The Ultimate Cross Country Packing List

Packing for a move is one of the most daunting moving tasks. It definitely takes the longest time to complete. Also, if you don’t do it properly, you can end up with lost or damaged belongings. When you’re moving across the country, then you really have to bring everything with you. You can’t leave some items in storage and bring the rest. That’s why we have created this cross country packing list for you, to help you out in the process! When you follow a carefully designed packing list, you know you’ll never forget or leave something behind. There is no reason to panic and start worrying about how you’re going to pack it all. With a proper plan and timing, everything will go quite smoothly and without any issues.

cardboard box
Packing for your upcoming relocation can be easy. You just have to make a proper plan and stick to it!

The only cross country packing list you’ll need

First things first, let’s cover the basics. When you’re moving house and you’re making a big change such as relocating across the country, you need to start packing a lot earlier than you might think. Having to pack your entire life in boxes is a big task to handle. If you want to avoid the stress and the chaos that can occur on your moving day, start packing months ahead of your move.

Now, we don’t mean that you have to pack everything all at once. However, if you’re moving in the winter, for instance, you can pack your summer clothes and accessories ahead. You know you won’t use these for at least a few months, and they can sit in the boxes ready to be loaded on the moving truck. Same goes if you’re moving in the summer – pack your winter clothes so you don’t have to worry about them later.

Step 1 – Declutter! Before you even begin packing your belongings for the relocation, stop, and think about what you really need. We understand that it can be a bit overwhelming when you see how many items you own. There’s nothing like moving to make you realize you own more than you use or need! So, go through it all and see what you can get rid of. You don’t necessarily have to throw everything away. Most items can be sold, donated, or even upcycled. Upcycling old clothing is a great way to help save the environment and breathe life into clothes you used to love and wear. Donate the books you don’t want to keep to a local library or school, and the toys and clothes to a homeless shelter. Items you no longer need can bring happiness to someone else!

person packing books in a box
Books can also be donated and they can make many people smile! Your local library or school will be more than happy to give them a new home.

Step 2 – gather the packing materials

After you decide what items you’ll bring with you during your moving process, you’ll need to gather the necessary packing supplies. Of course, everyone always thinks of regular cardboard moving boxes. Those really are great for most items in your home. From clothes to kitchen utensils and books, you can really pack anything in a cardboard box. You can find them in most container stores and even get free ones if you’re lucky! Just ask around and most stores will be willing to give you boxes they no longer have a use for.

On the other hand, you can also try to be environmentally-friendly when moving and use plastic bins. While you can’t recycle them after your move, you can reuse them many times and you won’t have to buy them again. An average American moves more than 10 times in their life – why buy new boxes every single time when you can use the plastic ones all over again?

Also, another great tip for packing is to use vacuum-sealed bags. These bags won’t only save you so much space, but they’ll also make sure your items stay dry and protected. You’d be surprised at how many things can fit inside just one vacuum bag – and how little space it’ll take in the moving truck!

Step 3 – be careful about the way you pack your fragile belongings

Moving cross-country means that your items will be in transport for a long time. Much longer than they would if you were moving locally! That’s why you need to make sure you wrap and secure everything properly, so you don’t end up with damaged things after your relocation. We would recommend using packing peanuts and special wrapping materials to keep your glasses and dishes secure and prevent them from breaking. Also, you can use your towels, linen, and clothes to keep fragile items secure – so you don’t have to buy any additional materials.

woman and girl packing plates
Carefully wrapping your fragile items will keep them safe during transport. Even on longer rides, such as during a cross-country move!

The way you pack them in boxes and bins is also crucial. For example, you can pack room by room and simply label it on the side. On the other hand, you can label per use or per each family member. Whatever makes it easier for you when you’re unpacking! But, it is important that you label your boxes, and that you use as many details as possible. That way, you’ll know exactly where your things are when you have to unpack.

We have one more tip to keep in mind when creating your cross country packing list. That is, you should always label the moving boxes on all sides. Your movers will have to cram them all in the truck and you might not always see what is inside each box when they unload it. In case you don’t have enough time to pack or don’t want to waste your energy on it – hire professional packers to help you! They’ll know exactly how to do it to keep your boxes safe and sound until they reach your new home.


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