Ready to uproot your entire life and move across the country? It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of rushing off into the sunset because sometimes, we need to where go everybody doesn’t know our name to get a fresh start. But don’t rush off too soon. Before you pack your bags, check out these tips to make your cross-country trip a little easier.


Research is a key component in any move but especially if you’re moving from one side of the country to the other. Not only do you need to search for cost-of-living and compare prices of movers, but you also will be adapting to a new culture. Unlike a intrastate move or a cross-town move, now it is not-so-easy to check out apartment or house listings. Suddenly, flights are involved in exploring this new location or, if it is familiar, to arrange the practicalities of the move, so research is even more important to keep your move on-budget and as pain-free as possible.


Any move requires a clear and planned attempt to make it happen but moving across the country is another monster entirely. Yes, you must remember the typical moving expenses of first and last month’s rent and safety deposit, but now the physical moving component will be even more expensive. Even if you’re a complete minimalist in what you chose to bring, you’ll still have to compensate for gas to drive to your new home, so budgeting is essential.


If you’re planning a big move, it might be time to take a look at your possessions. Nicole Rizzer Coulter of the channel More Salt Please on YouTube noted of a cross-country move that “[a cross-country move] gives you a chance to reevaluate your life.” Take this tidbit from Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up as referenced in the recent revival of Gilmore Girl’s: Look at the thing. Does it give you joy? If not, chuck it.

Now, this can be a dangerous line of thinking if you’re a depressed Emily Gilmore, but in the case of moving cross-country, it might not be such a bad idea. Think of it this way, remember that old band t-shirt from college? Right, the one with the weird stain on the sleeve and the hole at the seam? The one that you’ve washed at least twenty times, but it still somehow smells like desperation and cheap beer? Does it bring you joy? You might toss it before traveling 2,000 some odd miles to your new destination.

Bonus Tips

Go for the Free Boxes. Apartment Therapy lays down the law about moving boxes because who wants to pay up to four dollars for a box? Instead, go for free boxes from supermarkets, liquor stores or any of the options listed. This is just another way to keep a functional budget and make your moving experience even easier!

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