Cross-Country Moving Made Easy

Published on August 16, 2023 | 12 Minute read



Ortiz Reyes

Content Specialist

So, you're about to go on the ultimate road trip of life—a cross-country move! Whether it's a new job or just wanting to experience a new environment, hitting the open road, leaving your old life behind is incredibly exciting. But while cruising through different states and soaking in the diversity is thrilling, the actual moving part might be a bit daunting. Packing up your life into boxes? Yeah, that's not exactly a walk in the park. 

From packing up your belongings to finding a new place to call home, moving cross country requires careful planning and organization. As terrifying as it sounds, there's a silver lining to all this moving madness. It's a chance for a fresh start, a clean slate, and many new adventures waiting to be had. Who doesn't love an opportunity to reinvent themselves? Here are some moving tips for a fresh start:


Hire a Real Estate Agent

Relocating is a whirlwind. You've got boxes to pack, road trips to plan, and a whole new life to start. By having a real estate agent, you're streamlining the process, making it smoother, and leaving room for you to focus on the exciting stuff. They know the ins and outs of the neighborhoods, and who better to handle the house hunting than a local expert?

Imagine sipping coffee in your current city while your future dream home just hit the market. With a real estate agent in your corner, there's no need to worry about missing out on any opportunities. They keep an eye out for listings that match your vibe and send them straight to your inbox.

PrimeStreet Pro Tip: When selecting an agent, discuss the preferred communication methods and frequency upfront to ensure you're both on the same page. Since you'll be physically distant, clear and consistent communication becomes crucial. 


Create a Checklist

Before packing, you'll need to create a checklist for your long-distance move, or you can use the official PrimeStreet Moving Checklist. This checklist will be your best friend throughout this journey. It won't just keep you on track; it'll give you a clear overview of what's coming your way. You'll be able to plan ahead, allocate time wisely, and avoid chaotic last-minute scrambles like wondering if you packed your favorite shoes or a charger for your phone. Another plus? It helps you delegate tasks if other people are joining you on this move. 

There's a sense of accomplishment when crossing off a task on a list. This simple act can boost your motivation and helps reduce stress as you get closer to the end. 

PrimeStreet Pro Tip: Attach time estimates to each task. This helps you allocate your time more effectively and prevents spending too much time on low-priority tasks.


Research Your New City

Take some time to research your new city and learn about the neighborhoods, schools, and local attractions. Look up the best places to shop for groceries, the nearest hospitals, and the fastest routes to your workplace. 

  • Local Hangout Spots and Eateries - Imagine stepping out of your moving truck in your new city and knowing exactly where to go to get a cup of coffee. Nobody likes to be a wanderer in a sea of options. Researching local hangouts and eateries means you're already one step ahead in making your new place feel like home.
  • Transportation Options - Being informed about buses, trains, and subway routes means you won't have to worry about being stranded or staring cluelessly at a map on your phone because you'll already know how to get from A to B. Becoming familiar with local transportation options will also help you avoid traffic!
  • Job Market - Check out company websites, and start connecting with potential employers on LinkedIn. Figure out which industries are thriving and which companies are hiring because bills still need paying and groceries still need buying. Knowing the job market beforehand ensures you're not just finding a job to merely pay bills but potentially finding a job you enjoy doing while growing your career.
  • School and Education - Research schools in your new city, read reviews from parents in the area, and reach out to local parent groups. By scoping out schools in advance, you can strategically plan your new home around those education spots. This way, you can make sure you're close to the school, are in the right school district, and ensure a shorter morning commute.
  • Emergency Services - You should always expect the unexpected, and it's always best to be prepared to the best of your ability. Having quick access to hospitals, urgent care centers, and pharmacies can be a lifesaver. And just think about how much smoother managing your emergency will be if you already know all this information. No more frantic Googling while your phone battery is dying. You'll be calm and know exactly where to go.
  • Cost of Living- Researching the cost of living isn't just about budgeting. It's about knowing what to expect and staying ahead of the game. From groceries to utilities and entertainment, knowing how much you can spend will help you avoid surprises in your checking account.

PrimeStreet Pro Tip: Join local social media groups or forums for the city. These platforms offer insights from residents, recommendations, and a sense of the local community.



Moving is an ideal opportunity to declutter and get rid of items you no longer need. Go through all your belongings and decide what to keep, donate, or sell. This will save you time, money, and sanity when it comes to packing, unpacking, and settling into your new home. Plus, with less stuff to haul, you can downsize your moving truck and save even more money. Best of all? Decluttering reduces anxiety.

Saying goodbye to your belongings isn't always a breeze. Still, there are plenty of "rules" and methods that can help you part ways with all those "I might need it someday" items that have been hiding in the back of your closet. Pick the one that suits you the most:

  • 90/90 Method - Ask yourself, "Have I worn or used this in the last 90 days? Will I need it in the next 90 days?" If the answer is "no" to both, it's not an essential item.
  • 30/30 Method - If you can replace an item for less than $30 in less than 30 minutes, why take it with you?
  • 3-Year Rule - If it won't matter in 3 years, don't spend more than 3 minutes thinking about it. 
  • 6-Month Rule - If you haven't worn or used it in six months, it's time to get rid of it. An easy way to do this is by turning all your hangers backward. As you wear and return clothes to your closet, hang them the correct way. After a few months, you'll easily identify clothes you don't wear by the hangers that are still turned backward.
  • 5 Second Rule - If you can't remember the last time you wore or used it within five seconds, you don't need it.

PrimeStreet Pro Tip: Use the "One-In, One-Out" rule to keep your new home neat and organized. For every new item you bring into your home, aim to remove an existing item. This helps you maintain a balance and prevents clutter from building up again.


Label Your Boxes and Pack Strategically

When packing, label your boxes by the room they belong in and their contents. This will make unpacking much easier and less stressful. You wouldn't want to arrive at your new destination after an exhausting trip and not remember where your pajamas and coffee maker are. It's also a good idea to color-code your boxes based on the room they belong to for easy identification. 

Remember to be specific. Four boxes labeled as "Kitchen Stuff" will become frustrating when you're just trying to find your favorite mug. Add a brief list of what's inside to avoid chaos. Not sure where to get boxes? Check out local stores for free ones. Don't forget to get a variety of boxes. Grab different sizes – from small shoeboxes to big moving boxes. Put heavy stuff in smaller boxes and lighter things in the big ones. Your back will thank you later.

What about fragile items? Line the bottom of boxes with blankets or towels, place your delicate items in the middle, and cushion the top with more soft items like fluffy pillows or even your kid's stuffed animals.

PrimeStreet Pro Tip: Have an "Open Me First" box (or a Moving Day box) and fill it with essential items you'll need the first few days in your new home. Don’t forget to include:

  • Toiletries
  • Change of clothes
  • Snacks
  • Chargers and electronics
  • Medications
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Bedding


Hire a Moving Company

Don't try to do everything yourself, as lifting heavy items can lead to injuries if not done properly. Think about all that heavy lifting and loading. Yeah, definitely not the most exciting part of moving. Hire a reputable moving company to help with the heavy lifting and transportation of your belongings. They have the experience and know how to make your move efficient and stress-free. Research different companies, read reviews, and get estimates before making a decision. 

Professionals are less likely to mishandle your belongings, reducing the chance of breakage or damage during transit, and often offer insurance options to protect your belongings. This added layer of security can give you peace of mind. Movers also offer different levels of service. Whether you want them to handle everything or just the heavy lifting, you can find a package that fits your needs.

PrimeStreet Pro Tip: In addition to the standard fees, inquire about any potential hidden costs such as fuel charges, parking fees, or fees for heavy items.


Get Your Car Checked

Have you ever had to wait for a tow truck in the middle of nowhere? Let's try to prevent that from happening. By getting your car checked, you're reducing the chances of breakdowns, flat tires, and other travel hiccups that can put a dent in your moving plans. No one wants to spend money on a car inspection before a costly move, but it can save you big bucks down the line. A small repair and tune-up now could prevent a major breakdown later, sparing you from shelling out on emergency repairs while you're in unfamiliar territory.

Let's not forget safety. Whether it's checking the brakes, the fluids, or even the air conditioning, you're investing in your family's well-being by having your car checked. Don't wait until the last minute. Schedule your car inspection a few weeks before your move. This gives you time to address any potential issues without adding to the stress of moving.

PrimeStreet Pro Tip: Take a moment to prepare a car emergency kit. Include items like water, snacks, a first aid kit, basic tools, jumper cables, an air compressor, a reflective vest, and a flashlight.


Notify Important Parties

Before you celebrate your new zip code, make sure you inform your friends, family, colleagues, and important parties about your change of address. It's not just about redirecting mail; it's about ensuring a smooth transition, maintaining connections, and staying on top of practical matters. Here's who should know about your exciting move:

  • Post Office - By notifying the post office, you're helping them help you. They can redirect your mail to your new address, preventing any valuable letters or documents from getting lost. You'll want to make sure your new place is recognized as your official home, so don't forget to update your driver's license, car registration, and voter registration with your new address as well.
  • Utilities - Picture arriving at your new place only to find that the lights won't turn on or the water doesn't run. Imagine getting billed for utility services at your old address when you've already moved out. By notifying your utility providers, you're making sure that your basic needs are met from day one.
  • Online Accounts - Online accounts often use your address as a verification factor, so if it's outdated, you might face hurdles when trying to recover your account or prove your identity. Think about all the packages, subscriptions, and important information that flows through your online accounts. By notifying them about your new address, you're ensuring that you stay connected and in control, no matter where you are. 
  • Healthcare - If you've got a doctor you trust, you'll want to make sure they know where to send your medical records. This will help your health journey continue without any unexpected bumps along the way.
  • Vet - When you inform your current vet about your upcoming move, they will typically ask for the contact information of the new vet you plan to visit. With your permission, they can securely share your pet's medical records with the new vet. Also, update your pet's microchip information!
  • Finances - Financial institutions like banks and credit card companies should be in the loop as well because you don't want important documents going to the wrong place. And if you're moving for a job, let your HR department know about your change of address. They'll need to know where to send your paychecks and tax forms.

PrimeStreet Pro Tip: Create a single email and send it to a group of contacts in your address book. Use the "Bcc" field to maintain privacy and avoid sharing everyone's email addresses.


Cross-country moves require careful planning, meticulous organization, and a resilient mindset. Prioritizing essential tasks such as budgeting, selecting reputable movers, streamlining possessions, and acclimating to the new environment can significantly reduce the stress of such a significant change. As you wrap up your belongings, remember that moving cross country is a reflection of your courage and adaptability. Stay organized and stay positive.



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