What to Pack When Moving Cross-Country

Sometimes, moving cross-country means you’ll have to make a few tough choices. The cost of moving increases with the distance, and many people try to cut corners where they can. People usually take some part of packing on themselves, but some things require professional equipment. Whether you are packing alone or with the help of your friends or family, there’s more to it than just heavy lifting. Many things can get broken or damaged, as it’s hard for most people to stay focused while carrying heavy furniture or chunky household appliances. That’s why many people rethink what to pack when moving cross-country, especially when moving on their own. With the right assistance, though, it’s not that hard to reach some of the Best Cross Country Movers out there. While some of the best companies may remain outside your scope, professionals can match you with the ones that will suit you best.

Can you move furniture cross-country?

While moving cross-country is often pricey, the weight of your items also adds up to the cost. That’s why you should do an inventory of your belongings and prepare well before moving. Any damaged furniture may not be worth moving, especially if you thought about changing it sometime soon. Instead of increasing the cost of your relocation, donate or sell an old piece of furniture. Some people even consider buying new furniture a cheaper option than transporting all of it. It all depends on the distance of your relocation, as well as the price of furniture and the amount carried.

sofa in the living room
Some people consider buying new furniture, while others prefer to move it.

What to pack when moving cross-country on your own?

You can pack some things without professional help, and it can be a fun family activity. At the same time, it allows you to discuss if you want to part ways with some of your items. Ask your family members if they hold dear whatever you planned to discard, and ask them if there are any items they haven’t used in a long time.

After decluttering, consider donating or selling any unwanted items before you move on with preparing your move. Once you and your family are on the same page on what needs to be packed, it’s time to get the right packing equipment. You can pack regular household items in standardized moving boxes, but you can also use plastic bins for your relocation. Don’t invest in plastic bins for packing durable items, but consider packing your clothes inside.

Don’t make the mistake of using vacuum bags before you check the fiber resistance, and don’t do it if you plan to store anything long-term. While most clothes are well protected after being vacuum sealed, many types of fibers can lose shape or deteriorate. Vacuum bags provide great and efficient protection for short-term storing, such as preparing for the move.

hands packing clothes
What to pack when moving cross-country if not clothes? Easy to pack, easy to transport.

Make sure to double-check what you can transport

Unfortunately, some items aren’t safe for moving, and often require special equipment to move if you don’t discard them. Luckily, not many valuable items made it to this list, but it does include most of the organic items. For instance, some movers will reject transporting house plants or food cross-country. That’s because they can’t guarantee safe arrival in an unchanged condition. As anything organic is highly reactive to outside conditions and is constantly changing in composition, it’s something you should avoid moving.

However, if you do have to move some household plants cross-country, make sure you don’t pack them before the moving day. Make sure to generously water them and place them in sterilized soil. This way your plants will have the best chances of making the trip. On the other hand, you shouldn’t attempt to move food, unless you can bring it with you.

How to pack instruments for cross-country relocation?

Not all musical instruments require the same kind of care and preparation, but some things apply to most of them. For instance, make sure you get specialized cleaners for your musical instrument. Wooden and metal instruments can react to regular cleaners, so don’t use home remedies or bathroom chemicals. Instead, make sure it fits your instrument and its material.

Before cleaning it thoroughly, make sure you break down the instruments into parts. Some instruments can’t be broken down, but the idea is to fit them inside their original case. If they can fit whole, that’s the way to do it. Still, breaking it down into parts helps with cleaning, while you can reassemble it later so it fits the case.

piano in a hallway
Packing and transporting a piano cross-country will require professional assistance.

You can pack and take lighter instruments with you, but moving chunky instruments such as a concert piano is another kind of challenge. Such a task requires professional help but finding reliable movers might not be an easy job. That’s why reaching out to professionals who can find and match you with the right movers can be invaluable. Trying to move a piano by yourself can result in scratches or even worse kinds of damage, while also being heavy on your back.

What to pack when moving cross-country and where to cut corners?

Every move can be different, and each family can have different needs. Add budget considerations to that, and everything is already more complicated. However, it’s important to be aware of the whole moving process and what to expect. Surprises usually lead to extra costs and bad decision-making. Make sure you take your time and start preparing your move a few months in advance. Make sure you get help finding the fitting moving company before the moving day gets too close. This way, you won’t doubt at the last minute what to pack when moving cross-country, as you’ll only do what fits your needs and your budget.  Try to balance the cost against the value, and don’t stress if you end up discarding something old.

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