If you are moving long distance, whether it be for work, to be closer to (or farther from) family, or simply because you can’t stand another day of living anywhere other than beautiful Tucson, it is important to have a plan in place. You will want to set up a realistic budget and then go from there. If you are not the most organized person in the world, there are many helpful checklists online that will help you find a place to start. Knowing the basics, such as having a labeling system in place will make all the difference not only in packing and loading, but also in unpacking at your new home.
Keep. Donate. Toss.
Even if you were just moving across the street, I would recommend that you go through your belongings and decide what is essential to your life and you have to keep, and then donate everything else, unless it is in such bad condition that it just needs to be tossed. The less that you have to pack and move the better. This is also a great time to evaluate old furniture. If you have the money to do so, it may be better to get rid of your old couches, tables, etc, and then use the money from their sale to purchase new items once you are in your new home town. This will be particularly helpful when it comes to cutting costs of a moving company since they typically charge distance traveled and overall weight of the haul.
Hire a moving company (Tucson has some of the best)
If you are moving long distance, there really is no other option than to hire a moving company. They can come in, pack and load your belongings and then ship them to your new home, leaving you to focus on the long distance drive that you and your family will need to make. Moving companies are extremely helpful and efficient, and after a consultation can help you create a plan whether you want to pack yourself or have them provide a full service move for you. Keep in mind that large moving trucks are typically following routes they are familiar with and that will keep them out of dangerous weather, so if they have to go a little slower than you, you should be prepared for that.
“Open First” Box
For your travels, you will want to keep a box with all of your essentials with you in your vehicle. Rather than a box, this may take the form of a suitcase with extra clothes, toiletries, phone chargers, cash, toothbrushes and toothpaste. This box or suitcase will be your lifeline not only on the road, but also if you arrive at your new home before the moving truck does. It would also be wise to have a blowup mattress or two for the family as well as some sleeping bags and a pillow for each person.
Get your vehicle checked out
If you are driving across the country, you should take your vehicle in for an inspection, and then replenish or replace anything that may become a problem on your trip. At the very least, you should check your tires, get an oil change and install new windshield wiper blades. That being said, if there is something major going on with your vehicle get it fixed before it becomes a problem and you are stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow.
While most of us have a map app on our smartphones, it would also be wise to have a paper map just in case you are in a dead zone (gasp!) where you do not get any service. Whatever route your map app suggests, you should take a marker to the same route on your paper map just to make sure you have all your bases covered.
Download a gas price app
If you are driving across the country, wouldn’t it be nice to know that the next gas station has the lowest prices you will see for the next 40 miles? Of course! These apps are generally updated in real time so you will have an accurate read on where you should go, and how long you may have between gas stations should you hit a long stretch of road that only offers gas about $4/gallon!