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Moving is a common and often unpleasant reality for around 40 million people every year. New jobs can mean a move and frequently on short notice. On the somewhat less stressful end of the spectrum are planned moves into a new apartment or house.

Yet, the logistics of a move, particularly a move cross-country, are enough to tax the patience of almost anyone. Between shifting services, booking trucks, and packing, it’s a lot like taking on a second full-time job.

If you’ve got a move cross-country coming in the near future, keep reading for some ways to keep the process as stress-free as possible.

Start as Early as Possible

When you have a move that’s six months or more away, it’s easy to think that you’ve got plenty of time. Yet, the time will evaporate much faster than you expect.

You should start planning that cross country move as early as possible. Start by answering the question, “How much does it cost to move cross country?”

Your exact number will depend on the size of your home, but you can start with the general average of about $5000 as a ballpark number. If you don’t have that much tucked away, start saving.

Also, you should book trucks and movers as soon as you can because truck rentals can fill up months in advance.

Get Organized

Getting organized will make the entire process of a move to a new state less stressful. Create a general calendar of tasks that you must complete, then break that down into weekly to-do lists. If it’s practical, you can even assign specific tasks to specific people.

Focus on packing and sorting things you won’t use much in the intervening times. Also, look into getting essential paperwork in hand, such as medical records and school records.

Use a color-coding system for your boxes that match colors with destination rooms. It keeps you organized without announcing which boxes have valuable items in them, such as electronics.

Arrange for Difficult Transports

Not every item in your home can just go into the back of any moving truck. For example, if you own a piano you plan to take along, you’ll want to find a piano mover for the job.

If you plan on flying to your destination and letting movers handle everything else, you may need to arrange separate transportation for your vehicles.

You can find out everything you need to know about moving cars across the country in this article.

Make Your Move Cross-Country Less Stressful

A move cross-country doesn’t need to end up a nightmarish experience. Starting as early as possible will take a lot of the stress out of the process.

Get your transportation and movers locked in as your first major step. After that, get as organized as possible. Create a schedule of tasks and break it into weekly to-do lists.

If necessary, make arrangements for difficult-to-transport items, such as vehicles or large instruments.

Looking for more moving tips? Check out some of the other posts over in our Lifestyle and Travel sections.

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