offer include:

  • Residential and commercial moving services
  • Auto shipping
  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Piano, pool table, hot tub movers
  • Electronics, chandeliers, appliance movers
  • Storage solutions

We won’t lie to you. Getting two or more services will significantly raise the cost of your move. But there is a remedy for that, as well.

Ask for a couple of moving quotes

Once you find a few good candidates that can all cater to the needs of your relocation, you should ask for their moving quotes. For those of you who are new to the moving world, this term might seem unfamiliar. A moving quote is a price estimate of your upcoming move, which gives you an idea of why it’s so important. Then again, only important things managed to find their way on our coast-to-coast moving checklist. Once you get a response with an estimated amount to be paid for the move, compare the quotes.

A white piggy bank with coins spilling out of it - finances are key to any coast-to-coast relocation checklist
It’s important to find affordable yet quality movers, as that’s the only way to succeed.

Warning: don’t look for the cheapest estimate, as that’s the worst thing to do. Instead, look for the best price for the best moving services, or in other words, quality to affordability ratio.

Make sure you read customer reviews and testimonials

Once you choose a moving company, or you think you have, the job is anything but done. You still have one more vital task in front – reading the customer reviews and testimonials for the company of your choice. You can use different sources in your mission, such as Google reviews, Yelp, and the website of the company. It’s of the utmost importance that a company has positive reviews, along with a few bad ones. That’s an indicator you have chosen a legitimate one.

BONUS TIP: Always check the legitimacy of the company and their standing with the Better Business Bureau. They have a database of plenty of certified companies in every US area. If the one you have chosen is on their website, you have chosen well!

Reserve the plane tickets if you intend on flying vs. driving

Let’s be realistic – when moving to a different coast, driving is a bit impossible. Unless your family decides to take a fun road trip across the country. Then we completely support your decision! But if you choose to be more practical and less adventurous, you will have to travel by plane. Plane tickets are costly, but you might be able to find sweet deals and discounts if you book your tickets in advance. Besides, 11% of the US population usually moves annually. While around 62% of those people stay in the same county and therefore have no need for plane tickets, 34% of them move to a different state or coast. And the remaining 4% move abroad, which means that there will be plenty of interest in the same plane tickets you intend on buying.

A model of a car on a map of the US.
A road trip sure does sound fun, but it’s not the most rational decision.

So, don’t let someone else take up your spot. Buy as many tickets as you need in due time and don’t worry about it in the days leading up to your relocation. God knows you’ll have bigger fish to fry during that period.

Decluttering your home should be an essential entry on your coast-to-coast relocation checklist

Why? Because plenty of movers charge based on the weight of your cargo. Ergo, you should do yourself, and your finances a favor. But that’s not the only reason by no means. We assume that you are moving to a different coast to start your life fresh and without any baggage weighing you down. Then why would you clutter up your brand new home by carrying a sofa that has seen better days? Everything that will cost more to transport than buy new should be left home. In the old one! Finally, if that doesn’t convince you, think about it like this – unless you opted for professional packing services (which would have been a wise decision), you will have to pack every item you own by yourself. Therefore, the fewer items you have, the less packing you’ll have to do. It’s as simple as that!

Employ the three boxes system

While there are plenty of decluttering methods around, the simplest one is this one. All you need are three boxes, labeled KEEP, SELL, DONATE. The system is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? What isn’t as clear is the order in which you should proceed. Start with one room and then work your way slowly but surely towards the rest of the house. If you want to tackle the most significant challenge first, start with the kitchen. We all know it could survive without a few of the items that are making all that mess, don’t you think?

Gather the necessary packing supplies

Entry by entry and we finally got to the packing process on your checklist for coast-to-coast relocation. We say yours because it was made for you and for your convenience. A few weeks to a month before the scheduled moving date, you should start shopping for the necessary packing supplies. They should include moving boxes, tapes, markers, as well as protective packaging materials. Now, what’s very important to remember is that you should not try to save money on supplies. They decide how safe your items will be, which means that they are responsible for the success of your relocation. While you shouldn’t save money on the quality and quantity, there are a few ways to save some bucks by being smart and resourceful.

  • Visit dollar stores for cheap supplies like tapes and markers. 
  • Ask whether your friends and family have some packing materials that are still in good shape. 
  • Visit your local supermarkets, bookstores, and pharmacies as they have free and quality moving boxes galore.

By investing money in your second home, you are also investing in your future. And the investments start now before you have even arrived at your new home.

Start packing the items you don’t use daily

Why would you leave packing for the very last days when you will be nervous and agitated? A large portion of your belongings will have to be packed during these days. But that doesn’t mean that all of them should be on your plate at the same time.

A month before the moving date, start packing up the things like seasonal clothes and Christmas and Halloween decorations. These are the items you don’t use so often, which is why they are higher up on our coast-to-coast relocation checklist. You will be surprised how many items you will actually be able to get out of the way, which will allow you to be more carefree. As carefree as one can be when in the middle of such a long and complicated process.

Move on to packing the items you frequently use

Well, it makes sense that you would leave your baby’s crib or your toddler’s toys for the very last day. These are the items your daily functionality depends on, which is why they should go last. But, before you put every last item neatly packed up into boxes, there’s one significant package you should make. 

A pink and white nursery - this should be among the last things on your coast-to-coast relocation checklist
Your nursery will be among the very last things you’ll pack.

Include a box with moving essentials on your checklist for coast-to-coast moving

What do you think will be the first thing you’ll want to do upon the arrival at your new home? You would have survived days of packing, a long flight, and stacks and stacks of moving boxes would surround you. You kids may be grumpy, you may be hungry, and all you’ll need is some food, silence, and rest. While you could order in quickly, you might not be able to handle the other problems so efficiently. That’s when a moving essentials box comes into play. Make sure it has the following items, and you won’t have a worry in mind!

  • Pack a few toys for the kids
  • A clean set of clothes and underwear for each family member
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste 
  • Clean sheets 
  • A roll of toilet paper

Transfer your utilities

This entry is something not a lot of people associate with moving, as it really is not the first thing that comes to mind. And that’s all the more reason why you should include it in your checklist for coast-to-coast relocation. At least three weeks before the moving date, make sure you contact all of your service providers. Gas, cable, internet, electricity, etc. will be the first picks. But don’t forget about the water department company, recycling/garbage companies and all the other services you are currently using. You’ll want and need all of them in the new location, and you’ll also definitely want to stop paying for them in the old one.

Include taking an inventory on your coast-to-coast relocation checklist

Finally, we got to the last part – making an inventory of your belongings. Even if you hired the best and most experienced movers in your area, plenty of accidents could happen. Not only can some of your items be damaged, but they could also be lost in the process. And that’s nothing to go crazy about, as the insurance will cover it. But, for your insurer to reimburse you for the damage, you will have to have solid proof that your items were loaded in the moving truck. And that’s when you would hand them your inventory list alongside a few pictures which you should make.

A camera is to be included in a coast-to-coast relocation checklist.
If you are not a fan of taking pictures, then you won’t like this entry on our coast-to-coast moving checklist.

The pictures will serve as much more than just a mere proof that your items were loaded. They will also document the condition in which you gave them to your movers. Should any new scratches, bumps, or dents appear, it would be clear your movers damaged them. Sure, making a complete inventory won’t be an easy nor pleasant task. But if you have your own wellbeing in mind, you won’t hesitate to do it! It’s also worth mentioning that your movers will also make their personal inventory list. Or at least they should if they are worth their salt. But it doesn’t hurt to be extra safe, does it?

Coast-to-Coast Relocation Checklist

The conclusion

Buckle up, as you got a long and bumpy ride ahead of you. We tried to bring you in on a few moving tasks we thought were the most important ones. But do feel free to expand your own coast-to-coast relocation checklist as much as you want and need. Don’t worry, as you can’t overdo it. But whether moving to California from Texas, New York to San Francisco or something else entirely, make sure you have a checklist at hand. It will be effortless to forget to take care of some important task, and you really shouldn’t. When making such a long trip, there is no room for mistakes! Our Best Cross Country Moving team wishes you good luck, and we hope everything will go your way!