This post is in collaboration with HireAHelper.
As I’m sure you know by now, Michael and I relocated to Houston, TX from DC a couple of weeks ago! This is our second long-distance move together. When we moved to DC almost five years ago, we were living in Birmingham, Alabama at the time. With those two big moves (albeit not ALL the way across the country), I learned a lot about packing and moving and picked up a few tips that really made the moves efficient, stress-free, and easier in general. Today I’m sharing those tips with you in case you have a big move coming up soon too!
5 Tips On Moving Across the Country
Pack Everything Ahead of Time (In Boxes)
When you’re moving across the country, you cannot wait until the last minute to pack. A long-distance move is already stressful enough without having to pack everything up at the last minute. Packing everything (or almost everything) in boxes makes the process of moving everything from your apartment/home so much easier for you (or your movers). It also makes organizing the moving truck so much more efficient!
Leading up to our move, Michael and I saved all of our boxes from items we received in the mail – wedding gifts, Amazon packages, Territory Foods deliveries etc. A couple of weekends before the move, we went to our local Trader Joe’s where they kindly let us take as many boxes as we wanted. We loaded up on wine boxes and a few larger snack boxes. Over a period of three weeks, we slowly but surely packed up our entire apartment.
*My Number 1 Tip*
Hire Loaders & Unloaders
We’ve hired loaders and unloaders on our last two moves (Birmingham to DC and apartment to apartment in DC), and it’s the BEST money we’ve ever spent. Not exaggerating here … One of the most stressful parts about moving is the loading and unloading process, especially if there are stairs involved! Every time we’ve hired loaders/unloaders, they have been outstanding! They are fast, efficient, and even take apart and put together any large furniture items so long as it’s within the hired allotment of time.
We weren’t about to forgo this service on this move! We used HireAHelper to find a local company in DC and a local company in Houston to help us move! The booking process was seamless and easy.
On the HireAHelper site, I was able to select that I wanted to hire both loaders and unloaders but in different cities. After selecting the cities, a list of recommended companies populated for each city. For each company, there are rates, their hours of availability, and customer reviews. After comparing rates and reading a few customer reviews I ended up going with Samuel Services in DC and Holland Real Estate Services in Houston.
Both companies were outstanding to work with throughout the process! I’d also like to mention that although this blog post is in collaboration with HireAHelper, the actual loading/unloading companies themselves were not aware of the collaboration. There were two loaders in DC and two unloaders in Houston. On both occasions, the loaders/unloaders arrived prior to or right on time with their scheduled start time. Both companies called ahead to confirm the start time and when they would be arriving.
The HireAHelper loaders and unloaders were friendly, prompt, professional, and efficient. The loaders took apart my bed and even helped me wrap a few pieces of wall art that needed extra padding. The unloaders stayed a few minutes past their allotted time to help put my bed back together. I really can’t recommend the service enough!
Rent a Moving Truck
Another thing we’ve done for all of our moves is rent a moving truck. Renting a moving truck, whether it’s a UHaul or Penske (I’ve only used those two), and driving all of your belongs yourself is a great way to save money as opposed to hiring a full-on moving company. Moving is expensive no matter which way you cut it. And with the hired helpers on both ends of the move, renting the actual truck and making the drive yourself isn’t so bad. It’s also nice to have all of your belongings with you as opposed to hiring a moving company where it may take weeks for your belongs to make it from your point A to point B. Alternatively, if the time scale isn’t an issue, you could look into a truck shipping company if you’re making a very long distance move, there will be different pros and cons to each method, it’s for you decide what works best for your moving needs.
Don’t Over Do It
If you’re making the drive yourself, which we’ve now done twice, I highly recommend NOT being over zealous on the amount of driving time you’re going to take on each day. It’s important to remember that moving trucks move at a slower speed than you’re used to traveling on the interstate. It usually always takes longer than you anticipate. And there’s nothing worse than being tired, hangry, and a danger to yourself and others on the road just because you tried to cram too many driving hours into each day.
We divided our drive from DC to Houston into three days. We left DC around 3:00 pm on day one and drove 7ish hours to Knoxville, TN. On day two we drove 9ish hours to Baton Rouge, and on day three we drove 4 hours to Houston. It was manageable, and we still made it in three days.
Schedule Enough Time
On the same note of not overdoing it, it’s important to schedule enough time for your move. This includes scheduling time to pack, load the truck, and make the move. Moving is exhausting and stressful, but allowing yourself plenty of time to complete the process eases the stress-level a bit.
I hope these tips are helpful for your next move! Did I miss anything?! Share any tips you have in the comments below! And if you take one thing away from this post it should be that the money spent on hiring loaders and unloaders is money WELL spent!
This post is in collaboration with HireAHelper.