7 Packing tips for a move across the country
My son told me he would be packing and moving across the country to start a new job. He would be leaving in 2 weeks. Can you help Mom? Long distant moves on a budget require a lot of planning before the packing begins. Some of you may be moving for a job or for school. Take a deep breath and relax.
If you are not hiring a moving company
This move involved selling anything and everything people were interested in buying. Put your ads for the things you are selling on Kijiji or Craigslist. Don’t forget about neighbourhood swap and selling sites on Facebook. You may have multiple sites in your area and it makes scheduling pickups so much easier when you know that they are in your neighbourhood. Don’t forget the most important source for your sales. Tell your friends and family and ask them to tell their friends, family and co-workers. One of my readers shared, “do an Internet Garage Sale where you made a list of items with prices, emailed it to everyone you know, and asked them to share it with others. We were able to sell quite a few of our larger and more valuable items that way.” Don’t be shy.
Smaller items need to be sold too
You may need to sell clothing, jewelry or home decor items. Take them to consignment stores. Leave the information for picking up the cash with a friend or relative. They can e-transfer it to you.
Determine what you will take, store and ship.
In this case, he was driving a car across the country. He would be staying with relatives until he found an apartment. He knew of a few people who would be flying out to see him in the next few months. With this information, the packing began. For each item, it had to be decided if it would be packed:
- in the car
- in a suitcase for someone to bring next month
- in a suitcase for someone to bring the following month
- in a suitcase for someone to bring later
- in a box because there were items that he might want when he had an apartment
- in a plastic bin and stored
Pick up used suitcases at a thrift store. When you fly you can leave the suitcase behind to be donated instead of bringing it back with you.
You never know what you might want to be shipped
As boxes and bins were packed someone was in charge of keeping an inventory list of what went in each box and bin and labelling the container with a corresponding number to the list. We used google docs so later in the week when more things were packed or removed from boxes the list could be changed and a new list doesn’t have to be emailed to anyone. You don’t have to worry if you are using the most up to date list. The reason to do an inventory is so you can find items that might be shipped later. The hope is that the whole box will be shipped but more likely they will decide on certain items and they might be packed in a number of different boxes.
We started by going through the cupboards and anything that was unopened and not expired was donated to the food bank. This can be done early in the packing session and it is an easy way to start. No difficult decisions need to be made. Some food can be used during the 2 weeks, some disposed of and then find a friend who will be happy to take your food.
As time moved on he found things he didn’t want or need, couldn’t sell or give away or give back to people. Donate these items to charity. It is easy to think no one wants them and start putting them in the garbage but most things can be donated. It takes just as much time to put them in a garbage bag as in a box or bag to go to a charity. You will probably be eating out so you can take them to the charity on the way to dinner.
You’re finally finished
You are probably tired and overwhelmed and overstressed. Just take a big breath. You did a great job, you are about to start a new adventure. Focus on that. Don’t focus on the stuff. Enjoy the trip and the time off before the new job or school begins.
Here is a link to a moving guide, How to pack for a move: a complete checklist It has checklists for pre-moving, packing list, packing the truck, questions to ask the mover,
What is your advice about moving across the country in a car, on a plane or on a train?
Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?