So you’re thinking about doing a BIG move huh? Not only are you moving cities, you are moving across the country! This move calls for organization and time management! Especially if you are going to have everything packed, labeled, route organized, and method of transport locked down. But fear not! We have 5 excellent tips to assist you on this big move!

1. Planning the move. Time of year.

Time of year is important for a number of reasons, one being that it will determine methods of preparation you will need to consider. A summer or fall move might be easiest if you plan to do a DIY move, renting a truck and driving across the country can be seen as a more enjoyable journey, as making a slightly more “vacation” take on the trip will ease the pains of the big move.

Spring and winter tend to be the more unpredictable seasons for moves. You will need to be more diligent about your moving dates, and plan according to the weather. Check the weather forecast ahead of time, let a family member, friend, or colleague know that you will be travelling and keep in contact! If you plan a DIY move during the harsher seasons, make sure you give yourself plenty of time for the journey. This is especially important if there should be any delays along the way, or if you need to hunker down if the weather is not cooperating.

2. Hiring a moving company, or move yourself? Calculating costs.

There are pros and cons to both moving yourself and using a moving company when making this decision. To make it easier on yourself let’s consider the key following deciding factors: cost (both time and money), time-line, ability, and finally preference. Moving is typically a costly endeavor, not only in money but also in time. If you identify that your time is far more valuable in this cross-country venture you may weigh that a moving company that can execute the labor of moving and transport of your belongings is a far better decision.

Do you have a tight deadline to get to your next destination? If you need to be there, and there is no need for your belongings to arrive at the same time – again a moving company maybe you best option. There are some amazing move-share companies out there. All you would need to do is estimate how much of the transporter you will require, and prepare and pay accordingly.

If you find that you can afford the time and you can break down on costs by moving your own belongings (and you would far rather have these items transported with you, and arrive with you at your new destination), renting a moving truck and driving the miles may very well be worth it!

3. Fly or Drive?

In part to calculating costs, flying or driving is another important decision that needs to be made. Depending on your time-line, and cost-effects – flying will spare you the time it takes to drive in close quarters with or without your belongings, but you do miss out on that cross-country adventure people rave about with their Instagram posts. Driving can be rewarding for the break from work and responsibilities – and spark adventure, but it can be grueling and tiresome depending on the length of your journey. Weigh your options, and speak to your family and friends to help you decide what the best decision might be for you. Cost is not always the only factor!

4. Lists and Timelines are essential!

It can be INCREDIBLY easy to forget about something key to your move, so it is best to breakdown your move into weekly to-do lists so you can keep track of the essentials. A time-line to follow as you prepare for the big move can calm the chaos and include benefits of success as you conquer each week. If you are selling your home, or ending a lease early – you will need to plan accordingly. Create a 6 month to a 30-day list of things that need to happen. From finding new tenants to sub-lease your apartment, to finding a bonded moving company to help you pack and move your belongings across county. Or if you plan to do things yourself, planning to rent a truck for the time-frame you require, to planning the best time of year for your move to take place – think OPTIMAL travel dates/time of year. Search online for an easy to follow moving preparedness list that you can easily duplicate and follow.

5. Downsize.

One of the great benefits to moving is the ability to reaccess your belongings, and truly “spring clean” your life. Take this opportune moment in your moving life to rid yourself of things you know only add weight to your new and upcoming life. If you optimize the to-do list mentioned in the tip above, incorporating a yard-sale or listing items online so you can benefit from the downsize would be a great idea! Planning baby! It’s all about the plan.

Moving can be exhausting and stressful. Make it easy on yourself by planning ahead!